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Canon TLB Clean-Up and Test Roll

At work I've kind of become the go to DI (digital imaging) person. It's been interesting learning the new sides of digital photography since I've been out of the digital world for a few years. Not a lot has changed. Cameras now just boast higher megapixel counts, better ISO sensitivity and sometimes faster frames per second. 

After having chatted with co-workers, one co-worker mentioned that he had some old cameras that he was wondering if I could give a look over and see if they worked. One of the cameras was this dusty old Canon TLb. I did not have high hopes for this thing since it was REALLY dirty when I got ahold of it. I gave it a thorough cleaning and loaded some Kentmere 400 into it. Besides the fact that I didn't know if this thing would really work, I had also never used Kentmere, so it was a big experiment all the way around. 

I took photos of every day random things. A couple of our pets, one of my daughter, a couple outside, and a couple at a friend's birthday party.  I then developed the negatives in HC-110 and hung them to dry. I was fairly impressed with the results. The camera seems to be functioning properly. I tried to make sure to use it in a variety of conditions including low light, bright sunlight, indoors and outdoors to test the varying shutter speeds and apertures and from the looks of it it performed well. When I returned the camera to my co-worker, I told him the good news and encouraged him to get a decent CLA done on it and he'd have a good, working camera for a long time. He laughed about how something like that could go without use for years and years and be able to be picked up and used to produce great images where as if you did that with a digital camera you would have tons of issues. I agreed. It is, after all, another reason why I love shooting film. 

Here are some of the results:

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Florals and Film

Olympus OM1n with Kodak Portra 400 - 2016

It's no secret that I absolutely love fresh flowers. Ask my husband after I've walked out of the store in the middle of January while he's been waiting in the car and I'm carrying a bundle of tulips and pussy willow. In this past year, that has been the one thing that I've discovered about Long Island that I absolutely love- the flowers. There is such an abundance of beautiful flowers that I can't even begin to name all of them.

olympusom1nkodake100speonies

There have been everything from Dahlias to Peonies to Sunflowers and many many more. What's better than my love for flowers? Taking pictures of flowers with film. Throughout the spring and summer of 2016, I chronicled my ever growing obsession with fresh flowers by taking as many snapshots as possible with a huge variety of film. I used everything from Kodak Portra 400 to expired Kodak E100s.

It marked the first time I ever saw a field of sunflowers in bloom.

Also, the first time I ever experienced the beauty of farmstand bouquets.

I can't wait for spring to arrive again. I don't think there is anything really as beautiful as a fresh flower in bloom, except maybe my daughter holding said flowers since I think my obsession with florals rubbed off on her ;) or maybe it's in the blood?

Until next time, stay wild and beautiful my friends :)

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What To Do When The Honeymoon Is Over

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What To Do When The Honeymoon Is Over

To those who actually read these posts, I know, it's been awhile since I've posted. The past couple of months have been a struggle for me. I have felt that my work and my vision as a photographer has been insufficient, that I was lacking something, that my work wasn't good enough no matter how pretty or technically sound it was. I felt that I needed to do something else, that I needed to shoot what others wanted. Well, that's where I was wrong.

