breaking the lines

Lately I’ve been in the mood for some more focused learning and I’ve been following some online courses, some photography related, some not, and it has been an enjoyable experience. Every few years I make an effort and use some of the amazing resources that are available nowadays and it’s always been worthwhile. In case you’re looking for photography related courses: There is an excellent coursera course on Photography by MoMA that was really very very helpful and interesting. I did it some time ago and I felt that it was one of the best online courses I had ever taken, so I’d definitely recommend it. The one I’m following right now is called The Camera Never Lies and is actually a history meets photojournalism course which is also very detailed and interesting. I’m really amazed at all the stuff that you can learn online. You might know that I’ve been teaching myself all sorts of film photography related things over the years and I pretty much learned it all from free sources on the internet. Stand-development, developing and printing in Caffenol, C41 and E6 development, splitgrade printing, how to dry fibre prints with and without a print dryer, scanning, lately how to use large format cameras and so on. It’s pretty much all described in articles, videos and helpful comments in film photography related forums and groups. You just have to know how to use a search machine and you can find all sorts of great information. Once I even came up with a detailed syllabus that follows the progression of an art history degree with courses that are all available online for free. As long as you’re not dependent on the qualification, you can do the same thing for any degree and acquire all sorts of knowledge in self-study. The only requirement is that you have access to a good library or the money to buy the books.

And since we’re talking about books: Today I would like to recommend an excellent book to you called The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. It’s a 700 page tome all dedicated to alternative printing and photography which compiles so much knowledge that it would probably take me years if I were to try to attempt every technique in the book. And the best thing: It’s actually an excellent book about the history of photography too and although I know quite a bit about the subject already there are always interesting details that I didn’t know about yet. Really, I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s just wonderful and full of inspiration for experiments! My latest experiments? I’ve been playing with my Diana F+ camera and the cable release bracket to take pinholes, since this is the first chapter in the alternative processes book. Not the sharpest pinhole design out there, but it definitely has a nice feel to it and doesn’t require any tinkering to get started.

The other thing that kept me busy this week was my pile of undeveloped rolls of film. Should I really admit that I still have 105 undeveloped rolls of film lying around? I’m not really pushing myself to develop them as quickly as possible, so it will probably still take a while until I’m finished with it. I might as well announce already that I will be a tad late with my New Year’s Post this time, since most of the rolls from this year haven’t been developed yet!

In any case, I better get to some pictures now since I’m also horribly behind on posting pictures. These pictures were actually taken in May 2016 during my low ISO challenge. At the time I was playing with my excellent Super Ikonta and these pictures remind me that I should really take it out for some more street shooting soon! The lens is simply superb!

Pictures taken with: Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5. Zeiss Super Ikonta C 530/2.

Starting with: Rollei / Rollei Retro 80s / Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Twins.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

This was pretty much an accident, but I really like how the girl is perfectly framed!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Woof!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I don’t. Or do I?

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

ISO 80 woes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Teach them young!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I was obsessed with dust that month.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I love how everyone ignores what the little one is doing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Say hello!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Love the light in this!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Did I mention recently that I love my Rollei? Well I do!

Ikonta / Retro 80s / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I walked into a random direction.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

He told me that he was a warrior.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

So, this is an 80 year old Zeiss lens. Isn’t it just amazing?

Retro 80s / Rodinal stand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Just a moment too late. The Super Ikonta isn’t the most convenient camera to use.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Hiding.

Retro 80s / Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Side street art.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Although I seriously love the Retro 80s, I had scratches on some rolls that were not caused by the camera.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Nose coincidence.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Action shot.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Beach spectators.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Strange dancing. Her hands!!

Pan F+ 50 / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Disappointed love.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I may have scanned this with the ANR glass upside down.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

So cute!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Assistance!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I love all the lines in this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Teddy doesn’t get any love either. Last one!

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Fixing the window?

