Christmas in the Basque Country – Part 2

Yesterday I returned from a trip to Germany where I was working on 3 different projects. It was cold and uncomfortable, there was a lot of long winded and annoying travel involved, but while I was there I had lots of fun anyway. I saw some excellent exhibitions, caught up with some friends and spent time with my family. I also shot 29 rolls in about 2 weeks and walked 71km! And all of it was possible thanks to my new medication: CBD, which is a form of medical cannabis. For 8 years I was in constant chronic pain and suddenly with this miracle plant I can travel and walk, even hike up mountains with a heavy large format camera! I’m still annoyed that I didn’t find this solution earlier! Why? Well, politics and capitalism. And in case you are wondering: No high with CBD and perfectly legal in the whole EU.

While I was in Germany I also continued working on my newest DIY project, which has exploded into quite a big endeavour. The plan was to build a DIY graflarger back, i.e. a light source that I can mount on my Speed Graphic to turn the camera into a 4×5 enlarger. From a hacked together contraption that was basically just a diffused light source of the right size that would be mounted with a bit of bungee cord I went to a design that will now involve RGB LEDs that I can use in 3 different modes – RGB colour correction like on the computer, RYB colour correction like regular colour enlargers and a multigrade mode that will work like the variocontrast light source on my Durst enlarger. It also won’t be mounted with bungee cord, but will get a proper 3D printed casing and a modular negative holder that will fit a standard international back and can print a whole lot of unusual formats. And since the RGB control needed a micro controller anyway, I might as well include a split grade f-stop timer with an analyser that will hopefully reduce the test strips I need to make and therefore save lots of time when printing.

So far I’ve got the RGB and RYB modes figured out and I have some notes for the VC mode. After that I will tackle the timer and as soon as some additional parts arrive I will set up the interface. It will actually have a display, a keypad and a few knobs to make it easy and comfortable to use. The last part will be the analyser, which probably won’t be entirely straight forward to do. However, there is some existing code that I can adapt for my purposes, like it is often the case when you’re trying to build something like this. There are usually lots of clever people out there who have already tried whatever it is you want to do and they are usually eager to share their experiences. I thought I would have to come up with my own RYB to RGB function, but as it turns out a clever person had already done it before and I only had to rewrite the code in a different programming language. Another clever person also developed an open source f-stop timer that I will adapt for my purposes and extend with functionality aimed at split grade printing. I could even make it possible to control this via a web interface on a smart phone.

This kind of spirit where people share their clever code and make their builds available for everyone to try is what I love about the maker community. If I wanted to buy a light source like the one that I’ve already started to program, I would easily pay 1100€ just for the light source, and every type of controller is sold separately – BW, colour or controlled with an app – for between 200-500€. An f-stop timer with an analyser would go for another 1000€. And it wouldn’t even handle like a proper enlarger head, neither colour nor vario contrast, since Heiland electronics who produce these light sources didn’t feel like figuring out how to have them produce magenta (red+blue) and yellow (red+green) or write an RGB to RYB conversion function. Strange for their kind of asking prices, especially since it’s not exactly rocket science! And besides, any (supervised) 10 year old could rebuild their basic light source design with the RGB colour controller by cobbling together a bunch of Arduino beginner tutorials for about 30€. All it needs is an RGB LED strip, any kind of cheap arduino clone – like the nano -, three transistors, some resistors, potentiometers, knobs and a cheap red LCD display. Soldering required, but that’s not rocket science either! That it’s so easy to hack together is exactly why the project keeps getting bigger. Adding one more function doesn’t seem like a big deal. In any case, I’m progressing bit by bit and I hope to be finished with all of it by April.

After returning from my trip, I will now also continue with my efforts to catch up on my film development and editing. I now have some 60 undeveloped rolls that I can tackle and after already developing a lot before I left I have about 120 rolls worth of scans to edit. I’m not be a big fan of the whole developing, scanning and editing business, so avoiding this part always feels like cutting a whole lot of boredom out of my workflow. However, it has to be done eventually and it’s even worse to do it all in one go. One of my resolutions for 2018 is trying to keep up with all the developing, scanning and editing, but for this to happen I actually have to catch up first. We’ll see whether I can manage before my next trip!