So, why the topic of this post? What does shooting film have to do with a relationship or a honeymoon? I have had the idea for this post for almost a month now, but I did not want to write about something that I didn't quite believe in yet myself. Photography, or anything you do as an artist, is like a relationship. It's a relationship you have with something that you enjoy doing and you feel you're pretty good at. Like a lot of relationships that start, in the beginning it's all excitement and adventure and new. It's different and intriguing. You get the warm fuzzies every time you are out taking pictures. Everything looks AWESOME. You're so in LOVE with every photo. You get a new camera and it's like "oh my god where have you been my entire life". Well, after awhile, I think we all hit that road bump. We all come down from the high of the new relationship we have with film and we start to doubt ourselves. We start to doubt our work. We start to withdrawal and say "well this photo isn't really that good, I won't share it", even if the whole time we were out taking that photo we were excited, the lighting was perfect, it was our favorite film, but we get the film back and we just don't feel it anymore. Or, our equipment starts to break down and everything seems to need replacing, costs start mounting up, we wonder why we ever started, our scanners start acting up on us and we wish we could be super rich so we could just BUY everything and any camera we want and always be able to just go get whatever we want and we start resenting everyone around us who we see buying and enjoying new gear. We lose that feeling we had when we first started. The way it felt to actually TAKE the picture and how beautiful film really is. When I first started, I took photos with my beat up Pentax and I didn't care. I loved the photos I got from it. Lately, I found myself not wanting to take photos because all my gear seemed to be breaking and I was (am always) broke so it's not like I can just go out and buy nice fancy new things.
 

It's not the gear you have, but how you use it

It's not the gear you have, but how you use it

And just like that, the honeymoon is over. Now maybe you haven't reached this point, maybe you have and you've gotten past it like I'm currently working on. I don't want people to pity me or say things just to bolster my confidence about my work. I had to realize that I have to do it for me. My photos may not be what some people care about, but others might, and if even no one does, if I do, that's what matters. I may not shoot super models or fashion (yet), I may not be Ansel Adams when it comes to awesome landscapes, but I have to remind myself that I care about the photos I take. Each one of them is a memory, a moment. So, when my honeymoon with film ended, when everything stopped being so cheery and bright and sunny, I made myself go back. I started scanning all my old Polaroids, from the very beginning (even before I started shooting a 35mm film camera 2 years ago) I came across some of my daughter and that's when it hit me. Who cares what others think? This moment, this time in Amarillo, Texas out in our back yard when my daughter was 3 years old walking in the field. That is what matters. That is what will last. That Polaroid is something she will have when she grows up, that memory will live. And that's it, that's what matters to me.

Underneath the Amarillo Sky- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP100C (ca. 2012)

Underneath the Amarillo Sky- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP100C (ca. 2012)

I know this is long, and if you've made it so far, I applaud you, you've earned a gold star sticker, but hang in there.

So I dug a little deeper.

I am a self professed perfectionist. Lately it's been even worse. If a photo doesn't come out EXACTLY like how I want it, I'm quick to write it off and be overly judgemental of myself and kind of bash myself for wasting that film or that photo. I'm still working on this. I don't want to lose my drive for perfection in my eye, but I don't want to throw away a photo just because it didn't turn out perfect. This is even more prevalent when it comes to Polaroids taken with a camera like the Colorpack. It's a one shot deal and there isn't really a way to guarantee the focus or exposure except for judging the distance from the subject and using a crude little exposure dial to try and get proper exposure for your photo. One photo that I took several months ago was on our long trip from Florida up to New York for our move. I wanted a photo of Jacqui as my little co-pilot, but seeing as the shortest focal distance that Colorpack can do is 3 feet, you can imagine that getting spot on focus would be tricky in such a confined space. This is the photo-

Road Tripping- Polaroid Colorpack 3- Polaroid 690

Road Tripping- Polaroid Colorpack 3- Polaroid 690

It is technically speaking a disaster- the subject is completely out of focus, the highlights on her face are blown out and not to mention her face is half cut off.

This photo sat in my car for the longest time, I took one look at it and stashed it up in the little thing that holds your sunglasses that always fall out. It ended up on the floor of the car a few times. It was curled up almost to beyond saving at the bottom of a box in my closet and up until this morning it was just lying on my desk, destined for the discard pile. But after having scanned some of my old polaroids and re-falling in love with a few of them again, I decided to at least scan this photo, if anything to preserve it since it had started to crack on the back from the abuse of being tossed around. What I realized when I looked at it today was that it doesn't matter that it isn't perfect, it captures the mood I wanted to portray perfectly. The obvious setting of being in the car on a long trip. The childs pillow tucked by the door for a nap, the horribly bad for you fast food, the security blanket stuffed animal to keep you company on the long drive, and the feeling of love between the two subjects and trust that she has for me. This moment is everything. It's my daughter and I driving with God knows how many miles ahead of us. It's that moment that I wanted to capture and even if the photo isn't perfect, the moment is.
 

