Joy

Sometimes life gets in the way of updating my blog and I certainly had a couple of busy and exciting months. My health has been improving a lot thanks to the new treatment and this gave me the opportunity to go to Paris for the first time. It was a great trip and I’m really looking forward to our next visit to the city! Then at the beginning of this month I actually participated in a wetplate workshop which was really cool and super interesting. The timing of it was perfect, since just a few days later I finally got the opportunity to get my hands on a large format camera I’ve been investigating for a couple of years, a Pacemaker Speed Graphic from 1950! Yes, you read that right, after mastering 35mm and medium format I’m now getting into the large formats, starting out with 4×5! Wait, a street photographer shooting large format and wet plate? That sounds crazy! Well, it is crazy and borderline impossible in fact. At ISO 1-3 wetplate is pretty much entirely useless for street also because you need to process each shot within a very short time after preparing the plate. I’d need an assistant and a big flash to pull that one off, so that’s not happening anytime soon – or at all. Large format street photography on film is much more viable but to be honest, at the moment I don’t think I even want to shoot street with it!

I’m actually coming out of a bit of an artistic crisis right now. This year has been particularly tough for me and for quite a long time I’ve not really felt very inspired to take pictures at all. Part of it was of course my health, but beyond that I actually didn’t really feel like it. I’ve been shooting street for more than 3 years in this town and it’s a particularly challenging place. Always going to the same 5 street corners bores me to death and the range of behaviours in this place is really rather limited. I’ve been pushing really hard and I manage to get some shots out of this place despite these limitations, but my level of frustration is usually pretty high when I’m trying to wrestle pictures from this place.

Boredom is of course part of the artistic process, but I’m a person who tends to get bored even more easily than others. I tend to master a skill and then move on to the next thing, so it has always been challenging for me to stick to one thing over a long period of time. I always need to distract myself with other things to keep my long term pursuits fresh for me, especially if I have already mastered everything there is to know about it.

I can probably say that street photography won’t teach me any new tricks anymore. I’ve shot it in all sorts of lighting conditions, with digital and all sorts of film emulsions, in shutter priority mode with auto focus, with compact cameras, rangefinders and have settled on fully manual 35mm and medium format cameras. I have shot street during the day, at night, in many different big and small cities, in different countries and I can even wrestle pictures from really one-dimensional places too. The thing is though: I’m not actually bored with street photography itself. I’m bored with street photography here! In a bigger city I could just go to a different neighbourhood and I would find something worth photographing, a bit of visual variety, but around here most neighbourhoods are pretty much dead most of the time and everything depends entirely on timing. Figuring out the right timing for each neighbourhood is a tedious process that involves lots of disappointment, so I have been tackling one neighbourhood each year with limited success in some of them. And frankly I’m actually a little sick of having to fight so hard for each shot!

This is not to say that I will stop shooting street. The main reason why street photography is a genre flooded with bad pictures is not only because it’s challenging, but also because people tend to get bored and move on before they actually get really good at it. The road to mastery involves pushing through these challenges and continuing anyway, even if you’re bored or your feet are hurting from all the pointless hours of walking without results. I will continue! But then for my sanity I still need a bit of a distraction that depends less on serendipity, since it obviously isn’t very cooperative in small beach resorts full of boring rich people, their dogs and (grand)children! So, I will be playing with large format, as well as toy cameras, pinhole cameras and alternative processes like wetplates and salt prints!

I’ve been following the work of others with these kinds of tools and techniques for a long time – wetplate particulary – and have also been reading up on a lot of pinhole and toy cameras over the last couple of years. I got myself a Holga and a Diana F+, as well as an Agfa Clack and a bunch of cans that I will convert to pinhole cameras at some point. This alone couldn’t really get me started though, because it was just too far away from what I was doing before. I built a little matchbox pinhole camera and it was far from being a success, so this didn’t quite seem like a more cooperative distraction that would instantly make me happy. I can’t really see myself walking around with just a toy camera or pinhole hoping for good pictures when really the serendipity lies in a different part of the process with these kinds of tools. Yet, there is something there that I’d like to explore.

