Another (probably the last) photo from my trip up north last week. These are sand dunes in Ludington State Park, just north of Ludington, Michigan. The dunes are located between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. This was taken looking east, with Lake Michigan to my back:
Click on the image for a larger file.
The image was made with Rollei IR 400 B&W film and a Hoya R72 IR filter. I have to say I was a little disappointed in that the film just did not deliver much IR effect. It was a couple of years out of date, though stored in the freezer, so maybe that had something to do with it.
I’ve commented on this film before in this post. While up north last week I decided to shoot out my stock of this film, more or less just to get rid of it. I used a #29 deep red filter for most work, hoping to tease out some IR effect, but it really just behaved more like a standard B&W film.
The Hoya R72 filter really made the azure sky of summer turn dark black, but otherwise did not coax out much on an IR response. Here is a comparison of two shots of the same scene, on taken with the #29 deep red filter and one with the R72:
This time round I stand developed the film in HC-110. I rated some rolls at ISO 800 and some at ISO 400. The ISO 800 rolls I stand processed in HC-110, diluted to 1:100, for 75 minutes. The ISO 400 rolls were stand processed for 60 minutes. I experimented with more dilute solutions, but the double roll Paterson style tanks I was using have a maximum capacity of just over 650ml of water, and the solution could not get much more dilute than 1:100 with falling below the minimum amount of HC110 syrup needed per roll (6 ml). The one time I did try a higher dilution I used only 4ml of HC110 concentrate, and the negatives were thin.
These shots were taken with a tripod mounted Pentax LX and FA 28-105 f4 - 5.6 power zoom lens (an older AF lens model.) I avoid newer film bodies (Mz-S, *ist) since they are reported to fog IR film.
The tool shed in Bachelor Cemetery near Fountain, Michigan. Someone meticulously hand wrote out a list of family names and the corresponding grave plats. I guess that someone was Justin. Click an image for a larger file.
Pentax LX, FA 28-105 f4-5.6 zoom, #29 deep red filter, Rollei IR 400 pushed to 800 and stand processed in HC110 1:100 for 75 minutes.
Been a while since I posted a Holga shot - so here goes. A few weeks ago I wandered through a clearing in the Allegan Forest, but saw nothing except for grasshoppers and flies. No dragonflies, butterflies, snakes, toads or other interesting subjects. I had a Holga with me and took this shot looking back into the scrappy dense woods that look all the more dark when you are standing in bright light. Click on the image below for a larger file.
Dragonflies have been scarce lately. I must just be going to the wrong places - my last few trips to the Allegan Forest have yielded only a few encounters with straggling Blue Dashers. The red meadowhawks that usually appear in high summer have been absent so far. Yesterday I visited the McLindon Trails to see if this park would bring a change of luck. I can’t say that dragonflies were out in abundance - they weren’t - but I did manage to find a few red meadowhawks. And since it was not breezy I was able to continue experiments with stack focusing in the field.
Here are the two stack focused shots I was able to get. Two shots of a whitefaced meadowhawk (click any image for a larger file):
And a non-stacked shot of a red meadowhawk:
And finally - a blue dasher from last weekend:
That’s probably it for August of 2013 - come September the Autumn Meadowhawks will probably dominate the scene…
Here are snapshots from a Chicago vacation, taken a few weeks ago. I’ve been in a film mood these days and decided to forgo the DSLR and take a film camera (Pentax Mz-S) and lots of film (Tri-X mostly) for this trip. (Technical notes at the end of the post). It was a good plan and I thoroughly enjoyed burning through film and developing it once home.
We spent three nights in Chicago, arriving late afternoon on Wednesday and leaving on Saturday afternoon. Most of these images were taken on Thursday, since Friday and Saturday were devoted to museums. I’ve arranged them in chronological order based on the time of day at which they were taken, more or less.
Click on any image for a larger file.
