Christmas in the Basque Country – Part 1

I always plan on posting more and then life somehow gets in the way. This time the problem was that I’ve been having way too much fun with the courses I’m taking on coursera and with my newest photographic projects, 4×5 + toy cameras + pinholes. That’s not a bad problem to have, I’d say! I finished a couple of courses already and I’m planning to take more once I finish this current batch! The next one that is on top of the list is actually a course on 3D printing, because I have a rather simple and useful project in mind: I need a lens board for my Speed Graphic for a lens that doesn’t have a flange to mount it.

I’ve been having lots of fun with my Speed Graphic and carried it up the mountain and into the woods a few times already together with my Leica Hektor 150mm f/2.5 projection lens. I bought the lens already modified for the Speed Graphic. The seller had sawed off the mount for the projector to reduce vignetting and mounted it on a 3D printed board that is the right size for my Pacemaker Speed Graphic. It’s a bit of a tight fit and not as smooth as mounting a regular metal lens board, but it works just fine in practice as long as I’m careful that it’s properly mounted. The other day I was extremely lucky and scored a Leica Prado 500 projector with 2 lenses. One of the lenses isn’t really useful for me beyond use on the projector, but the second lens is another one of these cool Hektor lenses, a Leica Hektor 200mm f/2.5! The 150mm I already have barely covers 4×5, which means I get some funky Holga corners in the pictures. I really like the feel it gives the pictures though, so I don’t mind the coverage issue. However, it also means that there is absolutely no room for movements at all which is a real shame with such a shallow depth of field. The 200mm Hektor should cover 4×5 properly though and I hope there is at least a little bit of room for movements. So, the plan is to 3D print a lens board for this lens and maybe make a slightly better board for the 150mm Hektor as well so that it’s a little less tricky to attach to the camera.

By the way I’ve been thinking about getting a projector since I started on my slide film project a couple of years ago. That’s how they were meant to be viewed and I like it when I can have a fully analog workflow. However, projectors that can do medium format are quite hard to locate and usually really expensive. The Prado was one that I had been eyeing for a while which is also how I ended up thinking about using projection lenses on a 4×5 camera in the first place. Like it is the case with enlargers the medium format parts for projectors are usually hard to find, but I’m hoping that the one I got might have the right condenser already since it comes with a medium format lens. 3D printing will probably solve the issue with all other spare parts I might need, but I obviously can’t print a condenser! Even if it doesn’t come with the right condenser, I’m sure the right one will pop up eventually and I’ve been meaning to shoot more 35mm slide film anyway. And since the 200mm Hektor lens was already worth more than I paid for the entire projector I’m very happy with my purchase.

So, after barely a couple of months with my Speed Graphic I already have 3 lenses for it and it’s really having a great impact on my photography. When I finally decided to go for it I wasn’t really sure how it would fit into what I do. Right away I had the idea for a great new project and it fits so nicely with my other toy camera, pinhole and alternative process related experiments. I’m still figuring out the details, but even my first few sheets of 4×5 have already been enough to convince me that I’m on the right track. I’ve been really unhappy with my workflow for a long time because shooting street in this town is such a grind most of the time. I really needed something with more predictable results to balance things out. Now that I can at least know that my 4×5 results aren’t going to disappoint me I have been feeling more like going out to shoot street too. Double win!

Speaking of results: After a bit more research I’m also one step further with my DIY Graflarger back – turning my Speed Graphic into a 4×5 enlarger so that I can have a completely analog workflow with that format too. One part I’m going to have to build is a light box of the right size to attach to a film holder. The only part missing for the light box was something to diffuse the light and I’ve actually found a place that can cut the right type of plexiglass to the size I need! I can imagine that this project will also end up having some 3D printed parts, another lens board for the enlarger lens, but also negative holders since I would also like to use it to enlarge 6×9 negatives. My Durst M670 only goes up to 6×7 and my DIY Graflarger solution could definitely be a way of printing 120 film formats that are larger than that.

