It’s been a while since I’ve been out with my camera. This time I went out with the DSLR for a photo walk with some friends (some pictures below). I thought I was at a point where I wanted to get rid of it and go strictly film. I have been taking pictures on film with a range finder for about 8 months, along with some medium format. As much as I love the look of film, I think feel more comfortable with an SLR body than a range finder. I read so many philosophies on street photography on what style of camera is better fit for it, the range finder always comes out ahead in that argument. I don’t think that’s the case for me. While I feel a little bad about spending the time and money shooting rangefinders it helped me to find what I’m comfortable with. I guess you never know unless you try it out.
So far I have scanned 5 rolls of film back from the lab, and I never want to scan anything again. It took time away from me being out and shooting some more. But the main problem is with the Epson V700 scanning 120mm negatives, they don’t appear to be as sharp as they should be. I did read about there being a problem with that, but I blew it off thinking there is no way I’m paying this much for a high quality scanner that is not going to scan 120mm negs clearly. Now I have to drop about another $90.00 on a 120mm film tray from Betterscanning.com. The guys on Photo.net know what they’re talking about.
Here are a couple shots from the Hasselblad. I put more up on my sites medium format gallery, link is on the ride hand side. The pictures were taken with a Hasselblad 500CM w/80mm lens, and expired Kodak Portra 160NC 120mm film.
I just finished reading On Being a Photographer by David Hurn on my last trip, and I liked it very much. It is basically a conversation between David Hurn and Bill Jay put on paper. They bounce stuff off each other discussing topics like contact sheets, and how exactly to photograph to make your shots stand out from the rest of the crowd. Really insightful book without the fluff, extra pages of useless rhetoric that just make the book really long, just what you need straight to the point. Personally, I feel like this book covered some questions I have been having about my own work like, what direction am I going, is there a method to my madness, etc. The conversation on researching your subject is the difference between “exploitation and exploration” really woke me up to realize that some of my shots were just random, even though I may have had a project in mind when shooting them. It didn’t change me over night, but it definitely changed my course for the better. I picked up my copy at lulu.com, no one else could beat their price.
Back from Ethiopia and going through a bunch of photos. I still have film that has not been developed yet, but these shots from the Meskel/True Cross ceremony were taken with my DSLR. I pushed the ISO to 1000+ on some shots. I tried to photograph the event in a street/candid way. There were colors everywhere, but some images were converted to B&W. It was a great festival, lots of people, bright colors, and a big fire. The fire is burned to commemorate the finding of the cross Jesus was crucified on, huge event for the Orthodox faith in Ethiopia. It’s celebrated all over, but it’s ongoing for at least seven days in the Gurage region. These photos were taken in Addis Ababa, which supposedly has the largest turnout.
Hope to get the film developed soon, took a bunch of portraits of people with my Hasselblad and some expired Portra 160 film. Can’t wait.
Next stop, Addis Ababa.
So I didn’t get to make it out to the bookstore, Words Bookstore cafe, which recently picked up some copies of my photo book and put on display. Sorry. Hopefully when I get back they’ll need some more copies! I’m heading to Ethiopia! Hitting Addis Ababa, along with some of my favorite spots there, including, but not limited to:
This place is a landmark. The machiattos are drinkable, but not the best. Their pastries, that’s another story. This place will sell out of every piece of cake in no time. It gets packed with all kinds of folks, it’s not reserved for a special type of crowd here nestled deep in the heart of the Piazza next door to a pizza place. That’s why I love it.
Some of the best cake in Addis. Ethiopians love their coffee and treats!
There’s another place out there called Tomoca’s, the best coffee I ever had. There’s no sitting room, but that doesn’t stop the place from getting crowded.
I have a few more places on the list of things to do, goat tibs, Lake Tana, Awassa, Beer Garden, and the Meskel Square Finding of the Cross ceremony that takes place this month, no pics yet.
If you get to visit Ethiopia and do any traveling on the road be prepared for the worst, something will go wrong with your transport. I have seen tire blowouts on the road, had one go to pieces on my car, radiator hose explode, and of course the car whose doors won’t open. Not because the keys are locked inside, it just won’t let us in.
Until next time…
I just got two rolls of film back from the lab, and after numerous request they finally didn’t scratch it! I’m not posting the pictures that I selected for ongoing projects, but instead some shots that stood out to me while not having a group to belong to. That could change in the future.
I used Portra 400 and BW400. This is the first time I shot Portra 400, it’s a little different from the 160. I’ll have to play with it some more, but right now I’m favoring the 160 speed. I’ll have to make more of a conscious effort and shoot more Portra 400 during golden hour, and maybe in greener surroundings. Planning a trip to Africa in the near future.