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Carbon Transfer Print – My First

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

This week I heard the good news that Calvin Grier of Valencia, Spain completed my first ever Carbon Transfer Print- see the video of JDR.  I used my Shenhao 6×17 medium format,  negative size of  5.6 cm x 16.8cm.

I submitted a finished TIFF file 2 weeks ago to Calvin who then worked his magic.  The final image size is 18cm x 57 cm or 7″ by 22.5″ then add the white border to complete the print.

The Feature Image is the final print hung to dry.  Lovely work by Calvin, can’t wait to present it to JDR, get it framed and finally see it hung on our wall.

Video of the Print Having its Final Wash

The Carbon Transfer Print is considered by most persons who know it to be one of the most beautiful of all photographic processes. Carbon prints are capable of a wide range of image characteristics, they can be virtually any color or tone, and the final image can be placed on a wide variety of surfaces, including glass, metal, paper, as well as various kinds of synthetic surfaces.

Carbon is without question the most distinctive and stable of all photographic processes, capable of presenting images with a wide range of characteristics, of virtually any color or tone, on a wide variety of surfaces.

Finally, carbon transfer prints, which are made up of inert pigment(s) suspended in a hardened gelatin colloid, are the most stable of all photographic prints.

Calvin’s Grier Homepage – Stop By.

Here are the images showing the major process steps:

1) Negatives (3) From the Highlights, Mid-Tones, and Shadows
2) Exposing
3) Developing the 1st Layer
4) 1st Layer
5) Relief of the Wet Emulsion
6) Developing the 2nd Layer
7) Wet Relief
8) Wet Relief
9) Finished Print on Temporary Support
10) Cleaning Border
11) Removal of Light-Sensitive Salts
12) Transferring to Paper
13) Final Print

Black and White Conversions – Your Choice

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Over the last three years of image processing, I’ve settled on three main approaches after the “Basic”… adjustments in Lightroom for B&W conversions: Photoshop or ON1 Photo RAW.  I’ve inserted three videos that will take you thru the image processing, step by step.  Try one approach and expand your arsenal.  Good luck.

Note: I finish off each B&W conversion with two artistic effects, i.e. a subtle vignette plus dodging the highlights and burning the shadows at low flow rates.

1) Photoshop Using “Calculations” and “B&W Adjustments Layer

2) ON1 Photo RAW – Develop Filter – B&W

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Featured Image Above: Sir Winston Churchill statue near Westminster in London.

Digital – Fuji x-Pro2

Baggie City Center (Centre) in B&W

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Birmingham City Center

The best way to get acquainted with your new surroundings is to walk it.  So I have around Birmingham’s City Center and enjoy the variation of architectural styles across the years. So with this post, I’m practicing my B&W image processing using the recipe below.  Like any recipe one salt and peppers to taste.
Recipe (Photographer’s Stuff)
  1. Lightroom: Import and cataloging
  2. (Iridient Developer: Used for the Fuji RAW files for Exposure, Color (Fuji Soft), Details)
  3. Lightroom: Basics for Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Transform-Auto, Crop…
  4. ON1 Photo RAW 2017: Add Dynamic Contrast (30%), B&W w/Color Sliders adjusted to taste, Big Softy Vignette
  5. Photoshop: Framing and Distraction Removal.
  6. Lightroom: Watermark and Export
Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.

B&W Gallery

Selfridges: “Touching the Sky”
Victoria Square: “Stand at Attention”
Birmingham Library: “See Me”
Bullring Mall: “Bull – It”
Grand Central Station: “Train Time”
Apple Store: “Apples Three”

VSSR Image Processing Continues

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying –大山摄影) and Happy  Chinese “Lunar” New Year  – Year of the Rooster.  

I continue down the VSSR journey with digital / film images from Varanasi, India and Xi’an, China today.  VSSR is explained here in an earlier post which provides the thinking and image processing approach.

Note: Value-Shape-Separate-Relate is the artistic image processing approach by John R. Tuttle.  I highly suggest you follow John on Instagram or Facebook to get an appreciation for his wonderful fine art images and available archival prints.

Disclaimer:  By no means do I claim to possess the mastery of an Artist Eye nor have highly skilled touch in Photoshop so I push myself to improve the images I create.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure in India, later China and maybe UK continues.