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Pre-jump.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Flowery!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Pre-gun violence.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Stylish!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Love the photobombing dog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Got bored at the post office.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

These are not pipes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Blurred out mobile phones are sort of acceptable.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Acrobatics.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Individuality is overrated.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Slight framing failure.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Last year’s trend.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Getting some love!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Look at that dangerous wolf!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I think I was told never to run with lollipops.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Thirsty pup instalment 1.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Thirsty pup instalment 2.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Anonymous self-portrait.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Practicing to become a spy.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I just love this one!

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Ah, that Mamiya lens is just awesome!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Weird stuff.

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Retro 80s / Rodinal / orange filter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Orange filter + Retro 80s is almost IR.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Street musician was posing for me.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

They were playing Pelota.

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

My husband at the beach.

Pan F+ 50 / HC-110 stand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

The place where I take new cameras for test shots.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I was trying to fine tune the rangefinder alignment.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Apparently I wasn’t in the mood for people.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I didn’t mind some furry friends though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Discarded Metropolis.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Self-portrait.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Another furry friend.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Eyes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Trees.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Strange sculptures.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Rollei 80s with an orange filter almost shouts IR.

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Slave, tie my shoes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I suppose he wanted something too!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Hello there!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I know, I know, slight obsession with dogs.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

You stepped on my foot!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Almost lying on the street.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Puppies.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Make-up session!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Guarding a bookshop.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Outdoor computing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

They sure had some funny expressions.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Very patient dog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Last one!

goal

This last week was filled with developing some odds and ends left over after my film development marathon. Some Double-X, Orwo UN54 and some Retro 400s in 120, all developed at a leisurely pace. The last tank were actually 4 rolls of Retro 400s that caused a bit of a Jobo CPE-2 failure. After 340 rolls developed in my secondhand CPE-2 the motor side magnet came off and I had to do the fixer stage by hand. For now I have attempted to fix the problem with some superglue, but I’m a bit hesitant to test it out properly before I have industrial strength epoxy steel for backup. The Jobo failing during the development stage would be quite disastrous, so I’ll have to resort to other methods for now until I’m quite sure that the glue will hold. 340 rolls without a complaint though and now a minor failure that can be solved with glue, that’s not too bad! I’m sure my CPE-2 will still keep going for a while, which is rather good because it has become a really essential tool in my film workflow.

I also managed to shoot a few rolls over the last week and even shot in the rain one afternoon because I was eager to play with my new Nokton 35mm f/1.2 and some motion picture film – in this case Kodak Vision 3 500T. So far I’ve shot 10 rolls with the lens and have only seen two of them. Those were enough to make me fall in love with the lens though and I’m now testing it in all sorts of conditions, shooting it from the hip during the day like my Zeiss lens, shooting from eye-level in low light, with colour and black and white. Although a little heavy it’s certainly a versatile lens and I’m sure that I will use it a lot. With the weight it’s not really the best choice for an everyday kind of lens and 35mm is a bit wide for shooting from eye-level during the day, at least for my taste, but I believe that this is the perfect lens for winter evenings.

Not a very exciting week? Well, no, it’s getting quite wintery cold and rainy here – for local standards obviously – and bad weather tends to disrupt everything here. Last week we really had floods and floods of rain, which I always find exceptionally annoying. I don’t like shooting in the rain.

In any case, let’s get on with some photos now. This time I’m showing you pictures from the beginning of March mostly taken with my M6 and Biogon on APX 400, with a few Nokton f/1.1 exceptions here and there.

Pictures taken with: Leica M6 with Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8 and Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1.

Starting with: M6 / Biogon / APX-400 @800 / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Curious look.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Care.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Hipster galore.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Fun with rubik’s cubes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Umbrella gymnastics.

APX 400 / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Bored dog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Showing off the baby.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Dog encounter.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Serious running.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Stealing taken to a new level.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Waiting.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Don’t support the murder of books.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

“And then I slapped him like this …”

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Expectations.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

The window says: Dogs, cats and other fauna.

