View Full Version : Portraits of Marines in Afghanistan

08-23-2013, 08:36 AM




I shot a bunch of portraits of the Marines in Afghanistan today with my large format camera. I don't have a scanner here so I put the photo back into the film holder to keep it flat'ish, and photographed it with my digital camera. Pretty much the only want I can share them for now. They LOVED them too.

Shot with a Sinar F2 large format camera
Nikon 210mm f5.6 lens @ f11
1 Second exposures
Ilford direct positive paper
Developed on site

They have a gold metallic look to them. I've never had Ilford's direct positive paper do this, but they look wonderful. Feel free to CC. These photos were shot in broad daylight, and unfiltered. So they tend to be kind of harsh. But for being in the middle of nowhere, I think they turned out pretty ok.

08-23-2013, 09:18 AM
Well done!

I love number 3.

08-23-2013, 09:43 AM
Amazing that you have a Sinar out there.
I tip my hat to you my friend and thanks for your service!
I'm sure these help in the morale dept.

08-23-2013, 02:31 PM
Awesome! I love that you're doing this and the results are great.

08-23-2013, 02:33 PM
beautiful portraits, and i really like the presentation !

Mustafa Umut Sarac
08-23-2013, 05:55 PM
I prefer to see portraits of local afghan people , Its possible to see trillions of american public images but few for afghan people , It did not make sense at me. And you can take these pictures with point and shoot.

08-23-2013, 10:49 PM
Thanks all,


I found that you can fit a F2 in a backpack if you disassemble and carefully pack it up. The tripod it the really heavy part. I brought a Nikon 210mm, Kodak 203mm, and a Rodenstock 90mm lens for it too. I do wish I brought more DPP with me though.

I also brought one of my Speed Graphics, (3) 35mm SLRs, and (2) dSLRs.


First off: I'll photograph anyone I have access to, and who will agree to a photo. I do not interact with the locals much here, and will not really get a chance due to reasons that will not be discussed here.

Secondly: Yes, there are countless photos of Americans. Now show me where that makes these invalid.

Thirdly: I could have also shot these with a digital camera too, like most of the other photos here. What's your point?

Lastly: I challenge you to shot a portrait and have a 4x5 analog print in under 20 minuets with a point and shoot. Remember I do not have a darkroom here. Part of the reason for doing these photos was to build a rapport with the Marines. I want to shoot film photos with them, and this gets them excited for have photos shot of them that will take some time for them to see how they turned out. It helps to build trust with the people I want to photograph, and to me makes for more natural photos.

08-23-2013, 11:40 PM
These are great. Thanks for sharing. For me, the harshness is a plus. It's a harsh environment, and you've conveyed that very well.

08-23-2013, 11:44 PM

Thank you. I do wish I could get the photos to be a bit softer to show more detail. But I am not unhappy with these.

Once I get home I will post the full set of these too, properly scanned.

Ken Nadvornick
08-24-2013, 12:16 AM
I particularly like picture #2. That's a beautiful smile. There's also a bit more shadow detail in that one.


David Grenet
08-24-2013, 12:37 AM
Very nice! I wonder what's causing the metallic effect - do you think it could be the heat? (I notice that over at LFF you said that it was developed at 100F)

08-24-2013, 12:38 AM
David: Could be. It could be some other things too. But that's where I'm going to start looking.