Varanasi, India Gallery – Medium Format Film w/6×17 Pinhole and Fuji GF670

Varanasi, India Gallery – Fuji X-Pro2 Digital

Xi’an, China Gallery – Fuji X-Pro2 Digital

Pinhole Camera: RealitySoSubtle 6×17 Pano

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography!

Today, I present my first set of pinhole camera images using Kodak Porta 400 120-film.  If I had to guess, many people have not heard nor understand the use of pinhole cameras.

Here are four quick links to get up to speed: Pinhole Website Video Explanation Wikipedia Explanation Great Overview

Additionally, here are some images from four Pinhole Camera websites: Link 1    Link 2    Link 3     Link 4

Note: I’ve stopped posting individual images on Facebook as I’ve chosen to share not just an image, rather a story with a gallery of images.  We’d appreciate your patronage so please FOLLOW along.

RealitySoSubtle Pinhole 6×17 Pano Camera Link

Let me get the semi-technical questions out of the way.  Here’s the scoop:

RealitySoSubtle 6×17 Medium Format 120 Film Pinhole Camera

– The “Pinhole” is 300 microns (0.300mm) at f/233, 70mm focal length with a curved film plane to avoid corner vignetting and field of view 144deg x 41deg.
– I use an iPhone app, “Pinhole Assist” to Spot Meter (~20deg) plus includes film reciprocity considerations in the calculated exposure time in EVs.
– You get 4 Exposures per a roll of 120 MF film with the film numbers centered in the rear, red viewfinder at 2 ( 1 and 3 on the sides), then 5 (4 and 6 on the sides). 8 and lastly 11.

So how do you load the film, see video:  LOAD

So how do you take exposures, see video:  EXPOSE

So how do you process the scans:  TWO-OPTIONS

#1: Buy yourself a professional, home scanner, i.e. Epson v850 to scan the entire 6×17 negative either dry or wet.  This my medium term solution.

#2: Use a local lab with a Frontier or Noritsu by theFINDLab roll scanner yet there is a limit of 6×12 for a single image.  This is my current solution, not optimal given I must then stitch the images and correct for exposure difference in Photoshop.

Problems So Far Encountered

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1) Loose fiber inside the camera resting on the negative.  Solution: Blowout the interior, thoroughly each time you change rolls of film.
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2) Never get bumped my somebody at the time of exposure.  Solution: Check out your environment, 360 degrees to ensure you have up to a 120 sec. space without interruption.
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3) Watch your fingers getting captured at the time of short exposures, this was ~3-second exposure.  Solution: Practice without film on a tripod proper opening and closing the sliding latch. The magnetic closing feature is tricky to open at first, again practice.  See EXPOSE

Photoshop Processing Approach with 2 Exposures

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Here I’m not only stitching the two scanned images, the two different exposures have to be adjusted to match.  Plus, using a Photoshop Perspective Warp adjustment tool to get full, proper image halves to align.  Then a final crop to 16×7 aspect ratio.
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Here I’m using the curves adjustment tool to adjust the LH image to match the RH image for exposure.
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Lastly, after the exposure is adjusted and image transformed to align, an overall curves adjustment is applied to bring contrast to taste.

Eventually, I will secure an Epson flatbed scanner to do full 6×17 negative scans plus 6×6 / 6×7 negatives from my Fuji GF670 medium format camera.  The use of SilverFast and Digital ICE software to combat the removal of “dust” on color negatives is imperative.

Images from First Roll of Film

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“Temple Tank Post-Typhoon”
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“Sunset Upon Mylapore Temple Tank”
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“Leela Palace”

Value-Shape-Separate-Relate (VSSR)

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying –大山摄影).

Happy “Calendar” New Year 2017.  Why would I say this?  Well, we have another two pending New Year celebrations in the form of the Chinese “Lunar” New Year on 1/28, followed in April by the Tamil “Solar” New Year.  Which to follow?  All of course.

It’s been awhile since my last post as I took a holiday break combined with some deep learnings from John R. Tuttle. I highly suggest you follow John on Instagram or Facebook to get an appreciation for his wonderful fine art images and available archival prints.  VSSR is the artistic image processing approach by John R. Tuttle.

