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Everything posted by Alan7140

  1. Not meaning to sound repetitive, but that skyline is totally unrecognisable as being the same city I grew up, lived and worked in between 1964 and 1995.
  2. Alan7140

    River Springs

    Wow, what a place! Beautiful.
  3. Alan7140

    Skyline by Night

    I see - by the looks of it they just slapped another floor onto the roof of the neighbouring building - probably done during WW1 to give more space for committees. Pity, it would have made a good past-and-present shot.
  4. Indeed - the whole dock area at left was created on reclaimed land. The excavation works in the foreground of the original photo were to do with moving the Hobart Rivulet from its natural outfall on the far side of that three storey warehouse just to the left behind the Engineer's building through a newly built arched brick tunnel that has been covered over in the foreground, to direct the water flow out to the left edge of the photo (and which later became the rail yards) to enable this land reclamation, and where the rivulet still exits to this day. The port these days is mainly busy with cruise ships; Britain used to be the main customer for Tasmanian apples in particular which were loaded at what was once a hectic export wharf, but with the start of the EEC the trade died and the port literally became a backwater until the rise of the cruise ship industry. Maybe a final Brexit will see a bit of a turnaround in Tasmania's agricultural fortunes, although it must be said that Japan and now China have caused a boom in air-freighted exports of cherries from thousands of acres of new cherry orchards in the state, which might make repopulating the old apple orchards moot, no matter what the demand from Britain might develop into.
  5. I've been repeating a Frederick Frith panorama of Hobart taken c.1856-8 each decade since moving here, starting in 1997, then 2007 and again in 2017, although I doubt I'll get the 2027 version - for one thing getting over the 2.5 metre-high fence they've put at the cliff edge now taxed me enough aged 64, it may not be so easy at 74. The foreground vegetation is also starting to obscure the view, and the exact spot Frith set up his camera is not obtainable now owing to a dense bush (extreme right of last photo) having grown up blocking the spot altogether. You can see how far that pushed me off the mark by the gap now between the chimney at mid-left and the building behind it. Originally I ascertained the correct angle by matching where the left corner of the right-rear wall of the Engineer's Building (foreground, middle-left) intersected the window panes of the window in the wall behind. That's the good thing about a slow growing city like Hobart - there are a lot of buildings still standing that were there in 1857 (not that this is old in European terms, but bear in mind the Hobart area was first inhabited by Europeans in 1803). That reference is all-but obliterated now by trees growing in the foreground, and the whole lot may be obscured by 2027 with the old rail yards in the foreground destined for a major redevelopment which will involve low-rise buildings no taller than 45m, but which will still easily block the entire front left of shot to a far greater extent than the cement silo that was there in 1997 and 2007.
  6. Alan7140

    Skyline by Night

    The middle one is testing my memory with that (now) unfamiliar skyline, but taken from Studley Park overlooking the Collingwood Children's Farm?
  7. Alan7140


    For several months now I've been receiving the weekly https://flashbak.com/ email update which usually has seven links to small collections of mostly historic photos to peruse - no flashing ads or promos, mainly photography at its absolute, essential best; mostly taken on film, largely B&W, by a huge variety of photographers. There are also collections of other lifestyle-related advertising and poster campaigns, so in general it's an overall visual history site, but there are photos and stories in there that I've never seen before despite nearly 50 years in the photography business. It's well worth a few minutes of everyone's time each week to pause and peruse, as it shows a world now being forgotten in the current digital madness of a few billion images per day being made, viewed once and mostly deleted; back when people mainly armed with cameras recorded the world around them in a permanent media that was just waiting for a site like this to gather and disseminate the images in an organised, mostly captioned way. Well worth getting onto (free), just click the "subscribe to weekly newsletter" button. I don't often recommend things on the Internet, but this is one of the more enlightening things I've done. Again: https://flashbak.com/ And two from this week's selection which I found riveting: https://flashbak.com/les-halles-de-paris-the-citys-great-food-market-in-photographs-c-1950-416549/ https://flashbak.com/the-true-story-of-the-holocaust-train-rescued-from-the-heart-of-darkness-friday-april-13th-1945-416548/
  8. Alan7140

