View Full Version : A/NZ PX Round #3 - Comments and Feedback

Pages : 1 2 3 [4]

Michael W
04-16-2011, 07:48 AM
Got mine a few days ago, many thanks to Oxleyroad for the organising & also to all the participants. I wrote this about the last exchange but feel like like saying again that it's a really good thing to participate in. I teach beginner darkroom classes in Sydney & I've been encouraging the students to get involved in this. As I tell them, it's way to to advance your skills by having to select a good or interesting image & make a decent print of it without the stress of something as formal as an exhibition. I like the casual exchange nature of this, it makes me more inclined to experiment as I only need to make one image, not worry about a series or body of work. Whether any of them will take me up on it who knows, but I think it would be good to have a decent size pool of participants. Of course they/we also learn some new things from the prints we get in return.

Tom's railway tracks photo is very well done. It's interesting that if I cover the tracks & blue stone with my hand it is quite flat, obviously early morning fog, however removing my hand brings a good bit of contrast from the steel tracks against the dark tones of the stones. I also like the border & I'm curious about this having seen a few people including borders in the darkroom recently. Tom, please tell me what enlarger you used & how the border is done - just a filed out neg carrier?

Marc (munz) I already asked in a PM if he used movements to get that depth of field. I thought perhaps some front tilt but he doesn't think he used any. The resolution of this certainly shows the benefits of large format resolution. I also think the geometric organisation works well, with left to right, top to bottom diagonals of the implied streets against the overall left to right, bottom to top diagonal eye movement of the large, grand buildings. It makes me want to submit a photo taken with my Crown Graphic, once I have one that I'm happy with.
I was interested to read that the film was Tri-X 320, I think that's the only 45 film I haven't tried yet. I like Tri-X in 35mm & 120, keep meaning to get some but I still have a couple of boxes of HP5 to work through.

Shane - I like this one. Taken with a Pentax 67 & 90mm lens. I have the same gear as well as the 55 & 165 lenses. Was considering submitting a portrait taken with the 165 for this exchange but ultimately went for another image. The Acros and Rodinal combo works well. I've dabbled with it in the past, probably need to try a few more rolls with this. You've asked for any comments about improving however I don't have much in the way of technical criticism to offer. It's printed very well, the highlights look correct, there's a nice feeling of light on white paint on the yacht & I also like the highlights on the ropes off the front. I also like how it falls to deep black right next to the yacht. my only minor suggestion is that it could have done with some spotting. There's a few little distracting dots in the upper water area. In fact I might even spot them out on my print, although I won't be using that crap Nicholson's peerless dye.

Timk - Fuji Neopan 1600, what a disaster this has been discontinued; my favourite high ISO film. If you haven't done this, try it at 1,000 in Rodinal 1:50 for about 8.5 minutes, you get great tones & nice tight grain. I like the movement in the arm of the drummer; I always tell people if you want to give a sense of movement, shoot around 1/30 of a second with a moving subject such as this. With decent technique you should get a sharp image with a certain amount of blur in whatever parts are moving, which I suppose is close enough to what you have here. I'm not sure if you want any criticism, but I do find the bright area on the lower left edge distracting, it keeps drawing me eye there away from the main parts and I would suggest burning that down to see what happens.

Bob from Canada - interesting, you are using Tri-X 320 in 45, same as Munz. I'm looking at this image and visualising the tripod legs sinking into the snow & the photographer fumbling with the controls with his fingers inside thick gloves.

Andrew K - cool - two images, great to see & I might have a go at that next time if I can't decide between a couple. I like to see this sort of experimentation & also I think this is the type of thing these print exchanges are ideal for - sharing interesting work that might not be fully finished yet. I think the Holga image has reproduced pretty well - assume you put the neg on a lightbox & photographed it? So an ambrotype is a wet plate collodion neg put on a dark background to show as a positive? Meaning that you could also make prints from the glass neg, eg contact prints if you wanted to? I have seen an exhibition by Ben Cauchi from NZ & he presents his work as positive images against black perspex I believe.
Gold Street studios sounds great, I've looked at their course schedules & drooled on a few occasions. We don't really have anything like that in Sydney, except that you can do platinum printing at point light. I'm assuming this was a 45 sheet of glass? Also, is the emulsion ortho so you can process under red lights or is it done in the dark? 15 seconds sounds pretty fast.