I’d like to share my experience in developing my artistic eye and shifting to my RH-brain when processing a photograph.  In particular,  the use of Photoshop just as a painter envisions and creates his image on canvas.

Disclaimer:  By no means do I claim to possess the mastery of an Artist Eye nor have highly skilled touch in Photoshop, rather I push myself with a strong desire and embedded curiosity to improve the images I create.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure in India and later China continues.

I pulled out an old PDF File on Art that I acquire from Les Saucier as my first Master in The Arcanum.

VSSR in a Nut Shell
  • Determine Tonal “Values”
  • Find the Big “Shapes”, Not Details
  • “Separate” the Shapes by Contrast Range
  • “Relate” the Shapes to Each Other
1. The Simple Secret to Better Painting by Greg Albert

I dusted off an old PDF File on understanding the golden rule(s) of Art that I acquired from Les Saucier , my first Master in The Arcanum.  I would suggest you take a brief read yet stop and read Chapter 5 two times on Tonal Value and Contrast.

The Simple Secret to Better Painting

2. Key Highlights of Chapter 5 on Tonal Value and Contrast

Values

  • Lights and dark contribute more to the success of a photography than any other factor, including color.
  • Value contrasts attract and entertain the viewer making any part of the photograph an eye magnet.
  • Points of contrast provide touchstones for the eye as it scans the photograph.
  • Lights and Darks in your photograph must be at least consciously considered if not deliberately planned.
  • Think of Value Scale as a series of grays from black to white, i.e. Zone System.

Shapes

  • Seeing your scene as a simplified pattern of lights and darks.
  • See the subject as a pattern made up of value shapes.
  • Look at your subject, not as a group of things that can be named, but as a pattern.
  • Think Dark or Light Shapes.
  • What an object is is not as important as its shape and value.

Patterns

  • Reduce your subject to a few big shapes.
  • Simplify the subject into a pattern of shapes then turn the pattern of shapes into a pattern of values.
  • Reduce the subject to three values: Black, Gray, and White.  Most subjects reduce themselves to three values.
  • Maybe to five values adding Light Gray and Dark Gray thus adding distinctions to make the identity of your subject matter clearer.
  • Once you start thinking about your photograph as a pattern of value areas, you can check to see if that pattern format an effective composition.

Graduation

  • Value Contrast is a great technique for attracting the viewer’s attention, Gradation of a Value is a great technique for retaining it.
  • Graduation is the gradual change of tonal value from light to dark over distance.
  • The Gradual Change in Tonal Value in the foreground pulls the eye into the photograph.
  • A Value Area having both Contrast and Graduation attracts and retains the viewer’s attention, creates depth in the photograph and helps focus the eye on the center of interest.
  • Value Changes Within Shapes: Graduations of each Shape go back and forth between light and dark.

