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Alan7140

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Alan7140 last won the day on 9 July

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About Alan7140

  • Rank
    Grandmaster Member
  • Birthday 07/01/1953

Profile Information

  • Real Name
    Alan Lesheim
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Tasmania, Australia
  • Photographic Interests
    Photography, Guitar
  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • Fav. Camera
    Pentacon Six
  • Fav. Lens
    4/50
  • Fav. Editor
    Rodinal, with some elbow grease ;)
  1. Alan7140

    Still Blooming!

    Beautiful result, Merlin.
  2. Beneath the later (1898) Victorian additions of facade, gables and tower, the original 1830 Georgian building forms the heart of the home, which started as the residence of an early entrepreneur in the Elizabeth Town (now New Norfolk), Tasmania who, in 1820, had built a water-wheel driven mill to provide flour for the then young colony of Van Diemen's Land (founded 1803), and proceeded through that venture and subsequent farming ventures on land granted as a reward for his enterprise further up the valley to become the start of a well-off dynasty, which lasted until the late 1970's by which time the numerous inheritance distributions through successive generations of descendants had caused the breaking up of the larger holdings. The mill was destroyed by fire many, many years ago and the shell stands as a ruin, and the the "Tynwald" homestead now serves as an excellent accommodation place and restaurant run by a partnership of Chef and a Pâtissier. I have a post with this and three other photos in the Analogue Photography club section here on Fotozones as well.
  3. Try Imgur.com - no limits, no fees and a simple "copy" button for the BBCode (second from bottom in the list of displayed options is the one that works here) to paste into your post. I've been using this for four years plus here with no problems, and no drain on a forum's storage. It also makes for easy posting elsewhere should you have a number of different groups to contribute to.
  4. Two pairs of photographs, taken 30 years apart. When first contemplating a move to Tasmania, I visited in September 1989 and stayed at a newly opened accommodation business in one of New Norfolk's oldest surviving homes at Tynwald Estate, which was built on the back of an entrepreneurial gamble of building a water race, water wheel and flour mill quite a distance up river from Hobart in 1819 (Hobart was first set up as a convict camp under 23 year old Lt Bowen, R.N. in 1803). While the later addition of the grand Victorian facade, tower and ornate cast-iron decorated verandas belie the mansion's more humble origins, the ruins of the original burnt-out old mill stand as testament to a founding business of the area. I took the first pair of 1989 photographs with a Toyo View 45A field camera, 65mm f/5.6 Rodenstock Grandagon lens and T-Max 100 film, and last week, 30 years later, I thought I may as well test a couple of dark slide film holders I managed to find on ebay to fit my 1908 Thornton Pickard half plate camera for light-tightness, and that the old mansion and ruin were as good as any subject given the 30 year gap that has elapsed. Using ordinary Ilford Multigrade IV Glossy photographic paper cut to 6½x4¾" size loaded into film sheaths designed to fit into the dark slides where glass plates were originally used (@2 ISO!), and tilting the lens front and back standards beyond the coverage of the original 8"/210mm f/8 Rapid Rectilinear uncoated lens to straighten the verticals somewhat (being aware of the vignette that would cause, but deciding it would add to, rather than detract from the end result), I took a head-on photo of the mansion. I think the ground level has been raised and levelled somewhat during those 30 years or that 65mm lens on the 5x4 camera was a lot wider than I remembered it to be. I then took another of the mill from a different viewpoint as the original position had been obscured by trees and other garden plantings. The paper negatives are of course blue and blue-green light sensitive only, thus rendering the sky white and yellows and reds (such as the stone in the mill) very dark in the final print in true early plate photography fashion, and the uncoated lens has a propensity to flare around highlights that is pretty epic as well as it being near impossible to check focus in the corners with that dim f/8 aperture and roughly sand-blasted ground glass, even when ensconced under my double-layered velvet focusing cloth. As well, the focus falloff of the lens in the corners is as dramatic as the flare, even at the f/32 aperture I shot these at, but I didn't care about this either, other than to yet again admire the 19th and early 20th Century photographers with their portable darkrooms and glass plates, trekking all this primitive and fragile equipment into wild and unexplored places in order to take large format photographs of places and things unseen previously by European eyes. 1989: 2019: (The streak of light top left in the second mansion shot is a light leak from a corner joint of one of the wooden dark slides, and a less obvious one below that is from the bottom edge of the actual slide not sitting all the way home in its slot at the base of the unit, so the exercise was worth the effort in finding these before they ruined an irreplaceable shot. The corner leak is an easy fix, but the slide is causing a bit more thought on how to best accomplish a fix without disassembling the whole bottom of the casing).
  5. Two pairs of photographs, taken 30 years apart.