So, in the end I decided that large format would be the way to move forward for me. It was a bit of a risky move, since it was quite an investment for a camera that I won’t be using for street photography at all – the camera itself imported from the US, a barrel lens, the development tank, the film holders, a new tripod, the film -, but after the first 5 sheets I’m completely convinced that it was the right decision! I actually have two lenses for the Speed Graphic now, an Optar 135mm f/4.7, which is a pretty standard 4×5 lens, and a very funky Leica Hektor 150mm f/2.5 projection lens that doesn’t even have an aperture! The standard lens will be great for learning the limited movements of the camera and for some random large format landscape stuff. The Hektor lens is a completely different animal though. It has a very shallow depth of field and barely covers 4×5. Both the DOF and the lack of sharpness in the corners give it a really special character which fits very nicely with all the other experimental stuff I’m working on. At the same time it’s a lot more predictable in its nature to allow for successful shots without too much guesswork. I already see what I get on the ground glass, so there won’t be any disappointment involved at all, unless I mess up the shot somehow of course. And since toy and pinhole cameras tend to be light, I can just take one along while I’m out with the large format camera and the tripod anyway. After two outings like this I think I accidentally stumbled on the perfect workflow to keep experimenting and get predictable success at the same time. So, new, big things happening and eventually you’ll see some results trickle in on here too.

There has been more interesting stuff happening too. I’ve been printing in the darkroom and working more on my Progress through Demolition project, which has been very interesting – some pictures that I thought would be challenging to print in the darkroom actually turned out great! Still a lot to do, but it’s good to know that the project is finally progressing again. I’ve also been upgrading different bits and pieces of my gear – a plate / sheet film holder for the Rollei to shoot instax, a colour head for my enlarger, a better viewfinder magnifier for my Leica, a cable release bracket for the Diana, all the large format gear, some ND filters, and of course my shiny new tripod. And most excitingly, I even have a new photography related job! Well, let’s just say that not being in pain makes for exciting times!

But then, you’re probably not here to listen to me rambling all day! Let’s get to some pictures of some rich people, their dogs and (grand)children then! These particular pictures were taken in May last year when I challenged myself to only shoot low ISO film. It was difficult, but very cool and I love the results I got from the Nokton 1.1 and Rollei Retro 80s. Difficult to print, but the tones, the delicious contrast and complete lack of grain are well worth it!

Pictures taken with: Leica M6, Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1. Mamiya C220, Mamiya Sekor 80 f/2.8 S, Zeiss Super Ikonta C 530/2.

Starting with M6 / Nokton 1.1 / Rollei Retro 80s / Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Fixing the window?

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Pre-jump.

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Flowery!

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Pre-gun violence.

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He’s got three dogs, probably in a tiny flat.

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Stylish!

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Love the photobombing dog.

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Got bored at the post office.

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These are not pipes.

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Blurred out mobile phones are sort of acceptable.

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Acrobatics.

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Individuality is overrated.

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Slight framing failure.

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Last year’s trend.

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Getting some love!

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Look at that dangerous wolf!

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I think I was told never to run with lollipops.

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Thirsty pup instalment 1.

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Thirsty pup instalment 2.

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Anonymous self-portrait.

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Practicing to become a spy.

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I just love this one!

Mamiya C220 / Rollei Retro 80s / HC-110 stand.

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Ah, that Mamiya lens is just awesome!

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Weird stuff.

Ikonta / Pan F+ 50 / HC-110 stand.

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I was testing the Ikonta and stand-development in HC-110. Super nice! I need to repeat this one with some ND filter magic in 4×5!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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The Ikonta sometimes tricks me into accidental double exposures. This one I kinda liked though!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Retro 80s / Rodinal / orange filter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Orange filter + Retro 80s is almost IR.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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That Zeiss lens is a stunner! Last one!

levitation for beginners

Not so long ago I switched back to my Zeiss lens and zone focussing for the summer. I didn’t realise how much I missed it to just be walking without looking through the viewfinder and caring too much about the framing, the focus. After half a year of shooting with only heavy lenses it is also quite liberating not to have that heavy weight around my neck. I’m really glad to have my wonderful fast lenses, but my Zeiss C-Biogon is still my favourite lens in the end. Maybe part of my frustration over the last few months was also that I always found it difficult to shoot freely with those heavy lenses.

The last few days have been incredibly hot and sunny. There was the first walk along the beach with the feet in the cool water, glaring sunshine, high temperatures and it will go on like that for a few days longer. Tomorrow we’ll be leaving for a short trip and I hope to shoot an awful lot for a couple of days. I definitely need some inspiration and some opportunity to recharge. And maybe I will finally feel like developing some film again when we return, which I haven’t done in months. I’m sure there are some interesting pictures waiting for me in the collected rolls in my drawer.