Notan

  • Harmony With Value Contrast: The Japanese word “Notan” by Arthur Dow expresses the beauty and harmony of darks and lights balanced together or interacting in what Japanese called Visual Music.
  • The concept of Notan includes figure-ground relationships formed by dark shapes against light or light shapes against dark.
  • Notan combines all that makes shape and value contrast interesting: variety dimension, concavity and convexity, interlocking figure-ground ambiguity and dramatic opposition
  • All the shapes both positive and negative must be interesting shapes in themselves with varying intervals.  Their interaction should create harmony and balance.
  • Values Help Define the Subject: Soft and hard, smooth and rough, light and dark can all contrast to make a seemingly simple picture one of subtle mystery.
3.  VSSR Workflow in Lightroom / Photoshop
In Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw):
1) Basic Tone and Color Adjustments
2) Distraction Removal (or in Photoshop)
In Photoshop:
3a)  Visual determine the Large Shapes.  Usually 2-3.
3b) Using Selection and Masking tools, create a separate layer mask for each of the 2-3 large shapes to which we will adjust tonal values to separate the shapes.
3c) For each layer selection, add adjustment layers that as a Clipping Mask for Curves at a minimum. Other adjustment layers to consider adding are Hue/Saturation, Brightness, Vibrance, Gradient…  Suggest not to use Levels as Curves is the superior tool.  Here we are Separating the 2-3 Shapes using contrast with varying Tonal Values.
3d) Then add a Curves Adjustment Layer for the entire image thus getting the Shapes to Relate.
4. Example 1
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Raw File Before Processing in LR – Not a pretty sight but wait as I work the magic of VSSR.
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Here I envisioned two Big Shapes; all the people as one big shape and the inverse as the 2nd big shape.  So I zoomed in with a small brush to select all people one at a time ensuring a proper edge selection. This was my first layer mask which I added a Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers.  Then, copying and inverting the layer mask I have my 2nd big shape of the everything else which again I added a Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers.  
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The Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment tools were tweaked to taste with first sliding to the extremes then backing off.  Here you see a Curves being applied to the 2nd inverse big shape.
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The final image with a border having a thin black band, thick white band and chop.
5. Example 2
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RAW File Ahead of LR Processing – A So-S0 Look
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After Lightroom basic adjustments plus conversion to B&W in Photoshop, I selected three Big Shapes, i.e. 1) the water, 2) the photographers plus camera and three the shoreline background.  See the three layer masks where the “White” on Black is what is selected.  For B&W, I just added one adjustment layer, i.e. Curves – the most powerful of all tools.
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Here’s a close-up of the Curve Adjustment Tool being applied to the Photographers with the standard S-Curve.
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To finish off the image and “Relate” the three Big Shapes, I applied a Curves Adjustment Layer to the entire image.
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A close -up of the Curves Adjustment Tool.  I could have applied the Brightness – Contrast Tool yet held it in reserve.
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The final image with a two-band border with texture applied in Photoshop.

You-Tube has plenty of videos explaining the Selection and Masking Tool Set available in Photoshop.

Here are a few to get started:

VSSR Gallery  (Let Me State the Big Shapes That I Adjusted Tonal Contrast and Color)

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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The butterfly 2) The flower/bush and 3) The background
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The young priests walking in file 2) The background sky 3) The background Steps and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) All 5-6 towers 2) The 3 firewood stacks, 3) The water and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The water 2) The 6 boats 3) The sky and 4) The shoreline with buildings.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The water, 2) The two girls, 3) The upper RH wall and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The man, 2) The structure he is sitting on, 3) The RH vertical wall and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The center structure plus its reflection, 2) the water, 3) The back wall and ground and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The man, 2) The RH painting, 3) RH vertical wall and 4) All the rest.

Here John provided some great feedback on his take of the image by filling the frame with the subject, i.e. the man.  I was going for the diagonal glance of the god down on the man yet this is a better composition.  Never stop learning.

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Being able to bounce ideas off each other which in turns helps to level me up, is the rewarding experience for me.  Thanks John.

Kailasanathar Temple at Sunrise in Kanchipuram 2016-11-20

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with a sunrise visit to Kailasanathar Temple in Kanchpuram.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side as “I no longer post images in Facebook“.  Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

As I listen to Petula Clark – Who? Yes, Ms. Downtown herself; I thought I’d finish off this post given I’ve been waiting for my film scans from The FIND Lab in UT, US.

It’s a 3-week turnaround from mailing to downloading the TIFF files at 98Mb each, i.e. that’s medium format at 4x the size of a 35mm.   The FIND Lab does an excellent job film processing and delivering scans with helpful guidance for correcting errors and/or enhancing images.

For my Image Gallery, I’ve combined both analog film (something special about that non-random grain) and digital mirrorless images for your viewing pleasure.

Note: (1) I’m driving standardized workflow with the using titles for each image as a prelude to Photographic Salon Competition and (2) At the bottom of the page, I’ve included an Opinion POLL.  Feedback appreciated.

Image Gallery

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1) Guardian Lions – Analog Film (Kodak Porta 400H): Applied a Sepia tone from
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2) Guarded Dancers – Analog Film (Kodak Porta 400H): FIND Lab mentioned to shoot this ISO 400 film at ISO 100 (2 stops of extra light) as this film is “light hungry”.
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3) Walled Off – First Analog B&W Film (Ilford HP5):  Found out from my friend John that due to the shallow slope of the toe of the Stop-curve for this film (looks like an S-Curve) that Zones 8-10 has little tonal separation in the darks.  Suggested Ilford HP4 or Delta instead, i.e. on my list.  Have a look at John’s FB images – spectacular images as he sculptured with strong tonal separations.
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4) Guardians at Attention – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: If it’s old, a Sepia-look may be appropriate.  I like here.

