Films not dead. http://www.filmsnotdead.com Film photography blog, shop & market stall. Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:26:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 ‘Life’ – The Story of James Dean and Dennis Stock http://www.filmsnotdead.com/life-the-story-of-james-dean-and-dennis-stock/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/life-the-story-of-james-dean-and-dennis-stock/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:19:41 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=26085   Director Anton Corbijn has put together a brilliant new movie about the unusual relationship between Life magazine and Magnum photographer Dennis Stock and the rebellious young actor James Dean entitled ‘Life’. Dean (Dane DeHaan) is a workhorse about to hit the big time. Stock (Robert Pattinson) is looking to capture the star on camera before he makes it. However the reality Stock sees is much […]

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Director Anton Corbijn has put together a brilliant new movie about the unusual relationship between Life magazine and Magnum photographer Dennis Stock and the rebellious young actor James Dean entitled ‘Life’. Dean (Dane DeHaan) is a workhorse about to hit the big time. Stock (Robert Pattinson) is looking to capture the star on camera before he makes it. However the reality Stock sees is much darker, as he ends up photographing Dean in his last moments.

Corbijn told Dazed and Confused that the real story lies with Stock. “It is really the story of Dennis Stock. We see it mostly through his eyes…and a lot of emphasis is placed on his side of the story and how he experiences this friendship. Jimmy and Dennis learn from each other; Dennis gets to look a little bit differently at his relationship to his son, and for James Dean it was quite interesting to have a friend with his own opinion, not a yes man. I don’t think Stock was that kind of guy.”

The story follows Stock, who receives an assignment to shoot the rising star before the release of the East of Eden which is Dean’s first major screen role. As they travel across the United States, a friendship develops. Stock shot numerous well known portraits of Dean, including this one, probably the most iconic, in New York City in 1955:

© Dennis Stock - James Dean, New York City, 1955.

Life premiered at the Berlin film festival earlier this year, and it will arrive in theaters in the UK by the 25th September 2015.

 

 

 

Information: Dazed Digital

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Tintype Adventures – Anton Orlov http://www.filmsnotdead.com/tintype-adventures-anton-orlov/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/tintype-adventures-anton-orlov/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 14:54:18 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=26058 My name is Anton Orlov and I’m a photographic artist currently based in San Diego. Film and other analogue photography has been a passion of mine since I was a kid and for the past few years I have been completely engulfed in making tintypes and ambrotypes using wet plate collodion technique. The thrill of uncertainty, the challenges of timing, […]

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My name is Anton Orlov and I’m a photographic artist currently based in San Diego. Film and other analogue photography has been a passion of mine since I was a kid and for the past few years I have been completely engulfed in making tintypes and ambrotypes using wet plate collodion technique. The thrill of uncertainty, the challenges of timing, incredible resolution and permanency – all of these factors have made wet plate images entirely irresistible to me.

For those readers unfamiliar with methods of making tintypes I would like to briefly describe the process so that the following ventures of mine could be better visualized. Wet plate collodion is a technique invented in 1849 by Frederick Scott Archer and was most widely used from 1851 to mid 1880s when commercially made dry plates were introduced.

A plate of aluminum, in the case of modern tintypes, or glass, as in ambrotypes, is coated with collodion, which contain salts of bromide and iodine suspended in ether and alcohol. The entire image-making operation that follows must be done before that plate dries, hence the name ‘wet plate’.

A coated plate is dipped in silver nitrate for 1.5-3 minutes where it becomes sensitive to light. After that, in the darkroom or location dark box, it is placed in a holder, brought to the camera for exposure. Afterwards it is brought back into the dark and under red light it is developed by inspection and washed. The last steps are fixing and final wash. Resulting images are made up of particles of silver, so after the plate is dry it must be varnished to protect it from oxidation, but that can be done a while later.

Collodion generally has a maximum ISO of 1, maybe 2 if you’re lucky, and usually it’s a lot slower – more like ISO 0.25 or even 0.125. Therefore exposures generally range from few to a few dozen seconds. One thing to keep in mind as well is that collodion emulsion is blue-sensitive, so blue hues always turn out a lot brighter than they may seem in real life and yellows and reds if exposed normally are close to black in the final image. Another thing to consider is that ether and alcohol evaporate very rapidly, so depending on outside condition such as temperature and humidity you may have only a few minutes in which to make the image and process it, so a darkroom must be present within steps of the scene you wish to capture. On a damp cool day though the plate may stay wet for up to 20-30 minutes.

After a while of making tintypes I got a bit curious of how far I can push the medium and I wondered if it would be possible to freeze action under natural lighting conditions. I was aware of work having been produced in a controlled environment and with the use of very powerful strobes to freeze skateboarders in mid-flight, but to me that wasn’t ‘true action’ – after all, if you tell someone where and when to jump and then employ artificial lighting that is designed to freeze anything moving that does not really scream ‘action sports’ to me. Having lived in San Diego since the 90s and having at one point been very involved in surfing I decided to try to capture some surfers riding waves.