I’m still undecided about which film to shoot next. I’ve been going through some rolls of T-Max 100, Rollei Retro 400s and Neopan 400CN. I still have a fairly decent stash of different kinds of emulsions I could shoot, but I think I would like to continue with a simple and easy bout of ISO 400 film that I can just zone-focus without worrying much. I still have 10 more rolls of Ilford Pan 400 to get through and then I could shoot some more Bergger 400+ or some Fuji Neopan 400NC. I could also try some Bergger Pancro 400, JCH Streetpan or Orwo 400 film. Still some more emulsions to test!

Enough rambling, let’s get on with some pictures. This time I’m sharing some pictures taken in May last year after we returned from our trip to Buenos Aires. It took me a while to get back in the swing of things, but I used the time to play with a new camera, some slow emulsions and filters. In any case, grab an experimental drink and enjoy!

Pictures taken with: Zeiss Super Ikonta C. Mamiya C220 with Mamiya Sekor 80mm f/2.8S. Leica M6 with Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1.

Ikonta / HP5+ / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Has to wait outside.

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Street musician was posing for me.

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They were playing Pelota.

Ikonta / Rollei Retro 80s / Rodinal 1:25.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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My husband at the beach.

Pan F+ 50 / HC-110 stand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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The place where I take new cameras for test shots.

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I was trying to fine tune the rangefinder alignment.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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So smooth! One definitely can’t complain about the looks of 6×9 and ISO 50.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Mamiya C220 / 80mm / Retro 80s / Hc-110 stand / orange filter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Apparently I wasn’t in the mood for people.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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I didn’t mind some furry friends though.

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Discarded Metropolis.

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Self-portrait.

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Another furry friend.

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Eyes.

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Trees.

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Strange sculptures.

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Rollei 80s with an orange filter almost shouts IR.

M6 / Nokton 1.1 / RPX 100 / HC-110.

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Nevermind me, I’m just practicing my levitation skills.

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Slave, tie my shoes.

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I suppose he wanted something too!

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Hello there!

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I know, I know, slight obsession with dogs.

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You stepped on my foot!

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Almost lying on the street.

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Puppies.

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Make-up session!

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Guarding a bookshop.

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Outdoor computing.

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They sure had some funny expressions.

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Very patient dog.

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Last one!

dogs walking dogs

This last week I mainly spent my time editing pictures from October and shooting a few rolls whenever I got the opportunity. I generally only edit pictures at the beginning of the month, which reduces the time I spend in front of the computer every day during the rest of the month and gives me time to focus on shooting. I also took a little break from developing to make sure the superglue with which I re-attached the motorside magnet of my Jobo CPE-2 had time to dry properly. I tested it with a small tank yesterday and the superglue seems to hold for now. I also have industrial strength glue lying around in case the magnet comes off again.

The other day I also started with some new experiments: I built a little 35mm pinhole camera out of a matchbox and played with it a little. So far the results have been … unpredictable and a little mad – I didn’t manage to make it properly light tight yet -, but I think I’ll continue with these experiments and see where I can go with them.

Speaking of experiments, today I’m showing you some of my colour experiments from the beginning of the year. I don’t know where it came from but in February and March I really felt like playing with my Mamiya and some Portra film. The results are obviously quite a bit different from the kind of things I normally shoot, because I’m reluctant to point my Mamiya at people. It’s just so big and people seem to react with wide-eyed suspicion / fear. It’s really more of a camera for static things. It’s definitely a lovely camera though and I tend to pick it up when I don’t feel like taking pictures of people.

Pictures taken with: Mamiya C220, Mamiya Sekor 80mm f/2.8 S, Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5 and Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.

Let’s start off with something different though: M6 / Biogon / Kodak Vision 3 250D / Rollei RA4.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Dog walking dog. On a roof!

Kodak Vision 3 50D @100 / Rollei RA4.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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I was playing with motion picture film again, this time developing some leftovers from 2015 in RA4 chemicals. I still have to perfect the process a little since I was left with remjet stains that could only be removed with alcohol. I only bothered with the shots I really liked. I also think that I underblixed these a little because I was using RA4 blix which is a lot weaker than C41 blix. Promising results though!