Side Bar: I used Iridient Developer for the Fuji RAW files.  Iridient is a new RAW processor I started using in place of Lightroom to stop, minimize the muddy look of the details with LR. Fuji RAW files are X-Trans in design unlike all other sensors using a non-random Bayer design

Bayer Sensor Design (R-G-B)                                         Fuji X-Trans Sensor Design

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5) Blue Hour Walls – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: At the “Blue Hour” of sunrise, looking opposite the sunrise reveals a powerful sky.
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6) Weaver – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: Stopped to cruise the streets of a small village and as one would expect there’s a story around every corner.  Here many of the streets were lined with weavers at work.
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7) Moonlit Temple Tower – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: As the sun rises the moon sets.  On 12/14 there is a “Super Moon” and I’ll be there capturing it this time.  Missed shooting the last full moon.

POLL on the Use of Borders

I’m still shifting my LH logic side of the brain over to the RH artistic side with the addition of frames.  Ever see an old master’s image without a frame?  No, the frame is part of the total presentation.

Kasimedu Fishing Harbor – Diptych Instax Street Portraits Plus

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying –大山摄影).

It’s my pleasure to submit to you, the viewer another photo blog post of the life and times here in India.  If you choose to keep updated (and we wish you would), please “FOLLOW” along.

Please feel free to like, share and/or comment on the Big Mountain Photography blog as feedback is always welcomed.

Thank you for stopping, y’all comeback – you hear?

Note: Red-Colored, Underlined words are hot links for you to gain further information on a particular topic, person, website, …

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The twice a month Chennai Photowalk group held its 105th photowalk at of all place, Kasimedu Fishing Harbor / Fish Market.  I’m in this crowd somewhere holding up my Fuji GF670 Medium Format camera.

On this photowalk, I once again used my Fuji X-Pro2 to wirelessly transmit JPEG images to Fuji’s SP-2 Instax Printer as gifts to those deserving street portrait subjects.  Isn’t a print what we as photographers strive for and what a great way to say thanks.

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X-Pro2 Manual showing how to transmit an image to the SP-2 Instax Printer
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Instax SP-2 Printer: Film cartridge holds ten prints at ~50 cents each.

I choose to use Diptychs (Greek for “Two Fold”) to display the printed Instax image alongside the subject holding the Instax print.  Cool.

Diptych Instax Street Portraits

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1) He was pleasantly surprised that as the 3rd person to photography him reading his morning paper in the warm morning sun that in return I gave him a print.  I need to stop by again to see where he hangs it.
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2) Enjoying a morning smoke in the warming rays, he enjoyed being photographed and even better when I gave him his Instax print. Sweet.
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3) Another morning scene with this gentleman enjoying his South Indian filter coffee under the morning sun. Look at that smile as he holds his Instax print.

Fish Market Plus Gallery

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4) One of my favorites for the soft colors and glowing reflection.  Used for all these image the Zone System Express Panel for Photoshop by Blake Rudis f.64 Academy
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5) Up high on a pile of 2m by 2m concrete blocks (4 layers high) was an excellent observation platform to witness the crowds of buyers, sellers and fishermen during a hectic Sunday morning frenzy.
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6)  An odd numbers of things work well to capture the viewer’s attention with an image.
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7) Just look at all the stories being told in a single slice of time.
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8) Melissa up high capturing her next winning image.
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9) There is an sense of order in this visual chaos that in the end prevails.

Back to Film at Last, i.e. F.I.N.D. – UPDATE

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with my re-introduction into medium format film.  This is an update from my first post on getting back to film.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side.  Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

The FIND Lab did an excellent job providing feedback on my exposure, contrast, … the look especially on how to manage Fuji Pro 400H film to bring in contrast.  This is valuable customer service at a small incremental cost as I would have never known this small yet important tidbit.

Here is their feedback on my first roll of film:

Hey Stuart!

