Conventional vs. Stand Development

Since I returned to doing film photography I've been doing most of my developing using a technique called "stand development." Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_development for more details, but the general idea is to dramatically reduce the amount of agitation while the film is in the developer while increasing the amount of time in the developer to compensate. My particular formulae have been 10 minutes agitated every minute for conventional vs. 20 minutes agitated only at the beginning of development for stand development. These numbers are for Kodak HC-110 diluted 63 parts water to 1 part developer at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the most part I've been pleased with the results I get with stand development, that is until recently when I've started noticing dark and light bands in some of my photos. At first, mostly because of the regularity of the bands, I thought this was an artifact of scanning the negatives, but then Andi said she had occasionally seen the same thing in some of her photos, and she is using a different scanner (an Epson V500).

So as an experiment I decided to develop my most recent roll of film using conventional development. The result is that I'm not able to detect any bands. The regularity of the bands makes me question this result, and so I'm still not willing to say that stand development is the culprit. But for now I'm going stick with conventional development.

In the accompanying photos, I conventionally developed the iPhone 6 photo and stand developed the photo of Andi. Notice the vertical bands in the snow below Andi and the lack of vertical bands in the sky above the buildings.

Andi Loading Film (Stand Development)

Andi Loading Film (Stand Development)

iPhone 6 (Conventional Development)

iPhone 6 (Conventional Development)

OneLight (Part 1)

As part of my apprenticeship in The Arcanum I've been watching Zach Arias's OneLight (v2) workshop videos and then trying out many of the lighting ideas. So far I've been doing this practical part by making self portraits. Making self portraits has added some more complication to the process of learning to light, but since I haven't yet found any volunteers to sit for me, it seems worth the effort. I'm about half way through the videos, so it seems like a good time to show some of the results. I shot all of these photos using my Fujifilm X100T and one or two LumoPro 160 flashes.

60" bounce umbrella

60" bounce umbrella

24x24" soft box

24x24" soft box

Gridded flash

Gridded flash

24x24" soft box and a second gridded flash pointed at the background

24x24" soft box and a second gridded flash pointed at the background


60" bounce umbrella, partially closed

60" bounce umbrella, partially closed

28x28" soft box

28x28" soft box

24x24" soft box and a second gridded flash to provide fill and rim light on the left side of my head

24x24" soft box and a second gridded flash to provide fill and rim light on the left side of my head

Classic Chrome on the Street

As I mentioned in my last post, I like the look of my Fuji X100T's Classic Chrome emulation. In fact I like it enough that for a recent photo walk, I set up the camera to shoot Classic Chrome JPEGs and then left it there for the entire walk. For me, that's saying something.

As I've been doing of late, I went downtown early one Sunday morning. I like going on Sundays because parking is free, and I don't have to worry about returning before the meter runs out. I didn't really have a plan as to where I was going to go, so I just explored some new areas and shot wherever the mood struck. One other thing I did differently than usual was to bring a tripod so that I could shoot self portraits (NOT selfies!).

So here are a bunch of Classic Chrome photos, some just of architecture and/or trash, some self-portraits, and maybe even some of people (I don't remember, so I will be just as surprised as you as to what I find to post). I'll just keep adding until either I run out of photos that I like, I run out of time (it's almost 9 PM as I write this), or I get bored.

So the question in my mind is "Do I want to continue shooting in Classic Chrome mode?" I've set my X100T back to Black and White JPEG mode, and I feel happier when I chimp my images, so maybe I'll just stick with that. But still there's something about Classic Chrome that I like. I'm not sure what it is. So I don't know the answer. We'll just have to wait and see.

Past Their Prime

I do occasionally make photographs in color. In fact I've been doing so quite a bit lately, mainly thanks to the Classic Chrome emulation built into the Fuji X100T, so I'm planning to post quite a few more here in the near future. As noted in the caption, though, I shot this photo with my X-E1, which doesn't include a Classic Chrome emulation, so I shot in raw mode for a change.

Fuji X-E1; Fujinon XF50-140mm f/2.8 @ 50mm; 2x LumoPro 160 flashes; 1/125 sec @ f/9, ISO 400; Adobe Lightroom 5.7, Adobe Photoshop CS5, and Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Fuji X-E1; Fujinon XF50-140mm f/2.8 @ 50mm; 2x LumoPro 160 flashes; 1/125 sec @ f/9, ISO 400; Adobe Lightroom 5.7, Adobe Photoshop CS5, and Nik Color Efex Pro 4

My goals for this photograph, other than capturing the subject, were threefold: (1) to use my 60" bounce umbrella as a soft box as described by Zach Arias in his One Light videos, (2) to test my LumoPro 160 flashes in slave mode, and (3) to continue experimenting with lighting glass objects from below. My efforts toward all three of these goals seemed to have worked well, and I'm very happy with the photo.

As I'm sure you can tell, the umbrella is above and to the left of the subject and provides the main light. It's flash is set to slave mode. The vase is sitting on a transparent plastic cube, about three feet long on each side. The top is covered with parchment paper, for diffusion, and then a length of dark blue velvet was wrapped around the vase and allowed to cover the sides down to the floor. Inside the cube, pointed straight up, is another flash. This one is connected to a radio popper, and is the master. There's also a large white bounce card to the right and a black card in the background, as far back as I could get it.

I processed the photo in Lightroom to do some straightening (I guess the floor isn't quite level, as my camera was), cropping, and initial white and black levels. I then sent it to Photoshop, created a mask, and replaced the background with pure black (the background card didn't quite fill the entire cropped frame). I also added a bit of glamour glow using Nik Color Efex Pro 4. Finally I sent it back to Lightroom and added a vignette (which only affected the foreground velvet) and to set final levels.

Another Top Ten for 2014

There are many ways to pick one's top ten photos. In my first 2014 top ten post, I chose ten of my favorite photos. In this post I'm going to show my top ten photos based on the number of views they've received on Flickr as of today, January 7th, 2015. Why Flickr? Because that's the web site where my photos seem to get noticed the most, probably because I've been posting photos there longer than other sites.

It really amazes me how many times some of these photo have been viewed. Some of them really make me wonder because I don't think they're very good. I guess other people have different opinions, but in my opinion this is especially the case for the #1 photo, which is #1 by a very wide margin. I just don't get it.

So here they are in order from #10 to #1.

10. Delaware Arts Festival (11,105 views)

9. A House Divided 6 (11,433 views)

8. Joe, Who is Not a Spider (11,449 views)

7. Harley Hound (13,595 views)

6. A House Divided 26 (13,735 views)

5. A House Divided 20 (14,384 views)

4. A House Divided 1 (15,166 views)

3. A House Divided 21 (15,622 views)

2. A House Divided 27 (22,678 views)

1. Cone Flowers and Bokeh (37,125 views)