Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

August 30, 2016

Memory Pods – Film alternative

 

08-05-16 Memory Pods Porta160 neg2

Empty (Memory Pods project)  2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

The photograph in this post is the results from my previous two posts; Hasselblad Ready for its Closeup and, part 2. Essentially I want to see if my Memory Pod subjects look like when captured on color negative film, in this case the Kodak Portra 160.

For the first step of comparing  8-1/2 x 11″ prints,  there are some subtle differences compared to the high resolution of the full frame Canon 5DMkIII and a lot of differences with the Samsung 5S digital images. The new film series is not meant to be comparable to the Samsung 5S with the SnapSeed post processing images. I think that I still need to tweak the dark values of this image a little and then make a 16×20″ for a print comparison.

Interesting that for the native RAW Canon 5DMkIII file of 22.3 mp, a 16×20″ print max’s out at 200 dpi with the file without having to up-resolution the file, while a 4,000 dpi scan of the 6x6cm color negative (Nikon film scanner) provides a file that can provide a 29×29″ print at 300 dpi. I need to double check how large the size print is if I use 260 dpi for print setting  for the film file (note: this turns out to be 33×33″ print). Thus to print both the Canon5DMkIII and the film scan at 30×30″, even with up-res of the digital file, I would expect to see some differences in the image quality.

The second part of the equation is the 24-105 L f/4 lens, which has macro focusing capability, on the Canon 5DMkIII versus the 150 mm f/4 Sonar lens with the two extension tubes for the Hasselblad. It would seem that these are pretty close to equivalent relative to full frame digital vs medium format film focal length (about 2x normal) & aperture. So far, inclusive, but the film image seems to have more depth of field than the digital image, which does not make sense to me.

I see that I need to create some more color negatives to be sure ;- )

cheers!

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August 29, 2016

Bruce Barnbaum -The Art of Photography

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:49 am

Bruce_Barnbaum-The_Art_of_Photography_cover

Copyright 1994 (6th printing, 2013) Bruce Barnbaum

Bruce Barnbaum’s The Art of Photography, An approach to Personal Expression, which was first published in 1994, is a photographic book that comes up frequently as a resource for photographers who make submissions to LensCulture. Thus as a submission reviewer for LensCulture and if I was going to suggest to photographers that this could be a great reference book for them, I should darn know what Barnbaum has written and understand why this book could be pertinent to them.

I first met Barnbaum many, many years ago when he and John Sexton were developing their zone system/creativity workshops, which at the time both were heavily influenced by the west coast school of photographic modernist. John Sexton went on to be one of the last photographic assistants for Ansel Adams. So no surprise that Barnbaum’s book has a heavy emphasis on black and white techniques; Zone system for film (roll and sheet), film development, filters, black and white papers and darkroom printing (yes, the wet darkroom, not Photoshop), bellows and reciprocity factors (assuming you were using at least a 4×5” view camera), film density, etc and all the necessities for black and white analog photography. So no surprise, this is a solid technical reference book for those using a black and white analog medium (a photographic space I worked in for 15 years).

So the real question for me is Barnbaum’s book relevant to a photographer who is working on contemporary concepts and projects? For me the answer is yes and no and really depends on the individual and their openness (guess you could call this a guarded “yes”). There are chapters which discuss “What are the Elements Composition”, Photographic Realism, Abstraction and Art, Thoughts on Creativity, Toward a Personal Philosophy and Artist Integrity, but again, from the viewpoint of a modernist, not contemporary photographer. This is also a chapter on how to use the zone system for digital photography, both color and black and white, which is relevant to individuals who have digital exposure and digital printing issues.

Nevertheless if you read Barnbaum’s concepts (and get beyond his modernist examples) to understand the basic questions that are being asked, these could be applicable to any artist; What is your emotional response to what you are thinking about photographing; What is your personal point of view; Subject matter ultimately becomes secondary to the artist seeing, vison (read: concept) and philosophy of life. With an advanced degree in mathematics from UCLA and an on-going interest in physics, don’t be put off by when suddenly he introduces quantum mechanics theory to discuss a point about creativity.

In the final chapter, Barnbaum states that a photographer/artist shouldn’t try to analyze something to death before going and actually doing it (whether the zone system for film or Photoshop for digital); “be willing to experiment with new tools, new subject matter, new ways of seeing and composing, new ways to interpret the scene”. Makes sense to me.

Publisher: rockynook (Santa Barbara, CA)   http://www.rockynook.com

The book has stiff-cover, glued/perfect bound binding, four-color lithography, Index, and printed in Korea

Cheers

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August 24, 2016

Hasselblad Ready for its close-up: part 2

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:33 am

Pentax_Spotmeter_V

Pentax Spotmeter V, copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

In my earlier post about determining the exposure index (EI) for the two 21mm extension tubes on my 150mm Sonnar Hasselblad lens, I was pinged with some questions about the +1 exposure compensation conclusion. I am realizing that with the advent of digital photography which really gained traction in the early to mid 2000’s, there is an entire generation of digital photographers who are not familiar with film and manual light meters, which should not be much of a surprise, but sometimes the extent and breath of the non-analog experience is interesting.

In the zone system exposure parlance you start with your basic EI, in this case the ASA of the film is the basic or neutral starting point. My Fiju Reala 100 color film has a ASA of 100, which I dial into my Pentax Spotmatic V, a manual 1 degree light meter. I acquired this current meter many moons ago with my earlier Minolta 1 degree spot has a “traumatic” moment (yep, while hiking I dropped in on the rocks, pretty traumatic for both me and the only light meter I had with me).