Your basic plus scans for invoice 53061 are ready for download!

This roll looked really nice! Fuji 400H tends to be one of the more neutral film stocks, and if you consistently prefer warmer tones you may want to give Portra 400 a shot. We typically recommend rating 400H at 100 ISO for best results (it’s quite light hungry and does best overexposed by 2 stops).

These were slightly flat but we were able to re-establish some contrast in scanner (these were scanned on the Noritsu which gives us a good amount of control over contrast). I’d recommend overexposing a bit more to provide higher contrast in the negatives if you still find these a little flat.

Overexposure is particularly important when working in overcast conditions as the available light is more limited. Your exposures were very consistent from frame to frame. You had a few frames that were slightly soft. If you find this continues to be an issue I might recommend a bright screen (sometimes the focusing screen on these film cameras can become difficult to use, and a bright screen can make a huge difference).

Please let us know if you have any questions, and thanks so much for choosing the Findlab!

Leanna

info@thefindlab.com

Back to Film at Last, i.e. F.I.N.D.

Welcome back to Dashan Sheying, where film is reborn today.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

It’s been 40 years since I last used a 35mm film camera, i.e. c.1976 or so.  Yet why today do I want to go backward?  Well, I’m shifting towards Days of Future Past c.76 (MB, not X-Men).

Given today’s digital progression, one could say digital has caught up with 35mm – okay maybe.  Yet not to 120 Medium  Format or larger unless you’re made of money for the big bucks for an MF Hasselblad, Mamiya Leaf, PhaseOne, … and the new Fuji GFX 50S coming in 1Q17.

“The Song Remains the Same (LZ)” as the appeal for me of an image shot with film is “The Look” as it is for other die-hards after all these years.  I’m one of those who admires the non-homogenous grainy look and all the detail, tonality, print size…

So today I received my first processed and scanned 120 film roll of Fuji Pro 400H in 6×7 aspect ratio from The FIND Labs.  Processed in LR with Mastin Labs Presets followed by the Zone System Express by Blake Rudis then finished off by a John Tuttle inspired framing scheme (still learning to find my Right Brain).

The Learning Process Again

My first five rolls experienced multiple mistakes and errors on my part, yes I make mistakes (or as they now say learning opportunities).  Okay, I accept this; so stand up,  shake off the dust and move on.  Here’s a listing of my initial thoughts:

** Corrected Already **

** Film Usage: Watch and align the film roll arrow when loading.

** Film Usage: Watch and use the tape from the roll to seal after exposed.   Had to place exposed film rolls into the original pouch. Hmmm.

– Film Usage: Bring scotch tape

** Operating: Watch out on closing with PeakDesign buttons

** Operating: Use two hands to open/extend and close lens/bellows

** Operating: Return focus to infinity prior to closing.

– Focus: Hold steady. Try a “New” grip, i.e. ThumbsUp – ordered

** Focus: Try the red soft button for ease of shutter release.

– Focus: Use a tripod, will do.

**Focus: Use of a monopod / ballhead. Tried it, much better.

– Focus: Maybe a hand strap, PeakDesign

– Focus: Get finger placed on the focusing ring – muscle memory required

** Film Holder: Free cashew tins from flying Indigo works great holding for five rolls of film

– Format: Try 6×6

– Cleaning: Blow out / dust off interior and exterior after use, changing film too.  Bring blower.

** Carrying: Works fine carried inside my ONA bag without a sling/shoulder strap.  Use the X-Pro2 strap when required.

** ISO: For a new roll be sure to double-verify the ISO and change it on camera. (Shoot a 100 ISO film in 400 ISO.  Okay so I need to push development 2 stops. Better to overexpose film than underexpose)

– Shutter: Get a feel for the stroke and/or of click as there is absolutely no sound nor tactile feel

** Exposure: Look at the shutter speed red indicator to be < 1/500 and greater than 1/30 for a handheld shot.

– Exposure: Try manual aperture and shutter speed

– Exposure: Try spot meter in Zone 3 for shadow details for an 18% Gray manual setting then move up two stops for Z5.

Image Gallery

Not as many keepers as I hoped for yet with the above adjustments, I’m shooting for 100% keepers.