In any case, let’s finally move on to the pictures! It’s not Christmas anymore, but in the last post I promised you a second Christmas in the Basque Country post and here it is. Any leftover eggnog? Well, now is the time for it! Somehow things always get in the way and I don’t post as often as I should. Another thing to tackle in 2018.

Pictures taken with: Leica M6 with Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.2 and Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1. Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.

M6 / 35mm Nokton / HP5+.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

On Christmas Eve we usually go for a walk in the morning. Around here Christmas Eve means people in traditional dresses.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

He has to wait outside even on Christmas Eve, poor little fella.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I’m afraid there is going to be singing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Lots of kids.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Adults too though!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

More interested in the toy car!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Singing for money, another Christmas Eve tradition. What baffles me is the willingness of teenagers to dress up in traditional dress. I never would have done anything so conformist!

Rollei Retro 400s.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I like that little girl in the doorway.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Reflection. The kids were looking at the display of a model railway. Not sure why that’s a Christmas thing here – for me it’s a train station thing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Obligatory dog picture.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

More singing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

And gravity wins again! Unsurprising that kids don’t know how to ice skate in a place where it never snows.

Delta 3200 @1000.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

That’s the Christmas spirit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

I have to say that Delta 3200 in 35mm isn’t very impressive, too much grain! Pushing slower film makes much more sense even though it sacrifices shadow detail. However, in medium format it has great tonality and looks good even at 3200.

M6 / 50mm Nokton / FP4+.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

In Spain the three holy kings or magi have their own celebration, los reyes magos. The kids stand in line to see the magi at the town hall in the morning and then there is a procession in the evening. And of course there are also presents involved. Around here it’s almost as important or even more important than Christmas Eve / Day.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Standing in line means that the kids are bored. However, usually figure out a way to entertain themselves. Photographically it would otherwise be an immensely dull event too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

They found a new friend.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Rollei / Ilford XP2 (HC-110).

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Hand face synchronisation.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

I got a bit bored, but puppies are a good remedy for boredom!

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Oh so cute!

Leica M6 / Nokton 35mm / Ilford Pan 400 @1600.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

In the evening we went to see the procession. I’ve been trying to photograph that event a couple of times already. The first time I only had an f/2.8 lens and it was simply too dark for it. Well, gear matters sometimes! The second time we mixed up the days and when I accidentally ran into the procession I simply couldn’t get a good vantage point because of the crowds. This time we finally managed to get it right, found a good spot, I had a fast lens and film that pushes well.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

The girl in the middle doesn’t look too happy.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Metering with open fire in the frame is a challenge. Turned out alright though!

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

As always, kids in traditional dresses.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Traditional music.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Well, photographing a moving black something on a dark street is quite impossible even at f/1.2. Sheep dog? Black sheep?

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Farm animals are so Christmas … eh? I don’t know.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

And creepy big heads on a bus.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Child adult interaction.

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

© Lilly Schwartz 2017

Last one!

divided attention

It seems like we’re getting the first feel of summer now and we used the opportunity to go to the park today. On the way I tried my hand at some more instax pictures and I have to say that I’m still struggling. I only went through 2 1/2 packs so far though, so it’s only logical that I don’t know the camera so well yet. It’s also really different from what I’m shooting normally and therefore quite a bit of a stretch for me. At least there was one picture today I liked and that was a step into the right direction.