I was lucky enough to find a good deal on a 7in Kodak Aero Ektar lens that has maximum aperture of f2.5. Then I did some calculations. I figured out that if I keep my collodion at around ISO 1 by mixing it and refrigerating it then with a fast lens and in direct sunlight I should be able to get my shutter speeds down to about 1.60th or maybe even faster. Regularly that’s not really fast enough to truly freeze action, but I would worry about that later. I outfitted my lens with a roller-blind shutter made by Tommy of Japan somewhere around mid-20th century. The beauty of this system is that the shutter speeds allowed by those devices are within perfect range – 1/15th to 1/90th and they are adjustable continuously. So that’s the setup I brought out along with my dark box.

 


Anton Orlov Zone VI 4x5 Kodak Aero Ektar

Anton Orlov Tintype Dark Box

With that setup mounted on my Zone VI 4×5 and completed with the dark box for processing on location I headed out to the Ocean Beach pier because the break there allows surfers to take off very close to where I could set up my camera. I was in luck as the waves were big enough and the sun was bright and generous on UV spectrum. The fun part was the timing. Those who have surfed know that big waves come in sets and that most of the time in the water is spent waiting for that perfect big one to come. Sets come in about 4-5 or more minutes apart and the three to five large waves that comprise a set may break within a span of under a minute. So collodion gods must have been on my side when just after I sensitized my first plate and placed it in the camera a set started and I was able to make my first exposure of a guy riding a good 5-6ft wave in a perfect spot, so he wasn’t hidden by the white wash and also wasn’t too far away from the camera.

My exposure was 1/60th and the plate developed quickly, so for the subsequent two plates I upped the speed to 1/75th and finally all the way to 1/90th. The second plate wasn’t as successful – I waited a good 5 minutes and the only set that decided to come in was smaller than during the first plate and so all I got was the back of the head poking out of the break. I think the third plate was the best as far as composition and the degree to which action was frozen. I did have to wait about 3minutes for a big set to come and the plate started to dry out a bit, but I think the fact that a nice large wave broke in the perfect place for my framing and that three guys decided to jump on balances out the spottiness on the right side of the image.

Oh yeah, not to forget this – waves aren’t slow and surfers dropping in and riding them are moving even faster, so in order to actually be able to stop that motion to any acceptable degree, even with my shutter at 1/90th for the third plate, I had to pan the camera with the movement on the ball-head trying to move in a semi-diagonal line along with the figures. Don’t know if I need to remind the readers that a regular 4×5 view camera has no viewfinder, so I approximated my framing and hoped my horizon stays level (there are few more annoying things to me than an ocean horizon that is tilted, making it looks like the whoever took the photo had a Verdugo attack during exposure). So here are the fruits of that day’s labor – exposures 1 and 3. They are both 4x5in and made on aluminium.

 

 

Anton Orlov Tintype Surfers Plate

Anton Orlov Tintype Surf Plate

 

Another thing that I have not seen before was a wet plate image of fireworks and July 4th was coming up, giving me a perfect opportunity to try this out as well. I chose the same setup, but omitted the shutter this time and decided to just use my hat instead. San Diego has a splendid fireworks display over the bay by downtown and so my girlfriend and I made our way out to Broadway pier and because we arrived early enough we got an excellent spot only 10-15ft from the end. The barge from which the display was to be launched parked right in front of the pier about quarter mile out and so this was prime real estate.

I set up my box and camera and estimated the focus by thinking how high up fireworks usually explode and finding a building at about that distance to set my focus on. By the time it got dark and the show began I got plenty of curious looks and many questions of why in the world I would chose to do this in the day and age when a camera can send a picture to anywhere in the world within seconds is in everyone’s pocket… I’m pretty tired of explaining to people that I like making things with my hands and like the idea of my images existing in this reality long after I’m gone instead of disappearing into the ocean of digital chaos and becoming obsolete in 20 years, so I mostly played dumb.

Then the show started. Usually the display lasts about 25 minutes, so I figured I had time to make three plates. I dipped the first one into silver a minute before the start and by the time I had it in camera there was plenty of action. I kept the lens open for about 20 seconds and just wanted to see what would show up. After processing and clearing in the fixer I was pleasantly surprised as there were a few fiery blooms were clearly visible, but there weren’t really enough of them. On the next plate I got lucky – during the 40 or so second exposure plenty of large fireworks went off within my frame and there were even some that I have not seen before, the kind that start out in a radial pattern, but then each charge changes direction in a random manner.

You can see some of those in the plate below. You can also see the trace-bullet-like pattern of the charges that twinkled as they flew through the night sky in celebration of victory over the oppressive taxation regime of the British and the beginning of a brand new tax era. By the time I had my third plate sensitizing in silver the grand finale decided to come early and after an exuberantly powerful wave of bangs and booms it was all over. I had to toss my plate in the trash as there is nothing at all picturesque about the San Diego skyline in the dark – it’s not Las Vegas… Here is that second plate – it’s of a traditional ‘quarter plate’ size, which is 3.25 x 4.25in.

