First Shenhao 6×17 View Camera Exposures

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(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Reference this original POST covering my first Shenhao exposures.

Film Holder Loaded with Focusing and Exposure Checks Done

Just a quick follow-up note on my first 4 exposures on the Shenhao 617 view camera two weeks ago.  As mentioned before I had a full list of Things Gone Wrong (TGW) requiring my attention.  I’ve taken actions to correct plus create a checklist to establish a cadence.

First and foremost I had blown out exposures.  The 3rd image of the boats in the bay was totally overexposure (stuck shutter on my part), so I get a pass.  The 2nd image of the bridge shifted to the left, was overexposed for reasons unknown after I reviewed my on-site film notes.  Maybe a shutter issue.

In Summary:  I’m learning from my mistakes and that’s the correct approach.  As my old football coach would say “Spit on it and rub it”, i.e. suck it up and get back into the game.  However, I do like the properly exposed scans as very little post-processing on my part was required – see the gallery below.

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Shenhao 6×17 Gallery (2)

Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 2

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(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.

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Hipstamatic App Gallery – Sunday 5/14

Pen-Y-Fan Gallery – Sunday 5/14

Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 1

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(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

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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

Fujifilm GF670 Medium Format Camera

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(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Fuji GF670 Camera with

Kodak Ektar 100 and Ilford HP5

Fujifilm GF670 Sold in Japan.  Discontinued Aug’14.  Mine is still alive and kicking.

Well, I’ve re-discovered film as a digital man wanting an analog past. (Joe Walsh would say, I’m an Analog Man in a Digital World).  Film is just plain fun from understanding which film stock, ISO… you need for the scene and slowing down in taking the image with the best possible composition in camera.  Tripods required.
On the Color side, I’ve tried Fujifilm 400H Pro, Kodak Porta 400 and now Ektar 100 negatives.  Ektar comes up on top.  Next, Velvia 50/100 to try as color transparency films, i.e. WYSIWYG.
On the B&W, I’ve tried Fuji ACROS 100 and Ilford HP5.  Neither one is a clear winner for my tastes and style.  Have Kodak Tri-X 400 to try, maybe it’s the one for me.
This is what I love about Analog – Film as it’s not the post processing that matters to “get the look”, it’s the film stock you use under varying conditions that drive your end product.  Note: I will have my first 6×17 images available next week using Kodak Etkar 100.  Yes, I’ll post the good, the bad and the ugly.
 Note: I will have my first 6×17 images available next week using Kodak Etkar 100.  Yes, I’ll post the good, the bad and the ugly.
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Kodak Etkar 100 Gallery – Titles Added

Ilford HP5  Gallery – Titles Added

Day Tripper to Barmouth, Wales

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(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Barmouth, Wales

A day trip to Barmouth, Wales from Birmingham. Says 2hr 29min yet I took my time, left 5:35a and arrived 8:15a. Very little traffic on the “Ms” and the “As”. Going back traffic found me. I’m headed back as JDR arrives and up into Snowdonia Nat’l Park.

Planned the trip last night from a selection of 5 options, got up and out at 5:30a.  It was the correct choice.  The drive was awe inspiring for a photographer as often I saw the shot, visualized the results and had to keep driving by with no place to park.  A common theme here in the UK, not enough parking spaces along the roads for us tourists.
I went seeking landscapes with my big gun, Shenhao 617 view camera with movements included.  However, I found interesting Peoplescapes – see gallery below.
I can’t provide the instant gratification we now enjoy with digital so let me explain my analog experience including TGW and TGR.  I made errors – okay stand up, brush off the dust and learn:

Things Gone Wrong (TGW)

  1. Forgot to close shutter after focusing
  2. Forgot to open the shutter at wide open, i.e. f/5.6
  3. Forgot to open the dark slide, 2x
  4. Couldn’t see F/45 on top the lens with tripod height – found the f numbers underneath
  5. Shutter cable malfunctioned due to my error and left stuck open – need to check it out.  More likely a personal problem.
  6. Exposure 3 will be interesting with a selfie given the effect of number 4.
  7. Need a lanyard to hold the Pentax Spot Meter V
  8. Need a bag to hold the film back from the tripod
  9. Get the Loupe on a retracting pull string
  10. Couldn’t see the exposure numbers to clearly set 2, 5, 8 and 11.  Bring my little spotlight next time to see the exposure number.
  11. Exposure #4 may be short of 17cm from number 10.
  12. Dark cloth (Red/Black w/velcro) works okay yet needs to be tighter up against the rear standard.