RPX 100 @400 / Rodinal. Accidentally loaded the wrong roll.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Future heartbreaker.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Cold.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Siesta time.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Remind me not to push ISO 100 film again.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Who needs shadow detail anyway?

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I do like how this one turned out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Expectations.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Obligatory mirror self-portrait.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I love this one!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Tourist joy?

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Lots of empty glasses.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Professional contortionist.

APX 400 @800 / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Attitude!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Random street corner.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Sorry mate, no fish for you.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Yum!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Care.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

3 friends.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

More expectations.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Random guy in fur coat.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

APX 400 / HC-110.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Only happy with my cuddly toy … well, almost.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Modern kids.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Accidental self-portrait with a dog who’s running out of time.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Forgetfulness.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

M6 / Nokton 1.1.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

This made me laugh so hard!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Friday afternoon.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Happy dance.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Sticks and skateboards.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Expectations.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Another instalment of people pointing at things.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Twins.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Russian band.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Small enough to fit under the bench.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

When children attack …

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Unsafe.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Expectations. He does have such a funny face too!

M6 / Biogon.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Modern play.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Outside the lingerie shop.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Where is the ball?

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Sunglasses in any weather.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Goal!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Another near collision documented.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Dramatic gestures. Last one!

nice ride

The last two weeks I have only shot low ISO film. This included some RPX 100 in the Leica, as well as Rollei Retro 80s – with and without an orange filter -, Ilford Pan F+ 50, Provia 100F and Velvia 50 in my Medium format cameras. I went as low as ISO 20 handheld and to be honest I didn’t run into any problems. It has been a rather refreshing experience and there are now a whole lot of new films on my list of films to try. During this time I have also experimented with stand-development in HC-110 and I have to say that I’m rather pleased with the results. Both Rollei Retro 80s and Ilford Pan F+ 50 come out beautifully developed this way and I’m curious to see how it can be used to push film. I tend to push in Rodinal stand for reduced grain, but certain films fog horribly in that combination, as you are about to see with a few examples of Fomapan 400. I especially want to try pushing T-Max 400 in HC-110. T-Max 400 isn’t my kind of thing at box-speed, but pushed in Rodinal I found that it had lovely grain. The only problem was that there was virtually no shadow detail because the film was so fogged from the Rodinal. It was a real pain to print too. HC-110 is usually recommended to cut down on fog, so I would suspect that it might give better results when pushing T-Max 400. As soon as I get my hands on some more T-Max 400 I’ll definitely give it a try.

My newfound appreciation for low ISO films has also encouraged me to tweak the rangefinder of my Super Ikonta a bit more, involving a tape measure, a screwdriver, some electrical tape, a tripod and some test shots. As a result the last roll of Retro 80s actually turned out perfectly. No focussing issues even down to f/4.5, none of the pictures affected by that light leak that I was hunting and I didn’t even take any accidental double exposures. The last one is actually a real miracle since all other rolls included at least one double if not even triple exposure. I guess I’m starting to get used to shooting a camera without a double exposure lock. Now that my new camera is pretty much all sorted I’m planning to shoot the rest of my low ISO BW film in 120 in the Ikonta for practice so that I can take it with me on my next trip.

Is that all that I have done? It sounds like quite enough already. But no, actually I’ve also developed 20 rolls of colour film – mostly in medium format – including some surprisingly successful experiments in cross processing Rollei CR200. Although I thought I’d never be buying that film again, I may have found a new favourite! I also found out that my new Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1 renders colour just beautifully and I’m now really eager to see some results from Argentina. However, developing these rolls will have to wait a little while longer since I’m actually focussing on some much needed darkroom work next. There are never enough hours in the day it seems.

Enough talk though, let’s get on with the pictures. These pictures are actually still from September last year which shows you how far behind I’m on posting pictures. I’d like to finish with the pictures from last year soon, so you probably won’t have to wait quite so long for the next post. So, grab yourself a beverage of your choice and enjoy.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8 and Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.