This time I’m showing you pictures from the first couple of rolls that I shot after being out with the flu for a month. I was still a little shaky and I was struggling a bit. Luckily it usually doesn’t take much to get me back into the game and only those two rolls were a little off. At the time I used the opportunity to experiment, because I knew these wouldn’t amount to much. By now I’ve figured out Double-X much better and I’m rather unenthusiastic about the XP2 in C41 chemicals as well. The XP2 must be designed for people who think that they should shoot film while they actually prefer digital. It has much more character developed in Rodinal.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8
The following: Double-X over-developed in Caffenol-CL.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I like how she’s perfectly capable of denying the white dog the ball while she’s petting the black dog. That’s skill!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Big hunk of meat anyone?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Twirl.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This has a lot of detail, but also quite some streak marks. I was trying to figure out the right time  for stand-development only knowing the semi-stand times and overdeveloped it immensely.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The rest: XP2 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Ogling?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Normally I skip the girl-with-phone pictures, but I really liked the shadow.

2015-05-10_177-178_divided-attention08

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The girl seemed a little bored up there. And so was I with XP2 at box-speed in C41 chemicals. It’s boring, flat and looks almost digital. I prefer it in Rodinal.

smiling costs very little

In the list of things that aren’t what they seem to be we added one more item today: After the “tree” that is a bush, the “ocean” that is a river and the “rabbit” that is something very strange indeed, we today went to a “theatre” that is really a bookshop. It’s a bookshop that used to be the theatre Gran Splendid! Really a very beautiful place although the bookstore is actually just a normal chain bookstore. Still, I was very happy since I found a really nice photography book by Sara Facio – her photographs of writers! (And no, better don’t ask how many books we bought since we came here!)

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I’m glad this worked so well! Total guesstimation for focus and exposure. The sign says that smiling costs very little.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

2 generations.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I’m not sure that this is how you do it.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

getting caught

Today we went to Recoleta to visit the cemetery. However, we didn’t only see magnificent sculptures and mausoleums, but also quite a number of cats living on the cemetery and a 200 year old rubber tree which has a span of 50m! It was quite awe-inspiring! We first thought that it was an ombú like the one at the Barrancas de Belgrano, but although they look quite similar they’re apparently different. This one is so old that some of the branches have to be supported! And if this wasn’t crazy enough, we also realised that the pavilion near the ombú over in Belgrano is actually the exact one that features in the eternauta! Only that in this world you’re more likely to find tango dancers there than aliens (which is good)!

We’re now a bit more than halfway through our trip and I’m a bit more than halfway through my rolls! So far I’ve shot 27 rolls, 5 of which are 120. I still have some 25 rolls and I’m pretty sure I’ll get through them all!

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I guess he was very much aware of what I was doing!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Occasionally I can’t resist sunlight.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This looks somewhat symmetrical, but not quite.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

no more 1h development

Although we planned to take it easy yesterday we decided to go to Parque Centenario to take some pictures and have a look at the flea market in the end. And boy was it a nice park! Very crowded, but at the same time relaxed, a guy with a bandoneon playing some tango and it was very nice for pictures too. I shot 2 rolls with the Leica, almost finishing a 3rd and also 1 roll with the Rollei. Of course we also bought some books and looked at a stall with diverse old cameras in bad state (not buying anything).

Since I was worried that I might run out of film and also because I was curious I also had a look which exact film might be in those drugstore canisters I usually get in Germany. It seems to be something rather similar to Fuji Superia 400, so if I run out of film I can try to get some of that to keep the same look. It’s not cheap over here, but it wouldn’t break the bank to buy a few rolls.

Also, in case I want to shoot black and white I discovered that there is one film that is affordable although not cheap. It’s Ilford Pan 400 in bulk, which is supposedly very similar to Kentmere 400 / RPX 400 again. This means that I could continue my love affair with cheap and cheerful Ilford film even here.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I don’t know … Maybe despair over the closed 1h photolab?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I love the shadow line up!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I think I was on a long shadow trip on that day.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Parallels.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Although I have the same problem frequently I have never solved it like this …

dangerous heights

Most dancers who come to Buenos Aires hope to get to dance with the most amazing dancers in one of the famous milongas. I’m not like that. I couldn’t care less about famous dancers or milongas! I’m looking for the connection, the music, an atmosphere maybe. And all of this I found last night in a little neighbourhood milonga at Los Laureles in Barracas. We joined a little class and then later danced a tanda at the following milonga. My husband only just started learning tango and he was doing great! I was seriously impressed, especially considering that it was the first time he was dancing at a milonga!

