Shelly and Josh Engagement Quick Picks

Today, I had the pleasure of photographing Shelly and Josh for the first time; next time will be their wedding in January!  They’re a really fun couple, easygoing, and a genuine joy to be around.  I have a LOT of photos to go through from today, so this sampling is just a super quick glance through the set and there will be more to come, including some shot on 35mm(!) B&W film.

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve shot 35mm since all of my film work over the past few years has been centered on medium and large formats, but there was something deeply satisfying about pulling out the Nikon F100 that I hadn’t told them I was toting along, mating it with my favorite lens, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-D, and hearing the sound that only a 35mm motor drive can bring.  They’re a couple that requires very little direction and took some of my ideas and just ran with them.  I’m looking forward to going through the full set over the next several days.  There’s a lot of great and, often, extremely humorous stuff in there.  Some of which I’m saving just for them.

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Second Shooter work for Rael & Jess

On Friday night/Saturday morning at about 1AM, I got things finalized with a photographer to shoot a wedding out in one of the western Chicago suburbs on … Saturday.  Nothing like last minute!  It was a good time though.  I pulled myself (and my gear) together with about 2 1/2 hours of sleep, drove out, and did what I do.  Since it was a second shooter assignment, I don’t have to do anything with the photos, but I sat down this morning and did quick edits on a small batch.

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“How would you like that, sir?”

There’s a (false) rumor circulating that Samsung paid the ~$1 billion fine/award to Apple in change.  I wish that were true because it’d be awesome.  I say this largely because I’ve done it and it was, well, awesome.  Several years ago, I was buying some computer gear from my former boss and he gave me some oddball price like $97.36 instead of just saying $100.  I went to the bank and got it all in coins and dropped it on his desk the next shift we worked together.  The look on his face was priceless.  It was a combined look of shock, horror, and awe.  In short, it was magical.

Were someone to ever pay me in coins, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it.  It all spends the same and I’d kind of get a kick out of taking it to my credit union anyway.  Or, I could save it all up, put it in a big vault like Scrooge McDuck, put in a diving board, and go for a swim.  Were it possible, I’d totally do it.  Ducks must have exceptionally efficient forms to slice through coins like water.  I think I’d break my neck.

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Another bleached neg

This one was in rougher shape than the one I did yesterday, but I like it.  I have another few done as well, one that probably won’t have much done with because, well, as my friend put it, it “looks like a snuff film.”  Not what I was going for.  Anywho … Here ya go:

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New Experiments!

I really enjoy alternative process work.  It’s challenging at times, but very rewarding for the DIYer in me.  I’m big on DIY stuff and figuring out how things work, so looking up what I can do to experiment with cyanotypes or instant film is right up my alley.  Today’s DIY stuff was rewiring my enlarger, mixing cyanotype sensitizer, rebuilding a scale, rebuilding the hair dryer that I use for photo stuff, did some work on the plumbing, etc.  Not bad.

I made it through all that and still felt like working, so I scrounged some glass from a safelight I’m not using, cleaned it, and set to work on an instant film donor.  Polaroid, no longer being in business, has been largely replaced by Fuji for large format film work.  I have a back for my 4×5 cameras, a back for my medium format SLR, and a ~45 year old Polaroid Land Camera and have fallen in love with shooting instant film.  The donor neg I was working on tonight was one of the first few instant film images I’ve ever shot and it’s just been laying around for months and months, gathering dust and, well, not being treated all that well.

I’m still working on the kinks, but it turned out reasonably well for a first go – doubly so for a piece that’s normally just discarded and, as such hasn’t been handled with the greatest care.  The peel apart films leave gunk/goo behind on the donor negative, so I’m still working to find the balance of how much to clean, since it seems that any cleaning that gets the goo off takes some of the emulsion with it.  I used a homemade solution for the cleaner, and it seemed to work well-ish, but I’ll be looking for some alternatives.

Here’s the negative, trimmed down a little, and scanned on my flatbed Epson scanner.  It’s a bit thin, so there’ some extra noise in there, but I tried to level it out a bit in Lightroom.  Nothing intense as this one isn’t a serious endeavor.  Later this week, I may try this one (and/or other instant negs) to contact print cyanotypes.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’ve never done a cyanotype from a color neg before anyway, so it’ll be fun.

instant film bleached neg

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