3D printing of course has gazillions of other potential uses in film photography, especially when you’re interested in pinhole cameras or cameras for unusual formats. I’m already dreaming of a 3D printed 6×17 camera that uses a large format lens! And did I mention that building a regular light box with a diffuser isn’t any different from building a UV box for alternative printing? This whole adventure is really the right kind of mix of geekery and experiment to keep me happy for a long time.

Enough talk though, I think it’s about time for some pictures! As always the pictures I’m going to share with you today have absolutely nothing to do with my ramblings. However, one advantage of being more than a year behind on posting pictures is that I can use the opportunity to post some Christmas pictures! Can you believe it, Christmas pictures for Christmas? It’s almost like in my good old digital days when I would post pictures on the same day as they were taken. The pictures I’m sharing today were actually shot a year ago though and they are the first pictures I share taken with my wonderful Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.2 lens. That lens absolutely rocks and at least shares a rather narrow depth of field wide open with my 4×5 adventures with the projection lenses. Ah, there we go, I managed to connect my ramblings to the pictures after all!

But before I forget: Merry Christmas my dear friends! Get yourself some eggnog and enjoy!

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.2. Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.

M6 / HP5+ @800. And in case you’re wondering everything apart from the colour rolls was developed in HC-110, which is actually my only developer these days! Good versatile stuff and even quite useful for stand-development.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

San Sebastian was the European Capital of Culture in 2016 which meant that they splurged on all sorts of fancy events over the year. By the time it was Christmas they had probably run out of money, but this didn’t mean that they didn’t try to do fancy things anyway. Apparently some ingenious engineering students had come up with a way to have some fancy outdoor Christmas lighting the cheap way. The mayor said something about a minimal budget on the day when it was presented. I was there with my camera to see whether there was anything worth photographing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Crowded!

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I’m always surprised that local teenagers seem to be overly happy to dress up in the most ridiculous way to support their local traditions. If anyone had expected me to dress up like that I’d have said “Not even in your wildest dreams!”

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Traumatised for life I expect.

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The people who came up with the lighting setup!

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Perfect opportunity to shoot some Kodak Vision 3 800T.

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And there they are, the fancy lights.

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Shoe lights too!

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Totally acceptable to miss focus a tad at f/1.2.

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The children obviously loved it.

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A gazillion selfies were taken.

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Fancy light ball.

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I was experimenting with remjet removal on the Kodak Vision 3 film and it didn’t always go according to plan. I think I’ll buy proper remjet removal bath next time instead of using washing soda. For some reason I like the effect in this one though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Father Christmas about to be attacked by a shark.

HP5+ @800.

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Bergger 400.

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More fancy lights.

FP4+.

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Rollei Retro 400s.

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A bar at the train station. Is it me or are they universally depressing all over the world?

Bergger 400.

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They put up Christmas decorations at the square in front of regional government building too. They were a tad disturbing.

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Take a close look at the girl next to the dog. She has a dog head in her hands …!

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I do love my Nokton 35mm f/1.2. It was still new to me at that point.

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FP4+.

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Another local tradition at Christmas is the fiesta de Santo Tomas when the whole town is transformed into one big famer’s market and the farmers from the surrounding region bring their products and livestock into the city. Surrounding this event there is of course lots of dressing up, drink and events connected to local traditions. One of them is the women’s wood chopping competition. Yep, you read that right, wood chopping is apparently a sport around here.

Rollei Retro 400s.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

These were the finals, so there were trophies to be given out!

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All the kids were dressed up and waiting for the competition to start.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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All three competitors in action with their axes. There was wood flying off in all directions and these women were wielding big sharp axes, so I kept my distance.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Technical discussions.

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We have a winner on the right!

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Running around in circles with a shark balloon, is there anything better?

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Even the dogs were dressed up.

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Modern life, eh?

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Don’t shoot the baby.

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Grandma took away the gun for her own picture.

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The children always have lots of fun at these events.

Rolleicord / Delta 400 @800.

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Private conversation among twins.

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Cute!

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Climbing around with a skirt is difficult business.

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Jumping, not a problem.

M6 / Rollei Retro 400s.