 

Anton Orlov Tintype Fireworks

By the way – if you want a real thrill do try this at home. There’s nothing quite like having to concentrate on doing a good even collodion pour and then having your head in the dark trying to keep the plate with developer on it level and agitated while loud explosions are rocking your dark box and shaking the hair on your head! Now I partly know how war-time photographers felt inside their darkroom wagons back in the second part of 19th century.

Also, upon further inquiry I was made aware that someone else had indeed done this about 10 years ago, but their plates have been destroyed in a fire, which is always a tragedy. Another point that was brought up by someone was that there really wasn’t any reason for this not to work – after all, fireworks have a lot of magnesium in them and that stuff burns bright and puts out plenty of UV, which is why they used it in flash guns before saver flash cubes and electronic flash units made the life a bit more boring.

 

Anton Orlov

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52 Photo Tips #16: Frames within Frames http://www.filmsnotdead.com/52-photo-tips-16-frames-within-frames/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/52-photo-tips-16-frames-within-frames/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:46:35 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=24925 The frame within a frame is one of the simplest tricks in the photographic armoury. It’s up there with the rule of thirds as a classic toll to improve your photography. And once you start using it, you’ll find it can hugely improve otherwise flat scenes. Creating a “false frame” within the composition helps bring attention to your subject. The […]

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© Charlie Abbiss

The frame within a frame is one of the simplest tricks in the photographic armoury.

It’s up there with the rule of thirds as a classic toll to improve your photography. And once you start using it, you’ll find it can hugely improve otherwise flat scenes.

Creating a “false frame” within the composition helps bring attention to your subject. The good thing too is that these frames within a frame exist in many forms – in the streets, in buildings, and out in the great wide open.

 

© Charlie Abbiss

Using a frame within your pic adds to the depth of field; it fills space too. Especially if you’re not close to your subject (a far-off famous building for instance) then it allows you to make a small element the most important part of the picture.

It can allow you to add drama and interest, and get rid of great expanses of dull-looking cloudy sky for instance.

Using such frames can really transform travel photography. It suits that outsider’s eye that you often take with you when you’re exploring somewhere new. Travel photographers often use this trick because it feel like you’re peering into the frame yourself, you’re attention suddenly grabbed on your wanderings.

The shot below was taken back in 2010 when I was in Dubrovnik, Croatia’s famous walled city on the Adriatic Sea. The far off towers and turrets snapped from an opposite point of those famous historic walls, like you’ve suddenly caught a glimpse of them from the window. It’s a powerful trick.

 

© Stephen Dowling

Frames don’t have to be so simple, either. This shot was taken a few years later on a trip to Montenegro, a little further down the coast. I had been shooting on the battlements of a fortress in Budva, and had wandered down to look at some of the museum rooms. The guide outside, bedecked in traditional dress, was taking a break in the heat of the day. The window acted as the perfect frame…. even with the window guard on.

 

© Stephen Dowling

 

Use crowds as a frame: Other people can be used as frames aswell – the out-of-focus shoulders of people at an event or in the street, for instance, can be used to draw the eye to the subject. The pic below was taken during the Chap Olympiad in London earlier in the summer; the shoulder adds some balance to the frame and helps the eye concentrate on the subject.

 

© Stephen Dowling

Once you start training your eye to look for them, you’ll find frames everywhere. Start using them.

 

Stephen Dowling: Zorki Photo

B&W images © Charlie Abbiss 

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Galaxy Hyper Speed – Direct Postive Paper with ISO 120 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/galaxy-hyper-speed-direct-postive-paper-with-iso-120/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/galaxy-hyper-speed-direct-postive-paper-with-iso-120/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:41:11 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23955 The use of positive paper has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years, since Ilford brought out their Harman Direct positive paper, yet a new type is about to make waves in the analogue world. The new competitor goes by the name of Galaxy, which is a group of photography professionals with almost two hundred years of combined experience […]

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© Galaxy

The use of positive paper has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years, since Ilford brought out their Harman Direct positive paper, yet a new type is about to make waves in the analogue world.

The new competitor goes by the name of Galaxy, which is a group of photography professionals with almost two hundred years of combined experience in this field. Their currently working on bringing their own positive photo paper to market using Kickstarter, yet this paper has a distinctive feature, the speed!

A few years ago Galaxy came across an Eastman Kodak book that covers the subject of direct positive photography using the company’s Super Speed Direct Positive Paper as an example. Unfortunately this valuable paper disappeared from the market in 1970.

Instead Galaxy decided to create a substitute paper, and they believe that they can make something even more exciting rather than just bringing back a discontinued photo paper. They want to make a better one, with higher sensitivity, better dynamic range, and easier development process that would be performed with room temperature solution.

The only direct positive photo paper currently available comes from Ilford, the sensitivity of this paper is low, around ISO 1-3. Yet Galaxy’s Hyper Speed paper has a high-speed ISO of 120, exciting news for all pinhole and large format lovers.

Based on their research on the solution Kodak developed 70 years ago, the team partnered up with photographic paper and emulsion company Slavich Co. in Russia. Together, the two companies are producing high-speed glossy photographic paper with “the largest amount of silver in the industry”.