So that's it. That's what I did when my honeymoon with film ended. I reminded myself of what made me fall in love with film, and photography, in the first place. It wasn't the perfect technical photos of gorgeous little flowers in that golden hour sunlight. It was the moments that I was capturing while taking photos.

Taking photos isn't always about capturing that technically perfect moment or the most beautiful landscape or a gorgeous model (although those are great things to do with film as well, and I'm always inspired by photos by others like that)... it's about the little things too-

Sleepover- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP-100C

Sleepover- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP-100C

It's about sleepovers with your best furfriend.

Path Less Traveled- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP100C (ca. 2014)

Path Less Traveled- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP100C (ca. 2014)

It's about taking the path less traveled with someone you love.

The Walk- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP100C

The Walk- Polaroid Colorpack 3- FP100C

And it's about finding that perfect moment in an imperfect world and sharing it with the ones you love.

So that's it. If you made it this far then you're done! Thank you for reading this, even as rambling and long as it is, and if you read it all and it maybe helped how you have been feeling about your relationship with photography or any other type of art you do, then please let me know! We can all use some encouragement along the way of these paths of ours.

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Happy Film-lovers Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, or, as my husband calls it "National Day For Card Companies to Scam You". As you can see, we're a very romantic couple ;) My Valentine's joy was spread out over a few days. My husband got my an orchid a couple days before hand as my Valentine's day present because he refused to go to the store on Valentine's day. I bought myself the Alex and Ani Jedi symbol bracelet as a gift to myself (hey, don't hate ;) ) My parents sent me a gift card to B&H which has already dutifully been spent on a pro-pack of TMAX 400, a pro-pack of TMAX 100, some hypoclear, another datatainer, some film clips, and some negative handling gloves. 

There wasn't any romantic dinners, we ordered pizza, and I spent most of the day sorting my negatives to start the tedious process of re-scanning them all and playing some Fallout 4. Yes, you heard that right, re-scanning ALL of them. (insert groan here)

Why am I doing this you ask? Well, over the last several months I've had one laptop that had a hard drive fail, then when it was fixed later on my husband caught it on fire (yes, like real literal hot fire that had to be beat out with a blanket) and then Best Buy told me it would be covered under my extended warranty, but the repair facility in Kentucky said it wasn't, but they would be glad to fix it all for me for a tidy sum of $425 dollars. Anyways, then I was using a borrowed laptop, and now I finally got a replacement. Through all of that I've had some of my negatives and edits on other portable hard drives, but I was tired of having a hard drive that had a bunch of random mixed photos between digital and film on it. So, last week, I got a brand new, sleek and shiny portable hard drive JUST for my film. Hence why we are here. On top of that, I rather don't mind the tedious task of scanning negatives. I put them in my scanner, run a preview, and set them to scan while I finish out a quest on Fallout. It works out rather well. It also gives me a chance to look over old negatives and breathe new life into ones that I had previously discarded, like this one. 

                       When You Wish Upon A Star- Hasselblad 500C- Kodak Portra 400

                       When You Wish Upon A Star- Hasselblad 500C- Kodak Portra 400

                                  Candle-light - Cinestill 800T - Olympus OM1N

                                  Candle-light - Cinestill 800T - Olympus OM1N

As a bonus, the night before Valentine's Day, Cinestill announced me as one of their beta testers for their Cinestill120 campaign! (insert squeal of delight). I have belovedly been following Cinestill's rise the last few years. I haven't always been able to afford to purchase their film, but when I have, I've been dutiful about making the most out of it.
I backed their new indiegogo project to support the production and release of Cinestill 800T in 120 format and on my Instagram I've been posting daily #favoritesoncinestill that reminisce on some of my more favorite shots taken on the gorgeous film. If you haven't backed it yet, do it!  As you can see, I conveniently linked to it twice so you can't miss it. 

