The Last Post

By December 22, 2014 Blog, Film

Firstly, may I take this opportunity to wish you all the happiest of festive seasons. Also, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to you for continuing to follow my photographic journey regardless of where it does or doesn’t take me……

So, here we have it, my last post of 2014!! It’s really quite remarkable to think that this time last year I was preparing to leave the UK to spend Christmas in Rome, being both excited and frustrated with my newly acquired Sony A7r, how time flies!!

For many of us, the end of the year is a time for reflection and when it comes to photography, reflecting on one’s successes and failures can only be good. With that in mind I made a little list, whilst it’s by no means exhaustive it probably covers the main pointers….

My Successes –

  • Completion of my Darkroom/office .
  • Managing to shoot more film than I have in any previous year.
  • Developing my own C41 film.

The successes really require little elaboration, film has dominated and I’ve learnt a lot, there can be no doubt about that.

My Failures –

  • My failure to implement at least one of the two projects I had in mind.
  • Second guessing myself…..all the time.
  • Not photographing enough, despite having ample time.
  • Neglecting Digital.

The failures on the other hand, well they probably do merit some further comment on my part. I’ve known for a few years of the need to have a more long term project, or two for that matter, I have a couple of great ideas, or at least I did….Certainly in the last year I have been beaten to at least one of them. I don’t really want to elaborate further other than to say that I honestly do feel that I could do a better job. To that end it’s still alive in my head!

As I’ve said, reflection is good, it can however turn in to second guessing one’s self! When this happens things can go down hill, fairly quickly….Needless to say there have been times over the past twelve months where I’ve second guessed absolutely every aspect of photography and what it means to me. Don’t go there!

I don’t take enough photographs, poor time management and a lack of motivation on my part are the main contributors to this and quite clearly it can only be addressed by your’s truly!!

Neglecting digital, really??? Well actually, yes!! I feel a little strange about this one, certainly given my propensity to talk about my love of analogue photography and desire to shoot more film!! Well in truth, my original objective to shoot more film was never intended to be at the expense of digital, it just kind of happened that way….the more I shot film the less inclined to shoot digital I became. This raises an important question, if I only really feel like shooting film, why even bother with digital? Believe me, I’ve given this a lot of thought!! Hours of reflection, or is that second guessing!!! In the end, the answer lay in the pages of this Blog, if I look back at my shooting habits, media, cameras and gear combinations I feel my best results have come as follows –

  • Having a choice between digital and film Rangefinder bodies, I’m just not prolific enough with film at the current time and as such I feel I’m missing shot’s. Despite loving the look of film many of my favourite images are digital, film has taught my so much yet in a strange way I feel like I’ve regressed to some degree.

I’ve neglected my Monochrom and my M9, cameras I still stand by and hold in the highest regard, using one of these and supplementing it with a film M is probably what works best for me. Along with carrying a 15/35/50 combination of lenses.

So, after all I’ve said I’m going to finish the year with a few shots taken from a couple of days out, all on film!!!

First up, a roll of Kodak Ektar 100. Usually I’d spend some time ordering the images but this time they are in chronological order, exactly the way I saw it. Taking a drive out towards Lake Tarawera there’s very little in the way of civilisation on this particular drive, indeed the only people I came in to contact with was when buying coffee and paying for the permit to enter the park.

The Road to Tarawera

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  • These images are all from my Leica M5 – This is the M5 formerly owned by Rowland G Phillips Turner, you can read about how I came to own it HERE. Believe it or not I’ve had this camera for almost 3 years, it actually spent 2 of those years with DAG waiting for a repair. A long and frustrating story that did have a happy ending, the camera does work wonderfully now.

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Using the current 35mm Summicron f/2 Asph & 50mm Voigtlander Nokton f/1.5 Asph, two lenses I’d recommend to anyone.

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These images were developed at home on the JOBO CPP2 using the Digibase C41 Pre Mixed Kit, I’ve been really impressed with these. I’ve got maybe 3-4 rolls of developing left in them, after that I’ll be mixing my own C41 Chemicals.

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At the end of the drive theres a beautiful walk which terminates at the Tarawera Falls.

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A quick reference to the scanning in this post which was done using the Imacon 848.

The Ektar images were converted from the Imacon’s native .fff format to .tif and and processed using the Color Perfect Plugin for Photoshop CC.  I’ve experienced mixed results with this plugin, formerly it was my recommended route when scanning with Silverfast or Vuescan, it doesn’t always play nice with Imacon’s scans though. That said I do like the results this time around. Further tweaks in Lightroom 5.

Next up some shots taken on Kodak Portra 400 and AGFA Vista 100. These were taken locally while wandering aimlessly, camera in hand of course……

From Boy’s to Men and Back Again….??

