Archive for the ‘Lenses’ Category
Abstract, Wall Reflections, Chihuly Exhibit, Richmond, VA
Abstract, Wall Reflections, Chihuly Exhibit, Richmond, VA
Ceiling, Chihuly Exhibit, Richmond, VA
This was taken over the Thanksgiving weekend at my visit to Richmond, Virginia and the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. There was a passageway between rooms where the ceiling had been filled with all these marine-inspired glass forms and then lit from above. The glass forms (seen in the last image) then projected these really abstract color and light patterns on the walls. These were interesting enough that I tried to capture some of the effect of it.
Shot with my Contax G2, 21mm lens, and Kodak Ektar 100 film – hand-held.
Forty D., Profile
Another friend’s portrait. 5×7, Ilford FP4+, Kodak 14″ Commercial Ektar lens. I had him stand in front of white seamless paper, and then lit him from the right with a large softbox, reflector on his left, and a second light on the backdrop to bring the white up. Developed in PMK Pyro developer.
Just wanted to share a pair of portraits I shot a while ago of a young man who sat for a personal project of mine. They show two very different perspectives on him – his smile is particularly radiant, but the profile is terribly serious. These were shot with my antique Century Studio Master portrait camera and a 14″ Seneca Whole Plate Portrait f5 lens. These used my typical lighting setup of one main light in a giant softbox with a fill reflector on the opposite side.
Fresh Noodles Made Daily
The fresh noodles and Peking duck house on 6th Street, NW. I think someone needs to teach them about Windex, as the “OPEN” sign is fuzzy not from being out of focus in my composition but from the splattered duck fat on the window. And no, I’ve never eaten there to know if the food is any good or not. But if you’re lucky when you wander by you can watch them making traditional Chinese noodles in the window, stretching and re-folding the dough over and over and over again, then cutting the ends and BOOM! you’ve got all these separate strands of pasta.
I liked the juxtaposition of the empty sidewalk out front, the lone Prius in the parking lot next door, and the intimate diners in the window.
Secession Sushi – The Wok ‘n Roll in the Surratt House
This one gets a cutesy title because there’s just something so post- and meta- and ironic and all that kind of stuff about having a sushi joint on the ground floor of Mary Surratt’s boarding house, where the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln was hatched. Don’t believe me? Read the plaque on the wall of the house, like the two time-blurred figures in the photo are doing. It’s a very odd vestige of what downtown Washington looked like in 1865, and despite what Robert Redford would have had you believe in “The Conspirator” (by filming in an albeit lesser mansion in Savannah, Georgia), evidence of the utterly middle-class lifestyle of Mary Surratt.
All the above images were shot with my Canham woodfield 5×7, using my Kodak 12″ Commercial Ektar, using Kodak Portra 160nc film.
Fountain, Georgetown Waterfront, Kennedy Center
Burma Restaurant, Chinatown, DC
Glen Echo Sign
Three more in my DC at night series. These were all shot with the Canham 5×7 wood field, and if memory serves, all were taken with the Kodak 12″ Commercial Ektar lens.
Georgetown in a Rainstorm
Here’s another in my DC at Night photos – the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Water Street, under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown. I was down there shooting some other scenes, trying to finish off my 5×7 color negative film stock (I bought a 50 sheet box when it was only $150 a box…now, over $400!!!!). This was taken with my 12″ Kodak Commercial Ektar lens. A roughly 30 second exposure. I was a bit nervous during the shoot as I was out in the rain, with a carbon-fiber tripod, and sheltering under a gigantic steel overpass. I think the lightning was a few miles away though, and nothing happened. I was a little bummed that none of the lightning recorded in the sky as anything other than general fog, but hey… the headlamps and tail lights of the cars recorded very nicely, don’t you think?
Even MORE of my San Francisco images.
Windows, Jin Wang Boutique
Hotel Triton, Grant Street
All of these were shot with my 240mm Voigtlander Heliar f4.5 lens. It is fast becoming one of my favorite lenses for its rendition of out-of-focus areas. I knew it was a legendary lens for black-and-white shooting, but was unsure how it would render color. As you can see here, it does a beautiful job with color, despite being uncoated. It does give a slightly vintage look to the color palette, but some of that might also be the film I’m using – Kodak Portra 160 NC.
I went out on Sunday evening with a friend of mine to do some shooting over at the old mill ruins at Rileys Lock along the C&O Canal. The ruins are buried in the woods, and a popular hangout for teenagers looking to paint some graffiti or smoke or sit silently next to each other playing on their cellphones. You know, usual teenager stuff.
I loved the accidental humor of the vine following the instructions on the graffiti here.
I was still playing around with my new-to-me Canon 135 F2 L lens, and here are some examples of what it can do. The first shot is the canal house at the Riley’s Lock viaduct. I was intrigued by the play of shadows from the nearby tree on the stone wall. After getting home and downloading the shot onto my Mac, I looked at it and thought, “there’s some better, more interesting shots within this” so I made a couple crops, which I’ll show below. Comments and thoughts greatly appreciated.
Canal House Windows
Here’s the full-frame original shot.
Canal House Window, Left
Canal House Window, Right
And last but not least, the brownstone rail end with a dedication chiseled into it.
Viaduct railing end pillar
Chub-Chub in the sun
Here are some shots from my new toy, the Canon 135 L f2 lens. I put it to use in my studio last night, doing some portraits of a friend of mine. As you can see, it’s wickedly sharp, but even at f10, it still has pretty shallow depth-of-field. In examining the original camera-RAW file in Photoshop, I swear I could count every hair on his back, and every pore on his face, until the depth-of-field dropped off and then it blends away to creamy-smooth very quickly. You can see in the shot of my cat Chub-Chub (long story behind the name, but when I first got him, he ate like a pig, started gaining weight and would waddle down the steps, belly a-swinging) that at f2, the depth-of-field is whisker-thin. I’m going to love this lens.
I was a very naughty boy yesterday – I gave in to gear-itis and snapped up a like-new-in-box Canon L-series 135mm F2 lens for on my Canon 5D. As you can tell from reading this blog, I’ve been an absolute junkie for all things big, old, and film-based. That doesn’t mean I reject the 21st century, however; I have been jonesing for this lens for my Canon though for a while as its quality as a portrait lens is super-famous (I’d say infamous but that would imply something negative about the reputation, which could not be further from the truth). So I’m now the proud owner of a 135 L f2. I was playing around last night photographing the cats last night for lack of a better moving subject. I did use it to record the new acquisitions in the antique image collection – it worked wonderfully for that. I’ll be using the 5D as an ersatz Polaroid tonight in the studio as I have a portrait commission to do tonight. It will make a handy lighting check, and it will be useful to have some portraits of something other than Frosty and Chub-Chub (my furry little pudd’ns).