I took a few random shots on the 21st, before the concert, while walking up Elm Street here in Worcester. I challenged myself to keep one lens on the camera, that being the 135mm f/2.8. I know that a lot of “newbie” photographers with slow zooms on the dSLR’s, once they discover the joys if a sharp, fast prime, make similar challenges. In this case, knowing that the 135 would be the glass of choice for the concert, well, with Tri-X loaded up, it seemed like the way to go for fast shutter speeds for hand holding. No “VR”, no “IS”, just old school hand holding, and breathing technique. I didn’t have the motor drive mounted on the FE-2, but it might have helped here to keep the body more stable.
Here are a few more shots from this wonderful performance. I wish I could see them Sunday evening, in Auburn. Tri-X was made for events like this.
If you have the opportunity to photograph an event like this one with film. You won’t be disappointed. And get close. You’ll be happy that you did.
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”- The Great Robert Capa
Last year, it was my pleasure to attend a summer concert at Institute Park, put on by the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. I posted some photographs that were amongst the very favorite I took that year. This year, I had to return, this time with some different gear. And taken almost a year to the date – 7/9 last year, 7/21 this year. While last year I opted for the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR on the N80, this year I went more old school, with the FE-2, and 135mm f/2.8. This called for getting up a little closer to the stage, and losing the flexibility and convenience that a zoom provides. The 135, though, is such a fine, sharp, contrasty lens. A joy to use, I mounted a Hoya orange filter. I read that this is a great filter to use for skin tones and nice facial exposure.
Here are just a few shots from the second roll. The film here was Tri-X, and the developer HC-110. Maybe some of my favorite shots of this year as well. Many more to come.
I cannot wait to scan more of these. This was a wonderful event, which really did produce some spectacular images. I am sure this blog will feature many more in the weeks to come, as I shot almost two complete rolls this night.
“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life. To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeting reality.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
I love the geometry of Cartier-Bresson’s work. While many identify him with photojournalism, and being the master of “the decisive moment”, what often goes forgotten is how brilliant his composition was. And the lines that his subjects naturally created. And yes, Cartier-Bresson did, on occasion, shoot landscapes- sometimes including people, sometimes not. It is easy to “pigeon hole’ Cartier-Bresson as simply a street photographer or photojournalist. But, he really did try new things visually. And took full advantage of lines, curves, shadows, shapes. Mostly within the physical size limitations the 35mm format.
Last November, in a rare creative frenzy, I decided to challenge my eye, and incorporate some textures, shadows, and geometry. The Blackstone Canal, which links Worcester, MA to Providence, RI, was a great spot for this exercise. While the canal technically is closed today, it is listed in The National Register Of Historic Places. And is loaded with, you guessed it, geometry.
I shot these at sunset, with my Nikon N80, and 50mm f/1.8 D. May need to get back there with the wide-angle sometime soon. Kodak Tri-X, shot at box speed, contrast to the max.
Every year, Fitchburg, MA has an amazing event called Civic Days. Around the 4th of July, it includes an incredible block party, and downtown is completely closed off to motor traffic. This year, it was held on the evening of July 3rd. Live music, dancing, local artisans and peddlers, just to name a few. This year, the once great and well attended Longsjo Classic bicycle race was canceled for the second year in a row, and the race itself, due to poor management, low registration, and lack of sponsorship, has likely ran its last circuit.
Yes, these are indeed LOW resolution scans from CVS. If this particular machine has ever seen a rocket blower, or an anti-static cloth, well, doubtful. Nonetheless, the night shot, taken with the Canon Rebel G, and 50mm f/1.8 EF lens, was taken with Kodak Portra, at ISO1600. Not for pixel peepers, but one of these days, I will run my own 3200 dpi scans of the negatives. For now, these scans do the trick. But geez, CVS photo lab folks, blow the dust out of the glass and trays in these machines.
This was truly a special event, a slice of fading Americana. Enjoy them while you can.
“In photography and cinematography, a wide angle lens refers to a lens whose focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens for a given film plane. This type of lens allows more of the scene to be included in the photograph, which is useful in architectural, interior and landscape photography where the photographer may not be able to move farther from the scene to photograph it.” -Wikipedia
As this lens continues to challenge and defy my conventional thoughts and notions of perspective, as I have blogged here earlier, it is also fun to try to get up closer to objects, and take things around the main object in as well. This little courtyard at Fitchburg State allowed me to get in close to the tree on the right, while including the bench, tree, and other objects around it. It also made them look quite far away, when in fact, they were not at all, giving smaller scenes a much grandeur scale.
Vignetting with a wide angle? I used a 50mm rubber hood on the 28mm, providing a hard vignette. This shot is of the university’s crest, as shown in a hall window. Perseverantia- persevere, from Fitchburg State’s motto. Popular with the Lomography crowd, vignetting is something I’ve never tried until now. Very cool, could be great with portraits as well.
This scene is under the university’s dining hall. Students can walk under it enroute to classes, and cars drive under it, as it forms a tunnel over the street. A wide seems to do it justice, as it is a very cool visual contrast. That is construction of the new science building taking place on the other side.
NOTE- The vertical band on the right hand side here represents some cause for concern. It has been showing up since receiving the F3 back from cleaning and LCD replacement. There is either an issue with shutter bump, and the braking system designed to alleviate it, or the shutter itself. I have sent samples to Nikon USA for review. From what I have seen online for repair pricing, not the end of the world by any means.
The look and feel of Leominster, MA in the 50’s and the 60’s is recaptured each year by Summer Stroll. The entire downtown is closed off to traffic, and people can literally stroll the entire downtown. It is like one big block party, tons of kitschy fun and Americana. Vintage cars, and retro-style dancing are on display, as over 5000 visitors invade the area. This year, it took place on Saturday, June 23rd. Here are a few favorite shots from the day, Nikon F3HP, 50mm f/1.4 Ai Nikkor, and some Ilford FP4 Plus-