Thoughts…

The purpose of this post is to share my thoughts on my film photography. It’s been a little over a year since I took my old cameras and some rolls of film out of the cupboard and started re-using them.

My first thought is how much my photography has been rejuvenated. Now, I’m not getting into the argument of film photography is better than digital or vice versa. Both have their place. I will still be using my digital camera, particularly for bird photography.

A baby Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) captured by a digital camera.

Think more; shoot less is a sage piece of advice. Thinking more about the shot I am about to take is paramount to my film photography. Unlike digital photography, where I can take multiple shots of my subject, film is too expensive to do that.

Lake Colac, Victoria, Australia

The above photograph was taken using a Kodak Retinette Rangefinder camera loaded with Kodacolor film. This roll of film was probably the first roll to be used in this camera for close on forty years.

Yarraville, Victoria, Australia

This photograph was taken using my Nikon EM SLR, also loaded with Kodacolor film. Both these rolls of Kodacolor film were bought in 2005 and were well past their expiry date. They had been stored in a cool dark place and showed no ill effects. I exposed them at box speed (ISO 200).

The Old Farm Shed, Irrewarra, Victoria, Australia

The Old Farm Shed was taken using a Nikon EM SLR loaded with Kodak Tri-X 400 Black and White film.

Finally, the anticipation of seeing the results once the exposed film has been developed, printed and scanned is so different from what I get from seeing instantly my digital shots.

Please Note:
Fred O’Donnell Photography is the copyright holder of all photographs that appear on this blog. These images are protected by copyright laws and all rights are reserved. To purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.


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Using an Old Camera

As part of my project to shoot more film, I have pulled out my old film cameras. This also means I am using up some rolls of film that have been in my cupboards for many years.

My first 35mm camera is a Kodak Retinette IA. I was working at Kodak at the time and my camera of choice was a Kodak Box Brownie that I had purchased some three years earlier. The Retinette wasn’t a brand new camera, but one that had been refurbished.

The Kodak Retinette IA is a 35mm rangefinder camera which was manufactured by Kodak AG ( the German branch of Kodak) between 1959 – 66. My version of the camera has a Pronto shutter, and the f:3.5/50mm lens was manufactured by Schneider-Kreuznach Reomar, a German manufacturer of photographic optics.

I loaded the camera with Kodacolor 200 film and headed off to take some pictures. Almost immediately, I could tell that something was not right. I removed the film and then took the camera off to the camera store for repairs. There it was serviced and the shutter was repaired. This was back before Christmas and it has taken until this week for me to expose the film, get it processed. Today I received the digital files from the laboratory.

Rotunda – on the shore of Lake Colac

I could not be more pleased with the results. This camera has an excellent lens and my fear of getting back bad quality pictures was allayed.

Lake Colac
Jetty at Lake Colac

This is the first time I have used this rangefinder camera in about forty or more years. I have found this exercise to be well worth my while.

Please Note:
I am the copyright holder of all photographs that appear on this blog. These images are protected by copyright laws and all rights are reserved. To purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Dee Cottage

The following photographs are of Dee Cottage, built in 1880, in the industrial suburb of Melbourne called Yarraville. It is considered of historical and architectural significance.

Dee Cottage

On their website, the Heritage Council Victoria, state:

Statement of Significance

Dee cottage is of historical and architectural significance to the City of Maribyrnong as a relatively intact early residence, used as a company house by the nearby Cuming Smith & Co. works and built in association with major industrial development and closely related historically to the local industries which gave it its purpose. (Criteria B2 & D2) Distinctive architectural form of the period also relatively intact and well preserved. (Criterion F1) The site has significant historical associations as a former residence of James Cuming, founder and principal of Cuming Smith fertiliser works and one of Footscray’s most prominent citizens. (Criterion H1)

Australian Heritage Commission (AHC) criteria

The Australian Heritage Commission criteria consist of a set of eight criteria which cover social, aesthetic, scientific, and historic values. Each criterion has sub-criteria written specifically for cultural or natural values. The relevant criteria are:

B.2 rarity

D.2 good example of type

H.1 association with important person or group

F.1 design or technological achievement

Here is the link: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/28788

Dee Cottage

Dee Cottage

These photos were shot with my Nikon EM film camera using Kodak colour film.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Stalingrad – 2005

The following photo was taken in 2005 on a visit to Paris in France. It was taken about a year before I bought a digital SLR. I used my Nikon EM film camera loaded with Kodacolour.