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Playing with the baby.

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Last one!

Next time: Christmas Eve, Reyes Magos and the Cabalgata!

long wait

Ah, there I am again, finally! I’m sorry it took so long this time, but I actually have a good excuse for once: My webspace provider was totally ripping me off, so I decided to migrate my website. I already thought last year that their price increases are getting more and more insane, but this year they really crossed a line. Well, now I’m back with my old provider from years ago and much happier with the performance, the support and everything really. The only problem was of course that I have an insane number of pictures on my blog and transferring all that data took forever! I also had to clean up some internal mess, reinstall my theme and all sorts of little things that I didn’t really want to deal with, so I just left the migration half finished for a while. All of it was a very good reminder why I should never go back to working in IT! That said, today I felt like posting some pictures and so I finally finished up most of the remaining issues, which involved fixing the database and some CSS issues. Now it’s done at last! Such a never-ending story! There are still some little things broken here or there – I probably still need to fix some database settings somewhere to get unicode support back up, but what’s left is really not a priority.

Apart from my big mission of migrating the website I’ve also now read 260 pages in Russian! I’m not reading very fast yet, but I’m reading in Russian, how cool is that? On any average day I’m now using 4 or 5 languages, German, English, Spanish, French and Russian. So, how does that go? I speak German with my parents and write a little bit in German almost every day, I use English throughout as my primary language, I watch series in Spanish – right now mostly Argentinian series – and in French I tend to read for fun/work or listen to podcasts and radio documentaries. In Russian I’m currently only reading translations from English and it’s still slow going, but I’m definitely making progress! I’m pretty sure that by the end of the year I’ll be reading without a dictionary and already start to watch series dubbed in Russian.

As for photography: I’m starting to come out of a bit of funk now which is probably because it’s finally getting a bit warmer. Winter and spring were cold, wet and boring photographically, so I didn’t feel very inspired. Lately I feel like I’m going through a seasonal low in winter and during the tourist season in summer, so I have to try to work around it as best as I can. Nothing to be done, since that’s just how it is here in tourist land. Most photographers who don’t live in big cities work in a seasonal fashion, so I just have to get used to it. Can be frustrating, but lately I’ve just concentrated on other things during such times – like learning languages. During my last photographic low I picked up French and now I’m on my way to learning Russian. Not a bad way to avoid the usual frustrations and waste less film!

Also, did you know that the first issue of our She Shoots Film magazine is out? It’s pretty, it’s super interesting and full of great work! You can order it on the She Shoots Film website. If you already have it, don’t worry, the next issue is coming soon!

Now let’s get to the meat of this post though: The pictures! I’m ashamed to say that I’m now more than a year behind with posting pictures, since these are still from our trip to Argentina last year! Yikes, I really need to make an effort to catch up!

Pictures taken with: Leica M6, Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8 and Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1. Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.

Starting with: M6 / Nokton 1.1 / Kodak Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Cat ears!

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Fur ball.

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Books, of course!

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Trying to get rid of a stray cat.

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Not exactly the best weather for checking out the bookstalls.

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Miau!

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There was a certain quiet about it all.

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Don’t trust the sign, the woman wasn’t selling, at least not to us.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Also, she walked right into my shot. On purpose.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Kodak Farbwelt 400.

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The Nokton 1.1 wide open is a bit funky in colour.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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It was dark.

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Dancing dog.

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I think Kodak Farbwelt 400 does really well in this kind of light.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Lots of lines everywhere.

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Ah, Nokton 1.1 wide open!

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Fruit.

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Robot clock!

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Rainy day.

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I’m watching you.

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Evening coffee.

Next day: M6 / Zeiss 35mm / Gold 200.

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Architecture students probably.

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Ombu!!

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Rollei / Portra 160.

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M6 / Zeiss 35mm / Gold 200.

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This looks very Bs As in my eyes.

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Rollei / Portra 160.

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M6 / Zeiss 35mm / Gold 200.

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Rollei / Portra 160.

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Bus depot.

M6 / Zeiss 35mm / Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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We were out in La Boca.