And then of course you can’t even imagine the place! It was as if you stepped into a bar from the 1930s – probably because the bar has been around since 1893! And the cool thing was: It was all very relaxed and not pretentious at all, the people very open and friendly and it wasn’t touristy either. The best part came after the dancing though: There was live music with locals from the neighbourhood singing tangos. And how …! There were some really amazing voices there and one guy sounded as if he stepped right off a 1930s record! If there is a spot in heaven for me, it must be like that or they can keep it!

We’ve only been here a little more than a week and I can already answer the question of questions: Did Buenos Aires live up to my expectations after my 8 year wait? The answer is: It surpassed them! It’s way better than I could ever have imagined! I never would have expected that a place like this still exists on this planet!

Well, I didn’t take any pictures at the bar last night because I was dancing and I wouldn’t want to leave Nancy alone in a place with strangers. One day I must come back not to dance but to take pictures! A f/1.4 lens and some black and white film at ISO 1600 should do the trick!

In any case, today I made up for finishing only one roll yesterday and shot 3 rolls at Puerto Madero, 2 with the Leica and 1 with the Rollei. Of the old harbour hardly anything is left, so it was all a bit too modern, glossy and developed. It’s probably the most expensive part of town now, which I can’t understand at all because all the buildings are rather ugly modern blocks. However, the promenade wasn’t a bad space for street photography at all and I had fun taking pictures! I just have to look somewhere else for some proper industrial harbour shots. 20 rolls down, 30 left to play!

Today’s roll was taken in January this year.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss, ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Living dangerously, eh?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Only works in black and white I think!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Extremely bored dog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to navigate without bikes on the pavement! From the series: Muppets who are in the way get photographed.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Uhm … ok …!

little girl tall building

You know, yesterday I saw one of the biggest and most impressive trees of my whole life and the irony is: It’s not even a tree?! Huh? In fact that massive Ombú we were sitting under yesterday afternoon is actually a bush and not a tree. It’s mind boggling! You see, here in Argentina even the bushes have good reasons for having a bit of an attitude! If I ever see one of these beauties on the pampas and not in a park I already have a picture in mind!

Yesterday brought 3 rolls shot in Belgrano and a fourth started here in Palermo. And that specific roll I finished today in the atelier of the sculptor Ricardo Dagá, which was absolutely amazing!

As you can see, I’m having a brilliant time here and every day I see new and wonderful things. And tonight will be special too: We’re going to Barracas for a neighbourhood milonga! You can imagine how excited I am about this one!

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I love love love how this one turned out!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I didn’t get it either!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Modern world

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Outside a bar.

through the gate

What a day we had yesterday! It involved a ridiculously futuristic planetarium, a bandoneon and a couple of typical porteño experiences: 1. An eternal 1h 50min ride on a way too crowded bus for a journey that was supposed to take 50min and 2. a ride in a taxi with the driver going way too fast. Also, he was listening to a football game with an incredibly fast speaking commentator and making sarcastic comments with the other taxi drivers over the taxi radio. Oh, and of course there was some of that wonderfully delicious local meat too! All in all a very Buenos Aires day! I could have done without the bus journey, but at least I was sitting most of the time. My husband was less lucky (and a real gentleman)! And did I mention that I saw some parrots?

It’s been a week in this wonderful crazy city and I’ve shot 13 rolls so far. I think I’m doing fairly well, not too much not too little! So far no tango yet apart from the orchestra we saw at the street festival, but tomorrow we’re planning to go to a milonga! Oh, I can’t wait!

