It's not Type 55 but it's beautiful.

Leaf (New55 Negative)
Leaf (New55 print)

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Onward 2015

A print from the series Descent will be on display at Onward 2015. “Curated by guest juror Elinor Carucci, the exhibition of ONWARD Compé ‘15 features 53 images by 37 emerging photographers from across the globe.” Opening is Saturday, March 14 from 6-9 PM. • More info

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Categories: Shows   /  

The hidden costs of digital

The Afterlife Is Expensive for Digital Movies in the NY TImes, citing an AMPAS report, says the cost of storing a film master print is $1,059/year while storing a digital master costs $12,514/year. Add in all the ancillaries - raw footage, scripts, stills, audio - and the price increases $486/year for film but adds $208,000/year for digital.

Digital data needs to be continually migrated to new media, and converted to new formats to prevent obsolescence.

The risk in the film industry is the loss of work primarily from small and independent producers who cannot afford storage and migration.

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Categories: Notes   /  

Swirly tree

In 1978 my dad got a Konica TC for a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii. I frequently borrowed it, and it got me hooked on 35mm.

In high school I worked first at a deli and then at a video store to save up money for my own camera. In 1981 I went to 47th St. Photo in New York and paid cash for a new Olympus OM-1n and a 100mm lens.

My next purchase was a wide angle lens. The Vivitar 24mm f/2.0 was a piece of crap but it was all I could afford at the time, about 1/3 of the price of the remarkable Olympus 24 f/2.0.

This photo from 1983 was shot with the Vivitar, probably at f/2.0. I can tell because it is a visual encyclopedia of lens aberrations. I like it anyway. The lens, passably sharp at f/5.6 and beyond, served me through my collegiate PJ career. If I remember correctly, the front bezel and lens element came unscrewed and fell off.

I find the strangest stuff, part 2

Walking the dog the other day I saw some Jobo developing tanks sticking out of a box of trash. The tanks and reels were old and dirty so I passed them by. Digging a little deeper I found a bulk loader in good shape. It still had film in it.

I took it home and developed a foot of the film in Diafine. The edge markings were barely readable but it was Tri-X. Probably from the 90s, since the edge markings were not the 80s-era 'Safety Film 5063' or the modern '400TX'.

I got some used 35mm cassettes from Indy Photo Lab, and spooled up some short rolls for speed tests. Got some nice results at ISO 50 in Diafine.

I find the strangest stuff

Found a sleeved strip of Ektrachrome slides of a model blowing down 6th St.

A little further down, a few more strips.

Follow the trail to two bags full of prints, tear sheets, negatives, enlarged negatives, and slides. Beautiful, top-tier work.

Unfortunately everything had gotten wet so the paper was unsalvageable, but I was able to grab some of the transparent stuff. I've begun washing and drying it.

Yes, that is Elvis top center.

Hacking DX encoding

My main shooter for a while was a Pentax P3n, a mass-market plasticky 35mm camera. It was light and easy to use, but it set ISO from the DX encoding on the 35mm cartridge. There was no way to override, which was a bit of a problem because I usually shoot Tri-X at 800 or 1000. I ended up shooting in manual using a handheld meter.

I was cleaning out some old magazines and found an article in the 1993 Camera & Darkroom about how to hack DX encoding by exposing or covering up some of the squares which make it up. Here is the key chart. An X indicates a covered or non-conductive spot, no X indicates bare metal.

Expose squares by carefully removing the paint - the article suggests using "a dull jackknife blade so as not to scratch the bare metal underneath." Cover exposed squares using stickers or tape.

An example: To trick your camera into thinking Tri-X is ISO 1600, scrape the paint off position 3.

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Categories: Notes   /  

March 2014 - ONWARD!

March 1 – April 27, 2014: See me at ONWARD 2014. “Curated by guest juror Andrew Moore, the exhibition of ONWARD Compé ‘14 features 56 images by 52 emerging photographers from across the US and around the world.” Opening reception is Saturday, March 1, 6 – 9 pm, and the ONWARD Summit runs through the weekend. Project Basho

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Categories: Shows   /  

February 2014 Shows

Through Feb 8, 2014: My photos are featured in Parade of Spirits, an exhibition of work from Philadelphia's Krampuslauf. Closing reception on Feb 8th is a potluck dinner and a chance to make your own Krampus mask. iMPeRFeCT Gallery in Germantown

Feb 20-August 31, 2014: Jennifer Baker's exhibit Northern Liberties: From World’s Workshop to Hipster Mecca and the People in Between. I have a photo of human skulls in the show. In the accompanying book I tell the story of how I found them, along with photos of some of the other artifacts I've collected over the years. Opening reception Feb. 20th at 5:30. Philadelphia History Museum