Thanks to the large quantity of silver within the paper, Galaxy’s product has “distinctive half-tones and rich dark tones”. Take a look for yourself:
 

a02abd61e9c1537b307c4171939a1021_original

Galaxy is currently trying to raise $30,000 (about £19,000) on Kickstarter to launch it. Packs of paper are available “for preorder”, (if they reach their pledged amount). The prices can range between $20 (£12) to $500 (£300) dependent upon the size and number of sheets desired.

Here’s a list of the sizes that will be available:

  • 4×5″, 5×7″, 8×10″, 11×14″, 16×20″
  • Custom sizes: 4×10″, 7×17″, 8×20″, 12×20″, 14×17″, 20×24″

Galaxy is currently running test batches with further chemical testing scheduled for this September. The supporters of the project should begin to receive their orders by this December if the funding and launch are successful!

 

© Galaxy © Galaxy © Galaxy © Galaxy © Galaxy

Information: Kickstarter

© Galaxy 

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FOCUSED….Jesús Rodríguez Lluch http://www.filmsnotdead.com/focused-jesus-rodriguez-lluch/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/focused-jesus-rodriguez-lluch/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 14:54:20 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23506 For our August FOCUSED feature we have Spanish born, London based photographer Jesus Rodriguez Lluch. We caught up with Lluch to discuss his love for people, why he uses photography and what drives him to use film; from the excitement of not knowing the results, to limiting himself to only a certain number of frames: Film’s not Dead: Could you start […]

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© Jesus Rodriguez Lluch

For our August FOCUSED feature we have Spanish born, London based photographer Jesus Rodriguez Lluch. We caught up with Lluch to discuss his love for people, why he uses photography and what drives him to use film; from the excitement of not knowing the results, to limiting himself to only a certain number of frames:

Film’s not Dead: Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: I was born in Spain in 1989 and bought my first camera when I was 19.

I moved to London in 2013 to work for an organisation as a ‘School Photographer’ for a year all around the United Kingdom. It was a very good experience to work with children and meet new people. However, in the summer I had to come back to my country for personal reasons and that was when I started to shoot on film.

Unfortunately after a year in Spain I realised that I couldn’t find the right place for me, so I finished all my projects and relations and left everything behind me to start a new life back in the UK, and there is no coming back for me. I want to stay and learn about everything from everyone because London is amazing and gives me everything that no other city or anyone has given me before. There are opportunities everyday,  for everyone.

Film’s not Dead: Why photography?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: I love the cinema. I love to tell stories and I love to be told stories too. The first film I remember watching was “The Elephant Man” of David Lynch with my mother. I loved to draw and practiced painting and writing scripts. I was young so I experimented with everything. I started filming short movies with Beta Cam, but when I bought my first Nikon, everything changed, as it was something I could carry everywhere. A camera is a tool, an extension of my arm, that gives me freedom to capture every moment I live, everything I feel, and create a new chapter of my life.

Film’s not Dead: You shoot with the Mamiya C330 what made you decide to use this camera?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: This camera came to me. I like the square format 6×6 and I like to shoot from the hip because it’s a different point of view that we are used to.

I have shot with many different cameras and I think it’s not only the camera what defines your work, it is more about what you want to express, your soul.

© Jesus Rodriguez Lluch

Film’s not Dead: How would you describe the work you do and what inspires you?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: What I try to do is Fine Art. Art developed primarily for aesthetics, which aims to produce beautiful photography and provide intellectual stimulation; I want my work to be judged for its beauty and meaningfulness.

Notwithstanding, I want to spread my art all around the world, because my art is as I am, Stateless. It belongs to the world, to the streets. I am a citizen of a place called the World.

This is my path. Photography is my field.

What inspires me? People inspire me, which is why I do portraits. I have faith in people. People are amazing.

Film’s not Dead: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in photography you could pass on?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: I am currently starting from zero again as a photo assistant for different photographers in order to learn about everything, and they all say that I have to shoot everyday and be constant with my work, and I think they are right. If you want to do a movie, don’t wait until you have the newest camera model, or until you have more budgets, just do it with what you have.

I would like to say a special mention to my master, Ian J Jackson, who teaches me lessons everyday in photography, but more important in life. Without his help, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.

Film’s not Dead: When you started taking photos was there a photographer whose work changed your expectations of the medium?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: There was a friend, a comrade, who taught me an important lesson. Elegance. I owe him a lot. Sometimes you can learn more having a coffee or just speaking with people in the streets than in a university.

My inspirations are Stanley Kubrick, Bresson, Vivian Maier, El Greco, El Bosco, Cormac McCarthy and Ludovico Einaudi.

© Jesus Rodriguez Lluch

Film’s not Dead: From talking to you, you obviously have a strong love for using the analogue process. What is it about film photography that you enjoy more than shooting digitally?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: That it makes me think more with every shot. I shoot better in film, because every shot counts. Because I have a limitations, it is a challenge. And I love that feeling. I love to shoot with expired film and push it later. I like to take risks and I love the wait. I love to send the films to the lab and receive the scans later. 

I don’t like to see my work immediately, I need some time to forget about it, to imagine how is going to be, and to surprise myself later with the results.

