Magic Fountain

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Has it really been that long?

Well I just got the shock of my life when I read it’s been 2 years since I last posted well anything. I have been around and posting to other places and seem to have forgotten what I was doing here and what I was using it for.

So I need some help to rethink what this site is going to be about.

I will think big and deep and come up with some ideas for keeping this place going. It may just end up a blog of my ramblings about photography and all it’s ephemera. 

Let’s see where it goes, and sorry it’s taken my so long to get back to you all.

Pink Lake

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This is a shot I took at a rather lovely Melbourne iconic place.

Under the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne is one of the last natural flood plains of the Yarra River that ultimately has fallen into a polluted mess due to diversions and the lack of water flow. The lake in the marsh lands is now pink due to its super high salinity and the pink comes from a microbiological algae bloom in the water.

Super pretty though.

Sebastemulsion Snail ISO6 Black and White Film

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity from the wonderful crew at Sebastemulsion and Film Never Die to shoot and review a small batch of Snail film the had rolled onto spools for the adventures of slowness. When I collected it, what threw me at the start is that the film is white! After a lot of reading and research, the film has no anti halation cover which makes it super sensitive in light, and as a film its very sensitive to blue light.

When I sat and thought about it for a while, I was wondering how was going to work with this at such slow speeds as a number one, but as number two what was I going to shoot to do the film justice and give a definite change and run through different conditions? So I decided to load it into the trusty old Nikon F4S and see where it takes us.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Searching around my office I managed to come across a few scraps of old lighting gels in different colours, so not having my 55mm Red filter handy, I was able to cut an small round of red gel and fit it under the lens hood. This was never ever going to be a great filter, but it would help and make something a little more ‘Interesting’ or as some would say ‘Artistic’ or even ‘Low Tech’.

By looking at the results, I am fairly amazed not only how the ‘Low Tech’ option faired, but how the images actually look. Nice and dreamy with lovely deep blacks and a fairly crisp white without being overly blown away to nothing.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

This was when I had switched to an Orange Glass filter, and I think i like these a little more. The tones seem to have more graduation and slide in-between each other a little more than just big clumps.

Close Crop section of image to see tonal graduation. Nikon F4S and Orange Glass Filter.

Close Crop section of image to see tonal graduation. Nikon F4S and Orange Glass Filter.

Even looking at the above crop in section, the tones are amazingly smooth with such definition between them all. With such a fine grain, the film shows great hard edges with almost no loss of detail cropped in this close. This section was taken at just under 500 pixels and expanded to 1200 pixels. Gives us all a great idea how ‘crisp’ this film can be.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

I have talked it up, and I am pretty happy to do so to be honest. Was there any to report on the bad sides.. Yeah there was, but I am really of the opinion the downs weren’t that down. Sure I had to carry a tripod almost every as it was almost near impossible to shoot this film hand held unless you were wide open at f1.8 so you could get 80th sec, but that didn’t really get to me that much as I don’t mind using a tripod, but it was fogging.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

After reading many many reports on Flickr it turns out this is a pretty normal occurrence with films using Kodak 5302. The film is so thin that even the light traps on conventional 35mm film rolls may let some light in and fog a few of the frames. Again yes I would say it’s a negative, but is it a deal breaker from buying this film? Definitely Not!! Yes I maybe should have placed the film into a tube to keep it out of the light, and I should have loaded it into the camera in subdued light, and I should have bathed in unicorn tears to make sure blah blah blah……… All I want to see is performance and quality. The fogging didn’t effect the quality of performance of the film or subject matter I was shooting, it enhanced it in may ways.

I would defiantly buy more of this film. It has a special place in where I would love to do a little more night shooting of even very late afternoon and really string out the exposures to 10-30 seconds. It was great fun to use and I highly recommend it.

Imagery and Songs

Sometimes you just have to look up at the sky and wonder, as that is where the daydream starts and the opening of ones mind into new ideas starts.

I have always hopped to be a lot more open minded, and always found myself stuck in my own thoughts. The idea of the daydream is to reveal something different inside ones self, the child like freedom to wonder about anything and everything.

With this in the back of my mind I created this set of images based on a song purely devoted to the idea of the daydream and how the daydream feels in a musical sense. I wont mention the song as I think it might be more fun if people could guess..

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Well Good Bye 2014…. You were what you were……

This time of year is a funny one for me. I find myself on many occasions sitting alone and wondering what is really going on in my life and what are the answers to all the questions that have never been answered. Today again I found myself sitting quietly and on the verge of tears for like the third time today for no reason at all.

I must admit the Christmas and New Years periods are fairly sad times for me, and I have never really been able to adjust. To many bad memories bounce around inside my head, never with an outlet.

This year has produced a lot of very steep highs and cavernous lows, and every time I have taken that typically Australian manly chin of mine and stuck it out into the abyss to be hit repeatedly and not fall down. I have conquered many fears by being thrown into the fire and had to adjust, and at times I have fallen into a heap with nothing but regret and clasping my head asking why and how.

I have worked with many many lovely, dedicated, honest, and sincere people during the year which has boosted not only my photographic profile, but taught me I am able to stretch the elastic band sometimes to the point where it might break.  In this year has also seen the elastic band break, and I have had to stop, regroup, and decide to continue on or not in more ways than one. When projects go bad, or you have an idea that fails, there is a period of not only morning but learning as well. The ability just to throw it out and start a new is where you make the decision to continue on that chosen path.

2015 Is a new year and already filled with challenges and doubts that in turn I will deal with as they appear. The year will be arduous and long, the challenges great and will seem unsurmountable, but as long as my dear friends are close I shall be able to conquer all.

I wish you all a Happy New Year, and may it bring the joy and happiness you all deserve.

Nathan Larkin

Film V Digital…. AGAIN

Another PetaPixel page about film v digital.

I don’t think it fair right off the bat to compare the Nikon D800E to a Mamiya 7. With megapixels and 120mm film there is definitely a major difference in size straight away! Then when they add in the Phase One IQ80 as well as a 4×5 and 8×10 film view cameras and I get lost in all this perceived data.

I would rather think of film v digital like Vanilla v Chocolate Ice Cream.

One can have everything added to it if you like. It’s a base that does everything really well and there is all the potential in the world to manipulate it and make what you like of it. The other is pretty much EVERYONES favourite at one time or another and just oozes all the good stuff. Yeah it’s pretty limited as it is only the one flavour, but there are may different styles to the flavour and we can add the odd little extra to make it just that little more nice nice.

What do I shoot? We I am a mixed shooter like most photographers now. Every idea requires a different tool, and using that tool well makes all the difference. What should you shoot? Anything and everything!!