Snaps from New York

Hey everyone!

No, I didn’t get stuck in NY. I’ve been back for a while now but have just finally got a break. It was really a great trip, and opened my eyes up to how fast paced NY is. For now, I am taking Eric Kim’s advice by trying to let my photos marinate and not post them to social media. Oh! I almost forget to mention this. While I was in NY I brought my XP1 and my new Olympus Infinity Stylus(Film). I brought Portra 400 (such a beautiful film) and Tri-x and when I developed the rolls later I was astounded. While I was there we took a trip to B&H and I decided (after only shooting 4 rolls of film and developing 2) that I wanted to invest in film. I bought a 100ft roll of HP5 for bulk loading, chemistry and a developing kit (tanks, trays, storage). I also soon realized there was no way I was going to reasonably put all this great film through a point and shoot. All said and done I have a Leica M5 with a 35mm summicron and I’m loving it to death. ALL FILM BABY! And yes I know the M5 is the orphan but I have grown to like it’s looks and I really enjoy the handling. Anyways, I figured I might as well post some snaps from NY and save the “real street photography” to marinate. Enjoy!ImageImageImageImage

Polaroid Land Camera- My Experience

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Hey everyone! It has been a while; school has kept me busy but I’ve had some time to have some fun. Around two weeks ago we where at a thrift shop looking around for he knows what. Thats when a Polaroid Land Camera caught my eye. Looking at the tagging, I was pretty thrilled when it read four dollars. Now I get it, these are not the most exclusive, expensive instant cameras on the market, but four dollars and no shipping hassle. I had no idea what I was getting into, but it was mine.

A day later, I broke it out and watched a few videos in regards to it. Now-a-days the first thing I do when I have a question is Youtube it. I started figuring out how extend the bellows, use the rangefinder focusing, and adjust settings. I later took some pliers and got acquainted with the internals. I had to say, I was having good fun. A man was able to lend me some tips on how to take apart the rollers and give them a cleaning; they sure needed it. Thats when I opened the battery door and realized I had really gotten myself into something. I took a face mask and a can of compressed air and had at it. The battery was tossed, the compartment squeaky clean. I new now I needed a new battery. Amazon carries FP-100C and FP-3000b, as well as a AAA battery cell so I decided to order it. It wasn’t two hours later that I had gotten too excited and converted it for 9V. All that was left was to wait for the film.

I’ll come out and say it now, I quite literally wasted most of the film this first go. It truly was a pain in the ass the times I had screwed up, but when the stars aligned, it made music. I accidentally mixed up exposure times and was left with and dull image. I accidentally under exposed and was left with a black image. I accidentally disconnected the battery terminals and was left with nothing. I made all these faults and was left swearing under my breath. But the feeling of peeling apart the film and seeing an nicely composed, reasonably exposed positive is heaven. I really enjoyed it despite getting about five decent shots. I loved the experience of making the camera usable, setting it up, and peeling the paper. No, it’s not the automatic experience, and no you can’t leave the image to develop on its own ability but the expense is awesome and the fun is on par. I leave you with a few of the scans, but tell me about your favorite instant cameras or if you want to give it a go.

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How To Optimize X-Pro 1 for Street Photography

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While the X-Pro 1 remains on of the most beautiful and inconspicuous digital cameras on the market, there are still a few aesthetic features that can be distracting when trying to stay as stealthy as possible. I instantly noticed upon unboxing that the white on black lettering on the camera was very “out there” like it had bleached teeth. I realized there was something that needed to be done.

IMG_9985             After searching around I ordered Birchwood Casey’s Super Black Touch Up Pen in flat black. It matched the Fuji’s finish well and most importantly a q-tip of isopropyl should remove the pens marking. If you are worried it may decrease the value, it’s your choice . I received the pen through amazon and got to work. Taking the camera, I cleaned of all of the oils and debris I had hanging around. I then shook up the pen and started depressing the pen on a sheet of paper until I saw the paint coming through.  This does take a minute or so; be patient. I had a paper towel on hand a put a layer of the paint over the area, more than I needed so that it was completely filling the indentations on the shutter dial. I let this dry for around 2 minutes and then wiped of the excess paint. Just repeat this and once you get to the lens be very careful you don’t put to much as it might get into the interior mechanics. Thats a NO-NO.

IMG_9982      Although the picture may contradict me, you’ll be left will a stealthy camera and you will still have functions of the controls in available light. I highly recommend this to anyone with a black camera for street photography. Enjoy!

BUY HERE: http://www.amazon.com/Birchwood-Casey®-Super-Black%C2%99-Touch/dp/B0000C5395/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359238981&sr=8-1&keywords=birchwood+casey

New Tripod

Some might say I had a tripod.

I would say I had a few pieces of rusty metal, sometimes held together with some tension, with a small screw to “secure” my camera at the top. Now I am aware this is more of a street photography blog, but I do like to branch out and shoot landscape since I am so close to the beautiful east coast . I had some money gifted to me this holiday and the night of Christmas I headed to Amazon where I picked up the Manfrotto 190XPROB3 legs, and the 496RC2 ball head. Less than 48 hours later it was sitting on my door step, all with free shipping. That’s insane. Anyways, the next day we headed out to the Angel Oak to run it through its paces. Let me tell you, I can’t stress how good a feeling it is to use a sturdy, fluid tripod. No worrying about it tipping over, shaking, or coming loose; not to mention it looks pretty nice with the shiny black finish. I’m still testing it out, but so far it’s thumbs up. I would definitely recommend this as a enthusiast setup, as it is only short of $200. Please check out some of the photos from the other day.

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King Street 22/2012

Hey everyone, 

Today I finally got out for some shooting as I am out until the 3rd for winter break. It is always a good feeling raising the bright optical viewfinder of the X-Pro1 to my eye. I headed to Downtown,Charleston this morning around noon ready for a good day of shooting. I stopped by CVS for a bottle of water and some Hersherys Chocolate and as I walked past the usual disposable cameras, I noticed something not so usual; they were carrying Kodak TX-400. Neat! Oh….yah….it’s 10 bucks a friggin’ roll. Overall, I had a good day of shooting on King St. and then down to the Battery; met some cool people and got some appealing photographs.Image

(These guys were diving in a HUGE dumpster on King Street, finding everything from manikins to huge rolls of green wrapping paper)

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(This lady was watching as they unloaded the garbage, and I found this HILARIOUS composition. If you don’t get it, look again)Image