To complete my exposure compensation test, I varied the f/stop by a half stop stop per exposure. A plus one (+1) stop essential doubles the amount of available light during the film exposure over the neutral setting As example, I had set neural at 1/30 at f/4, thus the +1 was 1/15 at f/4 to double the amount of light during the exposure. I extended the test exposures to a +2-1/2 stops, which began to really over expose the film. The gray card I was photographing and film density was visually best to me with only the +1 stop. Now I could meter the scene with my light meter at set for the film ASA (e.g. 100) then take that meter reading and open one stop or alternatively I could set my meter ASA to 50 (half of the 100) and use the resulting setting.

The later option of altering the film ASA takes a bit less thinking ;- )

Btw, the nice thing about this 1 degree spot meter is that it has a number of settings; f stop for the lens aperture, T (time) for the exposure duration, ASA for the film speed and then something called the Linear Scale, which so happens is also a setting available with the older Hasselblad lens like my 150mm Sonar. Inside the meter, the linear scale is the value shown during the metering function. Once the Linear scale value is selected on the lens, the appropriate f stop and shutter speed T are coupled on the lens and when you change either the f/stop or the exposure duration, the other automatically changes due to the coupling function.

cheers!

Pentax_Spotmeter_V_exposure_dial

August 20, 2016

Hasselblad ready for its closeup

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:34 pm

08-05-16_Hasselblad_150_Sonnar_2x_21mm_tubes

Hasselblad 500 C/M copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

The next phase of my Memory Pods photographic project is a switch-up to color film in conjunction with my Hasselblad. To obtain the close up framing I needed I added two 21mm extension tubes to my 150 mm f/4 Sonar lens. I had read about the exposure compensation required for a 21 mm extension tube with this lens and had guessed that since I had two of these, it would be a 2x exposure factor (my calculations indicated a +1 stop was needed).

As an engineer, I am prone to testing, thus figured the best thing to do is in conjunction with my gray card, complete an exposure compensation test to verify the anticipated compensation required for the two 21mm tubes. This is similar to the process I used when first learning the black & white zone system to determine my EI (exposure Index) for my Tri-X roll film in conjunction with my HC-110 film developer. In this case with the Kodak color film (EI 160), the exposure compensation determination is in conjunction with my pro-finishing lab in Irvine. Also a process needed when you buy the less expensive camera prism without the thru the lens light meter. (Hey, my 1 degree spot meter has not let me down yet!)

Then a slight hiccup in my giddy-up; after assembling the two extension tubes to the 150 mm lens and mounting the assembly on the camera, the shutter did not function. At all. After a hour (or more) of tweaking the camera, lens and extension tubes, I finally found my problem: one of the extension tubes was not cocked and primed. I had purchased both of the extension tubes used, but I had only previously used one of these tubes. If you are not familiar with Hasselblad camera gear, you have to cock the lens shutter to remove the lens from the camera body. So in my case, one of the 21mm extension tubes was out of sync with the rest of the lens assembly and maybe why this used extension tube was so in-expensive; it did not function properly and was probably assumed to be broken.

Thus I used a little trick with a very small screw-driver to carefully cock the 21mm extension tube and get the entire lens assembly back in sync. Presto! I was now back in business to finish my exposure testing and then high-tail the film off to the film lab.

And so now the processed film results are back and yes (drum roll, please) I am able to confirm a +1 exposure compensation is needed for this lens set up. So I will now be working on this project during the Fall with color film. I am so excited ;- )

Cheers!

FYI, one of my photographs from the Memory Pods project will be in the Irvine Fine Arts Center “All Media 2016” exhibition, with the opening September 3rd, 4-6pm.

August 1, 2016

LACP Exposure 2016 portfolio reviews

Filed under: Art Market, Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:04 pm

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Los Angeles Center of Photography “Exposure 2016” 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

As I had announced last month, I was honored to be a portfolio reviewer at the LACP “Exposure 2016” event this last weekend, which was hosted by two all-stars: Julia Dean and Sarah Hadley. I was very fortunate to join a wonderful group of photographic, gallery and publishing professionals providing these reviews.

I was very impressed in the preparation and professionalism of the photographers who participated, as well as the quality, consistency and conceptual content of their photographic portfolios. I was only able to review portfolios on Sunday and had great discussions and hopefully informative interactions with Gerhard Clausing (above), Tami Bahat, Matt Shallenberger, Thomas Hobbs, Christopher Sheils (who may get the award for traveling the furthest for this event from Australia), and Linad I’Anson.

I also thought it might be fun that each photographer choose their signature print for a portfolio review portrait (also posted on my Instagram @douglasstockdale), with Christopher Sheils choosing a pose that emulated the subject in his photograph.I did review one book dummy presented by Thomas Hobbs, which I thought was pretty cool, but probably destined to be self published due to the nature of his creative design. He is shown below with the inside spread of the book covers.

In between reviews, I also had a chance to share my Memory Pods portfolio with Aline Smithson (Editor/Founder Lenscratch) and Julia Dean, receiving some great feedback and ideas on how to advance this project.

One outcome of this event is that I am now a member of the Los Angeles Center of Photography!

Photographs inside with my Samsung S5, so pardon the slight blurs (yeah, the Canon 5DMkIII was in the car, but too lazy to run and grab it)

07-31-16_Tami_Bahat_LACP_Exposure_2016

07-31-16_Matt_Shallenberger_LACP_Exposure_2016

07-31-16_Linda_IAnson_LACP_Exposure_2016

07-31-16_Thomas_Hobbs_LACP_Exposure_2016

07-31-16_Christopher_Sheils_LACP_Exposure_2016

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