The immediacy has killed the artisan work of photography. It is like when somebody spoils the end of a book you have just started to read. We live in a society where everybody wants the things as soon as possible and I think we have to enjoy more of the little things and to not loose traditions, and more importantly to not loose ourselves.

Film’s not Dead: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Film’s Not Dead?

Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. You can do everything you propose. The world is yours. Embrace your Dreams.

© Jesus Rodriguez Lluch © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch

Jesus Rodriguez Lluch

Images © Jesus Rodriguez Lluch

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“Him & Her” – A love story shot through the viewfinder of a Hasselblad http://www.filmsnotdead.com/him-her-a-love-story-shot-through-the-viewfinder-of-a-hasselblad/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/him-her-a-love-story-shot-through-the-viewfinder-of-a-hasselblad/#comments Sun, 09 Aug 2015 13:50:04 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=24090  Him & Her by Keith Tedesco – A love story through the viewfinder of a Hasselblad 501C “Him & Her” film tells a beautiful story about how a photographer meets a young lady in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. It documents their embarkment on an adventurous journey through the heart of the city, with it entirely told from the […]

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 Him & Her by Keith Tedesco – A love story through the viewfinder of a Hasselblad 501C

“Him & Her” film tells a beautiful story about how a photographer meets a young lady in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. It documents their embarkment on an adventurous journey through the heart of the city, with it entirely told from the perspective of the camera.
 
The film was nominated for best short film at the Valletta Film Festival, and it received the best music video prize at the Castellaneta Film Festival.

 

Information: Hasselblad

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CLERA – The World’s First Transparent Camera – Anton Orlov http://www.filmsnotdead.com/clera-the-worlds-first-transparent-camera-anton-orlov/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/clera-the-worlds-first-transparent-camera-anton-orlov/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 13:16:21 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23997 Over the years we have become very familiar with photographer Anton Orlov‘s photographic projects from his brilliant Photo Palace bus, to discovering a camera with World War I photographs to his newest venture. He’s created one of the coolest cameras we have ever seen and what he believes to be the world’s first fully transparent camera that actually works! It’s called CLERA, short for […]

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Anton_Orlov_Clear_Red_Camera_Paper_Portrait

Efke direct positive paper with ISO 2 © Anton Orlov

Over the years we have become very familiar with photographer Anton Orlov‘s photographic projects from his brilliant Photo Palace bus, to discovering a camera with World War I photographs to his newest venture. He’s created one of the coolest cameras we have ever seen and what he believes to be the world’s first fully transparent camera that actually works! It’s called CLERA, short for Clear Camera, and is the first camera that you can also look into while a photograph is being projected!

 

© Anton Orvlov

Anton_Orlov_Clear_Red_Camera_Building

Orlov writes on his blog that he was first struck by the idea for this camera while working in a dark box with wet plate collodion photography. He noticed that the sunlight streaming in through the red windows didn’t cause any light fogging in the resulting tintype photo.

“That’s when it struck me – why not make a camera out of red material that would filter out UV and blue light!?  Wouldn’t it be cool to actually SEE the rays of light striking whatever light sensitive material one chose to capture an image with during the actual moment of exposure?”

He then started to experiment with this idea to turn his camera into reality. What Orlov ended up making was a perfect box type shaped camera. Orlov carried on his blog to explain how he made it:

“A box is made in a proper length for a selected lens to be able to focus on infinity.  The lens then provides the ability to focus closer via a rack and pinion system.  All you need to complete it is a ground glass focusing back that takes a plate holder and you’re in business. I hunted eBay for a while and found a great 19th century Petzval lens that was not too expensive and of a proper covering power.” 

After getting all the materials and appropriate equipment together Orlov found a local plastics manufacturer to assemble his camera together.

After three days of non-stop testing and confusion as to why the images where fogging he finally cracked it and the camera started making flawless photographs. Here is Orlov’s first tintype plate from the CLERA:

 

First Tintype from © Anton Orlov

Here are some more test plates Orvlov made during the experimentation period. Some of them are a bit fogged – this was all done before he figured out that the lens needed to be slightly modified in order to improve contrast.

 

Anton_Orlov_Clear_Camera_Wires_Roof

Tintype is an orthochromatic medium (sensitive to a single section of light spectrum – the spectrum range in around blue and UV end).  There are other photographic materials that exhibit the same characteristics, some of which are daguerreotypes, photographic printing paper, lithographic as well as some regular films.   Orlov had some direct positive paper in my darkroom so he decided to try that out as well (first image at the top of post taken with positive paper made on Efke direct positive paper with ISO 2).

Orlov is now selling custom CLERA cameras to photographers who are interested. The camera can be designed around a particular lens of your choice — just drop him an email to get the process started. Pricing is $350 for 4×5 (and smaller), $500 for 5×7, and $700 for 8×0.

A CLERA 2.0 is also on the way: Orlov says he’s working on a sliding box design that allows for various lenses and shorter focusing distances (the current camera has a min distance of 6 feet).