And this happened! YAY! 

And this happened! YAY! 

So that about sums it up! A wonderful day full of relaxation and family topped off by being chosen to be a new beta tester for an amazing film. Can it get any better? 

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Celebrate

The day that changed my life

The day that changed my life

We all have those moments. Moments that we can look back on and say "wow, that really changed my life." Facebook likes to remind us of those moments, lol, and today, it reminded me that two years ago, this day, I shot my first roll of film. I knew how to shoot in manual, I had done that with my digital camera,but this camera was a different beast altogether. The light meter didn't work (corroded battery compartment), in fact, I had no idea if the camera worked, at all. Little did I know that that camera would become one of my most trusted companions many times over.

I remember this day. It was a really beautiful, sunny day. Cold, but beautiful. My sister took me to this nature preserve near my parent's house. I googled the Sunny 16 rule and kind of just played by ear.

Here is (one of) my all time favorite photo(s)-- come on parents, can we really only pick one?-- of my daughter, Jacqueline, playing a forest fairy. I remember seeing this scan. I remember how I felt realizing that that camera, that little flea market Pentax, gave me this BEAUTIFUL photo. I couldn't believe it.
 

Forest Fairy- TMAX 100- Pentax K1000

Forest Fairy- TMAX 100- Pentax K1000

Here we are, two years later and today was an amazing film day as well. I shot two rolls. One is hanging to dry and the other is ready to be sent to the lab. In two years I have come to learn so much. I have started developing my own film, scanning my own film, shooting medium format... and there is still so much more to learn! I can't wait.

Long Live Film

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Happy New Years

It's a Celebration- Olympus OM1n-TMAX 400 Pushed to 800

It's a Celebration- Olympus OM1n-TMAX 400 Pushed to 800

New Year's eve is always a time to celebrate for us, mostly because our daughter was born on New Year's eve, 8 years ago :) I joke with her and tell her that when she get's older, she'll always have friends to party with on her birthday because everyone will be partying anyways! 

30 minutes of wrapping, 30 seconds of desctruction

30 minutes of wrapping, 30 seconds of desctruction

This New Year's eve was even more awesome because I was honored to be included as the last interviewee for 2015 for EMULSIVE film online magazine . *happy dance* It has actually been several months in the making, haha. Emulsive started up back in mid 2015 and I started following them on Twitter and chatting back and forth and we planned the interview for back in September or thereabouts. Life took several twists and turns and I kept putting it off, finally they slated it for December 31st. I was so excited and it really was the icing on the cupcake for the year that was 2015. 

And tie it all together with spending the day with my own little birthday girl, and it ended up being a wonderful finish to the year. Hoping you all have a wonderful start to 2016! Come back soon to see my "Best of 2015" post featuring some of my favorite film shots from the year. 

And to close it off, a photo of a super adorable cat, of course. 
 


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Tis The Season For Film

Wow, has it really been five months since I last posted? Time flies and lives get busy I suppose. I'll keep this short and simple and post some of my favorite photos from last Christmas season and a couple I've developed from this season. (since color hasn't gone out yet) 

 

                                                           Oh Kitten Tree, Oh Kitten Tree                                                            Olympus OM1N- Cinestill 800T       

                                                           Oh Kitten Tree, Oh Kitten Tree
                                                           Olympus OM1N- Cinestill 800T       

                                                                  Beginning of excitement                                                                Olympus OM1n- Cinestill 800T

                                                                  Beginning of excitement
                                                               Olympus OM1n- Cinestill 800T

                                                                        Father Christmas                                             Hasselblad 500C- Kodak TMAX 400- Rodinal

                                                                        Father Christmas
                                            Hasselblad 500C- Kodak TMAX 400- Rodinal

I hope you all are enjoying your holidays. Until next time.

