June 20, 2024

portrait practice

Earlier this year I treated myself to a really nice lens for my Lumix. After looking through the various lens offerings, the Leica Summilux line of high-end M43 lenses really stuck out. I was particularly attracted to the Summilux 25mm/1.4 II and eventually bit the bullet. While I was really after the nifty fifty focal length, the lens is also touted as an ideal portrait lens thanks to its wide 1.4 aperture. Although I've taken the lens out for occasional photo walks, I decided to get my tripod out and practice taking my own portrait. I spent a couple of afternoons around home finding different settings and thought I'd share my experience being the main subject of my own photos. 

This sequence was inspired by this mirror I'd recently thrifted and hung in our bedroom. These were off the cuff, and I wasn't wearing my contacts or glasses, so gauging the focus and exposure took a lot of trial and error. This was by far the most challenging sequence, but it's also the one that evokes a sense of accomplishment in me. 

The bokeh in these shots made me want to play with the layers in the photo. In these I'm holding up the small potted lavender plant I keep out on our balcony. I was after a pop of color and I'd say the purple accomplishes that. 

I decided to hold a bouquet of dried flowers as I didn't know what to do with my hands. 

Despite the focus and distracting nail color, this is one of my favorite shots. 

I wanted to try this top-down angle, but the ground was quite uneven. Though I trust my tripod, I was too apprehensive to keep my camera in such a precarious position for much longer. 

Recreating the photos from the day prior. Despite it being redundant, I like it. 

This was my first attempt at being my own subject and I genuinely enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. setting up my tripod, posing, and figuring things out on my own were challenges I'd never really faced before. I'm looking forward to my next burst of inspiration to have another portrait session.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix G95

Lens: Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II

Processed in Lightroom

February 20, 2024

a return to analog: the forgotten rolls

Although I consume a large amount of analog photography content, it's been a very long time since I shot my own film with serious intention. In December, I decided to finally send out the nine(!!!) rolls of film that have been sitting exposed but undeveloped in my camera bag for over 7 years. I also finished the two rolls that I had in my Minolta X-370 and Ricoh KR-5 Super II. To my great relief, all 9 rolls produced images, and barring my own user error (having a filthy lens on my X-370), they all looked much better than expected. There's a mix of film stocks including  Fuji Superia 400, Kodak Gold 200, Ilford HP5, Fujicolor 200, and others that I'm surely forgetting about. The only obvious shots in this post will be the HP5 and perhaps the Fuji Superia in the shots where those Fuji greens really come through. Additionally, these photos were taken with a variety of cameras over the years including random point and shoots. The Ricoh and Minolta are just the ones that I've most recently used. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite shots from those experimental/test rolls. 

I took my X-370 with me on a hike late last summer/early autumn. I was primarily shooting with my G95 on this hike, and I only switched to film as I was leaving. While I do like many of the shots I got, I'm so mad at myself for not realizing how filthy my lens was. I have a handful of other photos that I didn't include because the grime on my lens really affected image quality. I'm trying to not beat myself up about these as they are just test rolls, but it's frustrating that the biggest impact on many of these photos was simply negligence on my part-- and for something so basic, too!

I bet the man fishing would be a more obvious subject, had I just cleaned the lens. -_-

This is a really old shot from back when we still lived in Alabama. I honestly just really like the colors. 

I'm pretty sure this is from my first apartment when I first moved to Alabama back in 2016.
I remember timing the canoe and still hesitating when taking this shot, which resulted in the canoe not being properly framed between the two trees. Had I taken the shot a second or two sooner, the tree on the left wouldn't be interfering with the subject. 

Hesitation was the name of the game with many of these shots. My intention was to capture the girl walking her dog right as they walked by me, but I got flustered and waited almost 30 seconds before deciding to turn around and get whatever shot I could. I don't hate this shot, though. I like the couple crossing the sidewalk in addition to the girl walking her dog. It adds more action and layers to the photos. Though I'm sure that it would be a more compelling photo had I been more deliberate about it.

This is one of my favorite shots from the 9 rolls I sent in. I love the contrast of the tree line against the snow and sky, with the person's white coat in sharp contrast to the trees. Unfortunately, the 28mm lens I had on my X-370 was too wide to capture the scene the way I envisioned it.

I quite like the framing of this shot, but the lack of leaves on the trees makes it a bit busier and messier than I would prefer. 

These last two black and white shots were taken with Ilford HP5, and are among the oldest rolls that I got processed. These rolls had been sitting in my camera bag for close to 8 years before I finally sent them in.

Since getting those rolls processed and scanned, I've also come into a Nikon F3, a birthday present to myself this year. I'm currently finishing up my second test roll in it, and I'm excited (and nervous) to see how those rolls turn out. I've been consistently shooting film since that day in December, and I can't wait to share more. 

Processed and scanned by Indie Film Lab in Montgomery, AL.

Scanned with a Noritsu HS-1300. 

Check them out here!