And now to my Mamiya experiments.

Mamiya / Portra 400 / Tetenal C41.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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One of the very few times that I pointed the Mamiya at people.

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Cropped for a change.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Provia 100F / Reversal process with HC-110 + Tetenal C41.

Some more unusual experiments. I’m trying to make slides with Kelly-Shane Fuller’s process of using HC-110, re-exposure and then normal C41 development. This first roll already came out reversed, but the re-exposure step was probably too short, they were a little too faint and blacks turned out blue. Why am I doing this? Well, I don’t shoot that much slide and Tetenal discontinued their 1L E6 kit, which means that I have to wait too long to see results from my slide film experiments. Still a way to go, but I’m making progress. Currently I’m shooting more test rolls on cheaper Rollei CN 200 so that I don’t ruin expensive Fuji slide rolls while experimenting like this.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Rollei / Provia 100F / Tetenal E6 Kit.

Proper slide development on this roll. This is what I’m aiming for with the BW + C41 chem reversal process.

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I had one shot left and was looking for a subject, while my husband was waiting for me to finish the roll. I turned around and realised that I was looking for the last shot in the wrong spot.

Mamiya / Portra 160 / Tetenal C41.

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Find the butterfly!

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The Mamiya has bellows, so I decided to get a little closer.

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Very close indeed.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Rollei / Portra 160 / Tetenal C41.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Bear hug. And yes, somehow these two have 5 legs.

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What a photogenic sportsground. I have been there many times since I found this spot.

Mamiya / Portra 160 / Tetenal C41.

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On this last roll I was testing how Portra 160 deals with greens. Last one.

slide glory

After returning from our trip I’ve been using my time to experiment a little bit. I tried out my new camera – a lovely Zeiss Super Ikonta C 530/2 -, played with Ilford Pan F+ 50 and stand-development in HC-110, and I also shot some Rollei Retro 80S in 120 with an orange filter. Before I continue with the experimentation I will however make a little bit of a bigger effort to reduce the number of undeveloped rolls I have lying around. Whenever that number goes higher than 50 it starts to make me feel sort of uncomfortable. Next up on the list are a whole bunch of C41 rolls that have been lying around way too long.

But now, let’s finally get to the pictures. This time, as I have promised you before I’m showing you something special: All the slide film I shot in 2015! If you would like to read more about my experiences with shooting colour and slide in particular, head over to the Film Shooters Collective and check out my latest article about this journey into Velvia land.

By the way, this also addresses a mystery that might have puzzled you. Why did 120 film almost disappear from my blog in the last few months? Well, I’ve been mostly shooting colour in 120 since last April and hadn’t yet developed it all. Most of these rolls are 120 and there are still 7 colour rolls in 120 from last year undeveloped, some Portra 400 and Rollei CR 200 (for the latter, reasons below.)

Pictures taken with: Rolleicord V, Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5; Mamiya C220 with Mamiya Sekor 80mm f/2.8 s and Leica M6 with Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.

First up: Rolleicord / Rollei CR 200. Turns out that this is aerial film and has way too much yellow to counteract the blues in the atmosphere. I colour corrected these completely ignoring the slides, because the original colours were quite hideous. Also, it curls like crazy and was nearly impossible to scan, even with ANR inlays. I never had these inlays defeated by 120 film, but CR200 did it. I still have 4 rolls of the stuff already shot and undeveloped, which makes me a little sad. The consensus is to cross-process them in C41 chemicals, because as slides they’d only work shot with a blue filter. This was also the only roll with some uneven blueness in the shadows, which suggests that it’s a problem with the film rather than the chemicals. I probably won’t be buying this stuff again, unless there is some real magic happening after cross processing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Taken in January last year. By now the building is finished – it’s a big cultural centre – and they did a beautiful job on the renovations. Right after taking the shot the guys noticed me and waved!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

It was a rather dark mirror … Note the blue streak in the shadows. Must be the film, since it didn’t appear on any of the Fuji slides.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Always makes me think of pineapples.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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This was another building site on the other side of the train station where they were building the new bus terminal. They did an awful job on that one. It’s cramped, confusing, doesn’t have enough space to sit and it echoes in such a stupid way that it seems even more crowded than it is already. Such a stressful place! As if travelling wasn’t stressful enough already …

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Another problem with CR200: light leaks. It seems extremely sensitive and doesn’t roll tightly enough. It’s noticeable on the right here.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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I never know how to meter against the sun. Even worse with slide.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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More blue shadow stuff. Kinda ok once I took some of the yellow out, but quite wasted on E6 chemicals actually.

