September 2020

  • X-Pro Adventures: Greenwood Cemetery 2004

    These are probably some of the oldest film scans on my laptop, back from when I was working at Lakeside Camera. During the majority of my time in the lab, I either spot checked the photos or worked the photo printers – one was an Agfa and another a Fuji printer that I had used at Eckerd Express Photo. I was working the Fuji one day when I got a roll from another employee and was surprised to see the colors on the screen – I’d originally thought we messed up the development, or the monitor had gone funky, or something like that. I asked them about it and that’s when I learned about cross-processing. I instantly fell in love. Those color shifts were just so cool, like something off of a 1990s band album cover photo shoot.

    See, as much as I loved processing photos and seeing other pictures, I was always hesitant to do anything more than the souvenir snaps of friends and such. Seeing that sparked my creativity and curiosity about what I could do. That afternoon before I left, I bought some rolls in the store and decided to do something with them on my next day off.

    On that day, I loaded up my camera bags with the Minolta and some B&W and slide film, and headed over to Greenwood Cemetery. It was a summer weekday morning, so there weren’t many people out and about. I stopped in the main office to see if it was okay for me to walk around and take pictures in the graveyard. They told me sure, as long as I stayed away from any services that were scheduled (of course!), and I parked my car somewhere in the middle of the graveyard and went walking.

    I scanned them the next time I went to work and was totally shocked at how awesome these came out. Even today, I don’t want to edit them. These scans are exactly how that film came out, no retouching or anything. They’re still some of my favorite photos I’ve done to this day.

    I ended up finishing up the rolls in City Park – that’s another post though.

  • Canon DSLR + Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 lens

    Last Friday night I decided to get up early Saturday morning and head out to the Madisonville Boat Launch to get some shots of the sunrise in my Konstruktor camera. When I woke up Saturday morning, I decided to also bring my DSLR with another experiment.

    Probably a little over a year ago, I had purchased an adapter for my Canon so I could use the M42 mount lenses I had for the Pentax Spotmatic. I’ve been reading a lot about how the Super Takumar lenses were amazingly good, and I was lucky enough to have one in really nice condition, so I figured for a few bucks the capability to use it with my DLSR was worth it. And after seeing these pics, I have to agree.

    I tried to focus most of my shots on the Konstruktor since that was my original plan, and the majority of my pictures at the Madisonville Boat Launch were taken on that camera. (Was planning on dropping off the roll at Bennett’s Camera in Metairie this week – but Hurricane Sally changed those plans.)

    But I headed over to Sunset Point in Mandeville to finish the roll off and came across some really good spots, and as soon as the roll was finished, I started snapping away with the Canon. It took a little time to get used to adjusting the lens for a clear shot…but once I did, I found that I got some really good pictures.

    I did take the pictures into Lightroom when I got home to use the Dehaze feature and punch up the clouds a bit. I’m kind of proud of this experiment and am also excited to see how the shots on the Konstruktor came out.

  • Konstruktor w/ Fuji Superia Xtra 400 – 2015

    When I really started getting into Lomography, one of the first things I put on my wishlist was the Konstruktor camera. A chance to spend a weekend afternoon building a completely working camera from a kit? UH YES PLEASE.

    The kit was actually fun – it’s almost 90% plastic parts, but the mirror assembly is already put together, so you’re pretty much just building the body.

    For some reason, I elected to order the non-flash version of the kit. I can’t remember if that’s because the Konstruktor F hadn’t come out yet, or if the non-flash version was on sale, but the version I have does not allow for a flash to be connected to the camera. So I shot the test roll on a really sunny day.

    The thing I found the most fun – and the most challenging – was using the waist-level finder. It’s similar to the viewfinder in a medium-format camera, which I was TOTALLY not accustomed to! But after getting the hang of it, I really like it, and I would love to use it on other cameras. I wonder if these types of viewfinders are available on other 35 mm cameras? It kind of forces me to focus on the shot.

    I did a little editing in Lightroom, mostly to adjust the exposure – everything was just a little too washed out. I would really like to try and get some shots with this camera either right as the sun is going down, or during a slightly overcast day. (Reminder to self: use 100-speed film if it’s a really sunny day, durr.) The camera also allows for multiple exposures, which is something I really want to play with more.

    All these photos were taken at my former workplace, and Cate Square Park in Hammond, LA.

  • Minolta Maxxum 5 w/ Fuji Superia Xtra 800 – 2018

    In the long long ago, in the before time, I worked at an Eckerd Express Photo. Every year before the holidays, the company would host a day-long event where they would show off the new promotions and such.

    One of the cameras that I remember them showing off one year was the Minolta Maxxum 5, and the selling point they wanted us to make to people was that it was like a cross between an SLR and a point-and-shoot. We ended up getting one of these cameras in stock at my store, and it never sold. Mostly because when the little old ladies who came into the shop wanted a camera, they could barely deal with the absolute most basic cameras, and no one was going to Eckerd Express Photo to buy camera equipment.

    Years later, I was working at Lakeside Camera and Photo as a lab technician, and I noticed that the Minolta Maxxum 5 was still on sale. I bought the camera for Doug as a gift. The kit came with a basic 28-100 lens and the body, and I “borrowed” it to take some photos in one of the graveyards as well as take some shots of my best friend.

    We still have that Minolta camera. The Eckerd presentation wasn’t wrong, I find that it’s simple enough that I can just set auto-focus on and let the camera do its thing, or I can do things manually. Even today, it’s one of my absolute favorite film cameras to shoot with.

    Back in 2018, when I dug the camera out of the closet to see if it still worked, I shot this roll of Fuji Superia Xtra 800 around my house to see how it would work – and it was just as good as back in 2004 when I got the camera brand new. However, I didn’t realize until the film was developed that I’d had the date feature turned on. Oopsie. I thought about removing the date in Lightroom, but then I figured, what the hell…leave it in. In fact, after seeing these images, I decided not to retouch them. I love this freaking camera.

    I actually pulled the Maxxum out again this past weekend and shot a roll on the lakefront – this time with the date feature turned off. I’m excited to see how those turn out. Times like this I kind of miss one-hour photo labs. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I hate waiting.”

    Film was processed by The Darkroom in CA.