Stalingrad Station

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Back to Film – Kodacolor

The results are in! After more than a decade, I have put a roll of Kodak High Definition colour film (ASA 200) in my old Nikon EM SLR which I bought back in the mid-1980s and completed a photoshoot.
The film was stored in a cupboard all that time, and I had no concerns that it would still be in good condition. The exposed film was taken to a camera shop where it was developed and printed, and I also had scans made.
I was very happy with the results, however, I felt that the scans were flat. As a result, the photos posted here have been slightly adjusted in my software.

 

Old Yarraville Post Office

The Old Yarraville Post Office

 

4811-009 - Sun Theatre Version 2.jpg

Sun Theatre, Yarraville

 

4811-014 - Flinders Street Station Version 2.jpg

Flinders Street Station

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

 

Shooting with Film – Circa1985

The new year was to be the start of my new project of shooting with film. As it turned out, my last photo shoot of 2017 was using my old film camera, which I had rescued from the back of the cupboard. I will share those photos here, once they are developed and printed.

Back in about 1985, Nikon had released an entry-level SLR, the Nikon EM, at a price that allowed photographers like me to upgrade my camera. The camera came fitted with a Nikon Series E 50mm 1: 1.8 lens.

Recently, I found a photo album with some photographs I had taken back in the 1980s, and, I must admit, I had forgotten how good that lens was.

Aire River, Otway National Park – c1985

Aire River - Circa 1983

This photograph was shot using that camera and lens, loaded with Kodacolor film.

The following photographs were also taken on that same photo shoot. They are of the Hopetoun Falls and other scenes of the Aire River.Hopetoun Falls

Aire River - Circa 1985

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

Shooting with Film.

As I begin this post, 2018 looms large. A new year demands new and fresh ideas, but my new idea is actually an old one. I’m about to re-start using film.

It’s not a spur of the moment decision as I have been thinking of doing this for some time now. I found my old film camera, a Nikon EM, and the three rolls of Kodacolor (ISO 200), and two rolls of Kodak black and white (C41 processing) film I knew were put away in a cupboard when I turned to digital photography. That was back in 2006. The film has expired, but having been stored in a dark cool place, I’m sure it will be alright.

I remember some years ago, I was in a supermarket, and as I went through the check-out, on the counter, there was a small basket full of expired (just) Kodachrome film at a price too good to pass up. I bought the lot!

A couple of weeks later I was on holiday with my family. I shot every frame of those rolls of expired film, and there were no failures.

What do I expect to achieve by shooting film? Buying film, then having it processed, has never been cheap. And I think that is the way of it now. With digital, it is so easy to keep pushing the shutter, returning home with a dozen or more frames of the same subject, and selecting the best one. As I said, film is too expensive to do that!

I hope, by shooting film, it will make think more about the shot I am about to take and more about what I will achieve once I have pushed the shutter button.

Also, I must confess, I like the look and the colours of film once it has been printed.

I intend using Kodak film whenever I can. I have a loyalty to Kodak that goes back many years – my first full-time job was at Kodak.

My last major photo shoot using film was in 2005. That year my wife and I went overseas to Europe. We flew from Australia to London via Dubai, to London, then on to Dublin. In Dublin, we hired a car then drove around the north of Ireland to Galway. From there we drove across Ireland to Wexford, then catching the ferry to Fishguard in Wales.

We drove across Wales into England and spent a few days in London. From London, we caught the train to Paris where we spent a few pleasant days before returning to Australia.

Photo 1: Old City Gates, Drogheda, Ireland 

Scan 18

Photo 2: Lough Neagh, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Lough Neagh

Photo 3: Mute Swan, Lough Neagh, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Mute Swan

Photo 4: Mute Swans, Lough Neagh, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Mute Swan

All of the above photos were shot using my Nikon EM camera loaded with Kodacolor film.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts about shooting with film. Do you (or have you ever) use film? What is your favourite brand of film?

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.