Photo Exploration: Nurse Log in Percy Warner Park, May 2015

It had been a long time since I’d clam­bered into the woods, dirt under hands and scrap­ing knees, to make that metic­u­lous­ly framed pho­to. The more found-and-street pho­tog­ra­phy I do, the less of the com­pose-recom­pose-recom­pose-again process I had done. Last week­end was just such an oppor­tu­ni­ty. Walk­ing in Per­cy Warn­er Park there was up on a hill a large tree that had fall­en across anoth­er tree and, over time, twist­ed away and set­tled on the ground. In the future it will prob­a­bly be a nurse log for oth­er growth. Unfor­tu­nate­ly it was a good was up that hill and too far for any lens to get it from the road. It was a very cloudy day mak­ing hand­held shots tricky at best, and this being under cov­er of trees I had no choice except to scram­ble up car­ry­ing my tri­pod to set­up for the shot.

Nurse Log, Percy Warner Park. May 2015

Shoot­ing with the Leica M3 at 35mm can be tricky. On the tech­ni­cal detail side, this was made with the Leica M3 with a 35mm f/2.8 lens. Expired T‑Max 400 shot at 200, f/11 at 1/2 sec­ond. With that 35mm lens there is an attach­ment to the viewfind­er to ensure prop­er fram­ing, but when the cam­era is low to the ground in an already uncom­fort­able sit­u­a­tion, it’s tough to ensure that the set­up is just the way you want it. With a lit­tle time and patience, that part came together.

Next was meter­ing and set­ting the shut­ter. Get­ting the expo­sure down is thank­ful­ly a breeze with my hand­held meter. Since it was a long expo­sure, a self-timer was going to be used. With the Leica there is a strange lit­tle half-winder on the front that you set, trip to start, and then when the winder fin­ish­es it fires the shut­ter. It takes a few tries to trust it — espe­cial­ly as the winder can run whether or not the expo­sure has already been tripped by the shut­ter button.

But when all was done, the pho­to was made and can now be shared.

Vancouver on Film, May 2015

A week in Van­cou­ver with a roll of Velvia 120 and FP4+ 35mm is about perfection.

Most­ly play­ing tourist and not too much explo­ration, but even that was reward­ing. Stan­ley Park is phe­nom­e­nal, Gas­town is great fun, and ran­dom side streets were well worth investigating.

On the tech­ni­cal side, I shot the Velvia with my Mamiya 645 Pro TL with the 45, 80 and 150mm lens­es. I don’t shoot that cam­era too much these days ‑ I have been work­ing with the GA645 more often for medi­um for­mat film. When I to man­age to set aside the time and ener­gy to show the Pro TL, the results are amaz­ing. Espe­cial­ly with slide film, look­ing at the actu­al media in real life is a treat. Not to men­tion the sheer size of the raw amount of data com­ing from the 6x45 negatives!

This was also the first trip with my Leica M3 and while I am not as quick with the focus­ing as I am with my A‑1, I am com­ing along with the rest of the process. Even hav­ing to meter with an exter­nal meter on this trip for it, I still was able to shoot rea­son­ably quick­ly when the time came. And the look of the images I real­ly love, espe­cial­ly on those pho­tos with a large amount of fine detail and contrast.

A great trip, real­ly wel­com­ing city and who knows? Maybe one day we’ll call it home.

Night Snapshots in Vancouver, May 2015

A few x100 snaps walk­ing between Gas­town and my hotel while in Vancouver.

Vanderbilt, May 2015.

I am now the proud own­er of a Leica M3 and three lens­es (50mm f/2 DR, 35mm f/2.8 and 90mm f/4). And a MR meter, but no bat­tery for it (yet!). And I am grow­ing very, very fond of the camera.

How­ev­er, it is an uphill climb. The first ses­sion with it, when I was test­ing it out before pur­chase, was a frus­trat­ing mix of fits and starts. Remem­ber the first (and sec­ond, third and fourth) time you tried to dri­ve stan­dard? But do you also remem­ber the first time you real­ly were able to get a smooth take­off and run through the gears? The start of the roll was fum­bling and awk­ward, but by the end of my sec­ond ses­sion I felt like I could at least get the car around the block. I’m look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with this gear — espe­cial­ly next week when I’m in Vancouver! 

The pho­tos below were tak­en at Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­si­ty around Ben­ton Chapel.

All the above were done with the 50mm and 35mm lens­es, with HP5+ shot at 400 and devel­oped in Ilfos­ol 3 1:14 dilution.

Franklin First Friday Art Festival, May 2015

Every first Fri­day of month these days Franklin hosts a walk­ing art fes­ti­val down­town for perusal and fun. Below are some favorites from my walk around the fes­ti­val for May 2015.