Back to My Roots: Shooting Editorial with Film

November 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I’ll keep it short and sweet because it’s all about the outcome. I’ve been shooting a lot of film lately. I recently got into shooting street photography quite a bit. It helps to train the eye to predict a “moment”. As time passed, I had made up my mind to shoot an editorial style session with Songwriter (and cousin) Adrian Andrade of the band Herra Terra. The film was ordered, Arista.edu Ultra, a Czech Republic film that I had done some tests with, The chemicals were mixed and a date was set to take on the project.

Six rolls of 120 film were shot on a Yashica-D 6X6cm Twin Lens Reflex camera at 12 shots per roll (72 exposures total). This became an exercise in heavy thinking, a reduction of over-shooting and battling some cold temperatures. I was extremely pleased with the results.

The negatives were processed using Kodak D76 and scanned using a cheap CanoScan 9000F. No Photoshop and very little tonal adjustment. Here are Adrian’s selections:

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All images © 2013 Filipe N Marques All rights reserved. No image shall be copied or used without permission.

Contact Filipe at [contact-form]  or 603-321-4833 for licensing/permission. To see more of his work, visit www.fnmphoto.com



Yashica-D: The “other” Twin Lens Reflex Camera

October 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

A mighty fine imitation that is often overlooked, you’ll find that the Yashica-D is quite a camera. Here is my impression of this finely built medium format camera that can be bought for a song.

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With the discovery of Vivian Maier‘s work and the release of her books, launching a craze for the often ignored Twin Lens Reflex camera, I’ve witnessed the rise in prices for the Rolleiflex f/2.8 camera. Previously averaging for around $300-$400, you can now find a clean working model for around $700-$1,100. Understandably so. The late Ms. Maier has opened the floodgates for the usual imitators to crawl out from under their pile of “fad cameras” and snag one of these beautifully made classics. A few years from now, when the novelty wears out, and they come to grips with the limitations of these cameras and move on. But this is about the alternative.

Exposure settings window

Exposure settings window

The Yashica-D

I recently won this beauty on ebay for a steal at $19.95. It was listed as “as-is” as the seller knew nothing about cameras. I took the chance on it because there are times you get lucky (most times, not). The shutter on this camera was jammed, a common issue with this model, and the leatherette was missing from the front of the camera indicating that someone had tried to work on the camera previously. A replacement leatherette section can be ordered from cameraleather.com

I had managed to unjam the shutter and get a roll of 120 film through the camera. Firing off the 12 shots around my neighborhood, I looked for situations that would run the gambit of shutter speeds. I knew the aperture was working correctly, so that wasn’t an issue. It was an overcast day which was perfect for assessing the len’s contrast. My initial exposure with open cloudy sky was 1/500 (top speed) at f/4. In the shade, I was shooting at a 1/125 at f/4 then 1/30 at f/8. I had my favorite, Ilford HP5 Plus ISO 400 speed film, loaded for this test.

Film Advance and Focusing Knob

Film Advance and Focusing Knob

Holding the camera was a bit of a challenge as there is no true grip for this type built in. It took me a few moments to figure that out as working the Yashica-D is a two handed operation. I found that by placing the base of the camera in my left palm was the most stable grip for this camera. I used my left index finger to trip the shutter. My right hand cocked the shutter, focused and advanced the film. I found using my thumbs on the knobs that are positioned on either side of the twin lenses to change aperture and shutter speeds.

The next obstacle I found was through the viewing lens. The image is right-side up, however, the scene is flipped horizontally. This really can tax your mind at first as you are trying to compose and level the camera for the first half-dozen shots.

shot with Yashica-D

shot with Yashica-D

Once I got used to using the camera, I fell in love with it. Like most tools, a well built camera should ultimately be a total pleasure to work with. The large 6×6 centimeter focusing screen gives you a 1 to 1 sight of what you are capturing. The 12 frame limit doesn’t bother me at all. It forces you to consider the shot, wasting less film (a good habit to be carried over to digital). Would I use it for street photography? Eventually. It is rather large, about the size of a pound cake. It attracts attention these days as it looks like no other camera in today’s market.

So if you are a budget conscious enthusiast looking to get into shooting medium format film and want something that is complete and ready to work for you right out of the bubble wrap, I highly recommend the Yashica-D. For you geeks out there, scroll down for the specs.

taken with Yashica-D

taken with Yashica-D

Camera Specs:

