Elephanta Island Mooring

January 24, 2020 at 11:43 am
Moored craft off Ele­phanta Island. Provia 120 slide film shot with Fuji GA645. May 2019.

Indiafest, May 2017

May 25, 2017 at 11:11 pm


It’s get­ting harder and harder — and it was already nigh impos­si­ble — to find labs to process slide film. With that in mind, I decided to try cross-processing. These results (Fuji Sen­sia 100 processed in C-41) are really pleas­ing to me! Granted, they aren’t that pos­i­tive film look — and they don’t quite evoke the won­der I have when I look at slides — but the results are more than accept­able! I like the tone of the blues quite a lot.

The flare in some of them is from the 35mm gog­gles lens.…got to remem­ber to use the lens hood more often!

Pho­tographed at the Indi­afest 2017, hosted by the Sri Gane­sha Tem­ple in Nashville. Leica M3, Fuji Sen­sia 100 35mm.

Vancouver on Film, May 2015

May 28, 2015 at 12:21 am

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.

Photo Exploration: Orange|Blue Wall

June 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

This late after­noon image was made in Decem­ber 2011 with Provia 100f slide film. The sun was still bright but the year was draw­ing down and all the col­ors were start­ing to fade. Espe­cially in Asheville, where once the fall leaves dis­ap­pear it can get rather dreary.

How­ever, this wall in the Asheville River Arts Dis­trict was a mas­sive anti­dote to the gray. Seem­ing imper­vi­ous to tem­per­a­ture or sur­round­ings, the wall stood (and stands) not with an active pur­pose, but maybe just with an iden­tity. A bit of an unm­mov­ing block of color hold­ing court with itself. I had walked this neigh­bor­hood many times to get out from behind my desk and get a bit of fresh air, and although I had pho­tographed the wall with dig­i­tal and neg­a­tive color film, I had never really felt like I had made an image that was fully present in both color and tex­ture. How­ever, this one last walk of the year I had slide film loaded and the time was right.

One of the hard­est, for me, chal­lenges when shoot­ing an image like this is to get it all lined up prop­erly. Any tilt up/down or left/right will be very notice­able in the fin­ished image, and tak­ing care in the moment to true your lines pays div­i­dends later. I think I still have a bit of ver­ti­cal mis­align­ment, with the top titled slightly away from the film plane, but over­all the wall and the film seem to line up pretty well. Expo­sure with the in-camera mech­a­nism, check focus and with a click the image is made.

Orange|Blue Wall, Provia 100f. December 2011

Orange|Blue Wall, Provia 100f. Decem­ber 2011

I’ve dis­cussed the benefits/process of slide film before, espe­cially regard­ing the view­ing of an image and see­ing the minia­ture world within. With this image the expe­ri­ence was nearly tran­scen­dent. It was like hold­ing pure light, this amaz­ing trans­par­ent yet solid emul­sion of orange and blue. I am no way with Rothko’s tal­ent, but I imag­ine his won­der at a com­pleted color field paint­ing to be much the same as when I first held the devel­oped image above.

It was made with a Fuji GA645, quite a work­horse medium for­mat cam­era. If you aren’t famil­iar with one, think of a wide-angle rangefinder with aut­o­fo­cus capa­bil­ity. Extremely sharp ele­ments and very accu­rate meter­ing. It is a fun cam­era that I’ve used many times over.

This image is mean­ing­ful for two rea­sons — the first is that after many attempts with a sub­ject, I was finally able to find the right com­bi­na­tion of mate­r­ial and process to get a sat­is­fac­tory image. The sec­ond rea­son is this pho­to­graph helped push my bound­aries a lit­tle bit. Remov­ing peo­ple, nature, and many extra­ne­ous items from the image I was pre­sented with slight tex­ture and com­ple­men­tary colors.

Rome: Slide Film

November 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

A selec­tion of the Velvia 100F, 6x45 for­mat, shots taken with the GA645. Rome, Octo­ber 2012.

Photo Exploration: Mountains to Sea Trail

November 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Once back from Rome, we tried to get out and see the leaves and col­ors as much as pos­si­ble. Once very suc­cess­ful out­ing in that respect was a Sun­day after­noon walk on the Moun­tains to Sea Trail just out­side of Asheville. The image below is from that excursion.