First up M6 / Fomapan 400 @1600 stand-dev in Rodinal w. added potassium bromide (obviously a failed experiment).

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Nice ride! Of course there was that inevitable dude with a cell phone who wouldn’t go away.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Let’s just say that one shouldn’t push Foma in Rodinal. The added restrainer did nothing for the fog Rodinal will cause with this film. Also, restrainer means speed loss.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I like the atmosphere in this.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Who needs shadow detail anyway?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

It was already rather cold, so the beach was empty.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

For this shot the grainy and fog works perfectly though. Very happy with how it turned out.

Next up Argenti Reporter ARF+ 400 / HC-110 B.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Argenti ARF+ is a tad more grainy than I like, but the tones can be beautiful. It’s some kind of cine film, but I doubt it’s Orwo N74+ as most people suspect. The Orwo development times are shorter than ARF+ needs. They are rather long in general and there isn’t much shadow detail normally, so I suspect that this is actually not ISO 400 speed film.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Not many seagulls around here, so I grab the occasional shot when I see them.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I doubt I would like it without the old man walking into the frame.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Sharing secrets?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

These signs in the middle of the street suggest that this was at the time of the film festival. The perspective suggests also that I took this while we were getting tickets to see a movie.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Motion blur!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

When I have motion blur with ISO 400 it must have been getting dark. No reason to take off the dark glasses though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I printed this in the darkroom. Turned out lovely!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

White shoes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This is not a pipe.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Also a darkroom print.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

They were having fun.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Taken through a bus window.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Taking through a bus door on the moving bus. Another darkroom print.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Got off the bus to take this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Phone zombies.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Fluffy little guy.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Lots of hand holding going on in this one.

ARF+ 400 @800 / Rodinal stand.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

We were waiting to be let in to watch a movie at the film festival.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I love this one, but couldn’t print it because there was some odd emulsion damage. That’s the advantage of a hybrid workflow, I can still print it digitally if I want.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

After the movie at a random bar.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

What women carry – what men carry. At least around here.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Happy rich people.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Woof.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Partner look.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This is a particularly crowded little street and I tend to take pictures when people are in my way due to inconsiderate behaviour.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The inevitable baguette.

ARF+ 400 / HC-110 B.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

How rich people dress their children.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

These people were waiting outside the hotel that houses all the “stars” during the film festival. I noticed the crowd, so went to see. Obviously I had no clue who the person was who finally came out. I found the crowd much more interesting anyway.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Someone’s dog was very bored and tried to strangle himself on the leash.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Aim was slightly off that day.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Random bar during lunch time.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I printed this 2:3, but didn’t like the clutter of the bike in the end.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Sitting down while eating is overrated.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Boy with a mission.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I was only interested in the dogs in this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Book stalls, also only there once a year.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Wrong country.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I’ve seen that lady with the cart several times. Whenever I see her she is shouting at someone.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Someone moved out and left the mannequins in the window.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This little guy seems to be cultivating his beard.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

A new knight. Printed this big.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Reluctant fur balls.

Rollei / HP5+ / HC-110 D.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Tourist group.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I was hoping for a soap bubble, but she kept failing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Some little chinese shop in the old town.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Strange dog interaction.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Nice hat!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I was waiting for something to happen and they stepped out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I was interested in the weird doll. Then this woman showed up and I reframed quickly.

surf culture

Today we returned from a short trip to Bilbao. The weather was surprisingly good, so we used our time to take pictures, explore the city a bit more and go to a couple of museums. I had my Rollei, my Leica and both my Zeiss and Voigtländer lenses, which were all used over the last couple of days. I was mostly shooting with the Zeiss lens on the Leica, but one evening we also went for a little walk in the old town to take my Nokton for a spin. After 7 rolls with the Leica and 2 rolls with the Rollei in 2 1/2 days I even started feeling slightly pictured out, which is a feeling I rarely get. Time to slow down again and maybe do some processing too. There are still a number of rolls from last year that I would like to get out of the way soon.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
HP5+ @800 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

So, this is how I used to like my HP5+: slightly underexposed and then stand-developed in Rodinal. For old times sake I tried it again (which means that I forgot to change the ISO settings).