  • Film 120 roll, picture size 6x6cm
  • Taking lens: Yashinon 80mm f/3.5, four elements, Bayonet I filter mount
    • Early models were equipped with coated three-element Yashikor 80mm f/3.5 viewing and taking lenses
    • The last Yashica-D models were equipped with bright 80mm f/2.8 Yashinon viewing lenses; models with this viewing lens and the Yashinon taking lens are very desirable on the used market.
  • Aperture: up to f/22, setting: by a thumb wheel just above the left side of the taking lens, aperture and speed numbers are visible in a coupled small window just above the taking lens
  • Focus range: 1-20m +inf
  • Viewing lens: Yashinon/Yashikor 80mm f/2.8
  • Focusing: Fresnel ground glass screen, via a big knob on the right side of the camera, w/ DOF scale
  • Shutter: Copal MXV leaf shutter, speeds: 1-1/500 +B; setting: a thumb wheel just above the right side of the taking lens
    • Attention: do not change the speed after cocking the shutter
  • Shutter release: on the right lower front side of the camera, over-lap type cable release can be fitted on the release knob
  • Cocking lever: on the shutter behind the taking lens
  • Frame counter: automatic resets, visible in a small window above the focusing knob
  • Winding knob: right upper side of the camera, w/ film release button on the center of it; after a frame winding it locks, (no double exposure prevention, shutter can be released)
  • Viewfinder: TLR waist level hood finder, Fresnel screen with grid lines, w/ flip up magnifying loop and flip down center for the sports finder
  • Exposure meter: none
  • Flash PC socket: left front upper side of the camera
  • Flash sync: all speeds for M, 1/60 for X,
  • Sync MX selector lever behind the aperture wheel
  • Cold-shoe
  • Memory dial : ASA/DIN, on the winding knob
  • Self-timer: lever on the shuttter, synch.lever must be on X position
  • Back cover: hinged, opens by a locking lever and ring on the bottom of the camera
  • Loading: red triangle: inside of the camera back, for adjusting film arrow when loading, after closing the cover the letter S appears in the counter window automatically, then turn the knob until 1 appears in the window.
  • Tripod socket: 1/4
  • Strap lugs
  • Serial no. on top of the name plate

Thanks for checking this review out! This is my first of many. Comments and critiques are welcomed

 

My next test and review will be on the Yashica Electro 35 GT. A very innovative camera for it’s time.

All images on this post are © 2013 Filipe N Marques. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.



To Title or not to Title…

May 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Image

I find myself asking this very question with certain images I post. I like to Title my photos. However, there are rare occasions that I feel leaving the title out has the viewer look into it more. The above photo is my latest example.

You might find yourself asking “what happened here?” and spending the time to figure it out. Possibly making some assumptions. “Did someone fall in?” This is what makes a photo engaging and entertaining.

Now, had I titled the shot “Searching for Baby Turtles”, for example, the question is answered and it’s just a photo of a bunch of kids looking for baby turtles to catch. The viewer can now move on quickly because the work was done for them.

 

For the sake of identifying the image in conversation and sales, I named the shot “The Search”. A good title because it is vague enough to not give anything away.



The Search

May 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The Search

Children and adults search the water.



FARSIGHTED – What’s in the book

March 22, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

For  a long time, I’ve been wanting to release a photo book of my own. It is what seems like a crowning achievement in a photographer’s life. It really came down to timing. Everything had to come together just right for me. The strength of the work, the subject matter…. It all had to be there.

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One major important factor was mindset. This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Putting together a strong book of my own work! A most humbling experience. The result was 90 images taken throughout the last 7 years of my career. Why seven? That’s when the work changed. That’s when I changed. My eye for this subject matter matured. There are very few words in “Farsighted” aside from the forward. Picture books don’t really need words. What I wanted to say is all there. Titles were left out because I didn’t want to influence the viewer’s imagination.

This book is a journey, in no particular order, except that it begins in youthful memories and ends in mourning. There is a sense of humor and a sense of loss. Each image was a momentary love affair, a fraction of a second long. All I ask is that you spend a few moments with each photograph and see what I saw.

So I wanted to share with you, examples of the work you would find in “FARSIGHTED – Landscapes and Street“. I hope you enjoy them.

Forward

“In this digital age of photography, the value of an image becomes fragile with each click of the mouse     (or stylus, if using a tablet) on the editing desk. It becomes the work of an Illustrator and less as a Photographer. I realized an important fact about the selected content of this book. I used no tricks. Every image selected for this book was fine tuned using only the techniques that would have been used in a traditional “wet” darkroom. Cropping, contrast, dodging and burning with very little else. Although, I never consciously planned it that way, it’s the approach I used time and time again with each of these images. A healthy combination of education, skill and discipline.

My approach to Landscape and Street photography has always been pure. I didn’t set out to prove anything. I just made images out of pure enjoyment, for others to maybe someday enjoy. I never once though about how I was going to edit these as I made them.

“Farsightedness” is often used to describe someone who can see best at far distances. I found it an appropriate title for a scenic picture book. I could never get physically close enough to this subject matter and still fit it all in the frame. I had to stand back. Sometimes way back to get the whole picture.

In practice, it made me farsighted.” ~ Filipe N Marques

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(page 1)

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(page 51)

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(page 71)

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(page 161)

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(page 167)

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(page 175)

Buy The Book

 All Images © 2012 Filipe N Marques. All rights reserved.

Not part of this blog may be reproduced in any form whatsoever

without written permission from the author.

Edited by Julie Marques

Email: fnmphoto@me.com

http//:www.fnmphoto.com

“An artist’s work is never finished, it is abandoned” ~ Unknown


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