So - when's the next one?

04-16-2011, 04:30 PM
So - when's the next one?

Round # 4 sign up next month.

Really good to read the comments coming in. I too look forward to the next round.

04-17-2011, 05:51 PM
I'll be commenting soon. We've just settled into our new place and I'll have a look at the prints in depth this arvo.

Thanks for the kind words.
I used a 6x6 glass neg carrier with a 35mm negative. I then used a 4 bladed easel to mask everything but the thin edge of the negative rebate. There is no science involved, just a bit of trial and error getting the borders right.

04-19-2011, 11:01 PM
There was easily a meter of snow. I dug out a space for the tripod legs using my snowshoe; otherwise the deep snow flexed the legs and the tripod didn't hold the camera steady. In winter I use either a thin pair of gloves with rubber grips on the fingers or wool mitts with half fingers. They are half glove-half mitt. The top part of the mitt folds back out of the way leaving a half glove with only half the finger showing.

I had to take the picture on an overcast day because the shack faces south, and I couldn't get the shadow of my camera & tripod out of the scene. I tried one shot with a light yellow filter to add some contrast. I found it interesting that the density of the shadows (measured with a densitometer) didn't change with the filter. The next time I will try a darker yellow filter.

04-24-2011, 06:59 AM
Well here I am lying in a comfy bed on the NSW side of the river taping away on the iPad wirelessly sync'd to the iPhone thinking god technology is great and at the same time pondering how I can better use my film and use more of it, and work on older processes. I am originally from Mildura and now I visit my folks every year at Easter, and my wife joins me and the kids by flying up from Melbourne after finishing the final Easter Sunday church service where she is organist.

I brought up the pictures I was sent with the intention of posting from here. Being the organizer has a bonus in that I get to see all groups pictures, as well getting three bonus pictures kindly sent by Andrew k, munz6869 and SMBooth.

So my comments in no specific order.

Kevin Caulfield - First day of school. Thanks for sharing such a proud personal moment. I can look forward to my son starting school next year and I have no idea of what to expect or how his younger sister will find it. The colour and tone and speckle of bright sun coming through the leaves makes a wonderful portrait.

Hoffy - Steel post, Second Valley. Ashley if you had not told me I'd see a halo about the steel post I would not have seen it. I actualy had to look for it. No one else whom i have shown the print to has spotted it. Your depth of field is so broad, from the rocks in the foreground to the jetty and hill in the background. The viewer is drawn into the scene.

Fleath - The leaf. Thank-you ever so much for this print. I can now say that I am lucky enough to have two of your prints and eagerly await you next print knowing that it might be some time before I get one. Yourself and Andrew K have pushed me into trying these alternative processes and if photogravure was not so resource/hardware intensive I'd be trying this as well. But I really appreciate the hours that go into preparing for the image.

Barrie B. - Bread. Brilliant! The brown toned image with the bread and wooden chopping board and wood handled bread knife would make you think the image was a colour photograph. I leave all the prints out in the kitchen at my place and being the high traffic area all the regular visitors to my house are asking to what pictures have come in. When they see this print very few believe it is a B&W print.

Seabird - Weeping rock in the rain. This was the first print to arrive in this print exchange. Great tonal range, and in having used an unsharp mask I would like to know what the original image was like because this view of the falls is so vivid.

SMBooth - Couta Boat. You have asked for comments to improve, well I am not the person to ask as I am blown away by the image as it stands. Love the detail of the early morning light, the long shadows and the balance of light and darks. This is a print that I would like covering a feature wall in my home.

munz6869 - Salzburg! When I was last in Austria I never got there but wished I had. But it is not possible to go everywhere with limited time I guess, so I have a good excuse to make time on my next trip... With the image you have captured did you try to replicate the old 1914 image or was it purely by coincidence? Shame the big tree was there as I can just make out the spire being hidden by the tree's foliage. Now tell me do you process when on your journeys or do you bring all your exposed film back to Oz and process?