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Those were warmer days.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Don’t get your hat wet!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Unintentional leg self-portrait.  I was actually focussing on the guy in the back.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

That’s what it’s like here … surfer kids.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Sharpness suffers a little at f/16. It was ISO 100 weather and I was shooting ISO 800. Unlike the other day when I was shooting ISO 50 in ISO 1600 weather. My head is ISO confused.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

HP5+ and R09 is a bit too grainy a combination to square it, but this is how it was meant to be. Definitely not my favourite combination anymore.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

It does have some cracking tones though for ISO 800.

from above

These days I’m testing my new lens thoroughly and making a good effort to get used to it. It’s a bit strange to have to point this big lens directly at people and actually focus, especially in daylight, but I suppose it’s about time to get a bit more brave. The last few years I’ve been mainly shooting from the hip with a 35mm lens and I think I’ve become a little too comfortable with that approach. In fact, even after a full year of shooting with my Leica I still don’t focus quickly enough with the rangefinder, because I mostly zone focussed in this time! It’s definitely something I want to work on now and shooting at the widest aperture possible with my new 50mm should probably do its part in honing my focussing skills. And today? Well, today my efforts included a roll of Delta 400 shot in fading light and ever increasing humidity levels, mostly at f/1.1 and f/1.4. In other words: Boy, am I sick of all this rain and darkness!

All pictures taken with: Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.
RPX400 developed in Rodinal 1:25, Jobo CPE-2.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I find it rather difficult to shoot the Rollei from above. It needs some upside down thinking.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I ran into some “important people” to photograph down at the harbour.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

And one more, although obviously I had no idea who any of these people are.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

She was very interested in my Rollei, so I let her look at the ground glass and all that. We didn’t have a common language by the way. She was babbling in French and gave me a very confused look when I said something to her in Spanish.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

People hanging out at the promenade.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

A common sight in the summer, people sleeping rough on the Boulevard in the middle of the day. Long nights, even for the dogs.

beach bar at night

You might have noticed that in most of my posts these days I talk of technical details more than anything else. The reason is that most of my other summer adventures apart from the development can be summed up in a sentence or two. On some days we go to the beach, on others I might go for a walk in town, but that’s pretty much all that happens. Usually when I’m out I shoot some rolls and that’s the extent of it. Today for example we went for a little walk, but it was so hot that it was rather uncomfortable to be outside. Even inside it’s rather unbearable still. So, instead of shooting outside I was dabbling in self-portrait attempts again, locating all mirror surfaces at home and playing with my too short cable release. This time I was shooting with the Mamiya C220 and a roll of RPX400 shot at 1600. I would have liked to develop the roll right away to see the results of some of these experiments, but it’s too hot to even consider a 1 1/2h development time.

Today I’m showing you the second roll taken on the night of the Fiesta de San Juan in June  – the night where the locals jump over the fire for good luck. I still don’t have the right lens for this kind of thing and shoot fire too rarely to know how to meter it properly, but I keep trying anyway. And of course the badly fogged T-Max 400 pushed in Rodinal didn’t help either. Nevertheless the night yielded some pictures that I liked very much.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
T-Max 400 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I love my Zeiss.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

And I love how this one turned out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

My husband staring into the fire. Tones! T-Max pushed is just lovely. At least once I edited out all the fog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

If I ever want to take a good fire jumper picture I have to get a faster lens. You get the gist.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The atmosphere of this is what I like about it.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Did I mention how nice T-Max is pushed at night? I don’t like the stuff at box speed at all, but dang! I definitely need to figure out how to cut down on the fog to make editing less of a nightmare. If I figure it out it might well become my go to film for shooting in low light. And the 4×5 crop gives me really expensive ideas …! Better not go down that rabbit hole!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Gimme!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Walking the line. Too much fog and too much contrast. The grain is a little more pleasant though.