     

    When first contemplating a move to Tasmania, I visited in September 1989 and stayed at a newly opened accommodation business in one of New Norfolk's oldest surviving homes at Tynwald Estate, which was built on the back of an entrepreneurial gamble of building a water race, water wheel and flour mill quite a distance up river from Hobart in 1819 (Hobart was first set up as a convict camp under 23 year old Lt Bowen, R.N. in 1803). While the later addition of the grand Victorian facade, tower and ornate cast-iron decorated verandas belie the mansion's more humble origins, the ruins of the original burnt-out old mill stand as testament to a founding business of the area.

    I took the first pair of 1989 photographs with a Toyo View 45A field camera, 65mm f/5.6 Rodenstock Grandagon lens and T-Max 100 film, and last week, 30 years later, I thought I may as well test a couple of dark slide film holders I managed to find on ebay to fit my 1908 Thornton Pickard half plate camera for light-tightness, and that the old mansion and ruin were as good as any subject given the 30 year gap that has elapsed.

     

    Using ordinary Ilford Multigrade IV Glossy photographic paper cut to 6½x4¾" size loaded into film sheaths designed to fit into the dark slides where glass plates were originally used (@2 ISO!), and tilting the lens front and back standards beyond the coverage of the original 8"/210mm f/8 Rapid Rectilinear uncoated lens to straighten the verticals somewhat (being aware of the vignette that would cause, but deciding it would add to, rather than detract from the end result), I took a head-on photo of the mansion. I think the ground level has been raised and levelled somewhat during those 30 years or that 65mm lens on the 5x4 camera was a lot wider than I remembered it to be. I then took another of the mill from a different viewpoint as the original position had been obscured by trees and other garden plantings.

     

    The paper negatives are of course blue and blue-green light sensitive only, thus rendering the sky white and yellows and reds (such as the stone in the mill) very dark in the final print in true early plate photography fashion, and the uncoated lens has a propensity to flare around highlights that is pretty epic as well as it being near impossible to check focus in the corners with that dim f/8 aperture and roughly sand-blasted ground glass, even when ensconced under my double-layered velvet focusing cloth. As well, the focus falloff of the lens in the corners is as dramatic as the flare, even at the f/32 aperture I shot these at, but I didn't care about this either, other than to yet again admire the 19th and early 20th Century photographers with their portable darkrooms and glass plates, trekking all this primitive and fragile equipment into wild and unexplored places in order to take large format photographs of places and things unseen previously by European eyes.

     

    1989:

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    G3GpKuX.jpg

     

    2019:

    MYVQlY2.jpg

     

    eWmagVc.jpg

     

    (The streak of light top left in the second mansion shot is a light leak from a corner joint of one of the wooden dark slides, and a less obvious one below that is from the bottom edge of the actual slide not sitting all the way home in its slot at the base of the unit, so the exercise was worth the effort in finding these before they ruined an irreplaceable shot. The corner leak is an easy fix, but the slide is causing a bit more thought on how to best accomplish a fix without disassembling the whole bottom of the casing).

     

     

     