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Eternauta! If you don’t know it, google it.

Rollei Portra 160.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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M6 / Zeiss 35mm / Gold 200.

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La Boca is of course very touristy, but also very colourful and full of street dogs.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Rollei / Portra 160.

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I simply had to take a picture of that.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Colourful cat!

M6 / Zeiss 35mm / Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Colourful dog.

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Posing for me!

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One for Muybridge!

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This guy preferred the stairs.

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And this guy ran past with a big chunk of meat.

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Obligatory broken down car picture.

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Contemporary art.

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Internal joke alarm.

Last one!

books always books

This last week has been spent with colour film development, language learning – my newest project is to learn Russian – and I also got around to shooting a couple of rolls. Since the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating these days I will continue to develop and scan mainly, and after I finish my current batch of C41 chemicals I hope to also have some time for the darkroom as well. Winter is always the best time to catch up on darkroom time. This is actually one of the reasons why I like shooting film – there is no reason to worry when there is nothing to shoot – there is always something to do and something new to try, even when it’s rainy outside.

And since we’re talking about winter projects, I might as well mention my newest attempt to learn Russian. I already tried to learn this horrifically complicated language a bit more than a year ago and failed quite miserably, because I focused too much on grammar. This time round I’m trying a new strategy I found when I was learning French last summer. With my French I didn’t practice any grammar apart from a gamified version on a website called Duolingo. Instead of learning grammar I followed an Assimil course, which is a very non-traditional course without any grammar drills. It’s really strange, but it works surprisingly well if done right. After a short time I also started reading intensively with a dictionary and after only 3 months I could watch series in French and read French literature without a dictionary, what a success! After lots of reading and watching I’m now even listening to audiobooks in French – notably Jules Verne at the moment. With Russian I’m now trying the same method and I’m curious to see whether it works equally well with such a complicated language. So far I’m progressing nicely and all the buried grammar is coming back easily. I even started reading simple graded readers already and so far it looks like I’m on the right track. Of course this might seem somewhat unrelated to photography, but believe me, I’m working up to a couple of projects in which my language skills will be very important. Watch this space!

Now let’s come to some pictures though, since this is what this blog is really about. This time I’m showing you more pictures from our last Argentina trip in April 2016. More colour, more fluff balls and of course book shops!

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 / Kodak Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Very golden indeed.

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While walking!

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Wrong country.

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Pigeon waiting for empanadas.

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Obligatory mirror self portrait.

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Mirror self portrait in a book shop. Husband browsing.

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I only remembered later that I had a colour correction filter.

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For fans of Argentinian Sci Fi.

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Accident, but I somehow like it.

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That’s what it was actually meant to look like.

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Revolutionary pigeons.

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Cat looking at the revolutionary pigeons suspiciously.

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For some reason I just love this one. Don’t ask me why, I can’t explain.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Nokton.

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Super interesting building. Decided to change the lens to actually get anything in there with 200 film.

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A favourite of mine.

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Yep, that’s the place to be!

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Neon love!

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Invisible man closing up shop.

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Translation: Home – work – home – work. Yard – cell – yard – cell. We’re all prisoners.

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Keep on walking!

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I do love my Nokton.

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Another favourite.

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Browsing in another book shop. I have so many pictures of bookshops thanks to my husband!

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Light was going.

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Husband browsing for books, of course.

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Kodak Farbwelt 400.

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Taxi strike to protest against Uber.

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They were blocking the entire street right in the middle of the centre.

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That film rocks in fading light!

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Another bookshop.

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Don’t ask me how this is connected to books.

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Surrealist subway decoration.

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What a whirl!

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Feeling right at home. And I certainly found my BsAs subway film.

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Stray dog wandering about on the subway.

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Heidegger on the subway.

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I just love this one.

Kodak Gold 200.

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We went for a little walk in the neighbourhood on another day. Found this lovely car.

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And an assortment of cats …

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… and dogs behind bars.

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Looks totally safe.

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Husband sometimes jokes that I take pictures of every street corner. Not every street corner, just the interesting ones!