playing catch

This month was a rather productive one. I not only managed to develop, scan and edit a significant portion of my rolls from Argentina but also managed to keep up with the development of the numerous rolls I shot in the meantime, well, at least where possible. I can now almost embark on the last litre of my Fuji Hunt C41 Kit and I’m equally close to being able to start the development of all the E6 film that I have collected over the last few months. I’m also halfway through testing Fomapan 400 after finishing my experiments with HP5+. And last but not least I also managed to work on my portfolio and changed the theme of the blog like I’ve been planning for a very long time. With a bit of luck (and obviously more work) I will be finished with the Argentina rolls in just a few days along with the bulk of the C41 rolls I’ve been shooting this month and a couple of rolls of cine film. I’m rather curious what I’ll end up doing when I’m finally up to date with all the development! Knowing myself I’ll probably just embark on new experiments.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
T-Max 400 @1600 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

One of those shots my Leica made possible.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

T-Max 400 pushed is killer! It’s like 400 film at 1600. I just need to figure out a way to cut down on fog because these were horrible to post-process and would be impossible to print in the darkroom.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I should shoot more at night.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Fire jumper plus kids feeding the fire.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Next time I’ll read up on metering fire *before* going out to shoot and not after. I don’t shoot this kind of stuff often enough.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Now that’s more like it. Might need a faster lens for these kinds of situations though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Thanks for the mobile phone flash!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Silhouette shot. I think I might print this to see how it feels then.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Quite dark for f/2.8.

hair

After waiting for such a long time to see the pictures from the many rolls I shot in Argentina I’m rather pleasantly surprised by the results. I developed a few rolls already before, but I’m only now really getting started properly after spending quite some time ironing out development problems. It’s really quite enjoyable to finally see some progress and I’ve now developed more than half of the rolls I brought back. About time after 4 months! Only 25 more rolls to develop and I’ll be done. That’s only 5 more batches in the Jobo!

After a few test rolls and some 10 rolls from the trip I’ve now also reached the limit of this litre of C41 chemicals. I will still run a few more unimportant rolls through the chemicals before I mix up a new batch, but essentially I’ve now finished my 5th litre of C41 chemicals and developed some 80 rolls of C41 film. That’s right, more than 80 rolls of mine were shot in colour! Who would have thought!

Of course this doesn’t mean that I don’t shoot any black and white anymore, on the contrary. I’ve just finished my 100ft roll of HP5+ and already shot 3 rolls of Fomapan 400 which I’m testing next. Developing black and white right now is a problem though because it’s just too warm, especially when mixing the chemicals involves an exothermic reaction like with Caffenol. Even if the water temperature out of the tap happens to be 18°C I end up with a 22°C mix of Caffenol somehow. Since the temperature also rises too quickly with Caffenol-CL giving me somewhat more unpredictable development times I’m now experimenting with rotary processing in Caffenol-CH, which only needs to keep the right temperature for 12-13 minutes. Besides, if I can develop the black and white in the Jobo I might just be able to prevent another backlog of black and white! The weather isn’t bad these days and the city is full of tourists, so I’m shooting a lot these days. I guess I should just use the opportunity, since the rainy season will come soon enough and prevent me from shooting as much.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
Kentmere 400 stand-developed in Caffenol-CL.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Creepy wig store.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

OK, a little too far away, but you get the gist.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Timetraveller.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Barely touching the ground.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I actually took this picture twice because it happened at the end of the roll. And since the last and the first shot can go wrong, but usually don’t I’ve got two frames of this.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Now, looks just like a building where I would never want to live. Rather photogenic though.

