Dirty old town

I know that the song “Dirty old Town” was set in Ireland, but in my mind it has always applied to that Penal Colony, New South Wales, and the main city there, Sydney. Being sent to Botany Bay may have been a fate preferable to the executioner in Georgian times, but the town is what it is.

And since I was in a more historical bit last week, I took a Ricoh GXR with me.

Again, photos are shrunk from originals and 16 bit pngs, 2000×2000, so do not download the full thing unless you want to print.

The theme has changed to a variation of the default called Ridazin, for stabilities sake.

Slide and nonslide goodness from Film Soup.

There are a series of Velvia and Portia shots here — that is some C41 (which is more tolerent of lousy exposure) and some e6 slide film (which has to be exact). All developed and scanned by Reatha. It includes some of my learning curve shots on the Mamiya — and some shots that pushed it beyond the limits of the film and I have had to post process in Lightzone.

Thanks again to Reatha, and can I remind everyone that she does a superb job with the film — the lousy images are my doing :-). And she needs help with gear. From her Kickstarter update.

One week into our funding and we are quarter of the way to the $8500.00 we need to fix Marvin and get a new machine so that Marvin can become a backup.

This weekend I’m going to be out and about in Wellington taking some special images to add as rewards. Hopefully we can give it a bit of a boost. In the coming weeks I will put out some fun and very special rewards for filmies too that I’m sure you will love!

We still have a long way to go so all your help promoting and sharing the Kickstarter is super appreciated.

Mamiya 7, using Velvia 100 and Portia 160: post processing in Lightzone.

Walking to work and such. (Nikon V3 raw file decoding)

Nikon, for reasons that are apparent only to themselves, use .NEF files for coding RAW and these vary between cameras. When new cameras come out it takes some time for the software people to get good at decoding the raw files. In particular dcraw, which is an extremely good raw converter, takes some time.

So I’m taking the photos I shot over the last couple of days using the Nikon V3 and using lightroom, which has just been updated, and handles these files better. All shot using a wide angle (10mm f2.8) lens, generally wide open.

No colour correction or processing, basically out of the camera and coded. Dunedin is pretty in late spring.

This is a very big file.

I have set the picture here as a featured image with the real file below because I need to warn you all. This is a 15.8 MB 2000×2000 png, cropped and shrunk from a .tiff file. I would not click on it unless you want it as a wallpaper.

Portra160_ 3

While I am at it, Reatha’s kickstarter has been mentioned in the local photo magazine, D-photo.

When Marvin died, I thought all was lost. How would I ever afford to fix or replace him. Film Soup is run on the smell of an oily rag and even that gets low at times. When I told my community of Soupies what had happened the response was immediate and overwhelming. People were calling and messaging me to tell me that they would support Marvin and I to get up and running again. It was my clients who decided I should crowd-fund and got in behind me. I spent a lot of time in tears that day just so overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of people.

I researched all of the crowd funding options and I chose Kickstarter in the end simply because it was the most recognised and I knew there was a strong community of film photographers worldwide who would be likely to show support for what we are doing as well. I wasn’t wrong.


Really we need more than to fix Marvin, we need a new and reliable machine. Marvin is very old and it is almost impossible to get parts any more. CatLABS, who are the Jobo dealers in Chicago, have been fantastic helping me to figure out the best replacements for him. We came up with two options, a semi automatic CPP3 which is small, simple and easy to maintain but can handle the same workload as Marvin and is doing well in other boutique labs around the world. Or a factory refurbished ATL 2200, which would be refurbished for me by the Jobo factory in Germany. The fully automatic ATL 2200 is a more modern version of Marvin and would be the ultimate machine for us. There is however a significant price difference between the two machines.

It was a very hard decision to decide where to set my first goal. Originally I was going to go straight for the $8500, which would get us a new machine and allow me to fix Marvin, but I wasn’t completely confident I would make it that far. If you don’t meet your first funding goal with Kickstarter then you don’t get anything. My clients had let me know that they would be willing to put prints up for auction and help me to raise funds in other ways too. So the idea was to go for the lower goal and hopefully any shortfall could be met by other fundraising with my clients. Currently we are limping along with Starbug, which is a much smaller machine, so we hope any further fundraising will be unnecessary as the sooner we can get up and running with a new machine the better.

Reatha’s updates on her kickstarter are here. In the meantime, I’m wanting to shoot more film if I can get results like this.

Leica M6, Voightlander Color Skopar 21 mm f4 lens, scanned and processed kodak ektar by film soup, modified in Rawtherapee.

The sea and sheds [Film in Dropbox no. 1]

Reatha has managed to excell herself. Over the weekend 234 scans were deposited into my dropbox account, all as .tiff files.

Now, each of these files is fairly big, and I am scanning them and bulk transforming them: having tried to use lightroom (which led to very big files) I have turned them into pngs using Rawtherapee and downsized them.

two different films: most are Velvia, Shot using a Leica M6, with a Voightlander 21mm f4 Skopar lens. The monochrome, however, was shot with the Texas Leica (Fuji GF690) with a fixed normal lens, and is on Holgapan.

All scanning and developing by Reatha Kenny, Who has a kickstarter up — she needs a new machine to keep her going, so support her.

Juniper the cat

Sometimes you just have to use the nearest tool. My son noted the cat was sitting on the top of a chair, and the nearest camera was the DX DSLR the boys use — and old Nikon D3000. With a Kit Zoom.

Processed minimally in Rawtherapee: white balance corrected, and exported as smaller files.

Film Soup needs to survive. (You need a lot of gear for E6 processing).

I have used Reatha at Film Soup for basically all my developing for about a year. It has reached the point where I have quite a bit of analog gear and am starting to learn how to develop and scan my own monochrome (note to the techies: this was a test roll of C41 I put through the tank first, the real stuff will follow).

However, Reatha’s machine: which she had the taste to name Marvin after the Robot from the Hitchiker’s Guide, is broken. her output has slowed, and she needs capitalization. (And some of her shots are in my throughput).

I want her to succeed, She has a kickstarter fundraiser going on. Reatha does E6 (colour slide: ektachrome, agfachrome, and Fujichrome) processing as well as colour (C-41) and teaches how to do black and white. Better than my test stuff.

I have supported other kickstarters, but this is one that is local and is well worth it.

PS. The soft releases are from Tom Abrahammson, and they are getting harder to get hold of. And yes, they do make a difference.

Iso noise and the Regent (Nikon V3)

Yesterday was the high school prizegiving. Some photos of the venue, the Regent Theatre, from the outside and the interior.

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The Nikon v3 is discreet and I was able to get in and take photos fairly easily. But using a flash would have been inppropriate, As a consequnce, the interior shots were 1/10 and 1/20th second at iso 3200 and are incredibly noisy. All photos processed in Shotwell.