Archive for the ‘Random musings’ Category

Looking back: 2010

Monday, January 3rd, 2011 by

Last januari, I wrote about my goals for the year. Time to look back and see what got of them.

My goals were:

  • Shoot at least 3 pictures I consider good enough to enlarge to at least 30×45 cm. One of those should be B&W.
  • Shoot at least 50 rolls of film.
  • Set up a place were I can print B&W pictures, and learn to do that.

Let’s start with the second one: 50 rolls. I shot 48 rolls during the year, and had two almost complete rolls in my cameras, both of which I completed on New Year’s day. I think that counts as 50. I finished one of the rolls shooting fireworks at midnight (and immediately shot the first full roll of 2011).

The third one, set up a darkroom and learn to use it, was not so successful. The home renovation project took much longer than initially expected, and I only got to the darkroom late in december. The good news is that I spent this weekend moving in my parents’ old darkroom equipment. I still have to light-proof the room, but after that I can get some chemicals and paper and start experimenting. So, not completed, but well underway.

Finally, the first goal. Shoot 3 pictures good enough to enlarge and frame them. This one I simply don’t know yet. I haven’t completely caught up with my scanning after the move, and haven’t looked very deeply into all my negatives, even the ones I did scan.

I do know I shot one of the most important pictures of my life this year, which already got enlarged and framed. So that’s one. (I’ll write more about it in a future post). The other two, time will tell once the darkroom is finished.

Aside from the goals, 2010 was a pretty uneventful year. Most of the pictures I shot were simple shots documenting the rebuilding of our house, and much of the rest was filled with pictures of my family and other snapshots. I also shot my second wedding.

Equipment-wise, I fell in love with the Leica system, completed a nice camera/lens set, and started selling off some Canon equipment that became superfluous. The Leica set is finished now, I plan to write about the different parts in the coming months.

On my way back

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 by

A quick update:

I’ve finally gotten around to fixing my PC, and my study is all set up, including my film scanner. So hopefully I’ll be able to post some new pictures before the new year.

More excuses

Thursday, August 26th, 2010 by

And another post explaining a lack of posts.

My PC died earlier this week. Since my laptop died a few months ago, I’m am now unable to get to my digital pictures (though they are all safely backed up), and am unable to scan my films.

Parts are on the way for repairs, so after moving day (next saturday) I’ll have to find my soldering iron between all the boxes, and hopefully I’ll be able to post something before long.


Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 by

Ok, let me explain.

As may be obvious from my lack of posts, I’ve been busy.

Fact is, December last year, F. and I bought ourselves a house. It’s a moderately old house (1948), and we are practically the second owners (the previous owners bought it from the housing developer halfway though the 1950’s, we don’t know if it was lived in before that), so, understandably, there was (is) some work to be done on the house. It is (was) in reasonably good shape, just very outdated. We knew this from the start, and were planning on some intensive renovations. Which is what I (we) have been doing the past two months (and probably will be doing for the next few as well). We’ve pretty much stripped the house of all its insides, leaving only the walls and beams standing, and are currently in the process of putting back all the wiring1 and plumbing2, as well as renovating the bathroom, adding an upstairs toilet, insulating the house better, etc.

To make time for this, I’ve started working extra hours during the week, giving me an extra day in the weekend, which I spend working in the house, meaning my spare time has been reduced to a close proximity of zero.

Lack of spare time equals a similar lack of time to go out shooting pictures, or update this website3. The fact that my darkroom equipment is already in a box also doesn’t help.

In a related event, F. indicated she would like to have some pictures of the renovations that weren’t in black & white. Combined with the fact that tearing out the entire electric system meant lighting in the new house is slightly limited, and that a 50mm isn’t exactly designed for photographing small rooms, this made me invoke my escape clause for the Leica Lessons project, and so I’ve taken the 400D out of storage, together with my 17-40L and 580EXII. These pictures aren’t exactly interesting to anyone but us, so I doubt any of them will be published here. If I might find time, I’ll try to post some older pictures here over the following months, but don’t expect too much updates. Hopefully, after the move I’ll be a bit more diligent with my postings4.

On positive news: One of the things I’ll be doing in the new house is furnishing one room to be used as (among other things) a darkroom.

  1. The electricity was heavily outdated, and damaged, part of the pipes transmitting current, and the whole system was much too small for a modern set of appliances. []
  2. Also outdated, as well as laid out in a very impractical manner. []
  3. There you have it, my explanation. []
  4. I’ll be living much closer to work, so I’ll have roughly 2 hours more spare time each day. []

Looking forward: 2010

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 by

After looking back, it’s time to look forward. What do I want/expect from the photographic year 2010?

