Roll 13

I may not be the best street photographer ever.


Earlier in the year I was back on the mainland to attend my cousin’s wedding and I had some time to make a quick trip into New York City so I took my camera along.

This roll was shot on Kodak Ektar 100

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Frame 1

This image must fall under the category “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” I honestly cannot figure out now what it was that I thought was interesting when I took this picture. How real life looks and how a photo looks are not the same thing. When you come down to it, one will always look better than the other. Here I’m guessing that real life looked better.

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Frame 2

The sidewalk through a temporary flowery field was an interesting and unexpected scene, but the depth of field is not properly focused on the fore and middle ground. I love Ektar 100, but there are limitations to using an iso 100 film. I think in the future I may use more 400 speed film as a standard “go to” except on the brightest of days.

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Frame 3

I love the man in the door on the far left of this image, he’s a bit mysterious. If I were taking this image again I would be sure to include just a little more of the door frame to his left. I am also realizing that I am a sucker for interesting window displays.

I am starting to think that when shooting these street scenes it would be better to make sure I am either directly squared to the buildings on the opposite side fo the street or to be obviously not squared off. These images where the image is only “just” off are starting to bug me.

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Frame 4

I seem to still think I can hold a camera steady at a slow shutter speed against my better judgment and experience. I may also have gotten too used to being alone for miles while out shooting my photos, since the average pedestrian here was able to sneak up on me.

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Frame 5

Much better. I am still trying to keep to my rule about “not shooting the same image twice,” but with such rules there are exceptions. In this case I am glad I reconsidered and took the second picture.

I like the composition in this image, it feels better in landscape than portrait. the small curved pipes on either side of the statue have a sort of rather that I like. New York is a city of interesting small scenes, I’m sure that’s why it’s such a popular place for street photographers.

There is something about a “cigar store indian” being tied to a wall…

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Frame 6

I don’t super dislike this one, but I don’t love it either. This scene was much more appealing in person than in an actual photograph. Such is life, though hopefully we can learn from our mistakes. Perhaps I need to think more in a “pre-visualized” way, basically to think about the end product of the photograph while looking at the subject before pressing the shutter release.

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Frame 7

I should have been closer. To be fair, with the size of the negative I get from this camera I can easily crop the image to make the buskers more clearly the focus, and normally that is probably what I would do. But part of my desire with this project is to get better at using a camera through all steps in the process, which begins by properly framing a composition.

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Frame 8

This picture was taken almost five minutes later and everyone is in just about the same position. I don’t really have anything to say about it that I didn’t say already for the last image.

As usual I love the color that Ektar 1oo gives. I really enjoyed walking around NYC and I hope to get the chance again. I’m not sure about my prospects as a street photographer, I’m always uncomfortable taking pictures if strangers. perhaps I will get better with practice or find a style that suits me better.


Roll 12

Ocean to farmland.

All though I have not always been the biggest fan of how black and white images of Hawai’i look, I decided to use a roll of black and white film here for a couple of reasons. The first was the time of day, since I got to the beach just after noon when the sun was very harsh and I have found black and white to be more forgiving in that kind of condition before. The second reason was that with the white coral rocks and black lava rocks that make up this shoreline. I thought that black and white would be a good way to capture the images.

This roll was shot on Arista 400 black and white film.

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Frame 1

I love the way the water looks in the tide pools here, the rippled pattern is a nice contrast to the harsh and jagged rocks.

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Frame 2

I need to stop trying to hold the camera when shooting at less than 1/60th. I am not sure how I managed to get camera shake into an image on a bright sunny day in the tropics while using iso400 film, but here we are. Hopefully this will be a lesson learned.

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Frame 3

I really love how the black rocks came out in this image, the gradation of tones is very appealing. I think these are the first people in any of my photos in this project. I like how small they look, Big Island has a lot of empty space, and seeing such small people helps give some sense of scale.

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This is the Akaka Iki waterfall on the Kole Kole stream. I am glad that the foreground grass was included in sharp detail along with the waterfall and valley in the background. Images like this do not do as well when viewed small, but for now I will have to leave it as is.

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I took this picture of taro leaves because I liked the pattern they make, but I should have tried to get a little more of the frame full of the plants. The grass on the side and bottom are not as interesting.

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These unfinished greenhouses have intrigued me for months. They are in a field just north of where I work and I see them almost every day. I think they could make an interesting subject matter, with the geometric patterns they provide, but like many of my subjects, they need to fill the frame more. I keep forgetting just how much the wide-angle of this camera affects the final images.

This post short by two images this time, and I am not sure why. The only issues I have had like this come from the non-Kodak black and white films I have tried so far. They happen in exactly the same way, with the first two or three images not appearing.

Arista has been a favorite film of mine in the past. I have used it often in my 35mm cameras and I love the gradation of tone it can achieve, especially in bright sunlight. But like the Fomapan it may just not be deigned for the camera I am using. I remind myself that this is still the early phase of this project and that these rolls of film are all somewhat experimental. I am learning a lot just now, and as is often the case, I learn more from failure than success.


Roll 11

My issues with Fomapan continue…

This roll was supposed to contain 3 more images made on Pu’u Wa’awa’a, but the first three did not take. This has been a problem with the Fomapan films, and I doubt that I will buy more for that reason, but the image quality has been reasonably good when it does work.

The last four images of this roll were taken one morning before work when I took a short walk down the road into a more dense rainforest area.

This roll was shot with Fomapan 100 black and white film.

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Frame 1

This was the last image I took on my hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a, though there should have been three more images preceding it. For what ever reason the first three images I took on this roll did not show up at all, making this my shortest roll yet. I am a little sad since Pu’u Wa’awa’a is such a beautiful and dramatic place, but it gives me all the more reason to go back and photograph again.

I like this image well enough, though I feel that some of the ground  comes off a little flat. I might be able to fix that with more time editing, but I am trying to keep my post work and retouching to a minimum level. I do really like how the wooden features come out in the black and white, old wood texture is always a good go-to.

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Taken a little later, the next four images were taken just outside of Honomu town on the wet side of the Big Island. What I like most about this image are the details of the vines growing up the tree and falling down off its branches. The curve of the branch in the middle of the image is also very attractive, it gives some sense of motion to the whole thing.

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I think this picture has several good focus points for the eye to rest on or follow. The white line on the left edge of the image is a good one, I like how it moves toward the edge then sweeps back into the image. The street sign in just about the center is a good focal point, and in a larger printing could be easily read. Another element I like are the vines, especially on the right side, giving the upper half of the image a real vertical sense, while the bottom half is so flat.

I am surprised by how much I am enjoying these images in black and white, especially since I have been almost totally in favor of color images for Hawai’i so far. I suspect that it may be because I see areas like this every day, and viewing it in black and white is a surprising shift in perspective. Then again, I have always liked a good forest scene in black and white.

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This day was actually pretty sunny, but under the cover of the trees it easily got dark enough for me to need much slower exposure times. I was lucky that I could brace the camera on the edge of the bridge for this and the next picture.

I think that perhaps by removing color from the equation helps these images because it removes some level of distraction. all the patterns of the leaves might just turn into uninteresting noise if they were in color as well.

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I like this frame a little better than the previous image, I think because the flow of the stream is not quite coming directly at the viewer. I also like how the fallen trees move with the direction of the water and help frame it.

I like that this roll has shown me that there is really a place for black and white photography here on the Big Island. I may in the future try more monochrome images in the jungle on the wet side where I live. If these few images are any indication, then in the jungle is a good place to start. Though I may switch to Kodak.