Film Photography

Same scene, different cameras and films

Sometimes I shoot the same things more than once with different cameras and films because I know the composition works. Recently I shot a scene with my Argus Argoflex Forty on Kodak Ektar 100, a few days after I shot it with my Olympus OM-1 and 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens on Kodak ColorPlus. Here are the two photos.

On the Circle
Copper roof redux

It’s remarkable to me how different these two photographs look even though they’re of the same thing.

First I see how the Argoflex Forty’s 75mm lens (for 620 film) is longer than the 50mm lens (for 35mm film) on the OM-1, which creates the effect of the copper-roofed Columbia Club building appearing to be different distances away.

The 1×1 and 3×2 aspect ratios also give different impressions of the scene.

The day I went out with the Argoflex Forty the sun was fully out, while the sun was behind a cloud at the moment I made the photo with the OM-1. This certainly influenced the way these lenses and films rendered the scene’s colors.

But those lenses and films have their own characteristics regardless of the light. I find ColorPlus to yield far warmer earth tones than Ektar under any circumstances.

I have no conclusions to draw. I just find this interesting.

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.

Standard
Film Photography

Shooting Ilford HP5 Plus

aw_logo

This post is brought to you by Analogue Wonderland, who offer dozens of fun films for you to try. Click the logo to see!

Why did I wait so long to start shooting Ilford?

Market Street towards the Statehouse

I actually know why: so many fine childhood photographic memories that involve little yellow boxes. It leads me to reach for Kodak first. But I’ve been missing out.

The Lacy Building

Ilford HP5 Plus is a fast (ISO 400) black-and-white film with a traditional grain structure. As you can see, it delivers plenty of lovely grays evenly at every level between white and black. No “chalk and soot” here, no sir.

Lime scooters

The only thing I did with any of these photos in Photoshop was boost contrast and exposure a little to suit my tastes. But truly, I could have used these images without any post-processing. I almost never get that outcome with film. Oh Ilford, I’m sorry I waited so long!

The table is set

I shot this roll in my Nikon N90s with my 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor lens attached. I have to think this camera’s advanced (for its time) matrix metering helped get even exposures on this blindingly bright day.

Artsgarden

These scenes are all from Downtown Indianapolis, where I work now. It’s lovely to take a camera on a lunchtime photowalk. The sun directly overhead typically provides the harshest light; conventional wisdom is to go earlier or later. But noon’s when I can get out, and Ilford HP5 Plus is just the film for it.

Bus terminal

There’s so much to photograph Downtown now! I last worked Downtown in 1996, and revitalization had only just begun. I wish I had made lunchtime photowalks then for then-and-now comparisons!

Nicky Blaine's

If you’d like to try Ilford HP5 Plus for yourself, you can order it from Analogue Wonderland here. They provided me this roll of film in exchange for this mention.

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.

Standard
History, Preservation

Zooming in on the Lacy Building

My second-favorite facade on Indy’s Monument Circle is the Lacy Building. (My favorite is the art-deco Circle Tower.)

Lacy Building

Even though it says LACY prominently over the arch, a lot of sources call this the Test Building. It was named for, and built by the heirs of, Charles Edward Test, who had led the National Motor Vehicle Company. Historic photos of this building show a TEST plaque up there. I wonder when the building changed its name.

Lacy Building

Completed in 1927, the Lacy, nee Test, building featured one of the city’s first parking garages, right inside the building. The entrance was (is?) on the north side next to the alley. Two hundred cars could be parked here, on six of the building’s upper stories. I’ve read that some parking is still available inside, I presume for the building’s tenants.

Lacy Building door

Placing a parking garage on the Circle was controversial in the 1920s. To pave the way, the builders designed a detailed, conservative neoclassical revival exterior

Top of the Lacy Building arch

Of course it’s faced in limestone, a material quarried abundantly in our state.

Lacy Building detail
Standard
Circle Tower arch

Circle Tower arch
Canon PowerShot S95
2015

Photography, Preservation
Image

Circle Tower

Circle Tower
Canon PowerShot S95
2015

Photography
Image
Photography

Peoplewatching

Margaret and I went Downtown recently with our cameras just to walk, talk, and photograph whatever was interesting. We spent most of our time on Monument Circle, the heart of our city. We both photographed plenty of Downtown’s architecture, but I also photographed people on the busy Circle. I shot my tiny Canon PowerShot S95.

What a concept: a pedal-powered beer bar. Some of my co-workers did this once and said it was a blast. The animated red-shirted woman was a perfect balance of friendly and fun but in charge.

Downtown on the Circle

I don’t drink beer anymore — I’m sensitive to gluten and beer just ties my guts up in a knot. It’s a shame, because this looks like fun.

Downtown on the Circle

I shot this one from the hip. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried that. Naturally, the original is at a wonky angle. Photoshop let me straighten and crop this in just a minute.

Downtown on the Circle

Lots of people came all the way Downtown just to keep their heads in their phones. Margaret interrupted the plaid-shirted fellow to ask if he’d take our photo together. He leapt right into action, mentioning he was a videographer. He handled Margaret’s DSLR like he was born holding one.

On the Circle

I still have a lot of anxiety over being detected when I photograph strangers on the street. It sure looks like the person on the right noticed what I was up to. Cringe!

On the Circle

For all of these shots, I stood way back and zoomed to the max. The S95 doesn’t zoom super deep — just 3.8x, equivalent to a 105mm lens on a 35mm camera. But given the camera’s 10-megapixel resolution, I can crop deeply to my subject and still have a usably large image.

Could my S95 ultimately be a crutch? I hear of other street photographers shooting film rangefinder cameras with fixed lenses of around 50mm. Wow, how close they have to come! I admire their boldness.

Standard