And now for some leftovers of a roll of K400 @1600 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Slight Rodinal glow.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Taken from one bridge looking onto another. I like how sharp those tiny little figures turned out.

good boy

I almost didn’t take any of the shots I’m posting today, because I wasn’t planning on taking a camera to the Nick Cave concert. I only changed my mind last minute and if you’ve seen the concert pictures you already know how glad I am about taking the camera after all. I got some very nice pictures at the concert and the first picture of this set is one of my favourites from the whole trip. There are still 3 more colour rolls to develop, but I’m saving them until I have solved my C41 problems, because at least one of them has a lot of sky.

Part of the solution to my uneven development problem has already arrived in the mail – a new Jobo 1520 tank. Although I just confirmed that the reels are really annoying to load I’m hoping that they will allow for more even flow of chemicals in the tank. The first two rolls developed in it are already hanging to dry and it seems to be working fine, at least with HP5+. Of course I won’t be able to use my robotic agitator with this tank, because it isn’t meant for stick agitation but it the tank is ultimately meant for a bigger automation beast, a Jobo CPE-2. What better way to solve C41 development problems if not rotary processing? After all this is how C41 is meant to be developed in the first place. Don’t interpret this as a commitment to colour though – the CPE-2 can also be used to develop black and white film and should make it much easier to keep up with myself in general.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
RPX400 @1600 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Divided attention.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Biker gang?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Wrong country.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Ahh, subway shots, my old love.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

A glimpse into the train.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Patience.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

It wasn’t that warm actually.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Architectural abstract.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

That’s not how you use a slide, but oh well.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Well, my first time seeing the Mediterranean was a bit anticlimactic …

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I couldn’t resist the “light” in there.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The stage before the Nick Cave concert.

impressions from the exhibition opening

Shooting film means that sometimes one has to be patient. After a week of waiting I was curious to see how the pictures from the vernissage last week turned out. Normally I don’t develop a single roll in a tank, but in this case I just didn’t want to wait for another roll shot at 1600. How strange, especially considering that I normally wait a month or longer to edit pictures! I also still have a gazillion rolls left to develop from this last trip and from Argentina (ok, I exaggerate, maybe 50), so more patience is in order!

In any case, if the pictures make you curious then you still have the opportunity to see the exhibition tonight at 8pm, since there will be a finissage with a literature reading at Rösslstube, Friedrichstraße 37, Dresden.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
Kentmere 400 @1600 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Silvio opening the exhibition.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Ah, nothing like a window to throw off a light meter …!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This tango duo was really good! I couldn’t figure out their name because they normally play as a quartet and even then have a different name from another band where they play. All very confusing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

My brother is in this picture too. Not sure tango is his music, but he seemed to enjoy himself nonetheless.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Silvio was a little exhausted. Lots to organise!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

They were looking at my pictures actually! As you can see, there was some rather creative hanging necessary with those walls. My usual methods of hanging my foamboards wouldn’t have worked on that wall, so I had them standing on nails instead. Next time I might consider dibond and proper hangers, but in this particular space it worked like this as well.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Reading at an exhibition? Well, the exhibition celebrated the release of number 15 of the literature and art zine Der Maulkorb! You can order it on their blog. I can especially recommend number 12 and number 15, since they also have pictures of mine.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

If you’ve been following my blog for a long while then you can probably recognise which pictures these are. 5 of them were out of my delightful weirdness of being project from last year – all digital – and there is one film shot from this year as well. I normally hesitate to hang film and digital shots together, but I was rather pleased how well they worked next to each other!

Nick Cave in Barcelona

It was almost a little funny how badly my newest incarnation of Robo the robotic agitator failed today. I had changed something in the design just prior to testing and rushed the coding a bit. It went a little berserk when I actually had film in the tank. Luckily it wasn’t all that bad and the bigger worry was actually that I forgot to add some potassium bromide to my Caffenol-CH. In the end the pictures turned out fine though and hopefully Robo will be a little more sane now after I have fixed the problem. Lesson learned: I’ll test it with water in the tank and without film next.

