Photo Friday

I think I’m like most people in that I love taking photos, but I’m not so keen on keeping them all neatly arranged.  I’m finally finding myself with a bit more time so I’ve been slowly going through old photos trying to get them arranged, tagged, and sorted.  Of course I’m doing it a completely disorganized fashion, but at least I’m putting some effort into it.

The above shot was taken on my voigtlander Bessa R, with the 15mm heliar I believe.  Used Kodak E100 slide film and had it cross processed.  It’s taken out the back door of a canal boat on a family trip taken almost 3 years ago.

Photo of the Week

I’m really glad I started photo Friday, while I sometimes struggle to find interesting posts on other days of the week, I always have a great idea for which photo to use each Friday.  I should really start putting pics aside when I edit them as I often forget the one I wanted to use (which has the great consequence of me usually finding others equally as good or even better)…


This week’s photo is from our recent trip to London.  Taken on Totenham Court Road, this was the front window of a camera store I’ve seen many times and even bought film in several year’s ago.  I liked the colourful storefront and grabbed this quick pic with my Agfa Optima, using expired Kodak E100.  While the film expired a few years ago, it’s been kept frozen and hasn’t let me down yet, unfortunately my stash is almost out and I can’t afford the fresh stuff.

Xpan – revisited

It’s been several weeks and many more rolls of film since I bought my Xpan camera, and the question is of course … does the love affair still live on? In short – Yes.  What’s not to love about this great camera?

I’ve finally started to see “in panoramic”.  I find if you close one eye, what you see is pretty much what the camera sees.  I love the wide angle view and have begun to experiment with slightly less traditional panoramic pictures (ie. not like above!).

The quality of this camera is incredible, built like a tank and the images are simply amazing.  I have yet to print any photos, but I plan on doing some experimenting in the next little while to see just how big I can blow up these images.

After three day hikes, I finally found a strap for the camera as holding it in my hands was not only tiring, but dangerous as it left me nothing to grab onto things with.  It really seems to be in it’s element in the great outdoors.

So far I’ve been mainly shooting Kodak E100G. I won 16 rolls of it on Ebay and it cost me less than $2/roll so it’s cheap and plentiful.  Soon I’ll break down and get some Velvia to see what this thing can really do! I’ve only done one roll of black and white so far, still trying to determine what the best filter set would be for this camera.

I hope to begin trying more shots with people in the next little while as I”ve seen some interesting pics done this way.  I’d also like to find a 90mm lens for the camera as it would really add to this cameras possibilities.

Have a look at the Flickr Xpan Group for some amazing images from this camera!

Xpro – Cross Processing Slide Film (E6)

After you’ve seen a few Xpro photos online, you know you just have to take a shot at it.  I was really excited to try it out…. until I saw the price of slide film!!!  Jiminy Jillickers, slide film is not cheap.  I had heard that you could get cheap stuff at dollar stores for, well, a dollar, but no dollar store in my neck of the woods even stocks film, so I ponied up $12 for some Kodak E100 and I was off to the races (figuratively of course).

Before I go on, you may be asking what xpro is? Basically you take slide (E6) film and process it in negative film (C-41) chemicals.  The results vary depending on the brand of film you chose, however in general you get super saturated colours (sky and grass) while skin tones are often pale.  It is not a natural look, but it is pretty cool in my opinion.

There are many different schools of thought on how to expose the film, I’ve read some places you should over-expose, others say you should under-expose.  I read somewhere (I think it was on flickr) where someone said you need lots of light for the best effect, so if it’s dark, over-expose to make sure you get the right effect.  Now that I think of it, this may not make that much sense, but the first roll I took I set the ISO as stated and just let the light meter decide.

I’m quite pleased with the results, however one thing I didn’t realize was that scanners actually have a fair bit of trouble scanning xpro film.  They constantly try to correct for the crazy colours.  No matter what I tried, I could not get the same colour as the lab did on my prints.

Here I tried scanning as negative film:




Here I tried scanning as slide and then inversed in PS3:




And finally after giving up, I scanned the prints:

So as you can see, it’s hard to get the same affect, and while I tried all sorts of different alterations in photoshop, the best and fastest way to get the same colours as my prints was to scan the prints (kind of obvious really…).  This does take away from the fun of this as I wasted far more time trying to scan it than I ever did taking the pictures!!!  Anyways, now that I know, I’ll scan the prints, if I really wanted high quality scans, I’d get the lab to do it anyways.

Since I took this roll, I found 16 rolls of Kodak E100 for $30 on ebay (very slightly expired), so this has definitely brought down the price of xpro for me.  All photos were taken with a Voigtlander Bessa R using either a 35mm or 15mm lens.  See all my xpro shots here. Flickr Xpro group.