Category: Black & White

Obsolescence Rocks, Again!

Once again, I celebrate photographic “obsolescence.” I have been wanting to try medium format photography for some time, and last week a listing appeared on eBay for a Mamiya 645J with three lenses. This camera takes 120 roll film, and creates negatives 6cm x 4.5 cm in size. The seller was local to Toronto, so I could avoid shipping/customs fees, although I did have to pay tax. Still, for about $400 I got everything I need to try my hand at medium format film. To put that cost in perspective, the list price for a modern digital equivalent to this camera is well over $5,000 no lens included. I’ll be able to shoot a lot of film with this price differential 🙂 .

The image below was from my first test roll, shot beside the Don River in Toronto yesterday morning.

Water on the Rocks

Portrait of an Artist: David William White

David William White is a photographer I met this past Saturday at the Kodachrome photo-walk at Morningside Park in Scarborough. He is shown below with the camera he brought along: a view camera over 100 years old. On a day when the retro feel of film cameras was in the air, he really underscored the feeling by shooting with this camera. He was also using the paper negative technique, a process that goes back to the dawn of the photographic era. (After all, Fox Talbot used paper negatives in the calotype process of the 1830’s/40’s.)

View Camera Fan

It was great to know that on the same day as a glitzy photo show,  showcasing all the new high-priced digital toys available was going on in Mississauga, at the other end of Toronto David was quietly going about his craft, exploring and typifying what is special about traditional photography.

Time-Warp Tuesday: North Rustico, Prince Edward Island, 2004

Again not too far back into the past this week. This is an image I made in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island back in 2004. The image appeared (to my eyes) rather non-descript in colour, but when I converted it to black and white, I liked it a a lot better. I used my old Canon Digital Rebel, with the 18-55mm kit lens at 18 mm (equivalent to about 24mm for a 35mm camera) to include as much foreground as possible.

North Rustico

Portrait of an Artist: Sage Tyrtle

One of my photography projects this fall is to take environmental portraits of various creative people I am lucky to know. For this project I am using black and white analog film, and old cameras in order to get a more organic look for the images. The artist featured in this image is podcaster Sage Tyrtle.

Sage Tyrtle

Simply put, Sage is perhaps the most talented podcaster I know. Her podcast QN is always thought-provoking, often very funny in an ironic and sardonic kind of way, and always extremely well crafted both from a technical point of view and especially in terms of the writing involved.

Shooting this image was challenging; I used my old Nikkormat FT2 with a 24mm f2.8 Nikkor lens (one of my favourites), and Ilford XP2+ film. Technically it was a very challenging shoot, with dim lighting and very little room to work in. Also, the shutter on this 35 year old camera started sticking, ruining a number of frames. I literally got only one usable frame (the one you see above) but I was really happy with how the image turned out; I think it captured Sage’s energy and joy in doing what she loves to do.

Telling a Story

I like street photography that hints at the stories that are hidden inside of everyone. I took this photography in Brussels this past August, in an historic part of town called Central Place. It is an amazing old square with a lot of great historic architecture, but the people who filled it gave it its vibe, and its stories. We only had one night there, but I am longing to go back.