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1)Street Portraits are my first love and in South India they ask me to take their photo.  Love it.

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2) Blocks of ice (Rs250 each) being delivered to the Fishing Vessels as they ready themselves for sea including 500-1200 liters of diesel.

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3) In the end it’s all about The Fish, i.e the smell of money for these Tamil Fishermen.

Hyderabad, India Framed

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Welcome to Dashan Sheying where my photographic journey continues with a lesson from John Tuttle on adding frames to images in Photoshop using the Canvas Size tool under Image.  The color for the widest band around the image is created with the color eye-dropper by sampling the main color of the image thus obtaining an overall blended look.

On G+, FB… please click on the link to my photoblog to view the rest of the story.  If you like what you see, feel free to share on the social media of your choice.

Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

Note: Red-colored text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

You must jump over to see John’s work on Facebook with his 4×5 large format camera of his recent images from New Mexico. Beautiful. The ability to capture tonality, texture, detail… with medium/large format film is the motivator for my next camera, i.e. a 120 film 6×6, 6×7 Fuji GF670 Folder.  Arrives Monday 11/7.

Watch for my next post.  I will be using The FIND Lab in Utah, USA for the development of negatives and subsequent scans.  Hoping for a two-week turnaround from mailing to scans being uploaded.

PS I have my eye on a ShenHao 4×5 large format with a 6×17 film back / ground glass accessory.  Not this year but maybe a 2017 adventure.

Fujifilm GF670 Medium Fornat
Fujifilm GF670 Medium Format

Three-Band Framing Gallery

Next, I’m fixing to add Chinese Characters to the LH side for a short poem representative of the image.  Will need the help of my niece Li Ying (excellent in oral and written English) to find the appropriate characters in telling a complementary story.  Thank-you John and Li Ying.

I appreciate your feedback on the framing as it’s potentially the beginning of my SMK “Brand Image”.

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1) Waiting: Another early morning scene in front of the Chicken Market.  What caught my eye doing 50kph was the man sitting on three-stacked plastic chairs – a first.
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2) Calling: A Muslin School for Orphans starts the day with what I presume to be one of the teachers catching up with friends.
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3) Sun(s)rise: A more artsy image as I’ve added a color gradient followed by adding a texture layer showing multiple suns at Sunrise.
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4) Illuminated Scarecrow:  Found this lonely scarecrow amongst the cotton as the field is in transition to bare its white fruit.
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5) Miniature Scarecrow: Using the Fuji Filter for a Miniature-Look (Tilt-Shift) placed on the JPEG file.
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6) Auto Conversation:  No doubt these two gentlemen are solving world hungry with an intense discussion.
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7) Speakers Corner: Past (deceased) Leaders from across India await a buyer yet in the meantime they’re in  good company.
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8) Toy Scarecrow:  Again with a different Fuji Filter for JPEGs the Toy Camera look is achieved.
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9) Golden Leaders: As they look out on their India, what do they think?
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10) Coffee Time:  Traveling a brisk 65kph, took this image noting the tw0-wheelers (motorcycles) loaded with goods, i.e. colorful winter blankets.  This is a 16×7 aspect ratio, popular amongst photographers for “panos”.

The 1970s Polaroid SX-70 Look

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying).   We’d appreciate you “Following” along to witness the fun and joy one gains in photography.

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Today we have an off-topic on Polaroid Photography with that classic, iconic Polaroid look.  The SX-70 Land Camera was truly a fantastic  improvement for instant photos in the days of film, pre-digital.

SX-70 Land Camera – 1972

sx-70 a  sx-70

My Dad had one and as a kid (High School) I experimented and went thru the 10 prints (and flash bars) in lightning speed.  I’m not sure if Dad appreciated my photographic endeavors yet it’s still vivid in my memory of that instant gratification seen in today’s digital age.

Here I’m using a Polaroid Photoshop psd template to pull the image inside the frame and write in a felt-pen font my comments.  The image has a faded look to it.  Absolute fun!

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Gallery w/o the Polaroid Color

B&W Images – Is There Really Anything Better?

Welcome to my blog post and hope you return to keep up with my photographic journey.  “Follow” me for the latest posts.

B&W Gallery

When color is not the subject of your image, consider a monochrome, B&W image.