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Empanadas.

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… butterflies behind bars …

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It was him, for sure.

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Multiple photographer.

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Bark bark.

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Dog posing for me.

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Miau.

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Uhm … maybe every second street corner.

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Pink and green.

Biogon.

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Evening light.

Nokton.

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And Rambo strikes again …

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Kodak Farbwelt 400.

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That 400 Kodak film rocks at night.

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Focus ever so slightly off …

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Actores en el subte! They were doing a little play and immediately improvised my camera into it.

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I enjoyed it too!

Last one!

flip

These days it has been cold and wet, which has actually kept me from shooting. I’ve only been out to shoot a couple of times apart from one day when I spent some time to document one of the local Christmas traditions. I have been covering the local traditions pretty thoroughly over the last couple of years and this last tradition surrounding the Reyes Magos was one that had been quite impossible with my previous gear. It was just way too dark for my Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 a couple of years ago and too crowded for my 50mm Nokton f/1.1 last year. This year with my new Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.2 I finally managed, which is another reason why buying this lens was a great decision. By now I’ve shot 40 rolls with the lens and I’m really impressed with the results. I will probably still get quite a number of rolls in before I have enough light for my Zeiss 35mm during my typical shooting time in the late afternoon.

Yesterday I also went for a walk in a cloud with my Rollei. Sometimes when it’s very rainy the clouds hang rather low and one can walk into them by climbing one of the hills. I have been meaning to do this since I moved here, but of course rain usually keeps me from shooting on such days. Yesterday there was a little break in the rain when I set out on my adventure, but of course that didn’t prevent me from getting a bit soaked. Obviously it tends to be rather wet in clouds and I had to wipe the lens of the Rollei many times even before it started raining again. I hope I got some nice pictures in return at least!

The film I shot during my adventure was in this case XP2, since this is the ISO 400 film in 120 I’m shooting these days. I’ve shot about 5 rolls of it so far and I will leave a few of them for our trip to Madrid which we booked yesterday. Only a week to go until we travel! This time we won’t have to face 40°C weather like in September and it will probably be less exhausting to shoot street. Apart from the XP2 I will also take some Ilford Pan 400 and other odds and ends – maybe a few more rolls of Rollei Retro 400s, a roll of Kodak Vision 3 500T and some Delta 3200. And what about gear? Well, of course I’ll take my Leica and Rollei as always, but it will be the first time that I travel without my Zeiss lens. My Voigtländer lenses are definitely more flexible and I don’t mind the extra weight.

Apart from all of this there are a couple more experiments worth mentioning that I embarked upon over the last couple of weeks: I finally figured out the right development time for Rollei Retro 400s in HC-110 and I successfully pushed a few rolls of Delta 400 and Ilford Pan 400 to 1600 in HC-110 semi stand-development. I still have to find the sweet spot with the right amount of developer to protect the highlights and still get enough density before exhaustion, but i’m on the right track. I was hitting the limit of what I could do with pushing in Rodinal – it fogs too much – and I think HC-110 stand could be great for pushing T-grain film like Delta 400 and T-Max 400. I don’t always need that kind of speed with my Voigtländer lenses, but having the possibility to push this far without too much grain is definitely helpful in certain situations.

But now, let’s finally get to some pictures. It’s now 2017 and I’m still posting pictures from April 2016! Yes, I am quite behind, but I actually didn’t shoot that much over the summer, which means that it’s not as bad as it seems. I also quite like having a distance to the pictures that I post. It’s a little like reading an old diary. This time it means that I get to relive our last Argentina trip in April.

Pictures taken with: Leica M6 with Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8 and Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1. Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5.

Starting with: M6 / Biogon / Kodak Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Doesn’t look like the softest ground to practice flips!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

In case you ever wondered how girls turn into cats, here is a progression documented on an abandoned car.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

More of an internal joke that one. There was another silly poster of him in another post recently.

M6 / Nokton.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Fluffy handbag.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

More fluffy handbags.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

We were at the Feria de Mataderos.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Yes, I’m obsessed with these fluffballs.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Creepy dolls anyone?

