Welcome Hasselblad 500CM w/80mm CF Lens

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

I’m hooked on medium format film as it’s fun to shoot and the final images can range in size from 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9, 6×12 or 6×17.  I find the 6×6 format (aspect ratio, 1:1) as the most challenging for composition and most satisfying when you nail it.  Are you thinking about giving analog photography a try?  If so, consider medium format as the equipment is reasonable and readily available, i.e. on eBay.

For those unfamiliar with medium format film, let me bring it back to a full-frame perspective, i.e. 35mm (or 135).

There is not a lot I can say that hasn’t been said numerous times before by many passionate film photographers.  For some, the “Hassey” is an iconic camera of times gone by.  Not familiar with a Hasselblad, let me share Matt Day‘s video on the Hasselblad 500CM: Click Here

The Featured Image above is a Hasselblad 500 CM c.1985

Hasselblad 500CM w/80mm and pop-up waist level viewfinder.  I’ve added a prism viewfinder, a 50mm CF lens and an extra film back for B&W.

Film Gallery

2nd Roll Kodak Etkar Film w/Shenhao 617 View Camera

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Reference this original POST covering my first Shenhao exposures.

Just a quick follow-up note on my next 4 exposures on the Shenhao 617 view camera two weeks ago, always an enjoyment with the lag of getting the film in for development then tiff scans back, i.e. like opening an X-mas gift.

Four Exposure Summary: 2 Exposures focused and well exposed.  1 Exposure well exposed but people movement (walking) causing a blurred motion look as LF lenses are slow, <1/500sec – maybe okay.  1 Exposure blown-out – no clue.

Still acquiring my cadence for a view camera yet find the exposure setting (SS and Aperture) with the Pentax Spot Meter V using Ektar 100 somewhat simple when spotting on Zone 3 for shadow details and shifting 2 stops to Zone 5 with the EV number.  This will change as I get challenged next up with Fujifilm Velvia 50 at four stops of light, low contrast scenes.   I’m ready to get out for more exposures this long weekend.  It’s a 617 weekend.

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.
Shenhao 6×17 Gallery (3) at the Base of Pen-Y-Fan Mountain in SW Wales

Long Exposure Workshop w/Craig Roberts of e6 YouTube

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

This is my second time with Craig for a “1:1 teaching moment”.  This time the subject is “Long Exposures” under various conditions from full sun to full rain and everything in between, i.e. this is Britan.
Raining kittens and dogs were the cards we were dealt for the day so one must have an umbrella to cover the filters as you can’t use your air bulb blower fast enough to remove the raindrops.  Take Note: Need a tripod attachment to hold an umbrella as Craig wouldn’t be there next time in the rain.
The focus of this workshop was the use of  Neutral Density (ND) Filters, i.e. Polarizer 2 Stops, Little Stopper – 6 Stops, Big Stopper – 10 Stops and Super Stopper – 15 Stops in conjunction with 0.6 / 0.9 Graduated Filters to balance the light from the sky and the ground.
Note: Interesting to see how long exposure photography brought to the surface various camera functions unseen before.  Need to study up.

Long Exposure Location – The City of Manchester (Recognize the Manchester United Stadium above?)

Given the architectural shapes, textures, leading lines… combined with the water and clouds, The Lowery area at Salford Quays was an ideal location.

Craig has great insight to understand what you should consider, no matter what your skill level.

Previous Post on Cityscapes in Birmingham          

Website: Craig Roberts Photography – e6

YouTube Channel: e6 Vlogs

Lee Filters Phone App


In short, we learn thru doing and regretfully experiencing errors, i.e. Things Gone Wrong.  We then turnaround with proper actions to mitigate errors in the future.  I look forward to my future w/o errors.

My Long Exposure Check List – Work in Progress  (Critical in Bold)


  • Ensure the tripod is level
  • Mount your camera for the horizontal or vertical shot


  • Change to Manual focus.
  • Stay in AF in Aperture Priority for now
  • Turn off the Long Exposure Noise Reduction as it doubles your exposure time.  Can address noise later if an issue or get a better body/sensor.