The “Mens Shed” is quite literally that, a place for old guy’s to hang out and make stuff!! Simple. I did enquire about membership but was politely advised to come back in 20 years!! From memory you need to be 65 or over to join, they did kindly allow me to photograph their activities though!! 

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Taken on my Zeiss Ikon ZM with 50mm Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 Zm. These were effectively the test shots for the camera and this particular frame was my very first scan with the Imacon 848.

A quick note on the Zeiss Ikon ZM, it had been on my list of wants for ages!! There are some things to like about it, mainly the 1/2000 Sec shutter speed and the expansive viewfinder, if you’ve already owned a Leica though, leave it.

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These “Old Boy Sailors” are now a regular feature on the lake close to home, sometimes they gather in large numbers and they even hold competitions, it’s amusing how much time and effort a bloke will put in to something he loves………

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This Roll of AGFA Vista 200 was shot on the Leica M6 with 35mm Summicron f/2 Asph.

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It humoured me immensely that I stumbled on both the “Mens Shed” and the “Old Boy Sailors” on the same day!! As men we really do go full circle, we begin as boy’s and we end up as boys!!! That said there will no doubt be some women that would argue strongly that we are always boys……

That’s my lot!! I wish you a wonderful New Year and we’ll catch up again in 2015!! 

All the best, Jason.

11 Comments

  • Andy Gemmell says:

    “Having a choice between digital and film Rangefinder bodies, I’m just not prolific enough with film at the current time and as such I feel I’m missing shot’s. Despite loving the look of film many of my favourite images are digital, film has taught my so much yet in a strange way I feel like I’ve regressed to some degree.”

    I’m hearing you here Jason and also feeling much the same way. Photographically for me this has been a very very dry year! I sold my MM and Leica lenses to just own the Mamiya 7 and a couple of lenses. Love the outcome of that though definitely do lose that prolific aspect to having digital at hand. It’s got nothing to do with the whole “machine gun” theory because the rangefinder experience slows that down anyway. It’s hard to put a finger on it though I think we are both thinking/feeling the same way here.

    On your year just gone I noticed that there were less posts and and naturally less images. Your last two posts seem to be taking you back into the fold though with the performance rehearsal images and this post. That’s a good sign for 2015!

    I sold my Zeiss Ikon (Mark from http://www.iftimestoodstill.net found it for me and arranged things.) I sold it and the MM to give MF a go. I like it though just wish it was a touch heavier in the build. Nothing quite like that M6 feel in hand!

    Now you have the office/dark room set up 2015 it is about going for it! Enjoy that wonderful country you are living in and show us the outcomes along the way!

    Have a great Christmas and NY and looking forward to following your progress in 2015….

    Cheers

    Andy

    • janrzm says:

      Hey Andrew,

      Apologies for the extremely late response!!

      One thing you know about photography is that there is always someone else out there having exactly the same thoughts and experiences!!

      I’m pretty sure I have some of the answers, especially in relation to equipment, I’m just not brave enough to bite the bullet yet….

      I have had to accept that as much as I love photography it has to fit in around family life, to fight it is too difficult.

      Hope you are well.

      All the best, Jason.

  • Hello Jason, from reading this I would suggest you do a 365 project, i.e. photo a day for 365 days.

    my friend is doing a wonderful series using only a Canonet QL17 GIII, see these links ..

    1 Camera 1 Year
    http://www.1camera1year.tumblr.com
    http://instagram.com/1camera1year

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Cheyenne,

      Haha, I’m pretty sure I’d fail by the end of week one!! I have been giving it some thought though….!

      Thanks for the link.

      Jason.

  • Damian says:

    Fantastic post, loved the shots from the Mens Shed.

    Happy Christmas.
    Damian.

  • biglenslittlelens says:

    I am loving using film again more often. And with the death of my imac recently, and not being able to edit, I have been using film more. I still have taken digital pics, but they are being backed up until the imac is back. For me, the film cameras are simpler to use with less button pressing, and they allow me to pay attention more to what I am taking a photo of. Was never the type of machine gun shooter with digital, but film allows me to pay more attention knowing that there is little else to change once the shutter has been pressed. Using tri-x, ektar 100 and potra, and hope that I can keep getting decent supplies of these. (though if I can get a monochrom within budget I would for sure) Keep up the good work Jason.

    cheers
    Andrew

    • janrzm says:

      Hey Andrew,

      Thats good to hear!! Not the iMac part…..I know what you mean, simple, simple, simple 🙂 I’m not a machine gun shooter either, in fact I’m pretty frugal full stop when it comes to actually taking photographs. I think the film stocks you mention are relatively safe, indeed Ektar seems to be gaining in popularity from what I see and read.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, apologies for the extremely late reply!!

      Jason.

  • Lovely to read a candid and well detailed post Jason.. and Super clicks
    Cheers
    Warren

  • Tim Pearsey says:

    Love the photography Jason and the way you write from your heart.
    Cheers