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Sweet stuff.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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In case the writing on the t-shirt is too small, it actually says: “I wanna be white” illustrated with a black dog trying to paint himself white. So weird.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Definitely take note of the boy biting his fingernails in the background.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Llama alarm!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Pose your kid on a pony for a picture.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Car turned bench.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Weeeeird!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Add sleeping dog in matching colour to your booth for decoration.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Care.

Rollei / Portra 400.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Always difficult to colour correct with harsh shadows, but I really like how this one turned out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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M6 / Nokton / Kodak Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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What a look!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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More sweet stuff.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

This booth was very creative.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

And another fur ball!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with them.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Nope, couldn’t resist the mirror.

M6 / Biogon.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Playing foosball.

Kodak Farbwelt 400.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Uhm weird! Taken from a cab.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Colours!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Dogs expression matches the skulls.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

He was having fun though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Blocking the whole street for a little chat.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

How to combat boredom while queuing.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Out for a walk with his grammophone. I just couldn’t get a good angle before he was gone.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Paying attention while crossing the street is clearly overrated.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Light was going.

Kodak Gold 200.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Candy apples!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Bookshop self-portrait.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Love how this one turned out!

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

At the bus stop.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Quick, before she runs away! Oh wait …

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Rollei / Portra 400.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

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Someone’s bed.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

This is actually a university.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Colourful. My own universities were rather boring in decoration.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

ready for summer

The last week was filled with more low ISO shooting fun. I specifically wanted to finish off my rolls of Rollei Retro 80s in 120 and start shooting it in 35mm after I had run out of Rollei RPX 100 for my Leica. I have to say that I quite enjoyed shooting the 80s so far. It has been a challenge and I definitely like how contrasty it is. Definitely a film with lots of character. I also quite enjoy how lovely the lens of my Zeiss Super Ikonta 530/2 renders when it’s shot at wider apertures, so that I even considered getting an ND filter! Turns out that I’m quite enjoying my low ISO experiments. After shooting so much ISO 400 film before it’s really changing the way I work. With ISO 400 I usually just zone focus and hope for the best, but with lower ISO I have to take a shallower depth of field into account and have to actually focus properly. It’s a more deliberate way of shooting and although it’s pushing me a little out of my comfort zone, I’m actually enjoying it a lot too. When this month of shooting exclusively low ISO films is over, I will obviously start shooting ISO 400 again, but I’m sure low ISO films will find their way into my camera much more often now.

It’s now almost June and I’m still posting pictures from last year. I guess it’s time to catch up a little, so you’ll get some more frequent posts until I finally reach some pictures from this year. This is close enough to new pictures for me anyway, since I actually developed quite a few of these only very recently. Most of these rolls had been lying around since last year and I was collecting them for the next batch of C41 chemicals. I generally shoot much less colour in winter, so it took me a while to get enough C41 film together. By now I have a lot of it lying around again though, because I brought a whole batch of it back from Argentina. Once I get some new C41 chemicals – this time it will be a 5L pack of the Tetenal C41 kit -, they are next on my long list of rolls to develop.

But now, let’s take a look at the pictures I have for you this week: The last C41 film from last year. Grab a refreshing beverage and enjoy some summery fun. Well, apart from a rather wintery roll at the start that had been sitting around undeveloped since February last year! Jeez! In any case, these pictures put me right in the mood for summer. Good thing that summer is approaching fast and that we already had some rather sunny days!

All pictures taken with: Rolleicord V, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm f/3.5 and Canon SureShot WP-1.

Starting off with: Rollei / CR 200 crossed.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This roll was taken in February. I really like how the subdued colours add to the atmosphere. Definitely, cross-processing the roll was a good decision. They actually turn out with a heavy blue tint, but once the colour correction magic is through with it, this is how it looks.