  6. Until you shoot B&W, as I mentioned. As soon as one gets around the mistaken concept of grain being a 'flaw', one realises that the way that film renders things as opposed to the way desaturated digital looks is different, and you come away with a different perception of the two as separate entities. It also depends what you mean by 'quality'. If that means colour accuracy and that mythical thing the Internet calls "sharpness" as being the overriding thing, then yes, colour film doesn't come close. But no-one with normal vision sees in black and white - there is therefore no point of comparison from life experience, and the presentation of the final image can truly be said to be what the photographer intends you to see, not what you think it may have looked like initially. Maybe it's too subtle a thing for most to pick up on, or maybe it's because most people see most photographs these days on a relatively low resolution, dynamic range limited LCD screen of some description, but once you see a proper gelatin silver-bromide or chloro-bromide print from a silver-halide negative image, the difference becomes obvious. For one thing the actual print resolution is way beyond the paltry 1920, 2560, 3840 or 4096 pixels over the long dimension of most current screens, even if the grain of the negative image chops things up in that particular image. Film also most definitely provides a different print using traditional methods than when it has been digitised and screen-displayed or ink-jet printed, the latter's maximum of around 1440x1880 dots per inch being so far short of the potential of photographic paper that it shouldn't even need a mention. I can try to explain 'til I'm blue in the face, obviously, and anything I post online has even less resolution thanks to compression and downsizing and being displayed electronically, but I know what my B&W photographic prints look like, and there is simply no way anything I've achieved through all that money- and time-wasting experimentation with digital comes within a bull's roar of a good chloro-bromide print from a well exposed and processed negative in actual appearance. To that end there is therefore often little point in posting my photographs online these days, and I tend to confine that activity to film-groups who get what I'm talking about here through their own use of the medium, or in examples to demonstrate a point or equipment use. As I no longer take photographs to earn a living by pandering to the electronic viewing market, I can go back to appreciating and enjoying the results, process, and yes, even the equipment that I spent over 30 years using to do just that before digital upset the apple-cart. For me, B&W film and print trounces the digital method, and with only myself to please now, that's all that has to matter to me.
  7. B&W film is where I'm most at home, but obviously it's not for everyone, nor would anyone reasonably expect that to be. With my foray into teaching/mentoring B&W film process to novices, I'm finding that their losing the ability of shooting many exposures and "checking the screen immediately" is proving a major hurdle to most of the participants, despite initially showing much eagerness and interest, so I guess that this modest film revival will largely be engaged in by people such as myself who have already used the medium extensively and are comfortable with the completely different equipment and approach to shooting it entails, which in turn suggests that after a resurgence it may well die back again and closer to the levels it did when digital first hit as us older practitioners die out. I've perhaps gone further than most would contemplate as well - I've completely lost interest in digital (at least for the time being), and can honestly say that I'm really enjoying photography again, having realised that digital was where things went sour for me, even though I explored every avenue I could. Three different sensors and systems (Nikon/Bayer, Fuji/X-Trans and Sigma/Foveon), all manner of image processing and manipulation software - HDR, focus stacking, multiple-row pano stitching, 360° panos, multi-row panos combined with focus stacking and HDR - you name it, I reckon I tried it. In the end I guess I felt that all I was doing was pushing sliders and applying commands to get a computer to enact some programmer's idea of how things should be, and show results on a monitor that some other technician had set the parameters of display resolution and colour, and maybe then print an interpretation of that as decided by an inkjet printer manufacturer's ideas of how a print should be produced by spitting ink at paper according to some programmer's algorithm. B&W film has given me back full control of the process, from loading a 100% manual camera with film of my choice all the way through to producing a final bromide print in my own, 100% hands-on preference, like I did for decades before the digital takeover. I've had several friends remark on how much happier I seem in general these days, which I'll put squarely down to re-engaging with film again. That being the case, I'm certainly not going to upset that by changing back to digital.
  8. Leave colour to digital, I reckon. Colour film manufacture is a bit dodgy these days in the small runs reduced demand has caused, and processing is definitely variable with the demise of well-run and busy colour labs. I see more online comment on colour film processing problems than anything else regarding film. B&W is where film, handled well, still trounces digital in appearance, the main reason being that Digital has a linear tonal response curve, film doesn't. While one can do a software curve adjustment to mimic film, it doesn't add tones to make up the "stretching" by increasing the steepness of the curve in the mid-tones, nor does it properly compress tones in the shadows or highlights where the film curve flattens out. Hence the frequent observation of "muddy" mid-tones with B&W digital. Film isn't confined to multiples of a base 8-bit 256 tonal separations (jpeg basic), either - it's tonal variability is potentially infinite between its black and white ends.
  9. One of the weakest arguments I've yet heard, Dallas - seriously? I'm sure more people have had more problems with dust on sensors than a scratch on film - and the dust is then on every image until the user notices it and cleans it off. .A scratch on medium format film is also highly unlikely as the film comes with its backing paper protection between it and the pressure plate, and doesn't really get dragged across anything static as with 35mm film's cassette light trap or the film itself contacting the pressure plate - the only part of a 120 film camera that generally touches the film emulsion itself are a roller at each end of the film gate which turns with the film (so can't leave a drag scratch) and the top and bottom edge of the film gate outside the image area, so nothing can really lay a scratch mark on the image itself in those circumstances. I've shot a veritable busload of 120 film in my time in all sorts of conditions and the only scratches I've ever incurred in the camera are along the very edges of the film (outside the image area) where it runs along the polished flat rails at bottom and top of the film gate - and is therefore of no consequence.
  10. I'm not despairing. They said that painting was dead when the first Daguerreotypes were seen. Here we are nearly 200 years later and modern photography has been reduced to temporary digital files stored on what were devices originally designed for verbal communication, yet new paintings are still being made, hung in art galleries and often bring prices way in excess of what any photograph has a hope of doing, and as well 'dead' silver technology photographs are on the increase in popularity. The question then is - what is closer to death now? Hence my observation that silver halide photography and prints are on the cusp of a new, more exclusive era of popularity, whereas digital photography will probably morph completely into some form of electronically recorded virtual reality medium and be lost through obsolescence of storage formats and the bling of newer digital technologies. Being "easier" or "cheaper" doesn't necessarily apply for everyone. The bulk of digital photos ever taken are probably destined for obscurity at best, or just outright deletion (if indeed a large portion of those have not already gone that way - which means billions and billions of images never to be seen again on a daily basis). Each day many more digital photos are taken worldwide than were ever taken with film. The sheer volume of them alone guarantees their lack of ultimate longevity. However, almost each day collections of negatives from decades, if not over a century past still surface to be printed again, marvelled at and maybe even digitised to be posted/publicised online. That will simply never happen with most photos taken on phones in particular, or even with digital cameras in general. As soon as the storage device becomes obsolete, the storage account fees are left unpaid, or the storage format itself is made redundant, those images will as good as cease to ever have existed, and few will remember their existence, anyway. All that is needed for film-based photography to make a proper comeback is for new camera equipment to recommence being manufactured again, just as happened with Vinyl records - useless until the turntables were made again, but now readily available new and freshly designed and manufactured. They're not for everyone, of course, but the market has said "we want", and so it happened. And - In my messenger today: " Hi Alan, I'd love to take you up on furthering my black and white adventure with some mentoring and thoughts and gear ... i am hoping i could come and visit and discuss after we get back from school hols which is Oct 14. let me know if/when it could work. thanks! x amy" - and this is now happening more often. People who have only ever taken digital photos (and I've known this individual virtually since she interviewed me as a cadet photographer - digital of course - at a newspaper over 15 years ago) are obviously feeling a disconnect with the impermanence and over-saturation of digital cameras and phones, and are looking for a more tactile and hands-on way to become immersed in the art of producing photos that exist completely as physical entities - "photos graphe" ('light drawing') - and not just an electronic interpretation of a bunch of ones and zeros presented on an LCD screen or spat out by an inkjet printer in accordance with a computer programmer's parameters. I've offered her a medium format film camera and a couple of lenses to borrow, it'll be interesting to see how someone who is already a proficient photographer (and makes her living now as a freelance photographer) reacts to this slower, heavier and more considered and careful approach to taking photographs.
  11. Or another day closer to developing a rebirth of something more 'organic'? (My Carl Zeiss range of glass in the Pentacon Six kit is now complete, save for the 5,6/1000 Mirror lens, which I have neither the interest in, nor bank account to afford. )
  12. Land Rover Reborn The basic 90 will come with steel wheels, higher profile tyres and coil springs as a package or the option of air suspension and alloy wheels, obviously aimed at more rugged and poorer serviced markets, where getting to a repair outlet isn't as easy as in a compact country like the UK. Interesting that Richard Hammond also lets slip that the factory building the Defender is in Slovakia, which presumably will better position easy distribution throughout the EU post Brexit, so LR presumably is not expecting it to be a big seller in the UK. From what I've seen of Land Rover magazines in the past, UK "greenlanes" barely qualify as being a 2WD farm driveway here in Australia, so pretty much any of the current Range Rover/Discovery range will easily handle almost anything that it's legal to drive on there. The new Defender with all its traction and rough driving aids probably isn't even necessary there, other than for weekend warriors in abandoned quarries. Anyhow, Land Rover UK is flat out rebuilding old Defenders for the mainly British LR tragics who can't see past that thing first drawn in beach sand in the late 1940's, but which would never make registration requirements in most countries - https://www.landrover.com/explore-land-rover/land-rover-classic/classic-defender.html There was a reason the old jalopy was killed off, namely that it didn't meet even the most basic compulsory occupant safety standards any longer (amongst a string of reliability problems and physically injurious things liable to befall owners). The things can't even have an airbag, which therefore makes a lethal steering column standard equipment.
  13. Alan7140