Today’s roll was taken at the beginning of the year back home.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This shot was very unusual for me … it was actually taken very early in the morning. I don’t do mornings …! I love how it turned out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The people in this town have a tendency to dress their kids as if they were still living in the 50s.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Typically bad XP2 latitude, but I like how it turned out! I guess I just need a little bit of grain to feel comfortable.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Only the boy is sharp!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Bored doggy.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Looks like fun!

more than enough

The other day while we were in a cab I saw a street corner here in Palermo that I just had to photograph. I spent quite some time on street view to figure out which corner it was and just couldn’t find it. In the end my husband located it and we walked there today so that I could take the picture with my Rollei. It actually was the last shot too and the first roll I finished today. Afterwards we walked quite a bit more, this time towards the botanical gardens (which were of course closed today) and I managed to finish another roll with a mix of street shots and corner shots. I haven’t quite finished the 3rd roll yet although I could, but I think we’ve done quite enough walking today. At the moment I’m actually shooting less than what I thought, but I’m sure I’ll run into something soon that makes me blaze through 5 rolls in no time. Probably in the city centre!

In any case, I’m having a wonderful time, looking through bookshops, walking the streets, taking pictures and just enjoying the atmosphere of this place. Heck, I’m even enjoying the food, although I can’t have any restaurant meals. They definitely have the most amazing meat here! Normally I’m not a big fan of pork – apart from bacon – and I usually only eat it for variety, but here it’s absolutely delicious! And don’t get me started on the chicken, yum! I think I’ll even risk eating the beef here one of these days.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I have no idea what she’s eating. Hard to figure out in black and white!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Almost looks like she has the guy on the leash!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Count the umbrellas! Ah, home sweet home.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This town has a history of breaking umbrellas.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The place is called Dabadaba and they have proper loose tea which is rare.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I just love how this one looks!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Ahh, good boy!

shine

Today frustration hit me when the light was going earlier than I expected. I hardly managed to finish the roll in my Leica, because I’m trying to stick to ISO 400 due to the risk of airport scanners. There is also still one more shot on the roll in my Rollei, so I barely missed my 2 rolls a day goal too. However, I think I can make up for it easily tomorrow, because we are now in a much more central area and it will be a lot harder to keep myself from shooting way more than I should. The area where we are staying, Palermo, has a vibe very similar to Prenzlauer Berg. Very hipster touristy, but it’s way more crowded and central than the neighbourhood before, which means that taking pictures just got a lot easier. Never mind about my frustration though, it all got better when we walked into the next book shop and the first book I picked up was the one that I had been unable to find for weeks!

Today’s roll was the first one I shot with the XA after getting the Leica. It was a bit of a disaster, way overdeveloped and accidentally scanned with digital ICE which meant that I had to export them as raw scans to get anything from them at all. In the end it turned out interesting enough though.

When I’m back home I go through fits and starts of colour, through phases of black and white, test certain things for a while and then try around with others. Occasionally I ruin a roll when I test something new. It’s not always easy to get coherence into all of this, but it is helping me to decide which film to choose for certain projects and how to develop it. Coherence is a difficult one anyway for me. Although I love shooting street, it’s difficult sometimes to find a connecting thread when you shoot in different places on different film stock with different cameras and you’re interested in different things. I don’t mind it though when I’m back home, because I just tend to get bored there with things being always the same. I don’t think I’ll be finishing my experiments anytime soon – I still have T-Max 400, Delta 400, HP5+ and Foma 400 to test after I’m through with my Double-X – and I’ll just go with the flow and try to find out how I like all these different films. I’m definitely not shooting any XP2 again soon though. It’s not the right film for street, because it just has too little latitude and it’s too smooth. It looks brilliant for landscapes and portraits though with much more character than XP2! At the moment I rarely shoot anything other than street though.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

beach fun

Before going on this trip I scanned the last of the rolls that I shot before getting my Leica. So, once I return home you’ll see much less from my XA. The two of us had a lot of fun since I bought it last summer and it has also seen a lot of film. Really, it’s a great little camera and stopped down it does a really great job. However, I’m definitely looking forward to see more results from my Leica. I really liked the few rolls that I showed you already and I’m very much looking forward to seeing more.

