Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rhymes with Orange (And Film26 Project - "D" submissions)

A few weekends ago, while Jeffrey was out at a driving lesson (yay for a husband who can drive!), I threw an old roll of expired Safeway brand 400 colour film in the Nikon FE and wandered about, snapping away, trying to get to know this new baby.
When I came across this bright orange building which happened to be situated right behind these bright orange berries that I was standing by. I could not look away! I kept waiting for someone to come by so I could say to them "Look at how that building matches those berries exactly!!"... but no one walked by, and even if they had, I probably would have chickened out anyway. But still, as I look at this picture, I marvel at that colour. It is a beautiful thing.

** As a side note - the first two pictures here were my submissions to the Film26 Project for the letter D - weeks 7 & 8. D is for "Dead-end" and "Dangling"**


This photo doesn't capture the colour of the berries as well, but I like the texture and composition of it.

That pesky orange colour even snuck into the following photos in the form of light leaks

What name would you give this shade of orange? I keep thinking "rust orange" but I don't know if that does it justice?

All photos taken with my Nikon FE and Safeway Brand ISO 400 color film.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cheese Please!

A few weeks back Jeffrey and I partook in the most fabulous time of the year here in Vancouver...  Dine Out Vancouver! When restaurants all over the city, at all price points, open up their doors and their kitchens with delicious set menus at fantastic prices. This year we visited a whopping 5 Dine Out restaurants over the 2 week period. Our impressions of the restaurants varied overall, but we always had an enjoyable time.
I managed to bring along a few of my cameras during one of the outings because I knew I was going to be amongst fellow photo-fan friends who wouldn't look at me funny if I whipped out my gigantic Pentax mid-meal (reading back on that, it sounds slightly lewd doesn't it? Sorry about that). Unfortunately the lighting of this particualr restaurant (Salt Tasting Room) did not lend itself well to photos but, the eternal optimist, I snapped away anyway.
Here are the best of the photos I took.

Wine Cellar - mmmmmm wine!

Charcuterie & Condiments - mmmmmmm... meat

Cheese & Condiments - mmmmmmm... Cheese!
Wine, meats & cheeses, and wonderful company... what more could a girl ask for?

All photos taken with my Pentax K1000 and Kodak 400CN Film.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter Woes

It seems that everyone who I talk to is "done with winter"... myself included. Though we don't generally get much snow in this neck of the woods, and winters are generally very mild, I still find myself longing for sunshine, bike rides, drinks on the patio, light layers of clothing, and cute little shoes (rather than the mandatory rubber boots I seem to be constantly sporting these days). So, in an effort to see the positive side of winter, and remember that the changing seasons is one of the things that makes our country wonderful, here are some pictures of beautiful snowy weather - taken in Alberta over the Christmas holidays.

All photos taken with my Pentax K1000 and Fujifilm RHPIII (color slide film)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Splish Splash

As mentioned in my last post, our Kodak Retinette IA is a finicky little camera whose results vary widely. I am still figuring out to which situations it is best suited. However, the stars were clearly aligned in this particular moment with the sun shining directly on this water spout, and sheer luck in me guessing my distance from the spout for focusing purposes. It gives me hope that if I learn to be a better photographer, I can do this little camera some justice.

I love the variation between the very defined and detailed concrete and the blurred movement of the water droplets.

Photos taken with my Kodak Retinette IA and Kodak 100 Ultracolor film.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kodak Retinette in Review

The Kodak Retinette IA was the first of our new babies that I tried out. It is a very, very pretty looking camera and is quite light and portable. It takes regular 35mm film which is a bonus because it saves on film and developing costs. It also has a lovely brown leather case and strap.
However, the camera is quite limited in what it can do. It does have enough manual settings to allow for adjusting both shutter speed and aperature, but the shutter speed settings only range from 1/30-1/250 of a second. This makes taking photos in various lighting difficult and limited. I may look at playing more with a flash the next time I use this camera.
Also the lens has no zoom, and as far as I can tell, the lens cannot be switched out for another. Now I love the prime lens on my Olympus Pen F, but the focus on the Olympus allows for really nice, detailed close up shots. The lens on the Kodak Retinette IA uses a distance-focusing system in which you need to guesstimate the distance between you and the subject and adjust the focus by this... however because the camera uses a rangefinder, you have no way of seeing whether the photo will be in focus or not. This resulted in several blurry shots on my first trial roll. 

I did get some really nice shots on a sunny day of subjects that were far enough away that I could set the distance-focus as high as it would go so that there really was no room for error.


I also managed to get a few really nice shots of this water spout. I think the lighting and sheer fluke on judging the distance was the key.
I took several shots indoors of our friends Jeff & Michelle's puppies and the results left a lot to be desired. It was obviously not bright enough in the room and I had not at all figured out the distance-focusing system yet. I wonder how these would have turned out if I had used a flash?

Blurry, even though I was sitting what seemed like far enough back

I like this one, especially the depth of field. I do wish though that the lighting was a little better.

To the camera's defense, I was also using a 100 speed film (Kodak 100 Ultracolor) which really isn't suited to indoor shots like this anyway. So I think the next roll I use with the Retinette will be a higher speed, possibly playing with a flash, and being more disciplined about effectively judging distance for focus.
I am learning so much from playing with all these different cameras! It is fantastic!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nikon FE - In review

At the beginning of February, I decided to try breaking in the newly inherited Nikon FE we received over the holidays. Because the Nikon is most similar to our Pentax K1000 in the amount of manual settings and camera style, I will use it as a comparison point.