    Dormancy 2019

    I'd certainly consider something like that, Dallas (I'm not interested in money, though), although at the moment as you might gather my time is pretty well taken up with the mechanics of both getting everything up to speed again as well as tutoring, which is proving to all be a bit more challenging than I had expected as the lack of spare parts, repair facilities and even new film equipment is making things challenging (I never contemplated having to repair equipment myself, nor that some of the stuff is simply terminally irreparable owing to years of neglect and poor storage). I am also up against something else that I really hadn't thought through properly, namely trying to teach B&W film use, processing and printing to people who have had absolutely no experience with the medium, and by that I mean that they mostly haven't even seen a negative or, believe it or not, a B&W photographic print on proper silver bromide paper. My original student is proving to be the quickest on the uptake, but I think she's just an exceptionally smart cookie (which helps enormously), however I'm about to lose her to a very extensive time travelling overseas (as seems to be so popular these days). Hopefully she'll eventually return to resume learning the subject again, but she wouldn't be the first one to end up making a life in another country altogether. I was sort of hoping to get her to help other beginners to their mutual benefit once she gets a bit of experience, but that may not happen now.
  9. Alan7140

    Dormancy 2019

    Along with retirement has come a decided shift in what I do photographically. The regulars here will know that I've moved back to B&W film, which was the backbone of my training and education in the early '70's, and along with that I've taken on the task of mentoring younger people (currently between 17 and 23) in the use and handling of 'proper' B&W film and darkroom techniques. Along with that has come an interest (as well as an essential need) to repair film cameras from the 20th Century, all of which pretty well occupies my time and has rendered my photographic output to a virtual trickle, and 99% to do with film. The only digital shots I have taken in the last 6 months have been photographs of film equipment and for copy work. Ergo, not only do I have little work to post here for discussion, it is also not of much interest to those currently involved 100% with digital, which in turn appears to be most, if not all of those posting on this site. Likewise my own interest in things digital has all but evaporated as I now get reminded daily why I chose photography as a profession in the first place, and of the nightmare that digital brought into my life in virtually destroying a very lucrative, niche branch of the profession, along with the insane financial demands of constant computer and ancillary equipment renewals, along with an equally insane camera equipment replacement (erroneously called "updates") at a frequency at least five times greater than was needed with film gear. Testament to this is the film gear I currently use, most of which dates from the 1960's-1980's and which works just as it did 30-40 years ago, and will continue to do so until it just plain wears out, and not because some manufacturer decides that 18 months to two years is the benchmark time-frame to replace equipment with new models. To those who still insist that digital is "cheaper", all I can say is that it might be for hobbyists, but as a professional you'd simply be dreaming - I could just about have bought a whole Kodak retail shop with the extra amount of money I had to spend on camera and computer equipment over the 15 years that digital interfered in my professional life, and during which time my only expenditure, had I been able to continue as I had been before, would have been on film, paper and chemistry, there being no need to replace any of the camera gear I had. That expenditure was 100% recoverable as well in that clients were understanding and willing to pay for those consumables, unlike with digital where all the processing and computer gear is regarded as "included" and not payable as an extra. In my experience digital did little other than turn a profitable, secure profession into a nightmare struggle to survive. So while I still check in here often, I seem to be spending less time on forums (including FB pages) and much more time on ebay searching for film equipment and parts to keep my growing stable of cameras and lenses that are mainly used as loaners for students to get acquainted with the totally different world of film and 100% mechanical cameras. It has amazed me that the number one problem digital-age photographer-wannabes have is with manual focus - I'd say on average one in three frames are lost through being mis-focused or not even focused at all, which really makes me wonder what on earth they're looking at through an SLR viewfinder to not notice that the shot is so far out of focus that the subject can barely be made out! Even allowing for the three cameras out on loan at the moment, and with almost none of the somewhat insane collection of lenses I have acquired, nor the several partially or totally disassembled "parts" cameras I also have, this is what it looks like on my gear table at the moment...
  10. Alan7140

    Skyline by Night

    The J W Lindt photo was taken from the flat centre of the roof of the Victoria barracks visible as the brownish building with slate roof that appears next to the large gum tree at lower left. It might be worth trying if you can talk your way onto that roof to get an exact comparison. Take a copy of the Lindt photo - that sort of thing usually gets co-operation. I've talked my way into places by showing a 19th Century view that I could demonstrate was taken from their building before. You can see the two chimney stacks with the iron balustrade between in the enlarged view of this photo, and exactly where the dude in the photo was standing in the middle of this section: ...just adding - maybe suggest the officer on duty stands in at the same spot with a similar pose - you'll probably be surprised at how co-operative people can get when you involve them. ....and further adding - I think that white flash next to the far chimney may even be the skylight seen in the original - which means the new subject's feet can be located exactly where the guy in the bowler was standing.
  11. Alan7140