Next roll June 2015, same combination.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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This roll also worked really well cross-processed. I never thought I’d like anything crossed, but this stuff looks really interesting and somewhat nostalgic.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The only problem is that it somewhat increases grain which means that resolution suffers a little. In 35mm it would definitely be too much, but in 120 it’s quite lovely.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Skin tones not too far off, yet the colours are somewhat funky.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

I think it works really well with Rollei pictures.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

There was a funky red line going through this roll. Since no other rolls were affected I’d suspect it was a problem with the emulsion of this particular roll only.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The cross was perfect for this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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So weird.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Awww!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Probably my favourite from this roll.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Next up: Rollei / Portra 400.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

A crowd watching some musicians.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

So cute!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

He knew what I was doing for sure!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Imaginary football.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Note the kid hiding on the right.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

He refused to get up and she offered him bread … he didn’t seem impressed.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Creepy!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Hanging out at the beach.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Looks fun!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

And they needed a rest.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Left out on the balcony.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Creepy!!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Privileged dog.

From here: Canon WP-1 / Kodak Gold.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Another instalment of people pointing at things.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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They were tearing down the building.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Funky ride.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Someone left a devil behind.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Palm tree waiting for the bus.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Some beach tango.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

And people watching!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

More beach tango.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The shadows!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This might have been a shot from a roll of Kodak Farbwelt. Looks too blue for Kodak Gold.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Beach capoeira.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Some basketball.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

And people staring at their phones instead.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Surferboy running.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The advantages of having a water proof camera.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Beach still life.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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Back into the sea.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Baywatch … or something like it.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Occasionally one sees this kind of thing too, although it’s more common in the bay.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Reflections.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Uhm … yes.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Another beach still life.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Hunting crabs I suppose.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Apparently I needed to take a pretty picture too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

This is what one gets when the battery of the Canon WP-1 doesn’t have enough juice to rewind the film and one tries to continue shooting anyway.

flowers

As I already planned I took out my Rollei today and shot a roll in the park. I felt like I needed some peace and quiet and a bit of nature which is sorely lacking in this town. I think I miss all the trees of Buenos Aires, even though they made shooting a little more difficult at times. In comparison the streets around here look bare and the light is a lot more harsh as well.

And now for the complete opposite: Some pictures taken in the crowd during carnival. I like how they turned out, especially considering that I actually had a tough time shooting them. There is nothing quite as obnoxious as carnival music and crowds! Well, it had to be done at least once! I’m glad it’s over though and I certainly won’t be repeating the experience. Next year I will look for a less obnoxious place to photograph during carnival.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
dm Paradies 400 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit.

© 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

divided attention

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

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

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Big hunk of meat anyone?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Twirl.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

The rest: XP2 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Ogling?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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

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© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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

clockwork orange

There are still a bunch of rolls I haven’t even considered developing yet and these are the E6 rolls that I shot at the beginning of the year. I was actually planning to shoot some landscapes in E6 in Argentina, but all the plans got twisted around a little so that in the end I didn’t shoot landscapes at all. Now I still have 6 rolls of slide film left before I can even start thinking about developing the last roll of my carnival shots from February. Since this is not really happening anytime soon then, I decided to start posting some of the pictures already.

I’m not yet sure what to think of this series – I was a bit in a mood when I shot these and everything was just too loud and obnoxious. I was also rather unhappy with the rolls I shot that day, even though that first picture totally made the hassle worthwhile I think. Next year I will probably try to find a less obnoxious place to shoot the carnival though. Maybe Venice?

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
dm Paradies 400 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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pure gold

When I travel I like to go places and see things because I’m interested in a whole variety of things, but I don’t necessarily like to experience a place in a touristy fashion. It wouldn’t occur to me to make a list of touristy spots to visit just to tick boxes. I like it when these things happen spontaneously. For example, today we happened to walk across Plaza de Mayo when there was the changing of the guards. I wouldn’t have considered to go and see this specifically, but it was nice that it just happened in front of us anyway. And yes, every day we go places, see things, take pictures and I’m having a wonderful time. I get plenty of opportunities to shoot street while we’re out and so far I’ve shot 34 rolls of film. I still have 17 rolls of colour film left and 2 rolls of bw for backup. Although I have no idea how the pictures are turning out, I know this much: Shooting colour was a good decision because this place is very colourful indeed.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Fuji 400 (drugstore) developed in Tetenal C41 Kit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Is it me or do they have the exact same facial expression? Cracked me up!