Next: Rollei / Velvia 100. That’s more like it! Very punchy colours. We went to the local cemetery with a friend on a beautiful winter day. I guess we were tired of always going to the same park.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Somewhere I have a BW shot of this taken with my Zorki. Much better in square and colour though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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I would like to say that the silhouette was intentional, but it wasn’t. I was still trying to figure out my meter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Velvia shadows turn out magenta / blue. A bit otherworldly.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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I love how this one turned out. Half a stop more light wouldn’t have hurt I think, but not any more than that.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Velvia is perfect for reds and blues.

Now another roll left over from carnival in Düsseldorf last year. Velvia is a bit crazy for skin tones. It mostly looks like a bad radiation burn on Mars. However, in the case of these carnival pictures it kinda works. These were extremely difficult to meter by the way and turned out a little dark. It was a space with lots of deep shadows and strong lights.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Velvia means white = magenta / blue when shot in the shadows.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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I love this one!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Followed by a horse.

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Wasn’t sure where to focus this one, but I wanted to see something of the guys in the background too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Shooting the whole thing wasn’t exactly comfortable. Awful music and drunk crowds – as close to my personal nightmare as it gets. I got some great stuff though. Shooting carnival this year wasn’t as awful, because getting drunk isn’t part of the tradition where we live now.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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The light was impossible here. Any more and I would have blown the highlights in the guy’s hat, but like this it’s a tad too dark.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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I had metered already, so this was rather spontaneous. In full light the Velvia skin tones are still acceptable.

Back in Spain mid summer, more of the same, Rollei / Velvia 100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Fruit yes, skin tones, no. Shooting street on Velvia is a bit too much.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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On request by these two nice guys! Had to tone this one down a little because the skin tones were way too much. Still looks like a sunburn even after taking some of the saturation out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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It does a really good job on everything else though! I love the red in this!

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Catching up on the news.

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Trying to get a better view.

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Now … Velvia and the sea is a match made in heaven!

New roll, still July, still Velvia and Rollei, and I was in the mood for experimentation.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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First ever long exposure on film, sunset. Hadn’t taken out the tripod in 5 years at least. And this scan isn’t half as nice as the original slide. Imagine! WOW.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Did I mention that my light meter does a pretty good job? I was quite surprised that I didn’t blow the highlights on the left. And yes, occasionally I forget that I live in a rather beautiful place.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Some long exposure ghosts. Generally Velvia long exposures are nice, but it could still do with some filtration under street lights. Will try.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Welcome to Mars! I think taking some long exposures down at the beach on Velvia might become a more regular thing once it’s warmer.

After setting up 4 tripod shots, metering etc. I had enough. I’m much more of a grab and run type photographer.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

We went for a little walk, but there wasn’t much to see, so I forced my husband to sit for me.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The rest of the place was actually too dark for slide film without a tripod. I love the atmosphere in this.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Who can resist a cat street shot? I can’t.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I think the Velvia blue / magenta works wonderfully here.

Next roll taken in August with my stunning new big beast, Mamiya C220, which my friend Julia gave to me! Thank you again! Last roll of Velvia 100. The Mamiya is perfect for static things and perfect for slide film, but apparently very scary to the wildlife. You wouldn’t believe the looks I get on the street even when I’m not pointing it at anyone.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Wonderful lens.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

You can see how much bigger than the Rollei it is.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

At the pelota court. Strange place.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

That hole freaked me out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Major love for Velvia and rust.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Deserted football fields have an eerie quality to them.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I’m kinda proud of this, not easy to meter!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

As a slide these colours are a punch in the face. Love it!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Shot wide open at f/2.8! I only have love for my Mamiya beast.

Next roll Leica M6, ZM 35 f/2.8 / Agfa Precisa CT 100. Lovely stuff, which is unsurprising since it’s repackaged Fuji Provia 100F apparently. The Pakon raw scans gave me more trouble with the colour correction and I didn’t have the slides next to me when I did it. Probably took out some of the typical Fuji magenta / blue.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

New rivers.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Dramatic skies.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Uhm … weird.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Beach joys.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Provia 100F skin colours are great. I’m shooting more of this stuff these days too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Yes, skin tones.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

On break.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Sky + beach + pretty girl drinking water and slide film. Can’t get any better.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Concentration.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Messy fun with ice-cream. Summer galore.