And now for the concert pictures from the Nick Cave concert in Barcelona. I only took these pictures while I was actually enjoying the concert. I have given up taking concert pictures a long time ago when I realised that it removes me from the experience too much. I prefer to enjoy concerts rather than spend my time primarily taking pictures. When we were really close I was actually out of film and missed a couple of picture opportunities. I wasn’t bothered though, because I was *there*.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
RPX400 @1600 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© 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

I didn’t count how many times he said “Put away the mobile phone …”! More than 5 times at least.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

animals

I must say that I’m having a really great time on our trip. Yesterday we actually went to the Nick Cave concert that was the main reason for coming here and it was really great! I wasn’t really sure what to expect after following his work for 15 years and I feared that after all this time my expectations might be too high. However, it was actually a very good concert. In fact it was one of the best concerts I’ve seen and I’ve seen more than I could possibly count!

I really wanted to enjoy the concert and not just spend my time taking pictures, so I only took one roll of RPX400 which I shot at 1600. At the end we were sufficiently close so that my 35mm lens wasn’t such a big problem, but at f/2.8 and with a somewhat explosive performance any keepers will depend luck. Originally I even planned not to take a camera at all, but then changed my mind last minute and took my spare roll. It was a real challenge by the way, because it was too dark to even see the dials. In the end I guessed the settings with the help of the flash sync speed and also ignored the meter entirely since the darkness seemed to be throwing it off a bit. I will leave it a bit longer just in case, since overdevelopment is incredibly unlikely with the lighting there.

In any case, I took 10 rolls for 2 1/2 days and I have one roll left for the rest of the afternoon. Additionally to my last 5 rolls of RPX400 I shot 5 rolls of cinema film – 2 rolls of Kodak Vision 3 250D, one roll of Fuji Eterna 250D, and 2 rolls of Double-X. I think I’m actually almost entirely out of bw 35mm film now and need to order some more very soon. I’m still not sure what I’ll order, but it will probably be something odd. Until then I will either have to shoot colour – I still have some Kodak Farbwelt 400 – or play with my Rollei.

As for today’s pictures: Another bunch of black and white carnival pictures. I think it’s rather visible that I don’t quite feel at home with that tradition. Very odd indeed.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
RPX400 @1600 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© 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

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

transit

This last month was such a wonderful adventure! I’ve finally been to another continent, I have seen the moon from the southern hemisphere and danced tango in Buenos Aires of all places! Could it get any better than this? Well, the pictures, they could make it even better if they turn out well too! I actually already developed the 2 rolls that I shot in that little bar in Barracas one night at tango and I’m really happy with how they turned out. They have so much character and although I was mostly shooting at ISO 1600 with the amazing speed of 1/15 I didn’t only get blur and grain! And if the two most difficult rolls didn’t disappoint me, I’m really curious about the other rolls. They will have to wait until I get my Fuji Hunt C41 Kit in the mail though, because I want them all to be processed in the same chemicals rather than switch from the Tetenal kit to the Fuji kit halfway through.

In any case, the trip wasn’t only great photographically and as a travel experience. In fact, I also made quite a bit of progress with my work on the PhD, finding books I couldn’t get in Europe, locating archives, contacting people and hatching new ideas. I’m already working my way through all these new inspirations and I think it will all combine nicely with some of the photography projects I’m planning.

Speaking of projects: As you might know, I’ve been working on perfecting my push-processing techniques and I think I’ve reached the limit with Rodinal and classic grain film. If I want to shoot from the hip in badly lit places like train stations and on the subway, I will have to change my technique a bit if I want less grain. Next up on this venture are tests with pushed T-Max developed in Xtol. As someone who just can’t get warm with fine grain film it’s rather amusing to finally find a reason to use the stuff. By the way, from the examples I’ve seen, I somehow doubt that the combination will perform any better than what I can get out of RPX400 with Rodinal. I’m willing to give it a try though.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
RPX400 @3200 stand-developed in Rodinal.

© 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

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015