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

It was cold, but cold enough to take your radiator with you?

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

Looks like it’s a bit far to the kitchen!

the last of winter

Today I’m tired but happy. I had a successful day with 3 rolls finished and a 4th halfway through. We saw the Congress, visited the café of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, walked along Avenida Corrientes and stopped in several bookstores – Corrientes is full of them. I got very lucky in one of them and walked out with 2 very relevant books. One thing became clear though: The Rollei is not the right camera for such an extremely crowded place as the centre of Buenos Aires! You hardly get the chance to stop there, so there is just no way to focus and compose with the Rollei, especially not with the tall buildings blocking most of the sun so that you have to shoot at f/5.6. Next time we go to such a crowded place I won’t weigh myself down with it. In the end I only took one picture with it and it wasn’t really worth it to carry it all day. Tomorrow we’re planning a bit more quiet outing though and I hope to finish off the roll then.

Today’s pictures? Well, I was a bit unhappy with the roll I’m showing you today, mainly due to the quality of the negatives. This was actually the roll where I realised that it’s better not to push colour film even when it’s underexposed. The results are definitely more grainy than the rolls where I metered at 1600 and forgot to push. By the way, it’s April and these are the last shots from last year. About time, I’d say! Goodbye snow!

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
dm Paradies 400 @1600 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit, +2.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Just too cute!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

If only it wasn’t so grainy!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Pretty wintery, eh? Well, here we have every day above 20 degrees right now!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

It says “simply heavenly” on the window pane … “simply creepy” I’d say though!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Weird colours? Turns out daylight colour negative film needs filtering under tungsten light or it actually gets a colour cast that can’t be corrected because the information is simply missing. With the filter stealing 2 stops I think tungsten film is the better option though.

dazzled by colour

Yesterday afternoon we went for a walk around the neighbourhood and ended up in a local neighbourhood park. It was scorching hot – it still is actually, 30°C – and the park was full of people. Everyone seemed to be playing football, children were running around having fun, girls were doing gymnastics, and so on. You can imagine that I filled my roll easily and even almost finished a second roll. All the differences in the plants and trees were a bit dazzling to me too. Already at the airport I saw high grass that looked just like the grass growing near water in Europe, but there was no water in sight! In the park there were trees with spikes on their trunks and trees of shapes I had never seen before. I also saw a bright neon orange butterfly speed past me at some point. Later at night I was looking up at the moon and it looked so different upside down! Gazing at that strange looking moon over the rugged and chaotic skyline of Buenos Aires almost felt like being on a different planet.

Since the weather is still so hot we were taking it easy today as well and we decided to go to a different park in another neighbourhood. At the moment we are staying rather far from the centre, so any more exciting adventure would have involved a lengthy bus ride in 30°C weather, which is not exactly pleasant. We’ll move to a more central area on Sunday and get plenty of opportunity to see more. So, until Sunday we’re probably going to take it easy in this kind of weather and not risk a heat stroke. In any case, put me in a park with lots of people and I’m happy anyway, even if it’s not that special and a motorway runs above it. I shot 2 rolls and I think a couple of the shots might really be quite interesting.

When we were walking to the bus stop on the way back we also stumbled over something fantastic: In the middle of a rather unspectacular neighbourhood we unexpectedly found a little side street with many nice old houses. After all the noise of the motorway above the park and the crowds it was like stepping into another city. Quiet, hardly anyone on the street and instead of the complete mix of old and new, beautiful and ugly houses there was suddenly a homogeneously beautiful street. Very odd, very special, and if one day I could live in a place like this I would be very happy indeed.

I think it was a great choice to bring colour film to Buenos Aires. It’s a colourful place indeed and I think the pictures will seem somewhat less detached. And since I mention colour, I might as well show you some shots from one of my first colour rolls where I was specifically hunting for colour.

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Rossmann 400 developed in Tetenal C41 Kit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

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