Trees Near the Waterfront
On the Sea Wall
Hanging In Millennium Park
On Navy Pier
The Orchestra Plays
Carbide and Carbon Building
The NBC Building
Evening Street Corner
Technical Notes: All photos were taken on Tri-X 400 or on Arista Premium, a film that is quite similar to Tri-X. With a few exceptions, development was either HC110 Dil B for 7.5 minutes (ISO 400) or for 16 minutes(rolls pushed to ISO 1600 for night shots.) I developed the first 4 rolls in HC110 Dil H but was not happy with the additional grain.
Been slow for dragonflies this summer - too cool, too wet. But the fields are verdant green even now in August… Here are two Halloween Pennants. There is a field in Allegan that in recent years has been a sure bet for these and the somewhat similar Calico Pennant. The name - Halloween Pennant - comes from the males who can take on a bright orange and black coloration, the colors of Halloween, of course. This first image suggests that the most. To be honest, I see very few that are actually orange and black.
Click on the images for a larger picture.
I am still working on stack focusing dragonflies in the field. So far, this has been a frustrating experience. Stack focusing in Photoshop is a great tool, but the program gets confused by the delicate wings of the dragonflies - which, of course, never stay still. And then those dragons just can’t resist bobbing their heads around as the behold the world around then and contemplate their kingdom.
Well - yesterday I spent a few hours in the Allegan Forest in some fields north of the river. There was swarming with blue dashers and I made a lot of conventional portraits and took a lot of images that I hoped to stack together. I am working through the many gigabytes of files that I took, and so far have done nothing with the conventional portraits- but here are best of the stacked shots I’ve gotten so far.
I am a perfectionist and if you look at these closely you will see that all have imperfections. In addition, I have not figured out how to get flash on all of the stacked shots - since they are taken inthe matter of a second or two and the flash cannot charge fast enough to keep up. That means that the subjects are not as well lit as they would be with flash - and while there are lots of Photoshop tricks to compensate for that, there is no substitute for actual light on the actual subject at the time of exposure….
But - we’ll get there.
These were all taken with a Pentax K-5 and A* 200mm macro, hand held with support from a monopod.
This first one is the probably the most successful shot so far - 18 image staked with little or no distortion or haloing in the in the wings. (It seems to be pretty easy to get the head and body to stack nicely - the meshing in the wings, plus the fact that the wings shift with the breeze, introduces challenges with them.) Click on each image for a larger file.
Another shot of the same subject showing the kinds of issues that come up. Note the halo-ing on the dragonfly’s right wing. By the way - the nice colors in the background are wild bee balm in in bloom.
More to come. I need to continue to work on technique here and somehow figure out how to lull the dragonflies into greater complacency… What a task!
I’ve been shooting a lot of B&W 35mm film these days and last weekend I though I’d shoot out my last roll of Kodak HIE High Speed Infrared film. This has been sitting in the deep freeze for some time - expired in February 2009 - and it seemed to be time to use it. SO I loaded it into the trusty Pentax LX and screwed a deep red filter onto the FA 20-35mm f4 lens.
Here are the best two shots of the roll. I have to confess that I am a little disappointed - I had hoped that the last roll of this great film would result in something really interesting, but not…
Well - at least the film seemed to be fine even 4+ years out of date. I shot it at ISO 200, bracketed most of the shots, and developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 15 minutes. (The Rodinal is probably about as old as the film.) It was definitely too dense and over developed which puzzles me, since I’ve used that developer and time frequently in the past. Vuescan’s multiple exposure setting (formerly long exposure pass) saved the highlights, even though each batch of 12 exposures took many hours to scan.
So - this film is gone for me. I have some Rollie IR that is also getting old that I need to burn up, and somewhere here I have some old odd-ball IR surveillance film that someone sent me a few years back that I need to use as well, plus there’s some rolls of 120 SFX down in that deep freeze… So I guess my IR film days are not totally over, but my time with HIE is finished.