July has been a busy month with work and visits, but perhaps because of the latter I also managed to finish three films with a mix of your typical tourist photos, and whatever kind of photos it is that I tend to take when out on my own.
The first one is a Kodak Portra 400, and as always it’s the forgiving hero delivering great colours even when the exposure is sure to have been a bit off. Skin tones, greens, sky — all is good. All but one are from Paris (Fête Nationale and Le Tour), with the last one being from my brother’s gymnasium graduation (congratulations again!).
Next up is an Ilford Delta 100 Professional. I still can’t tell the difference between this one and the Kodak T-Max, not least because so much is determined during scanning, but perhaps this will change when I eventually make prints.
And last but not least, a Lomography X-Pro Slide 200. Although surprisingly the colours are quite different from the first one (perhaps because I used a different printer) the result is still pretty good when the exposure is right — take Educating or Hanging Around for instance.
On the other hand, it is clear that the film is not nearly as forgiving as the Portra, and both underexposure (High) or overexposure (Expensive District, Wineyard, and Blue Shades) leads to an unpleasant purple tint — the best example perhaps is Scholastique (Smiling) and Scholastique (Looking) where the latter seems to be correctly exposed, and the former was deliberately given one stop more.
You might remember how by a rookie mistake I managed to waste an entire film a while back. Well, I loaded a new film into the camera and the results are finally here. And why did it take so long? Firstly, I started to prefer shooting on the OM-1. And secondly, a personal dry period when shooting meant that nothing on the film really caught my eye, and in turn a delay of a few months before scanning them.
Let’s start with a few shots from the film:
I like the two Scholastique (…) but it goes a bit downhill from there. My girlfriend pointed out a while back what difference my mood often has on my photos — when going through a generally content period the result so far has often been better — which, I suppose, is not too surprising, yet obvious in these shots: while finishing the Ph.D. there honestly wasn’t much energy for anything else, including creativity in the finer arts.
The Church photo is from my hometown Esbjerg, as is Where I Used to Swim of the swimming pool where I spent the greater part of the teenage years; it is less remote than it perhaps seem and was actually taken during a quick walk from my parents’ house. Notice that these two shots both contain significant light leaks, meaning the foam that is supposed to prevent light from creeping onto the film through the rear door has probably become too old. On Church I’ve applied my newly acquired Photoshop skills in an attempt to repair it, yet it took so long that I’m still building up momentum to start on the second one (I tried a few different approaches but in the end frequency separation as used in beauty retouching yielded the best result).
The use on Photoshop brings up an interesting question, namely how does analogue and digital photography mix? Since I can’t currently make prints due to the lack of a darkroom, scanning and working on the photos digitally is tremendously convenient if they are to have any kind of life. Plus, as the light leak repair attempt shows, digitally I can (sort of) do stuff that seems almost impossible to do in the darkroom. But that of course begs the question, why even bother with shooting analogue then? I suppose it’s just to try something new. And the prospect of eventually going to the darkroom to make proper prints.
I try to keep my Flickr photostream and this blog somewhat synchronised such that most photos on the former are given a context here on the latter. However, I realised the other day that a bunch of recent black & white photos have leaked onto the photostream without a proper presentation.
The first is a roll shot on the Fisheye primarily back in Aarhus, at a point where I didn’t have the time to develop it:
The next is from around the same period and the first roll shot on my Olympus OM-1 nicknamed Kurt — notice how many of the shots are from my former university office; didn’t get much out at the time:
Moving on, the next two are from the period around handing in my thesis, and contain a mix from my hometown Esbjerg, my grandparents diamond wedding, and going to Paris:
Finally, the last roll is also from Paris but this time on the latest OM-1 nicknamed Jane Graham:
So there it is, order has been restored!
When my father invited us to a blues concert at Tobakken in Esbjerg I was happy to go but not really sure what to expect. It turned out to be great though, to the point where one of the bands have been the first choice of music for the past week now.
It was a gathering of three blues bands. The first one consisted of an old Danish film celebrity, Jes Holtsø, who played Børge in the Olsenbanden movies as a teenager. Apparently he ended up in a alcohol and drug abuse, recovering about five years ago, and went into music. Seeing him singing on stage was strange though, but he did a fair job and presented an interesting character.
Next up was Swedish one-man band Daniel Norgren. Almost one-man band at least, as he did the singing himself together with playing guitar, drums, and harmonica — but brought a bassist. He immediately reminded me of Seasick Steve and the fascination of sixties American culture we witnessed in Sweden this summer; from musical style to appearance there was nothing about him that couldn’t have convinced you that he came straight from Alabama as Seasick’s cousin.
His music was great. Something separated it from the other bands and provided an interesting twist. For a second I considered getting an album from his stand, but from Seasick Steve I remembered that what sounds great live may not work at all afterwards. I now know that this is not the case for Norgren as we’ve been listening to it on Spotify a lot since. In fact, we’ve booked tickets to go see him tonight at Atlas in Aarhus.
The third and final band was Buddy Whittington. He was an excellent guitarist but my father seemed to enjoy his style of blues more than I did. More classic blues I suppose.
Finally, let me comment a bit on the photos. I had brought my Nikon D60 and shot a bit from where we were seated. The room seemed to get progressively darker during the concerts so the quality of the Whittington photos also came out worst. However I’m still very impressed about the noise level of the camera (I had to push the ISO high to maintain somewhat of a decent shutter speed) and how well Lightroom does noise reduction. I still want a new camera but if you shoot in RAW format then you can surely pull a lot out of the files afterwards.