Fashion Shoot: Because of Nature

Shoot for ethical fashion label Because of Nature. Check them out on Instagram, they're doing awesome things with sustainable and ethical materials. All the fabrics are handwoven and dyed with natural substances. The clothes are absolutely beautiful!

Paper negatives, 4x5" camera, and a 100 year old lens

I recently became the owner of an Intrepid 4x5 camera (red bellows mmm yeah!). It's a great lightweight camera for large format shooting. I do own a vintage Russian FKD 13x18cm and a 3 1/4x 4 1/4 Speed Graphic, but the Intrepid is fast becoming my favourite.

My research at the moment is using paper negatives. This involves cutting down photographic paper under red safelights to fit the camera I'm using. In this case 4x5" of course. I've been experimenting for some time, at some point I'll try to do a more explanatory post about my journey. For now, using paper negatives involves using photographic paper instead of film in the camera. It has a unique look and is actually a faster way of creating an image generally, as the development process is very fast. Exposure times can be quite long however.

To begin you start with finding a base ISO (Ilford MGIV in my case is 3 ISO). This will result in  a quite contrasty negative. Preflashing (or post, it doesn't seem to make a difference) will cut down on the contrast and give a faster speed to the paper (ISO 6 in my case). I preflash under my enlarger and have tested with test strips to get the amount of light JUST BEFORE any tone is registered on the paper, so that last possible fraction of a second of paper white. Once I've gone out and exposed the paper in my camera I develop it in paper developer that is only half normal strength and for a maximum of 1 minute. You dont want tones being too strong and contrasty. I actually like to pull my negs out even earlier if I can get away with it, as they'll have more of the textural uneven look I'm after.

Anyway, this post is about my new lens! I recently acquired a 100 year old lens in a shutter for my Intrepid. It was originally from a pretty basic folder camera. The results: Amazing! I've only had time to give a brief testing in the backyard just before the sun went down but I can't wait to try it some more. It's so exciting being able to give this old equipment new life.

Intrepid 4x5, Antique 130mm lens, Ilford MGIV paper negative, ISO 6 (post-flashed), 3 secs@f5

Vintage Diana tests

I recently bought a lot of 3 original Diana cameras from South America and got to test them. The one with the best lens has a permanent light leak which I can't find the source of (naturally!) but the others are fine and still work very well. They all have a very unique look and are a lot of fun to use. The cameras are probably from somewhere around the 60's though it's very hard to tell as the design remained the same throughout it's production. 

Diana 1: Tri-X400 developed in Rodinal 1:25 because I was in a hurry!

Diana 2: Tri-X 400 developed in Caffenol CL semi-stand. this was a bit of an experiment with process as I hadn't developed Tri-X in Caffenol and had read many people saying it didn't work well. I found a process that was recommended at http://caffenol.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/and it didn't turn out too badly. I'll probably choose Rodinal in future specifically for Tri-X though, but it was very much useable.

This is the camera with the light leak. I patched it up somewhat in Photoshop in these ones, but more of the images just didn't work well because of it.

Diana 3: Tri-X 400 developed in Rodinal 1:50 (my usual)

Holga wanders

Wandering around my home town of Geelong with a Holga in hand. When you know your town pretty well you tend to miss a lot of the details that make it special so I wanted to explore areas I don't normally think of being places to photograph.

Barwon Grange and Holga

I think I may have found a new obsession! I could quite easily shoot with nothing but the Holga at this point, I'm just loving it. Portraits may have to be tried soon!

Barwon Grange is an old National Trust property in Geelong. It's a fascinating place with an interesting history and is great to visit. The tour guides are very friendly and knowledgeable, definitely a place to go see if you have a spare Sunday afternoon!

Melbourne with a toy camera

Holga cameras are wonderful, plastic film cameras. Very limited controls, limited quality, plastic lenses, they strip away all but the essentials (and even some of those!) and make you see in a completely different manner. You never quite know what's going to be in focus, random light leaks appear and vignettes around the edges of the frames all add to the appeal of these cameras.  I'm having a great time exploring the possibilities and loving the retro feel. Going from being a complete control freak over my images, to having pretty much no control is actually really liberating!

Holga 120N with Tri-X 400 film, processed in Rodinal and scanned with the Epson V700.

The Bushrangers

I'm a huge lover of history. I find the past fascinating and it's a goal of mine to somehow find a way to combine my photography with my study of history too. For now though, I get to play and have fun!

This shoot was so much fun. My models Nathan and Natasha are so easy to work with and just naturally look the part! Images were shot on Kodak tri-X 400 film, using a Nikon F100 and the Petzval 85mm lens. Developed and scanned by me. I love what i do!

Avalon Beach

Avalon Beach is such a wonderful place to photograph. I love that we still have areas like this that remain relatively hidden and unknown to so many Geelong residents! All images shot on film and will be in the Deakin group exhibition as large prints. I'm so happy with how they've turned out, I need to continue this series for sure!

New Group Exhibition...go see this one too!

I'm so honoured to be a part of Deakin University's 2nd year student exhibition, and to have my images featured on their promotional materials! I've been in hospital with a rare auto-immune condition so have had a pretty awful couple of weeks but this has put a much needed smile back in my heart!

It's always so interesting to see student work; we'll be the next wave of artists coming out so go check it all out! So many different styles and interpretations. The Visual Arts work makes me so wish I could paint and draw. There are some gorgeous photobooks going on display too; we have such talent in our classes!