SFO in film…

SFO in film... Street car waiting for passengers in San Francisco

Just out of sheer excitement i took my family on a day trip to SFO (San Francisco) to try out the film camera. I did tag along my small Pentax Q as a light meter :), but didnt need to use it. The metering on the otherwise fully manual Mamiya 645 seems to work just fine 😀

Here are a few more from the trip:

In the tram:
view from inside a tram in San Francisco captured on medium format film

Walkin by the sea:
San francisco in film, walking along the coast

Here’s one in color :
San francisco in film, color photo of my wife and kid
It was the last exposure on the color film in my camera. I (on a hunch) put in the B/W film to get street shots from SFO. I think i like the shots i got form the trip in B/W… the images seem to lend themselves to monochrome much more than they would have to color.

Here’s another one in color I captured biking around the Bay trail in Mountain view.
bay trail mountain view ca in film

This time i scanned the negatives at 3200 DPI (on my Epson V600) and imported the files at 48DPI as tiff files. Each negative scans in at a cool 32MP… Beats the pants off my NEX7 or 6d in terms of both sharpness and resolution… This is indeed going to be fun 😀

Have fun..

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P

Heres a link to the rest of my film gallery…

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My first film photographs :)

My first film photographs Sunrise over Golden gate bridge with San Francisco in the backdrop

A week or so back I was lucky enough to chance upon a used Mamiya 645 film camera. It came with a std 80mm f2.8 , the tele 150mm lens, metered prism, 120 back and a grip. Its a beast compared to all my other cameras, but I just loved it… What a beautiful piece of machinery 😀
For my first few reels I got a b/w negative Kodak 400 ISO and a color negative Kodak 100 ISO film.
Just got back my first sets of color and monochrome film developed… I was eagerly awaiting to see if I had completely blown the first few roles…
The results were not all bad, they were not all good either 😉 I had managed to squeeze out some winners the first time around 😀

Having said that, I had tons of shots with missed focus (I am still getting used to the focusing mechanism, though its much easier to manually focus than my digital cameras, but I guess I need a lot of practice before I can focus fast in dynamic conditions .)

Overall I am really satisfied with the results the film gave me, its got micro contrast and tonality nailed right out of the bat…

Here’s another one from the color film… Both this and the one up top are taken at the Golden gate national recreational area near SFO…
Golden gate national recreational area captured in medium format film

The following two snaps are from the monochrome ISO 400 film… Again the results are just plain awesome…I can foresee a long love affair with film 😀
playing on the swing in monochrome medium format film

cafe pro bono palo alto downtown captured in monochrome medium format film

As a disclaimer, I would like to mention that I have post processed the images once they were scanned into the comp… but the results from the film cut my work in about half, because of the already awesome tones and local contrast from the film 😀

On the topic of scanning, I purchased the Epson v600 scanner to scan my film (getting the developing outlets scan is kind of an expensive proposition, even more so for the higher resolution scans I did.). I would break even on that guy just in under 10 rolls… Its a good scanner, but not a pro.. I had to color balance a lot of the color pictures scanned in from it and both the b/w and color scans needed quiet a lot of sharpening to be useful… Its still a pretty good scanner for the price. The accompanying software is ok and functional, but please do not turn on Digital ICE… it just craps all over the pics. The first roll I scanned was the monochrome, and the pics had weird artifacts in them with digital ICE. I turned it off at that pint and did not try it with the color film.

In the coming days I intend to shoot more and hope to learn to develop the b/w film at home… So stay tuned… This seems to be a fun journey 😀

I recently came across this blog… what an amazing artist. I hope some day i can come up with stuff that is half as good :D. Seeing images like the ones on the blog, my decision to step back into film seems a step in the right direction 😉

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P

For the rest of the pics click here

Someday… i’ll get it too…

Someday... i'll get it too...

Getting a beautiful star studded night scene has been a long time dream of mine… Seems im not done yet… I wanted to get a beautiful night scene with the Milky Way taking up the most of the sky. I seem to have a long way to go 😦

Here’s another one from this shoot…
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I thought i was ready… i had scouted the location (well, i have taken multiple sunsets at the Natural Bridges beach in santa cruz…) and was ready with my tripod at sundown… Remote (wired) shutter release inserted into the camera and the lens focused on infinity… As the sun set and the stars began to pop up i fired away… one long exposure after another. The pics did show stars but i seem to have lucked out when it came to getting the milkey way…
The closest I have ever come was this shot (again in santa cruz) back in 2011…

Aaah… anyways, i am not done yet… another day will end and another night will come… I hopefully will get the ever elusive (in my case anyways 😉 ) milky way some day… 😀

Tons of thanks to my wife and kid for the immense patience they showed couped up in the car while i snapped away like a mad man… Thanks guys 🙂
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P

Lumia 920… the photographers camera phone…

Lumia 920... the photographers camera phone...