    Skyline by Night

    I had to post this one taken from the Victoria Barracks in St Kilda Rd by J W Lindt after 1880 (probably around 1900, given the guy's clothes and bowler hat). You would have zero hope of seeing the Exhibition Building from anything other than a helicopter from there these days, I guess, but here it is clearly the most prominent, if distant building in the photo .
  12. Alan7140

    Skyline by Night

    That's changed so much I can't even recognise it as the city I spent my teens to forties in. Which is why I moved to Tasmania nearly 25 years ago, the traffic in Melbourne was unsufferable even back then. Two hours travel here gets you anywhere from 130 to >200kms away, even on a relatively bad day, even in this day and age, and with almost no freeways.
  13. Thanks for the comments, guys, much appreciated.
  14. 1908 Thornton Pickard ½ plate camera, Ilford MG IV paper negative, ISO 3, 16 seconds @ f/32.
  15. I know some think I'm totally nuts, but after almost 20 years of being progressively forced into the financial merry-go-round and endless "updates" and "upgrades" that digital brought to my professional life, retirement has seen me completely reinvent my lifelong love and enjoyment of photography by returning to film, in particular B&W emulsions and the old, battery-less, fully mature design and construction of mechanical cameras with manual-everything lenses and reliable, predictable, and fully operator-controlled photography. I needn't even turn a computer on to achieve an end result these days. It's the sort of thing I signed up for as a career in 1971, and which I enjoyed immensely until the intrusion of digital, which I really did try to make work for me aesthetically as well as functionally (under sufferance of client demands), often exploring the cutting edge well before the software writers caught up and released those techniques for general use by the current barrage of cheap, 18-month life cycle digital cameras and more recently the secondment of those functions to almost every consumer's telephone (or "device", as photography is now apparently procured by). So I'll put digital as the worst experience of a career that overall I had enjoyed immensely, and now that I've returned home, as it were, I can use real large and medium format cameras and not "pretend" large format fakery with its lenses, optical performance and sensor size based on a standard of the old, professionally almost inadmissible "amateur" 135 format. A bonus is that I can also use 35mm film cameras and film without being scoffed at these days, as it turns out . I don't even raise an eyebrow when I mention using Soviet-Bloc cameras from the Cold War era, as I, like many others, have found that their bad reputation is probably a result of anti-Soviet propaganda of the era, rather than anything intrinsically wrong with their design, in particular regarding the lenses. Sure the assembly might be a bit rough, but they are simple and usually relatively easy for a home mechanic to repair and maintain, something that cannot be said for anything digital. I therefore no longer have to argue the merits or otherwise of the formats and equipment that I use, because it is all stuff that was settled well over 50 years ago and so there's nothing to argue about, save protestations from a few brand-name zealots who argue their gear superiority whenever they can - but then that's something that's common with almost any pursuit which has different brand names vying for superiority and the largely amateur or collector warriors who fight the online propaganda wars for those manufacturers. At least I can choose to simply ignore all that nonsense again.
  16. Alan7140