    I Could Live Here

    Although when it's 32°C on a regular basis, one doesn't necessarily feel the need for "cosy", I guess.
  14. Mine is nearly 9 years old now, and unfortunately I can tell you how much a key costs - AU$480. Luckily I wasn't grounded as the second key they supplied with the vehicle is still OK, but I couldn't risk getting stuck should that have failed. That's just for the key and a straightforward (5 minute) programming job, but the replacement fob took nearly four weeks to be supplied. The battery is a soldered-in unit as well, so user-changing of the battery is not easily facilitated as well the fob is glued shut and so has to be cut open to get to the battery anyway. The interior of the key fob has a simple little circuit board with just five micro-switches and the transponder chip, which would probably be worth two or three bucks at best. Initially I had bought an equivalent battery online for $4, but unfortunately even after forcing open the fob and soldering in the new battery, that wasn't the problem - the unit still failed to unlock the car, although it did operate the ignition and run the car - the problem of course being that getting into the car in the first place (even when using the passenger-door emergency 'conventional' key) sets off the alarm. My take on Land Rover's key setup is "extortion". The car can't be driven without one, yet if the cheap electronics in the fob fail, you ultimately have no choice but to buy a new key fob from LR. You can get cheaper after-market fobs, but the LR service agents won't program the non-OEM units. However I eventually bought a new fob from an independent locksmith, which didn't save any money for me but at least I deprived LR of my money for the retail programming and supply of the replacement unit.
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