I don’t have a selfie of me in a gown today; that’s probably getting old. Radiation is pretty much the same; I avoided mooning anyone, which is good. No bowel exodus to speak of, appetite is normal (Shake Shack for lunch!) and no soreness or swelling.
Fun Fact: I now weigh more than I ever have in my life, give or take a few pounds.
I got the proofs of all my film back this afternoon, and I’m THRILLED. I sent five rolls off, one from the Rolleicord, two from the Yashica, and two from the Minolta 35mm.
The Rolleicord roll turned out to be ancient, and did not hold up well in the camera. Which is a shame because there are some beautiful shots of Finn in there, including this one:
That dates back to September 2011, when we were down in North Carolina with Mr. Scout.
The two Yashica rolls turned out better than I hoped, including these two shots:
These were metered by using my digital cameras to approximate the aperture and ISO settings. I could not be happier with these pictures, and I’m going to have them both blown up and printed.
We also got these shots from the family portrait session:
Looking carefully at the edges, there’s some circular distortion around the edges at wide aperture, which makes for an interesting bokeh effect in the leaves behind our heads. I don’t see it in the portraits at the top but it’s visible in these two. These bottom two were taken with the now-operational light meter, which means I’m on the right track.
Finally, the Minolta had some interesting shots, from years ago and the new:
The first one dates back to probably 2010 or so. The B/W shot is from our vacation this year.
Is shooting with film expensive, tricky, and slow? Yes. Is it rewarding? Hell yes.
We hiked up to the park on Saturday to take some family photos before I start radiation and chemo treatment. I brought the Fuji and the Yashica, loaded with a half a roll of black and white film. We walked down to a wooded, open area beside the river and did some tripod shooting with the timer, which was difficult due to the sun going in and out of the clouds; none of the shots metered the same. Then, based on some advice from a nearby hiker, we walked up a nearby trail to a beautiful waterfall and shot some more.
I’ve been having problems getting consistent color with the Fuji and I don’t know if it’s how I’m working with the camera or how I’m importing and processing in Lightroom. I want to love this camera more but it feels like the results I’m getting are regressing the more I shoot with it. I’m also concerned that my skill level is regressing.
The Yashica is a crapshoot and I have no idea if anything I’ve shot will come out, but that’s been the fun part. I’ve got two rolls of 120 dating back to our vacation that I’m keen to have developed, two rolls I shot with the Minolta, and another roll I found in the Rolleicord I’d forgotten about. Most of the stuff I shot with the Yashica was guesstimated by using the meters from other cameras, but I’ve been working on getting a Gossen Super Pilot light meter to work for the past couple of weeks. After some confusion with the replacement battery I purchased, I got it working relatively well. I’ve still got to do some testing with a modern camera to see if the readings are correct.
All of the film is getting sent off to thedarkroom.com, who developed a handful of mystery film for us back in April. My fingers are crossed for a couple of good shots from each roll; I’d love to get some blown-up silver gelatin prints of us from each, if possible.
After a long day this is the face of a busy tired happy girl.
I shot this with an old Nikkor 50mm f/2 manual lens on the front lawn before Finn went up for bed. While it’s not the sharpest image, I love the look.
As usual I shot a ton of pictures on our vacation. The lion’s share were taken with the Fuji, although I did bring the Nikon out to the beach one day. The runner-up was a Canon Powershot a540, an 11-year-old point and shoot that I inherited from work with a waterproof dive case. Proving the adage the best camera is the one you’ve got, I took this into the ocean with us every day and just kept pushing the button whenever I saw something. Almost every shot taken from the water was with this camera, and I don’t care if they’re only 6MP; they’re all good.
I played around a lot with a cheap egg timer/photo turntable while we were at the beach, and had some mixed results. In short, I can see why it only got three of five stars on Amazon; what was supposed to revolve 360˚ only made it to 180˚ before crapping out. Still, what I got with a GoPro set to 5MP normal, and stitched together with a little app called Time Lapse Assembler wasn’t bad. I’m toying with the idea of taking it apart to see if I can wind the spring up tighter to make it work better; for a $14 investment I’m not too upset. Besides, the GoPro I’ve got isn’t good enough to really get excellent stills–I’d love to set it up for nighttime timelapses of the stars moving but the camera isn’t sensitive enough.
I definitely brought too many fucking cameras and spent too much time trying to organize gear. Next year I’m going to pare back and replace the two camera bags I lugged there with one good backpack. I’ve narrowed the field down to the LowePro ProTactic 350, which will carry two bodies, a couple of lenses, and a 13″ laptop with more room for gear than the model I’ve got at work. I’ll leave the Nikon at home and bring take the Fuji kit with me, as well as whatever manual gear I’m fucking with at the time. I did shoot two rolls of 35mm and one roll of 120 film, so I’m going to try and finish the 120 off this weekend and send it out for processing.
I recently acquired a Yashica-D Twin Lens Reflex camera, made somewhere between 1961 and 1973. From the number range I’d say about 1968 or so. It’s the Japanese-made brother of the Rolleicord I’ve had for a number of years. Both cameras have f/3.5 lenses, and both have their controls in the same basic places. They are identical in weight, size, and basic layout. Side by side, I’d say the aperture and shutter speed controls on the Yashica are arranged with better ergonomics: they are accessible by spinning the two wheels between the lenses and their values are visible through a window on the top of the viewing (top) lens.
I brought it on our beach vacation so that I could orient myself to how the camera works and shoot some 6×6 film of our friends and family. Looking through some online videos, I found one that describes how to load and unload the film, which was super helpful. This and a couple of other links were enough to get me up and running with the basic settings, and then I was off and running.
I brought along my Minolta X-700 so that I could use the built-in light meter to eyeball the basic aperture and shutter settings before switching to the Yashica, and to also shoot a test print on 35mm film of the same basic frame. If I had more time between shots I’d be taking notes on the technical specs but with an 8 and a 6 year old (and now a 2-year-old) as subjects I’m lucky if they’re still in front of me while I’m fooling with the second camera.
So far I’ve got one roll of 12 prints in the can, and I know I’ve screwed up at least two of those frames. It’s easy to forget, in this digital age, that one has to advance the film manually, and there’s no lockout mechanism to prevent double-exposures on the Yashica like there is on the Minolta. I think that I’ve got a couple of really good portraits on that roll though, and I loaded another roll this evening for tomorrow’s pleasant weather.