I have two preferred methods for converting to B&W, it’s not in Lightroom, nor in NIK Silver Efex Pro, nor ON1 Photo 10 Effects nor in Topaz B&W Effects – I use Photoshop.  Why?  It’s all about the targeted control you can achieve in the tonal ranges.

Photoshop has 7 methods to convert to a B&W image as follows:

  1. Generic Gray Scale
  2. Saturation Adjustment Layer
  3. Monochrome Channel Mixer
  4. B&W Adjustment Layer
  5. Adobe Camera Raw
  6. Lab Color Mode
  7. Gradient Map Adjustment Layer (This is the best conversion given its full-range application to the RBG-CMY Color Wheel)

Method 1 – In Photoshop using both a “Hue-Saturation and Gradient Map” Adjustment Layers.

– In the Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer has one color selector dropdown and three sliders that control the action.  First select one color at a time from the Master dropdown then for the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders adjust to taste and tonal separation.

– Merge the layers and save the image back to Lightroom where additional adjustments and/or B&W plug-ins can be used to taste.  Done.

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Method 2 – In Photoshop using the Blake Rudis Action Set for “Digital Zone System”.

– As mentioned in a previous post I use the 11 Zones created for film by Ansel Adams and now for digital image processing by Blake Rudis.  Each of the 11 Zones has an Adjustment Curve to fine tune the tonal range for a particular zone.  One can view the zone by either clicking on CMD/CTRL and the layer mask for the “marching ants” or by OPT/ALT and the layer mask for the white highlighted tones for adjustment.

– It’s all to taste and with continued practice the process isn’t lengthy at all.

– Merge the layers and save the image back to Lightroom where additional adjustments and/or B&W plug-ins can be used to taste.  Done.

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Finding Your Photography Mentors

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Thank your for visiting my photoblog today.  As mentioned in previous posts I’m an Apprentice in The Arcanum and to supplement my learning, I’ve reached out to multiple YouTube channels in the past.  At first to learn my new (or wishlist) gear and now for image processing.  The latter is the subject of today’s post.

Below are sample images created using Photoshop and the Topaz Labs – Glow plug-in.  As I study a new technique for image processing, I immediately apply it to cement the learning.  Often this takes multiple practice runs as believe me it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks yet the dog keeps trying.

Blake Rudis’ video explains the above image processing technique in clear and precise terms which are summarized to lockdown the exchange between the teacher and the viewer.  This is one of Blake’s forte as an artist turned photographer turned teacher.  Thanks Blake.

VideoBlending Options within Topaz Labs Glow by Blake Rudis

Here are my sample images using the Topaz Labs Glow with its Neon “Glowing Wires II” preset.  As you double-click to assess the inter-workings of the preset,  20+ sliders appear – wow now what.  It’s a learning curve to understand what each slider does so I just throw it to the left then back to the right – okay now I understand.  In the end, adjust to your artistic taste, no right or wrong.

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So I’ve told you where I am today but how did I get here.

At first, I needed to expand my knowledge of Photography so I watched many YouTube videos being a visual-learning guy.  This gave me the "breath" of knowledge yet I lacked the "depth" to become effective.  

So I fine-tuned my YouTube channels to a few thus adding the "depth" to execute intermediate to advanced image processing.
My Breadth: Novice to Intermediate Learning Channels.
Mike Browne          Matt Granger    Julieanne Kost

Anthony Morganti  Tim Grey      Gavin Hoey
My Depth: Intermediate to Advance Learning Channels
Trey Ratcliff      Blake Rudis       Matt Kloskowski

Anthony Morganti   Jimmy McIntyre    Terry White

Dave Cross         Greg Benz         Tony Kuyper
Narrowing the Field of Focus

For the last year+ I’ve been studying the photographers / visual artists via YouTube video learning stopping at times stopping to purchase their Photoshop Course, Action Panels and/or Action Sets.

Now I’ve decided to target just a few Photographers to expand my depth in a structured way forward.

1st: Blake Rudis (f.64 Academy, PS, Topaz, On1, DZS/CZS)
2nd: Anthony Morganti (LR, PS, Topaz, On1)
3rd: Matt Kloskowski (On1)
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