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.