A Roll of Efke 820 IR Film (found in the film box in the fridge!)

I was sorting through the tupperware box of film in the fridge last weekend and found a bit of a treasure – a roll of Efke 820 IR film ordered last year and completely forgotten about!

efke3sAll fired up with enthusiasm I waited for a sunny day, and for a bit of fun, loaded up the OM2N and shot off the roll inbetween some other photo business . Exposures were bracketed at  at 2/4/8 seconds at f8 and gently developed in ID11 stock for 8.5  minutes (rolling the liquid in the developing tank rather than inverting it) – these are the results. Much grainier than I’d remembered – almost reticulated, but the temperatures of dev, stop, fix and wash were all 20 degrees centigrade. Maybe it was a dodgy last batch of film, these not being made any more, but in an odd sort of way I like it.

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What’s better is that there’s another roll left! As it’s the last one I’m not sure whether to treat it reverently and take immense care, or just have some fun with it. Rollei IR film – at least judging by these results – produces better images so not many regrets at it’s demise.

Hope you like them – thanks for looking!

p.s. apologies for the repetition of subject – I’m spending a lot of time at Knowlton lately!

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Shooting Video on the Move!

Having been messing around with Canon 60D video for a few months, the inevitable next step after stationary tripod mounted shooting is to try some stabilised video while moving. The tripod mounted side of things was relatively easy – just turn down the standard sharpness and contrast to their minimum setting, and the colour down a notch or two and correct in post processing. Apart from some basic pre-shoot checks (composition, level, exposure etc) that’s about it really – all very familiar to a stills shooter used to doing long exposures :-

Achieving stabilised video while moving is something else altogether! Hand holding is pretty much impossible, so some form of stabiliser device is required, and they range in price from a £150 to £thousands. There’s also the option of software stablisation, which seems attractive, but it can’t work miracles on a poorly shot sequence.

So – after hours of research, practice and a moderate outlay, here’s my solution. A Hague video stabiliser unit was bought in order to provide a basic level of smoothness to the shots. This initially proved very difficult to use and balance, but with practice (lots!) it’s beginning to yield some decent results – certainly better than hand-holding. A minor modification was to wrap some light cloth around the  gimbal unit and handle (secured with rubber bands) to dampen the very fluid movement of the camera during movement. This fixed most of the problems, but to remove the residual pitch and roll the video was run through a copy of Mercalli V3 software which does an amazing job of smoothing out the final movement.  It can’t correct extreme problems, but the Hague stabiliser provides a means of getting close enough for Mercalli to iron out the remaining final flaws.

The latest result is here, slowed down a bit to add a touch of drama. The subject is Knowlton Church in Dorset, which will hopefully be the subject used for two, one hour films shot over a year.

Hope you find this useful – thanks for looking!

Another Roll of Expired Film

I’ve got a long term fascination with shooting old film. The results are hit and miss, but all the better for it!

This roll expired in 2003, a roll of Fuji Superia, exposed at 100 ASA, one stop overexposure relative to it’s original speed of 200 ASA. All shot on an OM2N with a 50mm f1.4 and a neutral density filter (x8) to allow wider apertures. The processing was standard lab C41 with no special instructions.

The subject is a vintage car rally, with lots of old cars with what are now relatively unknown names. Wolseley anyone?fuji4

This film seems to age with a preference for a blue hue which I personally like, but others may not. The softness of the light is like flare, but it in this light it couldn’t be – the sun was behind me.

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Finally a really typical image on old film – these aren’t manipulated with any software – just straight off the scanner with some levels adjustments. Ten years hasn’t done much for the grain in the final images, but it’s all part of the process.

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If you’re lucky enough to be given an old roll of film, don’t throw it away – use it! The results may be be more interesting than you anticipated!

Thanks for looking, hope you like them.

(Old) Stills Photographer Gets To Grips with Video

The last month or two has been spent getting to grips with video – stills have taken a back seat for a while…. A potential commission for a large project has given the incentive to really sort out something I’ve been messing around with for years.

By comparison with stills, video is much more complex, where settings, editing and output are concerned. As a stills photographer of too many years it’s given me a headache on several occasions!

So – initial results after hours of experimentation and fiddling about are below. The Vimeo playback is still a too soft (more messing about required), and real-time video stabilisation has only just been cracked (more later). I’ve still to get Vimeo to consistently present the ‘HD’ option for playback. It’s been really interesting and a good – if rather frustrating at times – experience.

All shot on a Canon 60D and a Sigma 10-20, f4-5.6, best quality 1920x1080p settings then ‘timelapsed’ in Premiere Elements.

So, more to follow – the stabilised walking video is looking quite good but could do with improvement! The option of motorised rail mounted timelapse is on the horizon but I’d better sort out the remaining problems before that problem is tackled….

Thanks for looking.