John

I bought a Chinese TLR, a Huazhong that has the same basic body and build of the dime-a-dozen Seagull TLRs, but has a shutter that can fire up to 1/500 of a second. I shot a test roll in the camera at bitterly cold rallycross at Crystal Motor Speedway. I liked the hats that this couple were wearing, and so I asked to take a picture of them. Picture shot on a Huazhong TLR camera with a 75mm/f3.5 lens on Kodak Portra 400.

I bought a rare Bronica 135w panoramic film back from eBay, and once it arrived, I loaded it with Kodak Portra 400 and went shooting a test roll at the Henry Ford. I didn’t have a focusing screen marked for the panoramic image area, so I eyeballed things and took a rough guess as to how the framing would turn out. I took a wide shot of this group of visitors being briefed by a tour guide on the history of the presidential limousines parked along the edge of the museum. Photo shot with a Bronica ETR 645 film camera and a 50mm f/2.8 lens with a 135w panoramic film back loaded with Kodak Portra 400.

I got free tickets to the Detroit Auto Show Industry Preview courtesy of a friend, and brought along some buddies to explore and photograph the auto show in relative calm. I had to laugh when I spotted this scene: a dude in an orange jacket taking a picture of a bright orange Camaro. Photo was taken with a Nikon FM3a and a 50mm f/1.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.

I bought a rare Bronica 135w panoramic film back from eBay, and once it arrived, I loaded it with Kodak Portra 400 and went to the Henry Ford to shoot a test roll. I didn’t have a focusing screen marked for the panoramic frame, so I eyeballed things and took a rough guess as to how the framing would turn out. As it so happened, I wasn’t quite perfect on the framing here, as I didn’t have the headroom I thought I did above the GT written on the rear wing of the modern Ford GT LeMans car. Still, I like this image quite a lot. Photo shot with a Bronica ETR 645 film camera and a 50mm f/2.8 lens with a 135w panoramic film back loaded with Kodak Portra 400.

White seamless post-processing hell

A few years ago, I gave up on shooting white seamless portraits. I left my roll of white paper at the old condo and let the new homeowner figure out what to do with it. I sold my background stands and crossbar to a photographer friend down in West Virginia. I sold my studio strobes and Pocket Wizards on eBay. I was convinced that I was never going to shoot white seamless ever again.

Then I got a call from my swing dancing friends in the Ann Arbor scene a few weeks ago, asking if I was willing to set up a backdrop and shoot portraits of dancers for the Valentines Day dance. They’d pay me a nominal amount, but I’d get to dance for free to the live band that evening. Foolishly, I said yes. (more…)

I got free tickets to the Detroit Auto Show Industry Preview courtesy of a friend, and brought along some buddies to explore and photograph the auto show in relative calm. I liked how the Ford GT looked with the crowd silhouetted against the turntable’s spotlights. Also, that dude in the back has a very appropriate jacket. Picture shot with a Mamiya C220 TLR camera and an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Fujifilm Provia 100.

The cameras on my shelf inexplicably get older and older. I’ve always wanted a Rolleiflex, but the late f/2.8 and f/3.5 cameras go for more than I want to spend on a film camera. However, old pre-WWII Rolleiflexes are budget friendly, and historically significant — if you can find one that isn’t torn to bits and still works. To that end, I found this Rolleiflex Old Standard on eBay, CLA’d and put up for sale by Petrakla Classic Cameras in the Netherlands. A nice looking 1933-ish Rolleiflex that I can shoot with 120 film? Sure, why not? At the same time, I decided to buy a 1937-ish Kodak Retina film camera from them too, and had them ship the two cameras to my door. After three weeks of patiently waiting, they’re finally here!

I got free tickets to the Detroit Auto Show Industry Preview courtesy of a friend, and brought along some buddies to explore and photograph the auto show in relative calm. The big news in the Ford booth was the public unveiling of not only the new Bullitt Mustang, but the original one as well. Very few people paid attention to the new Mustang, with almost all eyes on the one and only original. I didn’t buck the trend myself. Picture shot with a Mamiya C220 TLR camera and an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Fujifilm Provia 100.

The group of friends with whom I used to do “Top Gear and Tacos” (back when the British Top Gear was still chugging along with Jeremy, Hammond, and May) most every Tuesday of every week did something called the 80’s Turbo Challenge one year. The next year, we attempted to do the same, but due to lack of planning, it turned into more of a “Top Gear and Tacos Goes Camping by a Neat Lake, Not Quite the 80’s Turbo Challenge.” Since we were in northern Michigan, I took a camera and a tripod and did some shooting in the woods near the campground. This watch tower, no longer used for watching for forest fires but still standing, sits against a Milky Way backdrop. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens.