Thursday, October 20, 2016

Interview with Yamasaki Ko-Ji


Interesting interview with Yamasaki Ko-Ji, the photographer from Japan whose book "In Osaka" I published on Amazon in 2015:

http://www.120love.me/news/2016/4/7/an-interview-with-japanese-photographer-ko-ji-yamasaki

(by Paul del Rosario, Japanese/American photographer currently living in Japan)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DASCO bakelite and the Langoliers



DASCO was (and the one above still is) a bakelite toy camera from 40s.
It is, in essence, a cheap piece of pressed plastic with few little metal and glass pieces.
It was made for 127 roll film.
The roll I found inside is Kodak Verichrome Pan. Kodak VP came out in mid-50s.
After the development, a few frames emerged: people, trees, automobiles.
Ah, 50s indeed (look at the cars and the hat):

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Miami's Overtown



Overtown is a place just north of Downtown Miami.
Its use to be a real black town up until early 60s when the major highways (Dolphin, I95) were build through the area; its remnants of the past now, in a form of half-empty old structures with modern condo towers popping around here are there. Once a year,there is a street fair called "Overtown Music and Arts Festival" which I am trying hard not to miss. Yes, its not the biggest one; the weather of mid-summer is atrocious; and it is scheduled for the hottest time of the day. Still, its the best event in Miami one can photograph. Every year I bring something interesting from it.
Here are some of this year's catch:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

On Pakon film scanner

Been film scanner operator for ~20 years, I tried many Minoltas, Nikons, Epsons ugly ducklings. I settled on Epson V700 photo for preview and Nikon Coolscan V for the final scans. Using this combo for a few years now, I scanned several hundred rolls and finally got tired of the slowness and the buzzzzzz.

Recently I started looking into the operatorless scanning of a whole roll of B&W 35mm film (I shoot black and white film only, no color). I checked what's available new on the market and >>tested<< Prime Film XA, also known as Reflecta ProScan 10T/10M in Europe. The PrimeFilm XA in theory could scan the whole roll, but in my case it did not work very well. Yes, when positioned right and the stars are perfectly aligned it could produce very nice scans; it also had some intrinsic deficiencies making the process very long, involved and tedious. I returned the PrimeFilm promptly.

Last week I tested Kodak Pakon F135 scanner; this is a pro scanner intended for the photolab market; it hit the shelves a decade ago and use to cost a wopping $12000 new; I acquired a well-used specimen for ~$300.

After some testing I liked the little ugly beast and it stays. Here is what I found out, in a few words:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pacific Image scanners

I recently tested these two scanners from Pacific Image:



Prime Film XE and Prime Film XA are also known as Reflecta ProScan 10T and Reflecta RPS 10M, respectively.
Resolution-wise, they both can produce scan at 4K+ dpi. The units I received both had problems:
- XA (the one at bottom) had inherent issues with its film transporting mechanism and it was a pain to align the frame properly.
- XE produced vertical stripes in the midst of the frame on some photos.
I only used them with 35mm Tri-X which is black and white film, slightly curled when recently developed.
I suspect they both will work better with modern C41 films, but I have not tested that as I have no desire to use this type of film.
I returned both.
Oh well..I will stay with my Nikon V, Minolta Multi, Minolta Scan Speed and Epson V700 Photo :D

Monday, June 27, 2016

"In Osaka": one year anniversary



Yamasaki Ko-Ji's book "In Osaka", published a year ago, had been sold on Amazon and in stores around the globe exactly (ta-dam!) 50 times. Which brings the total print run, including all the copies sold online and offline, given as a present plus author's copies, to 100 (one hundred).

Congratulations to the author!

.............................................................................................................
To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the book's publication, we are issuing the discount code for the book which can be ordered by clicking the link above. Here it is:

5A2XWLFC

Enter this code at the >checkout< and you'll get a $10 (25%) discount.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Night at Ocean

This Saturday I've got a chance to stroll the South Beach. The Ocean drive was packed with folks celebrating, flirting, kidding, snapping selfies. My Olympus XA died after years of exemplary service but Lieca M2 worked and these are the pictures (Tri-X shot at E.I.1600 and pushed to E.I.3200 in TMax developer):

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Model A from Missouri

Univex model A was a camera. A very small camera.
Here is one, next to my "Zorki 5":



Three ounces of Bakelite with a bit of glass and a few metal parts.
It was very popular among girls in early 30s, because it was cheap.
Really cheap. Seriously cheap.
Here is the page of the Official Girl Scout catalog, year 1933:



It is called there "A New Camera" with a price tag of 35 cents.
35 cents! For the price, it was not too bad.
Unlike some other cameras (Japanese "Hit", for one) it could actually take a picture.
Sometimes adults used it, but most of the Univex's users were kids.
The idea of the Univex enterprise was to make money selling film, not camera.
The proprietary Univex 00 film model A ate had been manufactured by Gevaert in Belgium.
The idea worked: Univex sold millions of ugly ducklings until 1940, when Belgium went under and suddenly 00 film was no more.
That was the end of Model A.
End of story.
I received mine from a village in rural Missouri. It had exposed roll of 00 waiting inside:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

118 Kodak Verichrome roll from 1940s


I received these rolls from a antique dealer in Fayetteville, North Carolina with 2 other rolls and spools of different vintage.The roll in the center never been exposed; the yellow color film (right) was empty. So what's left is this big bad spool of 118 Kodak Verichrome.118 format roll film was introduced by Kodak in 1900 and discontinued in 1961 but it was not in wide use after early 40s because the cameras made for this film format were out of production by 1930s.
I did my usual tests and developed the roll; a face appeared from the wet darkness:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Brownie Vecta from UK



I received this camera from the village North of Manchester, UK
Small Kodak Brownie Vecta had been in production from 1963 to 1966
Like many other brownies, it has dark lens and one shutter speed, not much to talk about.
This one had film inside, 127 Kodacolor II, exposed.
I developed the film as B&W just because silver survives the ordeal of time much better then the color dyes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"In Osaka" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji at Leica Store Miami 08/20 at 7PM

Join us on Thursday, August 20, 2015 for a book presentation: "In Osaka" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji. Publisher Emir Shabashvili will present the book and talk about "Provoke" photographers and about style/time relationship in photography.

Yamasaki Ko-Ji is a Japanese photographer from Kobe who documents his daily life with street pictures taken in Osaka, where he works.

RSVP on the event page: http://goo.gl/H9hzIN


This event is kindly sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Participants will be able to sample some of their amazing craft beers during the event. Brooklyn Brewery is one of the largest craft breweries in the United States, producing a portfolio of traditional and experimental beers sure to impress any beer drinker.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

11x14" Prints on Arista EDU Ultra RC paper


I'm out of Ilford MG IV paper and switched to Arista EDU Ultra. All I have now is 11x14 inches. Last weekend I printed a few frames from 2012 and they came out fine. The prints are somewhat more neutral compared to Ilford (I use LPD developer in 1:4 dilution) and the image takes longer to appear in developer, but otherwise the paper is great. The office scanner I used does not do the prints justice, but that is what I have for this bigger format.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bessa L / 25mm / Red filter : new darkroom prints



Up until now I had just the digital scans and digital prints for this series of downtown street photographs from Oct 2008. Last week I printed them in darkroom, they came out good; better than expected, better than digital!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

"IN OSAKA" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji


So it happened: the >book is out<<.
Yamasaki Ko-Ji is a photographer from Kobe, Japan. He documents his daily life with pictures taken mostly in Osaka, where he has a day job. His work is truly unique for these days: all film, almost all in black and white, all printed in darkroom. He is not very well connected to the online photography community of today. He has a site all right: http://yamasakiko-ji.tk/ , but he is not on Flickr or Facebook, so his work is not widely known, but for those interested in the style of "Provoke" movement (Takuma Nakahira, Daido Moriyama etc) he is important as one of the keepers of the flame. I love his work. My style is very different but his pictures have influenced me deeply and that is why I published his book.

This post is a quick review of the book from the publisher's -- mine -- point of view.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Printing in dark room vs film-to-digital workflow

I started in darkroom in my early teens, somewhere in 68 or 69. Back then, everything was simple: not too many graded papers available, one developer, water from the tap, fixer and free time, which I had aplenty. I did not use any advanced techniques. Masking with my fingers for dodging and burning was the farthest it went. Because of this, there were negatives I could print easily and some I did not know how to print, the negatives too dark or too contrasty...when I had one, I just skipped it. Here is one of the prints from the time: some TASMA film pushed to 500 ISO, some old paper my father gave me:


(View from my darkroom AKA attic room. Yelabuga, 1973)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"In Osaka" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji


Yamasaki Ko-Ji is a photographer from Kobe, Japan. Here is a dummy of his book I am working on right now. Printed on laser printer to check the layout, it became a real one the moment I attached the loose leafs of paper to each other with binder clips. Somehow the images survived a truly terrible print quality. If you familiar with Japanese photographers of PROVOKE era (Takuma Nakahira, Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi and others), you will recognize the style. The book will be on Amazon sometime this year (the release date still TBD). More images from the dummy book below. The site of the photographer: http://yamasaki.ko-ji.com/

Monday, December 1, 2014

Leica Store Miami Instagram Contest


From Leica Store Miami:
During the festival we will be running an Instagram contest. Share your best image that embodies the spirit of street photography via Instagram with the hashtag #mspf2014. One image will be selected at the end of the festival and the lucky winner will receive a Leica Akademie voucher (value of $199) to be used towards a future workshop. All submissions must be posted between 12:00 AM Thursday, December 4th and 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 7th.

To see what others have been posting visit our live Instagram streaming gallery!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Testing Kodalith in Dektol

I always wanted to try the extreme, absolute contrast; so here finally comes (ta-daMM!!) a Kodalith.
Kodak Kodalith is a very high contrast film made for copy work, lithography and alike.
It use to come in many formats but had been discontinued a while ago, along with its special contrast developer bearing the same name.
I recently found a few hundred feet of it in 35mm format (6556), circa 2003.
This film is low sensitivity material and has to hold well, so I tested it on my morning walk with Sir Charles Darwin Zhewalsky:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Counting change in Rain...love the grain of expired EK5222

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ORWO N74 Plus in TMax

ORWO is a trade name for a range of film products from Germany, from the company named Filmotec. I the 70s, I use to shoot ORWO slide film (UT 18). Recently, in my search for an affordable B&W 400 ISO film to replace Arista (aka cheap Tri-X) I came across ORWO NP74 plus, a movie stock said to be around 400 ISO. I bought one 100ft can of it from http://orwona.com and tried it in my daily shooting. Here are my findings:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Street Photographer's Manual by David Gibson


Received it yesterday, seems to be nice book...not a manual at all, more like non-stop obscure rumbling accompanied by pictures -- just what I needed. This is first impression after reading and leafing through while riding bus-train. $14 on amazon, amazing price for such a great book, by the way the quality of the print is top notch.Thumbs up!
http://www.amazon.com/Street-Photographers-Manual-David-Gibson

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Overtown

EF5222-05-04pr1sm
Olympus XA, expired Kodak Double X cine film in HC-110.
It was hot as Hell.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Я-Стрит, или как фотографировать в Яндексе


конспективненько:

Я-Стрит это такое занятие вроде уличной фотографии, только вместо реальной улицы используется виртуальная, расположенная здесь: http://maps.yandex.ru/-/CVrka07W

Инструкцая по навигации, включению полноэкранного изображение и т.п.: http://help.yandex.ru/maps/photos/panoramas.xml

Как снимаются панорамы: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4oomL2Hp8o

Теперь о том как сохранить понравившееся изображение:
Если у вас обычный комп с полной кравиатурой, то сохраняется нажатием клавиши
Print Screen (или PrntScr). Предварительно изображение переключается в полноэкранный режим (см. выше). Если у вас два или три или четыре экрана (у меня два), то при нажатии клавиши Print Screen сохранятся все. Для того, чтобы сохранить только нужную картинку, вместо клавиши Print Screen нажмите Alt+Print Screen.Теперь как избавиться от стрелок навигации: просто уберите мыша на край экрана и подождите, не трогая мышь и клавиатуру. Стрелки исчезнут, и можно будет сохранить изображение без них. Если у вас два экрана, то можно при этом сдвинуть мышь на соседний экран, так мышиный курсор не будет мешаться с краю. Не кликайте при этом на соседнем экране, иначе фокус сместится на него и при нажатии alt+Print Screen вместо нашей картинки сохранится то, что торчит на другом экране.

Про размер:
Размер сохраняемого изображения соответствует разрешению экрана. У меня 1680x1050 точек, такая картинка и сохраняется. Если у вас разрешение другое, то и картинка будет меньше или больше моей.

Про формат:
У меня все скриншоты автоматом сохранятся в png. Это формат непакованый, соответственно файлы большие -- несколько мегабайт. Можно их перепаковать чем-нибудь в jpeg, на качестве это не скажется -- над ними и так jpeg-движок Яндекса уже по полной надругался. Я этим делом обычно не заморачиваюсь и храню и выкладываю прямо в png, как есть.

Интересные находки выкладывать здесь:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/YaStreet/

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Streets of Russia in Yandex Panoramas



Yandex is the internet search engine Russians use. Yandex Street Panoramas, part of Yandex maps, is a close match to Goggle's street view. I like playing with it because people's faces are not blurred as in the (US part) of Goggle street view. Here is a small stash of shots I fished out of its murky waters. I looked at places I know, the places I had been passing by often during my life in Russia. The things are different now, time passed and many changed, but some stayed, like the stern look of woman's faces and the brown mud. Here are they, processed in PS to match the look of vintage duotones. Click the pictures for full res':

Friday, June 13, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

35mm compact camera craze




Disclaimer 1: GAS or G(ear) A(cquisition) S(yndrome), originally known as Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. I went through all stages, including the original guitar version ages ago. Now its cameras. The disease is a contagious one, so consider yourself warned: if you are really into 35mm film cameras, stop reading now or it will be too late.
Disclaimer 2: Buying an old camera is buying a problem. Ask me how I know.
Disclaimer 3: This is not a review nor its a hidden ad for my shots. Its just a stupid GAS list I came up with after reading on a subject and shooting some of the recommended cameras. Models, images and links to reviews. That's it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to get rid of stuff and stay sane in 5 easy steps


Things. Stuff. Junk. If you like me, i.e. the one who keeps things, you know what I am talking about. I had a small house and this problem had been bugging me for quite some time, until one day I solved it. Oh yes I did! It was easy, it was simple, there were some expenses and time/work involved but I enjoyed it immensely. If you'd like to know how to clean your house from junk and free if for...well, even more stuff :D -- go on reading!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Film advance lever


At the Houston's FotoFest a young photographer asks, pointing to my Bessa (above):
- you always push this little thing when you snap a shot, what it for?
Me:
- its a film advance lever. I have a film camera.
He:
- yeah...film camera...do you still have a screen in the back so the shot can be checked?


dixi

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scholarship grant available for Alex&Rebecca Webb workshop in Miami, January 2014



here: http://goo.gl/cd5uIe
I have been through the workshop like this and can recommend it to anybody who is into human-interest photography.