Andrew K - Eagle, modern ambrotype. Well I can say that I have lucky enough to see this plate with my own eyes and this print included in the exchange is pretty damn close to the real thing. Now if we all had received a real ambrotype in the exchange, well that would have been something. Not to mention a real challenge in posting out to everyone:laugh: There was a second print from Andrew the Holga bird. This is enthusiasm, two prints. I like the print because of the inclusion of all the film detail as well.

Next exchange round #4 starts with signup next month.

Lastly, I also have some very sad news to give all in APUG in that an active member of APUG-Seabird, Carey Bird, passed away in the Christchurch earthquake back on the 22nd Fed this year. He made it a priority that he get his pictures done for this exchange before he left Sydney on the 20th Feb bound for Christchurch to work in the NZ office of his employer's company. It was his wife Jan's request that I let the APUG community know of Carey's passing.

04-24-2011, 07:41 AM
Andy, that is really sad news about Carey Bird. My condolences to his family - he was a great APUG contributor and will be missed.

As for my Salzburg pic - I only found the 1914 view later on (which sadly proves I was not the first to want to capture that view). I bring all my film home to process, although I did get a stack of E6/120 done (very nicely, I might add) in Zurich three years ago, just out of curiosity.... Heartily recommend Salzburg - lovely little town, and you can get their Stiegl beer in Melbourne now...


04-24-2011, 07:53 AM
Very sad to have Carey's death confirmed. Not only has his family lost a husband, father and friend, the photographic community has lost a fine photographer. RIP

04-25-2011, 07:20 AM
I wasn't in this exchange but have followed it with interest. I have one of Carey's prints from the previous exchange round and love it. I will miss his insight and his photos.

04-25-2011, 05:07 PM
Well, that is a bit of a shock..... R.I.P. Seabird

(Thanks for passing on the message Andrew)

05-01-2011, 08:01 AM
Started a sign up thread for round 4.


I trust everyone received their prints from round three, not everyone has advised they have their package of prints:confused:

Andrew K
05-01-2011, 09:12 PM
sorry to hear of Carey's passing...very sad news...my condolences to his family.

For those that have asked about my prints - yes my prints were inkjet prints - mainly because my local lab has 2 printers - a HP inkjet and a Fuji Frontier, and to be honest I prefer the HP as the color is closer in monochrome to what I get tonally in the darkroom.

The photo of the seagulls was shot on a HOLGA, and then the negative was photographed on a lightbox to create a positive. The printing with the frame lines showing is the same technique I would have done in a darkroom using a oversized neg carrier in a enlarger..

And Oxleyroad is correct - it was too much of a challenge to send multiple ambrotypes for the print exchange - they are just too unpredictable and time consuming to get 1 good one - let alone 6 or 8 of them :-) The print I sent was close to the look of the ambrotype, and was the only practical way to share the image with everyone....

Thanks for arranging this print swap Andrew - and the next one too. Look forward to seeing peoples results in a couple of months...just need to work out what process to use this time.....

05-11-2011, 10:18 PM
Yes, I received my share of the prints. It took about three weeks. Thank you to Andrew for coordinating and to all of you for allowing me to participate.

The prints came when I was in bed with a cold and now my wife is going into the hospital for back surgery (no it isn't the result of my cold). I'll be taking care of her for the next few weeks, so I will spend time with the photos and post some comments once we settle into a routine.

05-11-2011, 10:24 PM
Started a sign up thread for round 4.


I trust everyone received their prints from round three, not everyone has advised they have their package of prints:confused:

Yes, I received my share of the prints. It took about three weeks. Thank you to Andrew for coordinating and to all of you for allowing me to participate.

The prints came when I was in bed with a cold and now my wife is going into the hospital for back surgery (no it isn't the result of my cold). I'll be taking care of her for the next few weeks, so I will spend time with the photos and post some comments once we settle into a routine.

Sorry for the double post, but the "delete" option is not appearing for Post #72 so I can't delete it.