UPDATE 07.08.15:  

 

© Anton Orlov

© Anton Orlov

Orlov confirmed that the CLERA would work to both expose and develop a daguerreotype using Becquerel method was confirmed. Amazingly this was Orlov’s first daguerreotype with the help of a friend, which normally takes years to master.

The Becquerel method involves fuming a silver plate with only iodine and, after exposure, developing it by action of red light. CLERA was set up in direct sunlight for the 1 min exposure and then turned in such a way that sun was shining directly onto the plate for 45 minutes (which is meant to be a relatively fast development time). The plate came out beautifully with great tone and it’s amazing that the camera used for the exposure was also used to develop the plate!

 

Courtesy of Anton Orlov

Check out our other posts on Anton Orlov: Photo Palace/ My Film Affair 

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52 Photo Tips #14: Experiment with expired film http://www.filmsnotdead.com/52-photo-tips-14-experiment-with-expired-film/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/52-photo-tips-14-experiment-with-expired-film/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 13:44:14 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23970   Film’s not dead, but in recent years its ranks have been dramatically thinned. Yet a select bunch still remain. Just over a decade ago, you could have walked into a decent camera store and chosen from dozens of different kinds of still film, all of which have been discontinued. Kodak Gold 100, the staple of summers in the sun. […]

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Montenegrin fisherman on Agfa Vista 100 print film and a Lomo LC-Wide

Montenegrin fisherman on Agfa Vista 100 print film and a Lomo LC-Wide

 

Film’s not dead, but in recent years its ranks have been dramatically thinned. Yet a select bunch still remain.

Just over a decade ago, you could have walked into a decent camera store and chosen from dozens of different kinds of still film, all of which have been discontinued. Kodak Gold 100, the staple of summers in the sun. Agfa Ultra, the super-saturated colour film made famous by Magnum photographer Martin Parr. Kodak’s Ektachrome slides, the film that had captured decades of discovery in the pages of National Geographic. Fuji Press. Konica VX. Ferrania Solaris. Dozens of other names that have slipped into obscurity.

But they haven’t completely disappeared. A decade after many of them were discontinued, they can still be found on auction sites like eBay. And expired film can create images that look completely different to their fresh counterparts.

Film expires. The effects of heat and background radiation cause gradual, inexorable damage. But extending their lives is as simple as sticking them in a fridge or, even better, a freezer. Frozen film’s life can be extended by decades.

 

A tunnel dome in Greenwich, London, shot on massively expired Konica R100 slide film bought in Istanbul

A tunnel dome in Greenwich, London, shot on massively expired Konica R100 slide film bought in Istanbul © Stephen Dowling

 

As film degrades, it loses sensitivity. It’s colours become less vibrant. Contrast fades, and grain increases. Eventually, the film is heavily fogged and unusable. But unless that film has been sitting on the dashboard of a car or baking day after day in the window of a Bangkok gift shop, those effects will be gradual.

And the gradual damage might just result in some fantastic effects. Look at the Instagram filters used to such eye-popping effects millions of times a day. Many of them mimic the look of slowly fading film. A digital algorithm apeing an invisible, chemical process that is never exactly the same.

Expired film can really add character and atmosphere – there’s just a few things to remember to get the best out of it.

Freeze it as soon as you get it. Every day that expired film is left in normal conditions is another day that deteriorates. Unless you’re going to be using it straight away, pop it in the freezer. Defrost the film like you would food – give it a few hours to come back to normal temperature. Frozen film can be brittle and can snap when you try to wind it on.

 

London twilight, taken on expired Kodak Elite Chrome 200 © Stephen Dowling

London twilight, taken on expired Kodak Elite Chrome 200 © Stephen Dowling

 

Use it in strong light. The colours and contrast will fade with time and this can make colours less punchy. Expired film work best in strong sunlight or interior lighting; don’t be tempted to use them on a cloudy day.

Test before you shoot anything important. I use expired film often – through years of trying different film emulsions, I have a pretty good idea of how different films age and what the effects may look like. Only by using them to you get a proper sense of how films change as they expire. It’s not a good idea to take a camera bag packed full of expired film on a once-in-a-lifetime trip unless you’re confident on what the effects will look like.

Limit the amount it travels. One thing guaranteed to exaggerate the effect of expired film is x-rays. Any film will be slightly affected by carry-on luggage scanners, but the effects will be enhanced on expired film. I make sure any expired film I’ve taken out of the country and unused doesn’t travel again.

With every passing year, the remaining rolls of once-common film stocks become rarer and more precious. Just because they’re past their use-by date doesn’t mean they’re past making great pictures.

Arthor: Stephen Dowling

Zorki Photo

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52 Photo Tips #13: Choosing a Medium Format Camera http://www.filmsnotdead.com/52-photo-tips-13-choosing-a-medium-format-camera/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/52-photo-tips-13-choosing-a-medium-format-camera/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 07:29:46 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23244 Jumping from 35mm to 120 can at first be a bit daunting. Larger negatives mean less frames to play with, a different ratio, and a range of cameras to choose from. In the latest of our 52 Photo Tips series with photographer Stephen Dowling, we’ll show you a few of our favourite medium format cameras that you could start with. […]

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Jumping from 35mm to 120 can at first be a bit daunting. Larger negatives mean less frames to play with, a different ratio, and a range of cameras to choose from. In the latest of our 52 Photo Tips series with photographer Stephen Dowling, we’ll show you a few of our favourite medium format cameras that you could start with.