Speaking of that last roll: These shots are from the roll in question. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that I’m running out of pictures to show you. I still have quite a number of shots left from previous rolls. I only felt like editing these because I was in the mood for beach pictures.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Ilford XP2 stand-developed in Caffenol-CL, 60min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

They were having so much fun!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The beach can be a great place to shoot textures.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Pebbles for example.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I love how 3D this looks.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I actually like that I didn’t properly adjust the focus. The softness in the background gives it a somewhat ethereal atmosphere.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Luckily only in winter.

lunch break

Today there wasn’t much going on with regards to all the carnival stuff, so I only took my Rollei to the nearest park to shoot a roll of slide film. I miscalculated a little and at the end the light was going, but I think I managed to properly expose even the last shot after hunting for the right framing. One roll of 120 isn’t much, but after a few days of running around and 4 rolls yesterday it was quite good to just take it easy. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll come back with much more than that.

I’m showing you something new today: XP2 developed in Caffenol. These were a little bit on the dense side, so next time I try that I’ll probably go with 50min instead. Other than that they actually turned out nicely, quite contrasty and smooth. I don’t know whether I like the XP2 better in Rodinal or in CCL. I think both combinations are nice.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Ilford XP2 stand-developed in Caffenol-CL, 60min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Well, occasionally I get noticed, especially when it’s very empty.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

He was going around in circles.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Some prefer to walk alone.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Stormy seas.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I don’t know what it is, but I like his look. Not sure how to describe it – knowing maybe?

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Curious.

for the argentinians

Tomorrow I’m travelling to Germany and I’ll probably be quite busy until i return, so I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to post much. I’m also not sure whether I have enough stuff scanned for all the days that I’ll be there. In any case, I did all my packing and will take my 3 usual suspects with me: Nancy, Rollei and the XA. I hope it won’t be too cold for the Rollei, but I guess I will only know when I try. We’ll see with how many rolls I come back this time!

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100, 60min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Always cracks me up, but I guess it’s an Argentinian joke.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

What a look!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

On break.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Sharpness is overrated.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Street picture or self-portrait?

arrows

Tomorrow is the last day of my language course and although it’s been fun and I’ve learned a lot I’m actually looking forward to taking a break from it. 3 hours language course every day is a bit much and I think I need a bit of time to breathe, let it settle and work on it at my own pace for a while. I’ll probably go back to taking the course in May or June after we return from Argentina.

I’ve also been working to get through my development queue. I now only have 6 rolls of C41 left to develop until I consider myself to be up to date. About time, since I’ll probably come back from my trip with a lot more stuff to be developed. The scanning issue is another problem altogether though and I have 32 rolls to scan now. I hope that my new Pakon will be waiting for me when I get back, so that I have a chance scan all of this and whatever I bring back from my trip!

Today I’m showing you a roll where I wasn’t in the mood for shooting people. I get days like that especially when it’s rather gloomy and nobody is actually on the street. This happens here when it’s cold and siesta time. So, since nothing was happening on the street I actually went to explore the area around the train station. I now know the neighbourhood that lies in that direction pretty well and will probably attempt a change of scenery soon.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Ilford XP2 @800 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit, +1.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

inviting

I’m really curious about the rolls I developed today, because these were the 2 rolls of CineStill 800T that I tried at the end of last year. Maybe I scan one of them tomorrow to see how they turned out. I find scanning colour really difficult by the way. Today I tried to scan a roll of the cheap Rossmann film and I think I will have to do quite a bit of colour correction on them to make them look less dull. That’s what happens when you shoot cheap colour film on a grey day. I’ll indulge in that tomorrow though and today show you some more XP2 shots. I quite like how they turned out.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Ilford XP2 @800 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100, 90min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I was bold with this one … and love it!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

This time some umbrella shots. With the weather these days it’s no wonder.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

My feeling about the weather exactly.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I like how only the umbrella is really sharp.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Dynamic tilt. I probably felt inspired by the biker.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

That’s a pen in his mouth.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

And a book in her hand … you know, those things with paper and stuff!