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The Color Purple- Lomochrome Purple Review

Ask anyone that knows me- I'm kind of a purist when it comes to film. I like to get what I SEE in the viewfinder, so, experimenting with something as "extreme" to me as Lomochrome by lomography was not something I had been able to wrap my head around yet. I sat on this roll for over a year ,waiting for some inspiration. Finally, I just put the roll in my camera and went around and took pictures. I tried to do a variety and take pictures of both nature-esque and portrait type work so I could see what I would most like with this film. I've seen examples of both that I really loved. So, here's the results. 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

I definitely loved the graveyard shots. I loved the color shift with the flowers vs. the grass and leaves. Here's a couple of others. 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

For that shot, I wanted to see how it did at night with other light sources. This shot was in my backyard with the flashlight on my phone. 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Skin tones were a lot of what I was looking to see differences with. I tweaked a little here and there, but the results from the Celtic Festival were interesting. 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

lomopurple705.jpg

Finally, I wanted to see that all so popular purple grass that comes with Lomochrome. 

lomopurple709.jpg
Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Overall, the film is a lot of fun and gives you an other-worldly feel to a lot of your photos. I would recommend trying it out for fun! On top of that, I love supporting film in any form as it helps keep this momentum going to keep film alive! Do you like Lomochrome Purple? Have any cool shots to share? I would love to see! 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple 

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

Olympus OM1N- Lomochrome Purple @400

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ˈin-ˌgrānd (In-Grained)

Wild horses of Cumberland Island- Panatomic X in Rodinal- Olympus OM1N

Wild horses of Cumberland Island- Panatomic X in Rodinal- Olympus OM1N

Wow, I can't believe it's been two months since my last post. I could have sworn that I posted something last month, but then again time has been flying. So much has been going on since my last post.

This post though, I want to mention a new Facebook page that I'm hoping to help boost. It's called In-Grained. It's a page all about film. I'll be uploading some of my work there and hopefully sharing helpful articles from both my blog here as well as ones that I come across on the internet and also interviewing fellow photographers who inspire me. 

So, make sure to check it out

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Time Travel

Olympus OM1N-Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3 for 5:40- Scanned with Epson V600 Celtic Festival- 2015

Olympus OM1N-Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3 for 5:40- Scanned with Epson V600
Celtic Festival- 2015

This past weekend was the Celtic Festival here in Ormond Beach, so I decided to try my hand at a second roll of black and white to develop. While it was hot, the festival was still fun. Jacqui got to make a fairy house and I took plenty of pictures of her doing her thing around the fair. 

A lot of the vendors went the extra mile to make you feel like you stepped back in time to the 17th century with clothing, food, jewelry and of course, swords. What would a Celtic Festival be without swords and handmade leather armor. I was dressed by some very nice "hand maidens" at the Aunt MJ's Creations booth and walked away with a period era, hand made blouse and bodice. We listened to music being played throughout the festival, enjoyed some good food, and browsed the beautiful hand made vendor's booths around the grounds. 

Olympus OM1N- Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3 Festival Food Celtic Festival 2015

Olympus OM1N- Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3
Festival Food
Celtic Festival 2015

Olympus OM1N- Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3 Swampfires Handmade Pottery Celtic Festival 

Olympus OM1N- Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3
Swampfires Handmade Pottery
Celtic Festival 

Festivals are a fun past time. Whether people attend to embrace their roots, try new food, or simply get out and enjoy the day, you're always certain to have a good time and see new interesting things and meet new people. 

Olympus Om1N- Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3 Join the clan Celtic Festival, 2015

Olympus Om1N- Ilford HP5 Plus- Ilfosol 3
Join the clan
Celtic Festival, 2015

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