  • Determine composition using a 1×1 Square format (RAW still at 3:2 and JPEG at 1:1)
  • Lock down the panning knob on tripod

Focus/Initial Exposure

  • Set lowest ISO allowed
  • Set Aperture Sweet Spot:  For me f/8, maybe f/11
  • Manually focus with Focus Peaking while zoomed in.
  • Focus 1/3 into the composition in the single point focusing mode
  • Take your base shot noting the SS, shutter speed
  • Check histogram for use of ND Grads
  • Write down the SS as you will forget once you add the ND Filter (6S-10S-15S)

ND Grads

  • Base Guideline:
    • Sun is behind you, 1 stop (polarizer is 2 stops)
    • Sun is to your left or right, 2 stops (0.6 Grad)
    • Sun is in front of you, 3 stops (0.9 Grad)
    • (Can always check exposure for SS on foreground to background (sky) to compare stops of difference)
  • Soft or Hard:  Plain unobstructed horizon = Hard, obstructed with vertical objects = Soft

Placing ND Grads in Filter Holder

  • With the filter holder off the camera, place the ND Grad on the front slot pushing 1//4 of the way down.
  • Go to the front of the camera to place the holder on the adapter.  Why to ensure proper placement and full engagement of both the fixed side and spring-loaded wedge.Will position using the live view in the camera.
  • Slide the Grad up/down watching the clouds and histogram change.  Tilt left or right for the proper horizon line
  • Carefully set aside

ND Filters (2-Stop, 6-Stop, 10-Stop and 15-Stop)

  • Base Guideline:
    • Little Stopper to blur people and movement at 1-3s
    • Big Stopper to blur water and/or clouds for 30s to 1min
    • Super Stopper to blur clouds w/o water for 2-4min
  • Use Lee Filters Little-Big-Super Stopper App setting the SS that you wrote down to determine what the long exposure time is against the 3 options.
  • Given what exposure time you desire, select the proper Stopper, i.e. 6S, 10S, or 15S.

Placing the ND & Stopper in the Filter Holder

  • First, check your composition and SS for the base exposure.  Still the same.
  • If not, will need to use the app for the long exposure time.
  • Slide the Stopper of choice in the front slot (usually a hard push) until the foam in centered for sealing against light

Placing the Holder with Filters on the Camera’s Adapter Ring

  • First, switch to the full-manual mode to avoid the Auto-Focus hunting.
  • Go to the front of the camera to place the holder on the adapter. with Grad & ND.  Why to ensure proper placement and full engagement of both the fixed side and spring-loaded wedge.

When the filter holder is partially engaged with the adapter as placed from the rear of the camera, you have a false sense of security.  When you tip the camera with the holder on, off it goes to the ground.  Not pretty.


  • Recall the base exposure SS.  Did you write it down?
  • The Lee Filters App provide the long exposure time vs. which Stopper.  What is the long exposure time?  (Note: Can be off +- 2/3 of a Stop)
  • Install your remote control cable or mechanical shutter release
  • Change to “Bulb – B” mode for your shutter speed
  • Did you switch to full manual to avoid AF hunting?
  • Press and hold (or slide up) the remote watching the time count up in seconds… to your chosen long exposure time.
  • Release when the long exposure targeted time is reached.
  • Look at the JPEG preview’s “Histogram,
    • Any right-hand clipping of the Highlights?  If yes, a shorter time is required.
    • Is histogram pushed to the edge of the Highlights (RD Side)?  If not, a longer time is required.
    • Experiment with various times as the Lee Filters App is directional in nature and you must flavor to taste.

Removing the ND & Stopper in the Filter Holder

  • Again, go to the front of the camera and remove filter holder / filter set.
  • Pull out the filters and replace in your holder one by one.
  • Fingerprints and/or rain drops – Need to address later with a proper cleaning.


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.

My First Long Exposure Gallery

Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 2

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Pen-Y-Fan Mountain

Day 1 Link HERE.

I went from Circle 1 up to the top Circle 3 in ~1.5 hours

A 3km ascent of 435 meters to the top.  You can see my start/stop frequency.  Used “Walk Meter” App to capture the trek.  Turned it off at the top, low battery.

2017-05-14 Sunday Day 2

The trek up was cold, wet, sunny, dry… everything yet my two coats (one for warmth, the other keeping out the wind/rain) made it bearable.  I had no idea how long the trek would last nor the degree of slope for the ascent.  I kept telling myself “never again to carry a 30 lb large format gear backpack with 4 lb Gitzo tripod/ball head”.  The Fuji X-Pro2 with one lens was fine.  Yet, as I arrived at the top; took a rest my thoughts of went elsewhere across and down the beautiful vistas.  Going down was actually harder on my knees.  Breathing, no issue.  Legs are tired – I’ll sleep well tonight.

I kept telling myself “never again to carry a 30 lb large format gear backpack with 4 lb Gitzo tripod/ball head”.  The Fuji X-Pro2 with one lens was fine.  Yet, as I arrived at the top; took a rest and my thoughts went elsewhere, i.e. across/down the beautiful vistas.  Going down was actually harder on my knees.  Breathing, no issue.  Legs are tired – I’ll sleep well tonight.

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.