Photograph above: © Alex Webb

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chinese demonstration in Miami


My friend Wenbo invited me to this brouhaha related to recent Jimmy Kimmel's stupid joke.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Bigger Globe



Do you know that inside the Earth there's another, a much bigger globe? I leaned this long time ago from "The Good Soldier Švejk" by Jaroslav Hašek, the book I love dearly.
All the years since I've got this piece of knowledge in my head, I had been looking for the unknown world, and finally, I discovered it. It's happened in 2007. I found this world, this another Earth in the photographs taken but never brought to light, left in the darkness, photographs on the old films forgotten in the vintage cameras, cameras shoved into nameless darkness of countless attics or garages. And if you think this another world is small and unimportant one, if you think that the so called "present" is much bigger entity, think again, because neither one is actually exists in the place I am sharing with you. Both of them, the "present" you know as you personal instant history, and the latent flickering-smoldering-glowing in the darkness possibilities of images somewhere on the forgotten rolls, both are equally non-existent, and as such, they are zeros, nihils, nones. They are the same. And the one I am talking about here may be even bigger, much bigger;-)
At least, it has surely became bigger last week, when I decided to develop the old Brownie-type roll I received from ebay seller in Alabama.
Well, what could be on the old roll from Heavenwood, Alabama? Most likely its...let me guess...Heavenwood, Alabama! Old cameras and old undeveloped films rarely travel long distances. Treated as sentimental artifacts of little significance at best or as something very close to the junk cluttering living space, they usually thrown away in storage until the end of times.
But, something very different emerged from the wet darkness of my tiny darkroom. I developed the roll in cold concentrated Dektol developer and got several low contrast but otherwise legible images, five frames total:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Free professional inkjet prints on Ilford papers using Canon pro series printers


"...Exclusive to United States residents, Try My Photo gives you the opportunity to have one of your favorite images printed for free on either ILFORD GALERIE Prestige Gold Mono Silk 270gsm or Smooth Pearl 310gsm media using a Canon PIXMA Pro series printer.
To take advantage of the program visit

http://trymyphoto.com/ilford

where you can find full details and instructions.
Canon selected the two TIPA award winning papers from the ILFORD GALERIE Prestige range to demonstrate the professional-quality printing capabilities of its inkjet printers. Gold Mono Silk, designed for black and white printing, is an exciting new edition to the ILFORD range and has picked up a number of industry awards and accolades including Best Inkjet Photo Paper from TIPA. Smooth Pearl was the 2012 recipient of the TIPA award and is a professional standard media offering superb clarity, high sharpness and excellent colour gamut.
To take advantage of this promotion, register online here and follow the instructions. The free 8.5”x11” print will be produced on your chosen Canon PIXMA Pro printer and media and the final print will be mailed directly to you. Offer is limited to one image per printer per paper brand per eligible U.S. household. Offer runs through September 30, 2013.
Each Try My Photo print comes with information explaining exactly how the image was printed so you can easily replicate the results using your Canon printer and ILFORD media at home. To ensure accurate reproduction of images in home-printing, you can also download the free ICC profiles for Canon printers from ilford.com"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Shadows of shadows, shells of shells

Here they are, 116 format rolls I recently received from Oregon.
Agfa D6 rolls on the spools with wooden stem, bigger then the 120, nitrate-based (i.e. flammable).
All three -- exposed, and in dated boxes:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July: shine and rain, rain and shine

AR400-267-12pr1sm portion of July's work...mostly Bessa L with 25mm and red filter, some Bessa R3M with 28mm; all Tri-X at E.I.3200 in TMax.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

People Mover

AR400-352-21pr1sm Riding People Mover in Downtown Miami, taken with Olympus XA camera on Tri-X film at box speed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

28:22

Yesterday I run in Downtown Miami in a company of 25000+ people. My time is 28:22, which is about the same as the last year (27:40) when the photograph was taken and at least 5 minutes better compared to 2004, first time I run the race. .