When looking for your first medium format camera take your time in choosing, try the cameras out, go to camera shops and hold it in your hands.

Medium format means medium sized film that is inbetween 35mm and large format. 120 film is 6 cm in width and the amount of images per roll varies depending on the camera format; 6×4.5 (16 frames), 6×6 (12 frames), 6×7 (10 frames), 6×8 (9 frames), 6×9 (8 frames), and so on even some up to 6×17 (4 frames!).

Compared to 35mm, medium format uses 3~4 times as much film surface. Technically speaking, medium format film gives you clearer, crisper images with more tonality. This is due to the fact that the light-sensitive silver halide crystals, which are actually the grain of your film, are more evenly distributed as the film is larger in size, this results in less grain and more information to be collected.

Using medium format does require you to have slightly more patience as you often tend to be using more awkwardly shaped cameras and your playing with less frames too. They do take time to get used to, especially if it utilises a waist level finder instead of a eye level viewfinder. A waist level finder (WLF) is a box shaped finder where you look down at your image rather than holding the camera right in front of your eye. With waist level finders you don’t have a prism like you do in an SLR to flip the image the right way round, this can work in your advantage as your seeing the world inverted, allowing for a new perspective. The image is viewed the right way up but reversed left-to-right. WLF’s also allow you to shoot from very low perspectives, again helping with composition.

Here are some of our favourite medium format cameras that are easy to use:


© Tori Khambhaita – Pentax 67 75mm Kodak Portra.

Pentax 67 – A beast of a camera or as we like to call it an SLR on steroids! The lenses are beautiful on this, and they’re built like tanks, weighing in at over 1.2kg with a plain prism and F2.4 105mm lens.

On the Pentax 67 you get 10 frames, or if you have 220 film 20. Originally used by most photographers as a studio camera, it can be used well on the streets if you have the muscles for it. If you’re just coming from 35mm to 120 we would recommend this as it is completely laid out like an standard 35mm SLR.

There’s four types Pentax 6×7, 6×7 (MU mirror up), 67 and the 67II. The first three versions did not have a meter so either you can buy a hand held meter (Sekonic is a great brand and you get more accurate readings) or you can invest in the even heavier TTL Pentaprism attachment which replaces the standard prism but adds a light meter.

We’d highly recommend the 6×7, 6×7 (MU) and 67 as they’re relatively cheap (£280 – £500). Photographers such as Bruce Weber and Tim Walker use them to this day.

Click here to find out more on the differences between the versions.



033_Rolleiflex_3

TORI 7 copy

© Tori Khambhaita Rolleiflex 3.5 F

Rolleiflex 3.5 F  – Rolleiflex (Rollei) are one of the kings in the TLR game, having made a long line of diverse high end cameras from 1929 up to 2012, when they introduced the Rolleiflex 2.8 FX at Photokina.

The Rolleiflex 3.5F is a beautifully designed and above all easy to handle camera. The first model was made in 1958, followed by model 2 and 3/3-I in 1960. You have three choices in terms of lenses Tessar, Xenotar or the Planar 75mm. The Planar tends to be, in most people’s eyes, the best one of the bunch as it’s Zeiss glass.

The entry level Rollei TLR, the Rolleicord is known to be a lot cheaper as it was originally made for amateur photographers. Although they work out a lot cheaper you don’t get the same options with lenses.

If you prefer having a range of detachable lenses then a TLR is definitely not for you, but if your looking to have continuity throughout you’re photographs then this is perfect. This does not mean that you can’t add on attachment lenses using the Rollei Rolleinar attachment close-up lens. These little lenses can create stunning results yet you can only get closer in focal lengths allowing closer focussing under 1m, they also give you a much smaller depth of field, great for portraits!

Rolleiflex cameras have been used by some of the best photographers such as Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, Philippe Halsman and of course Vivian Maier.

Yashica Mat-124G – A great camera, easy to use and light weight. The design is pretty much the same as a Rolleiflex but significantly cheaper, you can pick one up for around £150/£200. Yes it doesn’t have  the same  mechanical qualities as the Rolleiflex and is not as ‘reliable’ as Rollei but this camera can produce great results, and is very easy to learn on.

The Yashica Mat-124G also has a great light meter, allowing you to read the light and view your setting in one place, this is definitely one of our favourite things about this camera!

The lens is a fixed F3.5 Yashinon 80mm lens and like the Rollei you can get close-up attachments too.

Hasselblad_500_CM

© Charlie Abbiss – Hasselblad 500CM

Hasselblad 500CM – The 500 series was born in 1957 and became a real turning point for the company as the  design for that series formed the basis for Hasselblad’s product line for the next sixty years. Hasselblad built up a reputable name for it self for being the first system camera, meaning virtually everything is interchangeable: lens, prism/finder, cranking knob, and film back

The 500 series also became known as Hasselblad’s best series as it used German-made Carl Zeiss lenses with built-in leaf shutters.