Images like the one above are the rule rather than the exception. Caught this at the gurudwara (indian temple) in san jose at sundown. The camera caught the scene pretty much like what I saw there. Its images like this that bring out the true value of the image stabilized camera in the phone. It just is a cut above the rest. Even in bright sunny situations, the images have a good balance b/w the highlights and shadows. Things like white balance, color saturation etc are generally none issues.

The following images are a good roundup of what the camera does on the usual scenarios

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A lovely evening at this in the Almedan Quicksilver park, san jose.


 

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Another low light shot taken in Santa Cruz… and edited in the phone to get this look


 

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An example of a macro shot… Background blur can be achieved, but at really close subject distances


 

Here are two more sots that highlight how good the camera is in difficult light…

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This one was quiet a bit after sunset… The camera did push the exposure here a bit, the larger sizes are not that clear, but the colors are pretty much spot on. In face even a few stars show up in the picture. The phone did definitely capture much more than what i saw with my own eyes… 😀

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This one is another good example of how the camera handles extreme conditions, the exposure did come out pretty good here. (BTW I did use the auto fix tool on this picture to open up the shadows a bit. 🙂 )


 

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Another in camera pano… The camera does a good job of balancing the highlights and shadows for most cases


 

The shots above are a small subset of what the camera on the phone is really capable of doing. This is not a substitute for a real camera, but it does beat the lower end point and shoots. In simple words, im loving it 🙂

Do come back for more…

~
P

To see more shots from the gallery click here

Grand canyon… in IR

Grand canyon... in IR

This photo, from Grand canyon, has been sitting on my computer for about 2.5 years now… The rendition that came out by default using the IR filter didn’t look very good, luckily I didn’t delete it in the camera itself (despite feeling strongly at the moment) :). Finally yesterday I thought about going back to this snap to try out some plugins in PS (wanted to see specifically what came out after processing it using Nik and OnOne). After about 10 mins of twiddling with it, i finally think i have a winner 🙂 (link to the original processing i did on it)

This is not the only one that finally got some love yesterday, i reprocessed some other snaps from the same trip. Here are two more examples :
First picture (original processed without PS and plugins) and
Second picture (original processed without PS and plugins).

God bless em developers of these plugins and PS… made life so much easier 😀

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P

Do come back for more…

My little champ…

My little champ...

Got this camera (pentax q) a couple of weeks ago. I was kind of skeptical about the purchase but once I got the package, I was amazed at how small and light yet sturdy the camera really is. I got it with the 02 zoom lens…

I loved the image IQ right out of the camera. I have a link to the galley form the pentax q at the bottom of the post. I don’t shoot RAW with this one, I found the jpeg mode to be good enough. In-fact, most of the time I find myself using the numbered dial on the front to shoot bold monochrome, vintage color or bold color images. Out of habit (I guess im kinda compulsive here 😀 ), I tweak the levels in LR, but never take the snaps into PS 🙂

This little guy goes with me literally everywhere (ok not to the loo :P, but most other places 😉 ). The battery is small so it does run out of juice kinda fast, but I still manage to get about 200 shots in one charge. I was amazed at the dslr like functions in the camera, for e.g.:
    Some awesome in camera filters (toy camera effect, an awesome b/w mode, vintage color mode)
    In camera RAW/jpeg editing with some pretty good results.
    The ability to modify the functionality of certain buttons
    In camera hdr mode (limited use)
    Custom settings

And above all, the killer feature, in body stabilization. I mount my canon FD lenses on the body and get stabilization, how freakin cool is that…

Having said that, Pentax q is no DSLR killer, the sensor is really small, and noisy… on a bright sunny day you can get the most of the 12 MPs but don’t stop down below f5.6, diffraction will kill the sharpness :). The results are really good for sharing online, you might be able to push your luck with prints up to 8 X 10, but that’s pushin it. This is good for being either a second or a third camera. For serious stuff I use my canon 7d/sony nex7…

Overall, I am highly satisfied with the lil gem (For the price its on Amazon this thing is an absolute steal). I use it as my street shot/hiking/biking camera when I know I am looking for the convenience rather than absolute quality. Here’s a sample of the stuff I have shot since I got it…

Hope you got smtin out of the post… do leave some feedback..

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P