Hipstamatic App Gallery – Sunday 5/14

Pen-Y-Fan Gallery – Sunday 5/14

Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 1

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Pen-Y-Fan Mountain

in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Here’s a slight diversion: Brecon Steam Engine Railway Ride

Wales: My Ancestry – Mother’s Side

Dead Center via Apple Maps – Easy Drive w/90% Divided Highway.  Birmingham is off to the Northeast

Visualize Your Walk Around the RED LINE

A moderate trek covering 4 miles in 2.5 hours, red line.

Hipstamatic iPhone App Images

Shenhao 617: Getting Set Up with Lens, Composition, Focus, and Image Exposure

Shenhao 617: Image Taken Looking Up the Path to the Top Covered in Clouds

2017-05-13 Saturday Day 1

I arrived at Pen-Y-Fan ~8a after leaving Birmingham at 6a, do the math.  The forecast was for rain at Pen-Y-Fan yet knowing the weather is an hour-by-hour thing here in the UK, I went for it.  It did rain but a slow drizzle which let up for awhile for me to get a few images.  The top of the mountain was blanketed in clouds so I came home to return Sunday.

2017-05-14 Sunday Day 2

Next Post – Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 2

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
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Pen-Y-Fan Gallery – Saturday 5/13

Pen-Y-Fan Gallery – Sunday 5/14

Next Post: Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 1

Cityscapes Workshop – 1:1 With Craig Roberts in Birmingham

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

My photography checklist of things to do had a “1:1 teaching moment with a Professional Photographer”.  The list is now checked, i.e. Craig Roberts.
The focus of this workshop for me was the use of graduated / polarizer filters given the constant on and off again gray cloudy skies to sunny skies. Grads help pull out the details and balance the light to avoid blowing out the highlights.  Next, Neutral Density (ND) filters for long exposures with some Polarizing effects thrown in for fun …

Craig has great insight to understand what you should consider, no matter what your skill level.

Website: Craig Roberts Photography – e6

YouTube Channel: e6 Vlogs

My Personal Take-Aways  (Top Three in Bold)

– Get it right in-camera first, minimize the processing.

Shoot 1:1 Square aspect ratio for improved composition.  PS No need to turn the camera for those vertical compositions – right?

– One camera, one lens – get it right.

– Landscapes: Use the Fuji GF670 for 6×7 (almost 4×5 AR) to master manual exposure with metering the scene ahead of bringing out the big guns, i.e. Shenhao 6×17 view camera.

– Velvia 50:  Meter the highlights (VII) and let the shadows fall for high contrast range.

Cityscapes: As with Landscapes look for the foreground, mid-ground and background, i.e. not just a landscape thing.

– Look for the abstract with minimalist application

– Look up and back

Lee Filters Seven5 SystemGrads (Hard or Soft) : Back -1 Stop, Sides – 2 Stops and Front – 3 Stops, i.e. 0.9, 0.6. and 0.3

– Avoid G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and don’t get hooked on Olympus’ 5-axis stabilization…

– Tripods: Spikes needed for landscape, Carbon Fiber too light for the UK winds – agree…

– Zoom-In to fill the frame for 100-300mm focal lengths shooting in color and B&W

– Rules of the Road: Photography on a Public Footprint is Okay, Private Footprint is Not Okay.  Got asked at the Grand Central not to shoot on 2nd floor as considered private.  That’s okay as today I went by and got a written okay to photography on the 2nd floor.  No questions asked and nobody bothered me given me little pass.

– Watch the histogram even though it’s tiny in the Fuji during in-camera composition.  Use for placing the Grad to see the highlights drop in balancing the light.

– Sell on eBay my fun lenses: Lensbaby, Fisheye

– A G.A.S. Thought: 18-55mm Fuji lens vs changing primes

– Get my ONA sling bag from China to the UK

– Craig likes two cubes of sugar or 12 tiny sleeves of sugar in his white coffee.  No tea allowed.

– The Selfridges structure has endless compositions, that’s okay – go for it.

– Later, I dropped into the City of Birmingham’s Library.  Decided to join the Library (largest in EU so they say) and asked about what’s up with the construction area in front.  The Library Desk Man said it will be trees, fountains, lights….  An elderly lady (probably my age) let us know her take was a conspiracy theory, i.e.the City Council is reducing the large areas to avoid future protests…  hmmm.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
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e6 Photowalk Gallery

(Place cursor over the image to get its Title and/or double click to view images.)