Next roll in September: Mamiya C220, Provia 100F

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Even small cities have their share of weird people. In this case I met a woman who was ranting about the “Latin American drug traffickers” who took over the cultural centre where she used to volunteer. Apparently they didn’t want her to work there anymore and she got somewhat upset about it. After spending 5 minutes with this woman I could only conclude that those “drug traffickers” (doubtful) are completely justified in not wanting to spend any time with that person. Mad as a hatter! She was feeding these stray cats who live on the mountain and are apparently protected because they keep away the mice. While I stood there listening to her ranting she was also shouting at dog owners who let their dogs off the leash.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Probably waiting for the cats to finish.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Wide open probably. That Mamiya lens is a stunner.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Too small to see, but there is a dog halfway around the corner in this one too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I’m not up on this mountain often, but it’s rather beautiful up there. It’s the one you see in one of the sunset shots above.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I was obviously too chicken to walk up that path. I probably would have ended up smashed on the cliffs.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Old fortress up on the hill.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I didn’t feel like going all the way up the hill though, so I turned around and took a couple of shots in the old town. I like the atmosphere in this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Yep, there is no hiding with the beast.

Next: September, Rollei / Provia 100F.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Reading the newspaper with a beach view.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

For a while I was hunting this tag everywhere. There isn’t much graffiti in town.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Preparations for the film festival and an ice cream cone that has disappeared since. Maybe it will be back in summer?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

My favourite on this roll.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Yummy basil.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Not quite happy with the framing, but still …

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Caught them twice last year. The kind of thing one wants to be carrying around town. Not.

Next roll, November. Rollei / Provia 100F.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Funky decoration.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

No, I didn’t mix up the dates, November! It was an exceptionally warm day, but certainly not as warm as these people pretended.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Can’t resist mirrors, especially when I’m out with the Rollei. And a cat purse!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Stylish.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Couldn’t resist the colours of this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Breaker with wave breaking and guys relaxing. Summer? No, almost winter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

We had this little guy sitting next to us.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Super cool kid with super cute dog.

ay mamiya

The other day my friend Julia made me very happy by sending me a very special gift. For quite a while now I’ve been dreaming about a more flexible medium format camera to extend my range of possibilities a bit more and thanks to Julia’s generosity I have now exactly this kind of tool, a Mamiya C220! It not only has interchangeable lenses but also bellows which make close-ups possible. It opens up several new possibilities of which the wide-angle lenses are probably the most enticing and I’m looking forward to exploring those further with time. For now I have mostly played with close-ups trying to figure out the parallax and exposure correction. After playing around with it a bit inside on a rainy day I finished off the roll in the park today. I was so excited to see the pictures that I developed the roll as soon as we got back and scanned them as soon as they were dry. I’m seriously impressed with what this camera can do. Thank you, Julia, for your kindness!

All pictures taken with: Mamiya C220, Mamiya Sekor 80mm f/2.8 S.
RPX400 stand-developed in Caffenol-CL.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Obligatory TLR self portrait. I also tried a portrait of my husband, but apparently still had the lens lock on, not knowing what it was.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

First close-up attempt. This was taken before I figured out that I needed some exposure correction, so it was a bit underexposed. The second attempt was correctly exposed but badly framed. I still need more practice!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Those white specks are not dust but flies. The one towards the left right above the stone thing is actually pretty much in focus. Catching a fly at this tight a depth of field. Ninja style!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This one turned out exactly how I wanted it. And it definitely wouldn’t have worked with the Rollei.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The exact spot for this frame was picked by my husband. He chose very well indeed! I like the balanced light dark juxtaposition with the wall to mark the border.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Super tight depth of field, focus spot on where I wanted it. I love this camera!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Some sort of meditation? There was also a guy doing tai chi, but he was wearing dark clothes with a dark background. I didn’t think it would work unless I interrupted him, so I passed on it.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Slightly different perspective. These kinds of shots are pretty difficult to frame with a TLR, so I’m quite happy with the outcome.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

And one for Julia who loves little fur balls. I was waiting for him to turn and look at me, but then this lady appeared and it was now or never. I had to refocus and release very quickly. And it worked!