My goals:

  • Shoot at least 3 pictures I consider good enough to enlarge to at least 30×45 cm. One of those should be B&W1.
  • Shoot at least 50 rolls of film2.
  • Set up a place were I can print B&W pictures, and learn to do that.
  1. And of course: Make the prints or have them made. []
  2. Without being wasteful, no shooting just to burn through the rolls []

Looking back: 2009

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 by

A short summary of my photographic year:

I shot over 50 rolls of film, over half of which were B&W. Of the rest, a bunch were colour negatives (burning up old stock, and just generic cheap shots1.) The rest was slide film.

I also shot a lot of digital images (at least until august), but I’m not going to count the frames there.

Equipment-wise, this year was less horrid than the previous. I only bought 4 lenses (three of them 50mm, how about that2 ), which were all second hand, and I got pretty good deals on them. Total cost was under €1000. I only bought one camera (the Leica)
Last but not least: Early in the year, I invested in a good flash + accessories, and learned how to use it.

Picture-wise, I shot several images I’m happy with, and several I’m very happy with. I also shot a butt-load I’m not happy with. Some of the pictures I’m happy with have been shown here, others might follow. Interestingly, most (but not all!) of the good ones were shot on film. This isn’t really surprising, as I tend to bring film cameras with me, and reserve digital for cases where I know I’ll shoot a lot, but still funny as people are always surprised when they see I’m shooting film.

It was also a year of firsts: I used slide film on a holiday for the first time (which was a success), I got my first TTL flash (which worked great), I shot my first wedding (which was very scary and very tiring, but went quite well), I shot my first B&W film, and shot with a rangefinder for the first time (at the same time, too). I developed my own film for the first time (which was a lot easier than I thought it would be), I guessed my exposure for the first time (which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but also not very easy3).

Did I learn? Certainly.

Did I get better? I think so, but I’m still learning a lot, and I need to force myself to practice more.

Next: Looking forward.

  1. I had some problems with my EOS 30 locking up, so I shot some of my unused piles of Fuji Superia to exercise it. It worked, camera hasn’t malfunctioned since. Apparently, cameras need exercise too. []
  2. Also funny: all lenses had different mounts: Pentax K, Canon EF, T2 and Leica M. []
  3. And it needs constant practice. Stop shooting for a week, and you lose the skill immediately. []

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1st, 2010 by

Well, 2009 is rewound and developed, and 2010 is in the camera. Let’s see if it gives us some nice pictures…

Happy New Year to you all!

Falling apart – Part 2

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by

First, my apologies for yet another long radio silence. I’ve been renovating my new home, so I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures, and haven’t been close to a computer either.

Second, the follow-up to the missing-lever-problem I described three weeks ago. Back then, I mailed Leica’s spare parts service1, and within a few days got a reply that if I supplied them with my postal address, they’d send me a replacement lever free of charge2.

The new lever promptly arrived a few days later, so I can now once more preview how a picture would look with a lens I haven’t got…

Tomorrow, I’ll finally post another picture.

  1. I also contacted Will van Manen, the Dutch Leica repair technician who serviced my camera before I bought it, who also replied promptly that he could supply and re-attach the part, even if the inner coupling had gotten dislodged. []
  2. Leicas may be expensive, but the service is great: Free parts on a second-hand, 54-year-old camera. []

Radio silence

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 by

Just a quick note that the recent radio-silence isn’t entirely on purpose.

Some reasons:

  • One of my video-cards died1 and the new one required a OS-upgrade, taking my scanner offline for a while2.
  • I haven’t shot a lot in the last weeks, and what I shot often wasn’t very impressive, or useful for publication. Stuff important to me, but not interesting to the rest of the world.
  • Some developments on a personal level3 have kept me very busy, taking me away from the computer, and thus from updating the site. The current stage of these developments isn’t very photogenic either, so it also isn’t helping in that regard.

I hope to have at least one picture up this week, as well as another post on B&W developing. Stay tuned.

  1. I had two, since I have three screens, but thanks to my new Radeon 5850, I now have a spare []
  2. I have a seperate post on scanning in the pipeline []
  3. More on this soon to follow []

Well said

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 by

DPReview1 just put up their hands-on preview of the Leica X1. The following line made me laugh out loud, but is also indicative of one of the reasons I prefer film over digital:

…if you’re after an aquarium mode, HD movies or background music for your slide shows, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Back to our regular programming…

  1. Once referred to as …the place to go if you’ve just hit someone over the head and stolen their nice digital camera, and now need to read a review that’s comprehensive enough that you won’t miss the manual. (source). []