Arrived in Brum

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Hello Birmingham

After a 12 hour Shanghai to Paris flight followed by a 2.5-hour wait then a 1+ puddle jumper (English Channel actually) over to Birmingham, Dashan Sheying has shifted locations from India.  Stay tuned for future UK posts.  For now I’ve included some initial images from my walks around downtown Brum and my first countryside walkabout.
Photographers Only: Given the English weather (hourly forecasts from sunny to cloudy and everything in between) it keeps the scene down to 4 Stops of light for the contrast range.  So Velvia film will work fine here.  Yes, I’m sure the contrast range bumps up to 5 or even 6 every so often.
Listening to Joe Walsh’s Analog Man (stuck in a digital world) thinking of James Gang and Eagles concerts of days gone by yet looking towards this digital future we have ahead of us.
Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
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Birmingham Gallery

“The Bull” at the Bullring shopping mall entrance.  Iconic Birmingham.  Waited until all the kids got off the bull then took my shot.  VSSR processed.

Selfridges near The Bull.  Another iconic shot yet at night the colored lights explode

The canal along the Digs.

Tardebigge Canal Circular Walk w/St Bartholomew’s Church

My favorite image with its soft lighting of the subject at sunrise and the natural vignette.

Canal Boat at rest

Canal reflections around the bend in a soft glow at sunrise.

Latest Additional to the Arsenal of Gear

The Beast.  Shenhao 6×17 view camera intended for landscapes with a 210mm f/5.6 lens attached.  This will be fun as I learn the old ways of taking images using medium format 120 film (4 images per roll at 6×17).  Stay connected as I venture out in the beautiful UK countryside for those special images.  End result, a huge fine art print, i.e. 19″ by 25″ to start.

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


1) Loose fiber inside the camera resting on the negative.  Solution: Blowout the interior, thoroughly each time you change rolls of film.


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.


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


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.


Here I’m using the curves adjustment tool to adjust the LH image to match the RH image for exposure.


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


“Temple Tank Post-Typhoon”


“Sunset Upon Mylapore Temple Tank”


“Leela Palace”


Welcome to Big Mountain Photography with a Hodge-Podge collection of recent film and digital images.  Effective 2016-12-09, I stopped posting my images on Facebook as this is my homepage. FOLLOW if you like.

Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic

Last Sunday morning, I took a brief photowalk around the local Mylapore Temple with a Lensbaby lens on my Fuji X-Pro2 to experiment with its Tilt and Swing features in moving the plane of focus.  It’s a creative lens, i.e. miniature effect, selective focus…

Surprisingly the most difficult focus was to bring the lens back to its neutral position with a full focus plane.  Shooting in manual mode with a mirrorless allows using “focus peaking” was a breeze as one clearly understands where the slice of focus is moving.


Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic


View Camera Movements: Lensbaby Left<=> Right is like “Swing” in a View Camera Lensbaby Up<=> Down is like “Tilt” in a View Camera


1) Focused on Fiat: Used a left horizon swing to move the focus plan to the rear of the Fiat 1000 as a Selective Focus technique.


2) Temple Tank in Focus: The pink water lilies in full bloom provides the color balance against the green grass (weeds too).


3) Temple Tower Sliced:  This slice of life begins to show the multitude of stories on the Temple’s Tower.

Fuji GF670 Medium Format Film, 6×7


4) Hyderabad Scarecrow: A repeat of digital work.  After passing this cotton field for 15+ times it appears he’s keeping it secure.


5) At Rest in Dock: The faded green color of this fishing vessel is a true representation of its real visual appeal.

Fuji X-Pro2 with Iridient Developer RAW Processing


6) Looking Down: At the entrance to the Mylapore Temple Tower, I found this scene of Hindu Gods watching over the many visitors as I turned around to look up.


7) Quiet Sunday Morning Read: My walk around Mylapore Temple found this gentleman enjoying his newspaper in solitude.


500 PX Photowalk at Marina Beach 2016-09-18

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography!

(大山摄影  Da Shan Sheying).

Please enjoy the following 10 images and the story told from our life and times in South India, i.e. Chennai (Old Madras).

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…

Photowalk Route at Marina Beach


The meeting point was at the Gandhi statue after that it’s go where you want then meet back 2 hours later at the starting point. Headed to the “Pigeon Covey” – 1000+.

Image Gallery


1) During the morning golden hour, we see an 8mm fisheye look.  See the morning yoga class to the left?


2) Applied a VanDyke Brown look to these two Marina Beach Horse Patrol – Old approach, Effective approach.


3) Shot just as he was waking up, eyes just opening.


4) Again the 8mm fisheye lens with these pigeon covey active on the beach feeding on the fresh bird feed provided by the locals.  Went on for an hour as they flew up and flew back down over and over.


5) Gandhi Statue looking north.  Yes the 8mm fisheye again.


6) Mr Pigeon Patrol at Work – Move with caution as one is threatened to leave.  Public beach – not today.


7) Looking to the sunrise as the pigeons continue to feed.


8)  Teacher and Student boxing lessons.


9)Sunrise over Ghandi


10) State Emblem of India – Four Headed Lion,  symbolizing power, courage, confidence, and pride,