At the Top of the Hill

On the Top of the Hill (1 of 1)

The other day I headed out to the local botanical garden with my film camera loaded with Kodak Ektar 100. The goal was twofold. First, I wanted to practice exposure with a film I have never used. Ektar is reputed to be excellent for landscape because of rich colors. The other was to use my 135mm lens, one which is about 50 years old, and to see if it, with the FM2N (the film camera) had accurate focus.

I was pleased with the Ektar. I had it professionally developed and scanned, but I also used the film at home and scanned it as well. And I was pleased with the camera and lens combination, though with a large f/stop, it is a must to be rock steady when exposing.

Looking Up

Looking Up

The twisting branches of oak trees never ceases to amaze me. The bark’s texture is symmetrical and rough, pleasing to the hand. Oak leaves are all different, but still have their odd shapes. Acorns, too, are the same and different. Very grand trees!

Poppy, Revisited

Matilija Poppy (1 of 1)

The original of this image had the poppies in the background burnt out against the sky. In LR, I created 5 virtual copies, each with a + or – value of 1 or 2, creating virtual bracketing. I exported them as tiffs. In Photomatix, I blended them to create a single image. The last move was into LR6, creating a slightly warmer cast, creating a gradient from the upper left to lower right (about half way). In the gradient, I adjusted the temp and tint sliders to adjust the sky. Final touch was a bit of clarification and dodging of the poppy in the foreground.

The Geek in the Brew Shop

The Geek in the Brew Shop

Taken with the Canonet GIII QL rangefinder with Kodak Portra 400. Developed by a local lab (which is friendly and does nice work) as well as scanned, this is my own scan from the Pakon F135 scanner. I also did some post in LR and DxO to reduce the noise. Because of the detail, I probably used f5.6 or so, and not enough time – the original was darkish – so the film was quite grainy.

This brings up the question – why do film when you are going to manipulate it in the computer anyway?

Tulip Tree

Tulip Tree

I am trying out different films in my attempts to master film photography, from exposure factors to composition. At some point, I will begin my own developing in B&W as well as color. This is part of my year’s focus for “things to learn” – or else!