    I'm sure she's very competent in her field, but this did little but demonstrate that she knows almost nothing about the science and practice of photography itself and maybe shouldn't take her very misguided, somewhat paranoid interpretation of that deficient knowledge and attempt to twist it into some weird agenda-qualifying piece of pseudo science. Photography originated in France and England, where the respective inventors were more concerned with simply recording a permanent image than glorifying the European fair complexion, which monochrome emulsions of all types, from the original Daguerreotype and Calotype processes right up to the freshest current roll of HP5 Plus or T-Max 100 have had absolutely zero tonal bias towards any racial type. Or perhaps she's skipping over the fact that something other than digital occupied the 160-odd years of photography prior to electronically generated ones and zeros invading the process, and that much of that earlier period primarily involved monochromatic photography. This wobbly theory of racial "bias" applied to photography as a whole is simply utter, arrant, nonsense.
  17. - 4WDriving will make your past camera spends look small-fry. I bought my first 4WD in 1975 and with the exception of 16½ years (1994-2011) spent driving a Honda Prelude 2.0 SI out of both financial necessity and the sheer hours I was working (which curtailed the ability to travel the increasing distances needed to legally engage in the pursuit), I have had proper 4WDs ever since. These days I have erred on the side of economy and practical comfort over mountain-goat ability, but the electronics aids built into my Freelander 2 make it every bit as capable as some of my earlier "proper" 4WDs. These days the latest Land Rover models can virtually do the driving for you and are more adept at not getting stuck than a heavy right foot could ever be, but even though mine isn't quite as sophisticated as that, I never cease to be amazed at how competent my current vehicle is, and the terrain it deals with often has me laugh out loud in amazement. The time is coming when real 4WDriving is killed simply through its popularity, though - already the places in Victoria we used to take our Land Cruisers in the 1970's are gated and padlocked more often than not, and access in winter is even more restricted, as I found out when trying to access some of my favourite spots in June-July 2011. I imagine the problem would be worse now. In 1975, however, a 15 minute trip took me into seriously challenging terrain at a Cranbourne quarry, and after moving house the powerline tracks at Kinglake were also less than 20 minutes away. All was easy and free to access and the 24/7 locked gates were yet to appear.
  18. Alan7140


    I can't diagnose a specific reason, but I really like this shot.
  19. Well, it's photography related, but from the hesitant start into adapting Cold War-era Russian and DDR lenses rather unimpressively to my Sigma sd Quattro-H, that has burgeoned into me virtually switching full-time back to film and related cameras, which has in turn necessitated learning how to fix the things, many of which haven't been used for a couple of decades or more. That in turn led to my reinstating my old Görlitzer Kamera Werke stand camera, which led to an old Thornton Pickard half-plate field camera joining the growing queue. Easter saw it turned from a dowdy, dirty, tarnished and sloppy thing which probably would have ended up at the tip, to a camera that I'll enjoy using for many years to come. While I couldn't fix the behind-lens shutter as the curtain was disintegrated, I did spruce up the external workings and refit them and the shutter housing to the camera as well as having refinished all the brasswork on the camera itself, and the lens is now focused at infinity when the camera is unfolded as it was designed to do originally. My next project is already lined up - I managed to find an unused, brand-new Pentacon Six assembled chassis, presumably left over from the bunch of such items that Exakta bought when Pentacon closed around 1990, and which they turned into the uber-expensive Exakta66. As I also have a dysfunctional but cosmetically excellent Pentacon Six body here, assembling a brand new, working Pentacon 66 from the two is the objective. This could end badly, but hopefully I've learned enough to succeed and thus become the owner of probably the last brand new, functional Pentacon Six ever. As a hobby, this camera restoration/resuscitation thing is proving to be addictive. That I managed to assemble the Thornton Pickard shutter externals into as good as operational state from just a plastic bag full disassembled bits and no instructions (if I had a new blind to fit it would work) gave me the sort of buzz that has us eager to pursue a hobby aside from regular work, I think.
  20. Thanks, Akira and Mike. There's something deeply satisfying in driving 200km and walking several more, then returning with just two sheets of exposed material containing one carefully considered and taken photograph on each, instead of the hundreds or even thousands of digital files that is so common in this digital era. Using equipment and materials in common with an era where slow and steady was the norm makes operating at this level mandatory, and is one that I find far more intuitive and rewarding than simply being a vehicle for software and hardware manufacturers to get rich with their crazy obsolescence cycles and continuous pressure to update almost at every corner. The camera, lens and darkslides I use all date to somewhere around 1908, and the resin-coated printing paper I use is simply a resin-coated base-modified version (introduced in the mid-1970's) of the original bromide printing paper that's been in use from around that era as well. I still have a way to go before the results are to my complete satisfaction, but at least I feel I'm on the right track.
  21. View last Tuesday of the Upper Florentine forest fronting the Sawback Range (left), The Thumbs (right) and onward to the Denison Range in the distance. The forest was the subject of a 7 year public campaign and blockade against the government's forestry company's intention to log the whole area, which ultimately resulted in a UNESCO decision to classify the sc ene as World Heritage Area and therefore secure it from logging forever. This forest also came under direct threat from the bushfires that ravaged over 200,000ha of buttongrass, tea-tree and alpine forest from Dec 28 2018-February 2019 (the fires burnt to within 5km of this forest). Taken with my old Thornton Pickard half-plate camera with original T.P Rapid Rectilinear 230mm f/8 uncoated lens, using Ifospeed MG IV glossy paper as negative material, reversed and digitised to a 175MP file with a Sigma sd Quattro-H camera copying the neg in 9 segments using a Hartblei P6 shift adapter, Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2,8/120 lens with appropriate extension tubes and stitched with PTGUI software. The UV-blue-green only sensitivity of the paper helps to accentuate the separation and distance of near and far objects.
  22. Alan7140

