Roll 12

Ocean to farmland.

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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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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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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.

-Allen

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.

-Allen

Roll 9

Out on another hike.

I went out early one morning to the Pu’u Wa’awa’a forest reserve, with a quick stop in Waimea along the way. Pu’u Wa’awa’a is a nice 8 mile round trip hike up to the top of an old cinder cone in the north/middle of the island.

I have added a UV filter to my camera at this point, which I think has helped cut through some of the vog in the landscape images. The images on this roll don’t have quite as much distance shown, but later rolls will defiantly take advantage of the hopefully increased clarity.

This roll was shot on Fomapan Action 400.

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Frame 1

This old farm building in Waimea is interesting, but the placement of it in the frame could have been better. I feel that it is a little muddled and obscured by the trees in a way that makes it less clear what the subject matter of the image was supposed to be. I would like to try this image again sometime, but I’ll have to wait for the light to be just right, probably dawn.

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Frame 2

Telephone poles and lines are a tough element for me. Most of the time I find them to be distracting and often ruin an otherwise decent image. On occasion they can be a benefit to an image,  but they are such a strong graphic element that you have to be careful when you include them. I don’t hate them in this image, but beyond that I’m not sure. I think I would need to see this image printed large to really make up my mind. I’m not totally sure I like where the horizon line in the image is either.

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The contrast levels of this image might need some adjustment.

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I wonder how big I would have to print this image to easily make out the three goats standing in the road in the distance.

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I think I need to remember to get closer to small elements if I want them to be interesting in the composition. Being in color would have helped the dented trash can pop some as well, but I’ve noticed I have a tendency to assume that smaller objects will be easier to see in these images than they really are.

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Not a bad view with a few (wild?) sheep grazing. You can get some really good clouds up here, someday I’ll try going back on a clear day closer to sunset.

Looking at this roll I think I need to concentrate on my subject matter more closely. If I want a smaller object to be the focus of an image I need to make it larger in the frame. But if the landscape itself is the subject than I will have to be more careful in my compositions. This roll feels betwixt and between.

-Allen

Roll 8

Sunset on a tripod.

This was the last roll of film I shot up on Mauna Kea that day, and it was just as the sun was setting. Because of the light situation I decided to use my tripod to stabilize the camera. These images were all shot with as high of an f stop as possible, 22 or 32 mostly. Even though it seemed quite bright to my eyes I had to use much lower shutter speeds, and the tripod became necessary.

This roll was shot on Fomapan Classic 100.

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I feel the overall composition of the images was good, I like how both the hill in the mid-ground and Mauna Loa in the background both are rising out of the clouds.

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I think I nudged the camera on this exposure, the details are slightly blurry through the whole image.

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With the sun setting to the right of the frame this was as close as I could get to shooting it with out blowing the sky totally out.

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Not too much more to say about this image.

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Now this shot got the dramatic lighting I was looking for. The foreground may be a little dark, but the clouds really pop here.

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By the end of this roll I was getting cold, even though it was still bright out the wind was really getting to me now. With this last image taken I packed up quick to get back down the trail before it was too dark to see.

As I have stated before, this was really a job for color film. My recent film purchases have been color, and I am looking forward to using them in the near future.

This film stock is too short for proper use in this camera, with only 6 images per roll when I should get 8. If I want to do black & white in the future I’ll have to buy T-Max or Tri-X. I still have one roll of Fomapan left, I’ll save it for my Holga.

-Allen

Roll 5

Always take the lens cap off…

 

My hike around Pu’u Huluhulu continued and was followed up with a trip to the visitor center area on near by Mauna Kea. With the clouds intermittently covering the valley floor I was worried that there would be no visibility up higher. Fortunately I was able to get just high enough to be above the clouds for the most part.

I encountered a problem while shooting this roll that I never had before when using an SLR, I left the lens cap on when I shot the first picture. With the Fujica GSW690ii once the shutter release has been pressed you have to advance the film before you can press the shutter release again. Because of this I may have lost the first picture of the roll.

This roll was taken on Fomapan Action 400 film.

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The smooth paved road traveling through the rougher lava rock seemed like an interesting idea at the time. Looking at it now however, this picture doesn’t come together into anything really compelling.

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I came across this small shrine as I was hiking. It was down a side trail that I had not gone down before. I made sure not to disturb anything, and I didn’t stay long. I took one picture and offered a few coins into the small jar that had a few coins already in it. I like the subject of this image, but if anything this image comes into the classic, “if the picture isn’t interesting enough you are not close enough.”

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This is the first photo from up on Mauna Kea proper, up above 9,000 feet (2750 meters) and above the clouds that got in my earlier photos. The sun is bright and harsh up there, and the air is thinner. Some of these images, like this one, feel almost like pictures taken by a NASA rover on Mars.

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I tried to wait for some clouds to come in here to make a more interesting background. Taking images on a slope like this always makes me think that I held the camera at an angle, but I’m pretty sure that this is actually level.

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These photo’s have almost a Day for Night kind of feel to them. I think this image has a decent relationship between the foreground and background. It would have been nice if the trail on the far hill came a little closer toward the viewer.

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The clouds moved in and out the whole time I was up there. Clouds are surprisingly cold when they pass over you. I like this picture overall, though I would like to see it larger. There seems to be a good deal of detail here that would be interesting to see up close. The shadows on the hills are good and the clouds moving over the larger hill make an attractive element.

This was the first time I’ve used Fomapan film, and it will probably be the last time I buy it for this project. The Foma film is a good price, but it seems that there is slightly less film on the roll. Either that or when it’s loaded into my camera it doesn’t line up quite right and gets cut off before all 8 frames can fit. Whatever the case, I only got 6 frames on this roll. Even considering that I may have lost a frame when I left the lens cap on for the first picture I took that is still one image short. An upcoming roll that was also shot on Fomapan film also came out to only 6 images.

The more I look at these landscapes in black and white, the more I think that I should be using color.

-Allen