If that wasn’t enough it is also known as the first camera to have gone to space as one of the astronauts on a Apollo mission brought a 500C and documented what he saw in space. From then on Hasselblad and NASA developed an extremely strong relationship.

A beautiful system camera, allowing you to switch backs so you can shoot both colour and B&W if you need to.

The prices of these can range between £350 – £800 depending on the condition.

Probably one of the most popular medium format system cameras having built a strong reputation for precision and ease. Used by Patrick Lichfield, Ansel Adams, Lee Friedlander and many more.

mamiyarb67pros

Mamiya RB67 – Not really recommend for the street (yet some people do if you have arms of steel) but this is a brilliant camera built like a tank and the prices for these are now ranging only between £200 – £400.

It features a swivel back allowing you to use the waist level finder for portraits and landscapes. 

 

These are just a few of our favourites but other popular ones include Fuji GW690, Contax 645, Mamiya 6/7 (rangerfinder) all of these beautiful, reliable cameras!

After shooting with medium format cameras you will probably forget all about 35mm and realise why so many professionals choose this format to work with.

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ONDU – The Beautiful Handcrafted Wooden Pinhole Cameras http://www.filmsnotdead.com/ondu-the-beautiful-handcrafted-wooden-pinhole-cameras/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/ondu-the-beautiful-handcrafted-wooden-pinhole-cameras/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23187 [dropcap size=small]B[/dropcap]eautifully crafted, hand made, carved out of walnut and maple wood, held together using just magnets and even comes in a large variety of playful film formats, this is the ONDU, wooden pinhole camera. The Slovenian camera company has officially been making pinhole cameras for the last three years with the company launching their first line of five different camera formats […]

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ONDU-cover-2.1-680x452

[dropcap size=small]B[/dropcap]eautifully crafted, hand made, carved out of walnut and maple wood, held together using just magnets and even comes in a large variety of playful film formats, this is the ONDU, wooden pinhole camera.

The Slovenian camera company has officially been making pinhole cameras for the last three years with the company launching their first line of five different camera formats in 2013.

Now since the success of their first production of pinhole cameras, they’ve just come out of there second Kickstarter campaign with their newly improved ONDU MKII with some great new features. Within 2 days they had surpassed their $20,000 pledge proving just how much the analogue community adores these cameras.

We’d been itching to get our hands on one of these since we first saw the ONDU MKI. Instantly from receiving the first ONDU we were amazed by the craftsmanship, the ease of use and the packaging it came in. We opted to use the 120 version.

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© FND – ONDU MK I – Kodak Tri-X – 40 second exposure

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Taken with iPhone – You can see you can get very close to your subject if you want to as the lens has such a wide angle.

Delivered in a cardboard box stamped with the ONDU logo, which came in handy to carry the camera in if you don’t want to scratch the wood, equipped with a full manual, giving you a rough guide to exposures as well as some cool ONDU stickers to decorate your camera with.

The 6×6 camera lens is a 115° view, the pinhole is 0.20mm pinhole size with a focal length of 25mm. The 120 version weighs only 300g and the size of it measures 14 x 10.5 x 5cm. Comes fitted with a standard size tripod thread.

Also used are neodymium magnets situated in various places on the camera. The magnets were one of the many details of the camera we feel in love with, we thought it was genius and eliminates it being cumbersome when loading your roll of film. There’s magnets placed underneath the winding pins meaning you can pop them back in with great ease as it lines up quickly to your spool.

Another place the magnets were used was along the back of the camera to keep it securely together and most importantly light tight.

There’s a traditional red window in the back of the camera allowing you to see what frame your on too.

© FND – ONDU MK I – Kodak Tri-X – 60 second exposure

 

The improvements to the new ONDU MKII includes them being made with FSC certified walnut and maple wood to create a darker design that will last longer without collecting stains and scratches.

There’s even more magnets in the new ONDU, 14 in total, to hold the backplate in place, secure the winding pins and film, making them work in tandem with the stop pin to make exposures easy and reduces the chance of camera shake when opening and closing your shutter. On top of the camera a laser engraved field of view has been placed  and also a level bubble to create straight photographs!

Cameras that require winding have the winding direction engraved on the top so bye bye to accidentally winding the wrong way. These are just some of the cool improvements to the new ONDU, click here to find out what else they’ve done.

The price for the ONDU MKII ranges depending on the format from $70 (£45.00 135 Pocket) – $300 (£190.00 8×10 Giant).

If your looking for a stylish pinhole camera rather than using an old coffee can or shoe box then the ONDU is definitely for you and is a great present for any photographic enthusiast.

Check the video out below from their now successful Kickstarter campaign of their second version, it is stunning! You can pre-order the MKII by visiting the ONDU website, production on the cameras is set to begin this August, and should be ready to ship by February!

© ONDU © ONDU 135 PANORAMIC BENJAMIN & ELVIS © ONDU ONDU 6x12 Credits ONDU I ONDU 4x5 Credits ONDU I ONDU 6x12 Credits ONDU I

ONDU

All images © ONDU

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