    Fergie Tractor

    It's not print size so much as the image degradation caused by the paper fibres when exposing through the paper negative in order to make the print. Even as a direct contact print the image degradation in both acutance and contrast is very apparent even at arm's length viewing. Short of going back to mixing my own emulsion and coating glass plates with it to make glacially slow gelatin dry plates, or using faster collodion wet plates and all the hassles involved with them, there is no currently manufactured modern answer for the old blue/blue-green colour sensitivity of the original photographic emulsions as far as capture goes other than by using orange-safelight printing paper. Over winter it will undoubtedly become more than obvious as to why so many of the 19th Century exterior shots were taken during the brighter months of summer, even with me using modern printing paper as negatives.
  23. Alan7140

    Sunsets, penguins

    Great stuff. Another vote for the last one as being the pick of the bunch.
  24. Alan7140

    Fergie Tractor

    I'm still trying to fully retire, Chris (a few of my old clients refuse to let me complete the process), but after nearly 40 years of centring my business around old photographs, and more lately, after conventional photographic supplies became harder and more expensive to get as everyone got lazy, having switched to digital myself out of necessity rather than desire, now pleasing myself rather than nagging clients has become my main pursuit and I may finally have succumbed to the obvious realisation that in order to have one's photos look like late 19th Century/early 20th Century items (when arguably some of the best photographs ever were made), one has to use the same equipment, and duplicate the materials used as closely as possible in their behaviour, without getting stupid and more complicated than necessary by messing with the generally volatile and poisonous original processes themselves. This is as close as I have now come to doing that, only conceding that any printing will have to be via inkjet, which is the only thing that lets the idea down a bit, although with the right paper and ink tone the result can be convincing at normal viewing distance. The camera gear itself is extremely light given that it is just thin wood, leather, a small lens and a piece of ground glass; I only have two wooden double-dark slides so have to carry a changing bag and a couple of boxes for the paper negs, which is also no real weight penalty although as a whole it is all a bit bulky. The entire camera outfit only weighs about the same as the carbon fibre Gitzo tripod. Between doing this and teaching young people the joys of silver-based photography (and demonstrating the above method to them gives a better idea of the whole process as total darkness is never required and all sensitive material handling takes place under amber safelight, so they can actually see what's happening), my time is pretty much spoken for.
  25. Alan7140

    Fergie Tractor

    Massey Ferguson 165 tractor, '60's or early '70's vintage, currently used as a mobile anchor for a traveller irrigator, in a field of rape being used as fodder for livestock. Photographed with a circa 1908 Thornton Pickard "Imperial" Triple Extension camera with the original Thornton Pickard lens today, on the first still autumn day this year, finally enjoying some softening of the light after nearly six months of harsh Aussie summer sun. Exposures 15 secs @ f/64 and 6 secs a@ f/45 respectively. Paper negatives again, Ilfospeed Multigrade iV trimmed to half plate, digitised with a Sigma sd Quattro H camera using an adapted Hartblei shift adapter for P6 mount Carl Zeiss Jena 2,8/120 Biometar lens - 9 shots stitched for a 175 megapixel end result. I've also cobbled up an adapter plate made from MDF with three openings to allow screws to pass through the 6 original tripod leg eyelet mounts into the MDF, and an Arca plate attached to a central 3/8-1/4" tripod socket adapter screw glued and screwed into the centre of the circular MDF plate. This has enabled the camera to solidly mount onto my Gitzo CF tripod without altering the actual camera in any way, thus preserving its originality and value. The camera still folds up nicely, although the lens must now be removed before doing so whereas previously it protruded through the large circular hole cut in the base of the camera inside the brass tripod mounting ring. An idea of what used to be the "tripod" attachment - three flimsy, separate wooden legs with short pins passing through the eyelets of a brass ring mounted to the base of the camera and held in place only by pressure from a metal spreader bar forcing the two parts of each leg apart.
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