Slide film is one of the more recent media I’ve come to explore, and really only in the past year have I done any mean­ing­ful work with that sort of film. This par­tic­u­lar shot was with the Fuji GA645 (same as the cam­era used here)and Fuji Velvia 100f.

There is a strange feel­ing work­ing with a large-ish for­mat film and yet work­ing with a small-ish piece of equip­ment. Com­pared to the RB67 or even the 645 Pro TL, the GA645 is light­weight and ultra-portable. Tak­ing it for a spin in the woods, when one has to poten­tially carry plenty of other equip­ment, is a real plea­sure. The glass is immac­u­late and focus­ing is dead on (or you can man­u­ally focus if you pre­fer). And the result of the slide film is breath­tak­ing. I wish there was a way to relay the feel­ing of hold­ing a slide over the inter­net. Even view­ing a print doesn’t quite have the same “WOW” fac­tor for me as a slide does. Maybe the trans­parency? Maybe the com­pact­ness and clar­ity of the slide. What­ever it is, in the fall with the col­ors and tex­tures I don’t know if I’ve seen any other pho­to­graphic medium that mea­sures up to slide.

Regard­less of your pho­to­graphic equip­ment, there is also the ques­tion of HOW to pho­to­graph a scene. And pho­tog­ra­phy of strik­ing col­ors are way up on my list of “Hard Shots.” I think a large amount of the dif­fi­culty is that we expe­ri­ence a walk in the woods with sea­sonal foliage quite vividly, and our rec­ol­lec­tion is often even greater in sat­u­ra­tion than real­ity. Thus, pho­tograph­ing such scenes in ways that evoke the same emo­tion is sub­stan­tially more dif­fi­cult than other, less “oomph” dri­ven shots. But I do have some basic ideas that can help.

The first is com­po­si­tion. When pho­tograph­ing nature, it is easy for me to get swept up in the “pretty” shots that don’t tell any story. But when I focus on com­pos­ing an image with a lit­tle bit of nar­ra­tive, my sat­is­fac­tion down the road is much higher. Espe­cially when shoot­ing film which has such poten­tial for qual­ity repro­duc­tion that fail­ures are that much more evi­dent. So be sure to shoot every image, or every series of images, to bring the viewer to the scene and envelop them in the moment.

Sec­ondly, unless you are inten­tion­ally tak­ing a photo of some­thing sin­gu­lar, I’d stay away from small depth of field’s. I know my impulse is often shoot wide open and get some rock­ing bokeh, but I’ve found that the effect can be jar­ring. Part of what makes color foliage so amaz­ing is that every­where you can look and focus there is color. Sharp and bright and sat­u­rated. When you blur that back­ground (and/or fore­ground) in the photo, the “being there” effect can be decreased dramatically.

Last, I try as much as pos­si­ble to cut through the mist. I use a polar­izer, haze fil­ter, what­ever I’ve got handy to increase clar­ity through the entire scene. That is, unless  it is a long expo­sure with enough time for the mist or fog or what­ever to move about. Oth­er­wise I have found that, like the sec­ond point, the reduc­tion in over­all clar­ity can do harm to the entire photograph.

With every­thing there are excep­tions to the above, but those three guide­lines above cer­tainly increase my grat­i­fi­ca­tion when review­ing the pho­tos after a ses­sion out in the woods.

Royal Arch Trail, Chautauqua Park, Boulder Colorado. June 2012

June 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

From the base of all Chau­tauqua Park through some other trails up to Royal Arch in Boul­der, CO. Neopan Acros 100 (shot at 400) and Velvia 100F. All in the GA645.

Slide Film, River Arts District

January 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

Slide film, Provia 100F, in the River Arts Dis­trict. Decem­ber 2011. Shot with a Fuji GA645.

Won­der­ful col­ors on a very crisp after­noon. Was the last time I walked around the RAD before the cold came in, and now I’m work­ing from another part of town so those after­noon walks may not hap­pen any­more. A good way to end the tradition.