Things Gone Right (TGR)

  1. Buying the 300mm f/9 was a good choice to reach out.  May have exceeded the bellow factor as finally got focus with little to spare.  Need to check actual front to rear standard lengths next time.
  2. The 150mm f/5.6 is an all around lens.  Used the Viewfinder App with my 4 focal lengths loaded and in each case it was in the top 2 to select.
  3. The loupe was fine at 6x.
  4. Large Format bag w/gear worked fine.  No new bag needed
  5. Focusing was fun, nothing complicated this time.
  6. Exposures 1 and 2 should be okay – let’s see after the scans from the Palm Lab here in Birmingham, ~2 weeks out.
  7. Will need Lee Filters (Grads for sure to balance the light)
  8. Spot meter worked well as took the EV reading for Zone 3 to capture shadow detail with Etkar 100 then shifted the EV number from the “South” position to Zone 3 on the paper scale.  Felt though the SS of 1/15 and 1/30 were too quick.  Didn’t use the Reciprocity Timer App as it has a known bug which kicks one out when the camera icon is touched.  Developer working it.
From TGW, I need to create a brief “Pilot Take-Off Checklist” so to say for shooting large format style.  Next task.
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Shenhao 617 Setup (iPhone w/o Post)

Peak District Walkabout Gallery

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.

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e6 Photowalk Gallery

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

Peak District – Part I

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(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Peak District National Park

x

After my first visit to the PeakDistrict, it became blatantly obvious that this is not a one-time visit.  In fact, like YouTuber Ben Horne who does 90% of travels to only Zion National Park for his Large Format Photography, I need to do the same with the Lake District – stick to it and deep dive it with my full arsenal of skills and gear.  Besides, the walks are great exercise.
Helpful Terms  in the Peak (and Lake) District to Know: “Fell” (hill, mountain, or high common land), “Mere” (lake), “holme” (island), “Beck” (stream), “Force” (waterfall) and “Tarn” (small mountain lake)… the list goes on from Celtic, Norse and Saxon times.
Terms: Excerpt From Jules Brown & David Leffman. “The Rough Guide to the Lake District.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-rough-guide-to-the-lake-district/id1196557080?mt=11
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Peak District Walkabout Gallery

Titles added, don’t ask me the name or location as I’m definitely in a steep learning curve here.

The Distillery is OPEN

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(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

The Distillery

From my times in Australia and the US, it nice was to find a local Pub close to home where one can meet up with Friends…  Well, we got lucky as not only is The Distillery a few blocks away; Gin & Tonic is my favorite mixed drink.  Go figure.  Tried one bar meal upstairs and it was fine.  Next to try the lower restaurant and outside canal-side ambiance.
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The front side with eye-catching lightning late at night.

The Canal-Side atmosphere.

Happy Pinhole Photography Day 2017-04-30

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(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

2017 Pinhole Photography Day

Today is that one day of the year for all Pinhole Photographers to get out and shoot their lensless camera.  Since I did yet could not get instant images given this is still an Analog World, let me post at least some images from my 6×17 RealitySoSubtle camera using Fuji 400H Pro medium format film taken in Xi’an, China.
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Xi’an City Wall: South-side looking East.

B&W: I knew these people may be stationary or in a fluid state given my Pinhole Assist App had the exposure targeted for 2 seconds.  This is the Drum Tower north of the Bell Tower (Center of Town) and the start to the left to the Muslim Quarter.

Color: The Same image which I like better for the people movement and those stationary for 2 seconds in their life.

Fuji GF670 Film Camera: 6×17 Fujifilm 400H Pro

Xi’an City Wall:  Facing North to the Bell Tower (Green Roof).  FYI: Got an immediate Like from my better-half on this image.  I’ve arrived as she provides my balance in photography.

Mylapore, Chennai:  A quick diversion to a local Car (Cart/Chariot) Festival.  Got that look again.

Xi’an City Wall:  Didn’t plan this but after two separate shoots 180 degrees apart showing the massive, protective nature of teh City Wall – I placed them in one image.

Xi’an City Wall:  Yes that Red Lantern is really red. That’s Fuji saturation.  I decided to leave it as it was.

 

Baggie City Center (Centre) in B&W

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(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
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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”