Cheap can be interesting

Jun 6, 2012

While cheap and technically good don’t usually mix in photography, sometimes a cheap lens or film stock can surprise us. I ran out of film on my last trip to Poland a few years ago and ended up buying a local brand called Fomapan for $3 dollars per roll. Fomapan is made by the old Fotochema (now FOMA Bohemia Ltd.), a company out of the Czech republic. While they are not new and have a long tradition of making film, they are relatively unknown in North America.

I did not have any development instructions for this film and I ended up processing it myself in good old Rodinal (a very bad choice for most modern films). The grain is huge but I find the tonality quite interesting.





It’s so simple

Mar 18, 2012

Simple as can be. Nature and a hand made large format camera.

It’s safe to say that I’m a product of the digital age. While I was not born in a country where computers were available to me from early childhood, I can still remember using photoshop 2.0 (no layers) and early 3D software (infini-D, Strata Studio “pro”) on a 25mhz Macintosh shortly after we moved to Canada. I treat digital tools just like my parents generation treats pen and paper. Despite all that it’s very easy to forget how simple the things digital technology aims to demistify really are. Photography at it’s core is a natural phenomenon, a simple opening in a box that lets in light from the world and focuses it on whatever surface is in it’s way.

In spite of digital technology’s influence on photography, the basic principles remain the same since the first rival processes for “fixing the shadows” were discovered by Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre. While digital technology brought unprecedented control over exposure and the final image, it has clouded the simple roots photography stems from.

The images below were shot with my wooden Ebony 4×5 camera. Handcrafted in Japan, it uses no batteries, no presets, has no flower and mountain icons and it has never heard of auto focus. It’s only a shutter, a lens opening and a light sensitive sheet of film that brings everything together. When compared to a modern point and shoot, it really is so simple.




Random Portraits

Mar 13, 2012

While my primary interest is not portraits, I enjoy taking them whenever I get the chance. Here are a few I found while consolidating my image libraries today. The black and white were shot on film and the colour ones are digital.