I was super excited about all the manual settings that the Nikon has - more than our Pentax K1000's and the lens looked like it might be a better option than the large zoom lens on my Pentax as well. Though I still haven't mastered all of the manual settings on the Nikon, I was happy to see that you could adjust for light balance and higher speed ISO films, both features which my Pentax does not have. It also has more shutter speed settings which I have not even begun to figure out. I was also very pleasantly surprised to see that the light meter was working! Though it has now died, it will just be a matter of getting a new battery.

Since I was shooting this picture into the sun, the light meter and extra light settings really helped to ensure it wasn't washed out.
The Nikon also features some nice "safety" features that help to avoid accidently snapping a photo of the inside of my camera bag for example, or unintentionally changing the light balance or ISO settings.
I think the only disappointing aspect of this camera was in fact the lens. My Pentax has a very large Asahi 45~125mm f/4 lens on it that is fantastic for zooming, but rather big and heavy for packing around all the time. I was really hopeful that the Nikon's 43~86mm f/3.5 lens might be a good alternative for everyday kind of use. Unfortunately the lens is pretty limited. You can't do close up shots and the zoom isn't so great as to make up for that. It is also a little difficult to focus.

Really good focus, but I had to stand a ways back and zoom in to get the right composition

Not good focus - On my Pentax I could have zoomed in further to really focus on the one leaf, or with my Olympus prime lens I could move myself close up and focus in on it. With this lens I just couldn't get a good composition.

Interesting focus - Not sure what happened here, seems like half the shot is in focus and the other half not. It makes kind of a neat effect but not exactly what I was going for.
I really do like the Nikon FE, it's manual settings give me a lot more freedom to explore (especially since the 1000 shutter speed on my Pentax is currently not working properly), but I might need to investigate a new lens. I would also like to explore more of the shutter speed settings the Nikon has to offer.

I used a basic ISO 400 colour film for these shots (an expired Safeway brand that I had lying around).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"C" - Film26 Project #3

The first weeks of February were focused on taking shots inspired by the letter C. I also decided to try out the new Nikon FE we inherited over the Christmas break. I still haven't mastered all of the settings, and I am not sure how I feel about the lens (it is difficult to focus and has a limited range) but, it is a good little camera with lots of manual options which is nice.
I also played around with some old film - some Ilford Delta 3200 black & white film which is a very highspeed film meant for low light or action shots, and some expired 400 color Safeway brand film. Both of which we picked up in a batch at a garage sale. I love that you never really know what kind of effect you are going to get with mystery film.
More on my thoughts about the Nikon FE and Ilford film later... for now, here are my two submissions for the letter C to the Film26 project.
C if for...

Carnaval Celebrations

Cheese & Charcuterie - accidently double exposed

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bonhomme, Bonhomme sais-tu jouer?

A few weeks ago was Carnaval at our school. Though we are in B.C. and francophone celebrations are generally quite minimal, our proud to be French Immersion school celebrates the Quebec Carnaval with full force every year!

Complete with the arrival of Bonhomme by firetruck

All the way from Quebec, he's a celebrity for the day

A parade, crazy hats, and dancing in the streets

The passing of the "key to the school" to Bonhomme for the week long celebrations

Quebec and winter themed activities all week - Building sugar cube castles with our primary buddy class

Les chateaux en glace

We even have dances at lunch hour where the kids come to do La Bastringue, the bunny hop, and many more

At the closing ceremonies, the grade 7's dance La Bastringue around Bonhomme, le bucheron, le roi et la reine du Carnaval

Complete with masks, and les ceintures flechees

Bonnehomme and Le Bucheron get in the swing of things!

All photos taken with our new Nikon FE, and Ilford Delta 3200 black & white film. Developed and scanned to disc at The PhotoLab in Vancouver, B.C.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grey and Gloom

It is that time of year when it feels like we live in a giant rain cloud here on the west coast. We get a few sunny days here and there that fool us into thinking that spring has arrived, then the rain clouds roll in again and we all go back to our gloomy day.
I wonder if my grey and gloom has been emphasised by my experimenting with more black & white film lately? It certainly doesn't seem to capture the mood of this time of year quite well.

Above photos taken with my Pentax K1000 and Kodak 400CN Film.

To black & white film's defense, it also captures those few sunny, happy moments pretty well too....

Above 2 photos taken with my new Nikon FE and Ilford Delta 3200 film (more on this film and camera to follow).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Au naturel

I sometimes wonder if trees feel naked and rather embarrassed when they go from this...

to this...

You know... like those poor cats that get shaved in the summer to keep cool. They always look so shy and humiliated. Poor kitties... poor trees.

All photos taken with my Pentax K1000 and Fujifilm RHPIII (color slide film)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lingering remnants of Christmas

I am a firm believer that holidays should have a set start and end time. Christmas should last for the month of December and that is it. It should not start in November and end in March. Sticking to shorter holiday times makes them feel more special and exciting. Christmas lights, even in February just look sad. They lose that warm and cheerful feeling that they give in those magical few weeks leading up to Christmas.

That being said, I have a few Christmas themed pictures that need to be posted before it gets too far away. And doesn't it already seem like the holidays happened a lifetime ago? January was possibly the longest month ever!

What are your thoughts about Christmas decorations? What is your prefered dates for set-up and take down?

Though it doesn't look like it, these Christmas balls were actually the size of my head!

Christmas lights on the bare, snowless trees of Vancouver always look funny to me

I always think Christmas decorations in the day time look kind of sad, they lose their magic.
All photos taken with my Pentax K1000 and Fujifilm RHPIII (color slide film)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"B" - Film26 Project #2

The last two weeks of January were dedicated to the letter "B" for the Film26 Project that I am participating in this year. Here are the two pictures that I chose to submit to the group.


Bearded man in Bowler Hat

All photos taken with my Pentax K1000 and Kodak 400CN Film.