hold me

As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

The last couple of weeks have been full of experimentation and new developments (pardon the pun) after setting up my new darkroom. I have already made quite a number of prints and I was quite surprised that the experience gained from making just a handful of them a few years ago hasn’t faded completely. In fact, even the very first print with my new enlarger turned out wonderfully! By now I’ve made some 20 prints on RC and FB paper in different sizes and I’m hooked. When they say that a silvery image appearing in a tray is quite magical, you should believe every word!

The weather and the work on printing have kept me from shooting much, but I feel like I’ve had a breakthrough. I’ve been printing a specific project and the negatives were old, shot on slightly broken gear and were developed rather badly, so I never was quite happy with scans from them in the past. However, apart from a few difficult exceptions they did print quite wonderfully on FB paper and I’ve seen a definite jump in quality and character. I’m onto something and I will continue to work on the project to see how far I can get with it. In any case, starting with darkroom work was a great decision and it opens up a whole new range of possibilities.

At some point I will take the time to scan some of the prints, but today I’ll show you some regular film scans from pictures taken in August 2015. The pictures were mostly shot on Fomapan 400 and it turns out that I can dislike both T-Max 400 and Fomapan 400, although they’re at opposite ends of the film spectrum. T-Max 400 is a very fine grain emulsion with a rather digital looking tonality range, whereas Fomapan 400 is a coarse grain retro emulsion with considerable glow to it. Given the choice between a demon and the devil himself I’d always pick Foma, since I generally prefer classic grain. Although I won’t buy Fomapan 400 in 35mm again, I’m pleased with the pictures beyond the technicalities. It was warm, crowded and great for shooting, so get some coffee / tea and enjoy plenty of summery shots in these wintery times.

Pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8; Olympus XA; Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.

Starting off with M6 and my last HP5+ / Caffenol-CH.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Maybe it was too much for her to see …

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Is it me or do dog and man have the exact same facial expression?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I wonder what the name of this game is, dog crutch ball?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Say hello.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Happy biker.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Backpacker central.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Delicious children …

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Look who I met!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Tickled my bw spidey senses. I knew her hair would light up like that in bw.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Nope, this spinning top doesn’t belong to the kid, he’s just rolling his up!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Suspenders clearly belong to a different generation.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Here the light was working against me. Look closely at the boys on the right.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Nope, this wasn’t about the camera, it was the sunshine! Vampire kid!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

He was too close for my zone, but I like it anyway.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Some bread lined up on a scooter seat … nope, I don’t know what that’s all about either …

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Flight simulator?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Strangely this must have been 1/125. I rarely shoot at that speed while I’m walking.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Outside a candy shop.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I especially liked the owl.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Girl and daddy having a little boxing match, ball mid air, but clearly not the right picture for the blog.

I changed to the Olympus XA for a couple of rolls to see how I feel about the camera after more than half a year of Leica joy. Still HP5+ / CCH.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Serious conversation?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Shades and cigar.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Not too happy?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Family scene.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015 © Lilly Schwartz 2015

And relax!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Uhm … right.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

View from the promenade.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Oh no, where did I leave my own board?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

People were queuing for something, can’t remember what.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Obviously a very hot day.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Can’t see where the bangs end and the furball starts

Another XA roll, Fomapan 400 / Caffenol-CL stand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015 © Lilly Schwartz 2015

Can’t tell whether this is shaky or out of focus. Probably both.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Coming out of church.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Hah, not a smart phone!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Grumpy look.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

End of the roll complete with bulk loading light leak.

XA verdict: Sharpness is overrated? Looking at these feels like going a bit blind after all that Zeiss sharpness … maybe it’s not so visible on the blog, but on 20x30cm prints or zoomed in it’s quite apparent.

Back to M6 and Zeiss bliss, Fomapan 400 / CCL.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

When you expose the Fomapan just right, it can shine too, but it falls into the mud way too quickly to be useful for hip shooting.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Depressed dog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I just love this one!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Fomapan is not even close to fine grain, so squaring the Leica shots isn’t really a serious option. But this way you can also see what I mean by “mud”.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Taking note of the right shoe?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I was having a killer day. 4 shots worth printing in one day, 3 on a single roll! This one cracked me up.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015 © Lilly Schwartz 2015

Twins! Cracked me up too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Another instalment of people pointing at things.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Serious looks all around.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Typical Fomapan. Barely a stop below and you already get murky shadows and midtones while the highlights still go nuts over the probably missing anti-halation layer. Not a fan and won’t be buying it again in 35mm. Also, super sensitive emulsion, a third of the rolls were scratched or had some minor emulsion damage just from bulk loading. It’s cheap for a reason! The only way to make it shine is to buy pre-rolled / roll without a bulk loader and meter correctly. There is no way to combat the retro glow though, which isn’t my cup of tea.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Yep, why not block the whole sidewalk right at a crossing?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

On break.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

There was a nice band playing, so I stuck around for some shots.

The next few: Rollei, Portra 400, bw conversion.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I had never seen / heard a real singing saw before, only in cartoons or video games! Difficult to get the saw on the picture in any meaningful way, so I focussed on the bow instead.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015 © Lilly Schwartz 2015

Also, Portra 400 is some of the smoothest 400 stuff ever and shines in BW too. Big fan.

M6, Fomapan 400 / CCL.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

They got quite a crowd together.

Another Rollei shot when they were taking a little break.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

After a while I sat down on a bench and tried to see what I could get from there. M6 / Foma 400 CCL.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Unwilling puppy.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Doll at minimum focus distance.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Another spectator.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Delicious.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The musicians packed up, the crowd needed a siesta.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Obviously I was in a close distance mood.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Bringing lunch and shopping home.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Another street encounter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Not sure he was as happy with his day as I was at that point. Last shot of the day and post. The end.

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