Jacqueline Times Four, Five...Wednesday, November 07, 2012
|Kodak T-Max 400 pushed to 1600 & developed in Kodak T-Max Developer|
My last blog from my vantage point of today, November 11 was on Tuesday November 6. It is this one. Many things have happened since I last posted it. I will in the next few days fill in those missing day. Perhaps it all began as I was taking pictures of Jacqueline on Tuesday in what many photographers would say my approach was insane an unnecessary.
|Kodak Tri-X Professional pushed to 1600 & processed in Kodak T-Max Developer|
In July 2011 when Rosemary, and our granddaughters Rebecca and Lauren were standing a late afternoon on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim I had a pile of cameras with me. I had a Pentax Mx with a beautifully corrected 20mm wide angle. I had three Nikons (two FM-2 and one FM. I had a bag with a heavy Mamiya RB Pro-SD and a smaller case with a Noblex swivel lens panoramic that handles a negative or transparency that is 7 inches long. Next to me was a young man with an expensive Canon DSLR. That’s all he had. I knew he was going to zoom in and out and shoot RAW. In the comfort of his home, days later he would opt for colour or b+w or with contrast or without. Or he could even stitch (the term used in digital photography to combine several pictures seamlessly) together and produce a panoramic that my rival or improve my Noblex’s. I looked at him with a certain amount of jealously and considered myself an idiot having to use so many cameras to “cover” the Grand Canyon.
|Kodak T-Max 3200 rated at 1600 ISO & developed in Kodak T-Max Developer|
I chose to photograph the beautifully elegant Jacqueline with five cameras. There was a bit of order in the chaos in that I loaded the four Nikons (two FM-2, one FM and one F-3) with different films all that I would rate at the same ISO emulsion speed to prevent problems with forgetting the exposure settings dictated by my Minolta meter. My films were Kodak Tri-X Professional, Kodak T-Max 400, Kodak T-Max 3200 and Fuji Superia (1600 ISO colour negative). Just in case this wasn’t enough I brought my Mamiya RB along with two film backs. In one I had Ilford FP-4 100 ISO and in the other Kodak Ektachrome 100G. Plus, of course, my latest Sword Excalibur Fuji FP-3000B Instant B+W film.
With the 35mm Nikons I used three lenses, a 50mm, a 35mm and a 24mm. For one shot in colour I used a fisheye. With the Mamiya I used the 50, the 140, and the 250mm lens.
It was hell as I would tell Jacqueline not to move as I would unbayonet the 35mm lens from one camera, put the camera to one side and get the next one to almost take the exact same shot.
I like the fact that the pictures are not identical and that my movement in one direction or another was sufficient to provide me with surprises.
|Fuji Superia 1600 colour negative film|
In all of the above there was one nice factor that kept the b+w film on the same page. I purchased a Kodak develop I had never ever used. It produces finer grain in pushed films (consider that I pushed the Tri-X and the T-Max two stops from 400 ISO to 1600 while pulling the 3200 T-Max one stop to 1600) than my work horse Kodak HC-110. My philosophy on HC-110 was that if it was good enough for Ansel Adams it should be good enough for me.
|Fuji Superia and interpreted in Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 Time Machine - Early Colour|
The results showed me that the next time around I will not use the T-Max 3200 when I can get the same speed at 1600 with less grain with either Tri-X or T-Max 400. For skin I must state unequivocally that if you want to show off smooth skin (in this case Jacqueline’s) the T-Max 400 is the ticket.
I long to have a philosophical argument on the merits of shooting with intention before (my method), with the DSLR photographer shooting RAW now and deciding on intention for later. I will argue up and down that there has to be merit in looking at four or more different variations shot with different cameras to the idea of making the variation from the same exposure with one camera.