I just wanted to wish everybody a happy holiday this year! I hope you all get to take some time off, relax with friends and family, and do whatever it is you usually do over the winter holidays.
This is our family portrait for the 2008 holidays. I decided that I wanted to shoot it on medium format b/w film, so I loaded up the old Minolta Autocord TLR (vintage 1956) with some Ilford PanF Plus (ASA50). We decided to head up to the cliffs above Black’s Beach in order to get a nice backdrop. Rex freaked out the whole time because he was convinced that he would slide down the cliff at any moment.
One cool thing about this old camera is that it has a self-timer — about 15 seconds or so. I set it up on the tripod, focused on the wife and kids, set the exposure using the sunny 16 rule, and fired a few off. After developing the film myself, I went and bought a pack of 6″ x 4″ papers to print on.
Using my cheap-o Voss 75mm enlarger lens, I set it to f/8 and exposed the paper at 3 seconds with a #2 contrast filter. The photo you see above is a scan of the print. And I’m finding that my film scanner does a pretty good job at matching the darkroom prints.
So there you have it — in the height of the digital age, I managed to pull off a family portrait using completely analog techniques. Merry Christmas!
My buddy Neil Creek is running another photography project, and this one is titled “Share the Love“. He’s asking us to submit a photo of something in our lives that we love. I’m bending the rules a little with my triptych, but it’s still a single image file.
The people in the photos are my family – Rex, Candice, and Bailey (from left to right). I sure do love these guys. All three of them are so very different in personality, though all three are highly energetic. They keep me on my toes. I did this as a triptych because it’s a rare occasion that I get all three of them in the same shot looking at the camera and not making faces. Oh, and the dog — that’s Pinky. She’s not ours; we were dog-sitting for some friends. I think I love her too.
The three photos were taken on April 20th at my Grandfather’s house. We had a little family get-together and I took the opportunity to burn through a few rolls of black & white film (which also happens to be a new love in my life). The photos of Rex and Candice were taken with a roll of Ilford Delta 400, and the photo of Bailey was with some Ilford XP2. All three shots were done with my 135mm f/2.8 lens on my Minolta SRT-Super. The negatives were scanned and post processed with ACR for dust removal and slight tone adjustments. If you’re interested in participating in Neil’s project, better do it quick. The deadline is April 30, and he’s got a form on the project announcement page.
This is my Grandpa Bill. Truthfully, I don’t even know how old he is (my Mom just informed me that he’s 75). You wouldn’t know it by watching him get around and take care of everything himself. He’s had both knees completely replaced, he’s got really bad arthritis in his wrists, and I think his back is starting to give him problems. And yet… he plays with my kids, builds camp fires, shoots guns, and travels frequently to other countries. Just this last year, him and my Dad went to Taiwan and Borneo and hiked all around the mountains for days on end (my Dad said he had a hard time keeping up sometimes).
Aside from his brutal stubbornness to do everything for himself, he’s got to be one of the nicest and sweetest men I know. He lives just a few miles up the road from us, and he’s always more than accommodating to have us over for dinner and whatnot. The kids love him to pieces and they get so excited to go to his house.
He was also a Marine, he likes guns, he like swords, and he likes all things of the Asian culture. In this photo, he was looking back through one of his yearbooks (I think from his days at the academy). The late afternoon sun was shining through the windows across the room and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Here are some other photos from our little family get-together on Christmas day.
To see the rest of my December Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.