South Auckland rural, summer, Ektar.

I took a Mamiya TLR with me over summer (until it jammed) It was dry, and the film is somewhat saturated: but late December 2014 was golden.

Ektar, processed and scanned by Reatha at Film Soup. Minimal processing in Rawtherapee to 16 bit .pngs: be aware that even shrunk these files are over 7 MB if downloaded.

Administration issues.


This is a low traffic blog, but my other place gets traffic, and today all the sites are down. Intermittently and irritatingly. I have installed Cloudflare in the hope that this will prevent such things from happening.

The theme has changed. It is now twenty-fifteen: the wordpress default, with one difference: I have adjusted it manually so that it shows excerpts not the full post.

In addition, I have refined the linkage here, putting things into categories, in the hope that it will help others. In doing this, I have removed a pile of links (which shall remain nameless — I have not had the link page up for a while.

On the new links: under “Not all My Stuff” is a link to SmugMug, who will print what is there (at a cost) and to the Pro Photographer’s site. Some of her photos are creeping in here from when we share trips. The picture here is from there and I am using it as a logo for there.

Thom Hogan is linked: he is probably the best reviewer of things Nikon and Micro Four Thirds. And he takes photos of animals that make me jealous. Japan Camera Hunter is also added: his site is about as good as you can get for older analogue tools, which are the kind I like to use.

I am adding a “Gear” heading under which I am putting resources for various cameras and tools that I use: at present that includes Nikon FX (full frame), 35 mm Rangefinders, Medium Format Rangefinders, and Medium Format lens reflex cameras, both TLRs and SLRs. In particular, I am linking to those manufacturers who still make the really good Japanese medium format TLRs, SLRs and Rangefinders that used to be used by many.

I use categories to classify what I was using when I took each photo and what I did to process them: that will continue. But the reorganization should help others.

Finally, I have added a link to a facebook group. Because it is a place for locals to share their film photos.

Why I reinstalled Lightzone.

Sometimes you simplify, and sometimes you add new tools. One of the more useful final tools in my toolbox is Lightzone. I find it particularly useful when working with monochrome scans: Reatha does a superb job in getting the scans pretty optimized, but this then takes it to another level. From their webpage.

LightZone is professional-level digital darkroom software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, that includes RAW processing and editing. Rather than using layers in the way that other photo editors do, LightZone lets the user build up a stack of tools which can be rearranged, readjusted, turned off and on, and removed from the stack. It’s a completely non-destructive editor, where any of the tools can be re-adjusted or modified later — even in a different editing session. A tool stack can even be copied to a batch of photos at one time. LightZone always operates in a 16-bit linear color space with the wide gamut of ProPhoto RGB.

While many of LightZone’s tools are familiar ones, they also have shared, multiple modification possibilities built in that amplify their power and flexibility. LightZone also offers some unusual tools for tonal control — meaning brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights, etc. Some are inspired by the Zone System, and some are inspired by HDR tone-mapping. These tools put LightZone in a class by itself for working with black-and-white imagery.

I was working with some scans from Film Soup yesterday (and some of them are in previous posts), but ended up with these jpegs.

The filters here are more akin to lightroom: one of these photos was in colour but the tonalities in the raw photo were such that this approach worked.

Why I use Film Soup (and you should to).

I sent seven films to Reatha at film soup over the weekend, having finished the last two films during a long walk with Robyn. Who is teaching me to switch off the automation on my DSLRs and mirrorless as well as the film cameras, where everything is manual.

The photos include: the Vienna trip, shots of birds at the gardens, and of my grandkids. Not all are for distribution. But it takes weeks to get the shots back, and this is because Reatha is meticulous about quality, and there is only one of her.

Particularly with E6 — as far as I know, she’s the only person who continues to do a good job with slide film. She is also relentlessly honest, and encouraging. But there is only one of her.

Eventually I will start developing my own black and white and scanning and printing the same. But until I have a darkroom set up, and for the more complex stuff, I continue to use Reatha.

And so should you. You can buy a good Nikon Autofocus SLR — or better, a rangefinder — for less than a baseline mirrorless camera. The lenses are cheap. It is far easier to travel with a few rolls of film and a couple of lenses and a rangefinder than with a DSLR. But you will have to be patient at the other end.

These were taken with a rangefinder — Leica M6 with Voightlander 35 mm lens. And they are the last of the summer films that worked.

Working Dunedin [Analog]

This is the first of multiple posts that will come from the summer’s film. The scans are slowly being posted — Reatha at Film Soup has done her usual good job.

Processing these from my end is quite easy: Reatha is slowly uploading the scans to dropbox, and I download them into Shotwell, which allows me to flip them around. The scans are fairly high quality.

As an aside, I’m moving away from using slideshows and back to mosaic approachs for the slideshows. All photos as 1200 pixels png.

Dunedin Street stuff. [Nikon 1]

These photos were taken before the Vienna Trip, around the central city, Crossprocess 3 filter in Lightroom, or black and white.

As the photos are slightly larger than the exports I use in rawtherapee.

There are considerably more photos from Venice and Manitoba to be processed… including film. So things will be out of order for a while.