Mawage (The Princess Bride)

While helping Amy arrange a photo book from our time in San Francisco a little over a month two months ago, I remembered showing her the wedding scene from The Princess Bride. Peter Cook was fantastic as The Impressive Clergyman. This is relevant because we’re including the quote from that scene on the back cover. Boom!

(By the way, Amy hasn’t seen this movie. Yet.)

Few will care

Few will care

While walking across the street from the Wiltern to the Wilshire/Western subway, this man walked between the cars asking for money. The print is pretty much how I envisioned it.

Unfortunately, I’m still trying to get more detail between the man’s head and the trees in the distance. This is probably my 8th print attempt. I’m scared that no amount of dodging will bring it out.

I would scan the negative, but I don’t have a film scanner. I’m not sure if I should save money towards buying a Canon CanoScan 8800F.

Like before, I tried to get this scanned print as close to the real thing as possible. I cropped out the white borders since they weren’t clean.

Contrast filter: #2
Aperture: f/5.6
Time: 17 seconds

Film: Arista.EDU Ultra B&W 100 35mm
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XS
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Paper: Arista.EDU Ultra VC RC Glossy 8×10
Scanner: HP ScanJet 7400C @ 300 DPI

One of my first prints

I tried to get this scanned print as close to the real thing as possible. I cropped out the white borders since they weren’t clean. I didn’t write down how I exposed this in the enlarger – shame on me, I guess.

Lastly, since this was our first assignment, our teacher hadn’t shown us contrast filters or dodging and burning. Don’t analyze this to death. 🙂

Film: Arista.EDU Ultra B&W 400 35mm
Camera: Pentax ME Super
Lens: Kiron 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5
Paper: Arista.EDU Ultra VC RC Semi-Matte 8×10
Scanner: HP ScanJet 7400C @ 600 DPI


Strolling around Balboa Pier

Strolling around Balboa Pier

Taken on expired Kodak Elite Chrome 100 with a Minolta SRT-Super equipped with a 135mm f/2.8 lens. The film was cross processed.

Thanks to Brian Auer for letting me use his camera, then developing and scanning the film.

Other photos from this photowalk at Balboa Island

View on Flickr

Jump into film or digital photography?

I started to write these under my entry for the Epic Edits $50 film camera photo project. But, this deserves its own post.

When I was lured into photography, all I wanted to do was create cool photos. As you get into it, you start to see other factors coming into play.

  • Clutter
    • Film – Store and carry all the rolls of film you’ll stock up on. Once they get developed, you need to store the physical negatives, too. Also, what’ll happen if you lose that negative? If you’re scanning your film onto your computer, you’d also need hard drive space, backups, and electricity.
    • Digital – Hard drive space, backups, and electricity to keep those hard drive(s) running. If you use a SLR camera, you’ll acquire lenses, memory cards, batteries, lens filters, bags, cases, etc.
  • LCD screen
    • Most times I’m checking my LCD screen with my digital camera, I’m actually looking at the histogram for most of the photos to make sure they’re exposed properly. I’d miss that with film.
  • Cost
    • Film – The cost is gradual because you can buy a few rolls at a time. You’re limited to those exposures. Although you’ll be more selective than digital photographers, you’re [probably] storing scanned negatives on your hard drive(s). Plus, you’ll need to purchase your own scanner – if you want high-quality digital scans of your prints.
    • Digital – You can buy an expensive camera and a couple memory cards. With proper care, they should last for a long time. As opposed to a scanner, a card reader is relatively inexpensive. However, you’ll take more photos, use hard drive space, and – unless you’re good on deleting photos you’ll never use – need more hard drives.
  • Efficiency
    • Film – You don’t need to delete tons of extra photos later. But, if you’re using older film cameras, you’ll probably use manual settings, which takes more time. In addition, you don’t have the luxury of on-the-fly ISO switching – a nightmare if you’re switching from different lighting environments constantly.
    • Digital – Get more chances to capture moments quickly. You’ll most likely have auto focus, auto ISO, and continuous bursts to your advantage.
  • “Feel”
    • Sometimes, digital is too clean. We could fake those imperfections, but the development of film can be cool. I can go either way with this. 😉

Keep in mind that with a point-and-shoot JPEG camera, I didn’t feel a lot of the digital costs. Once I bought a DSLR camera and switched to RAW, I was “hit” pretty hard. (In my opinion, Michael Mistretta’s “RAW vs JPEG” post explains it well.) However, I hope to recoup the costs.

Despite everything mentioned above, don’t be shied away. The pros of the art outweigh all of the negatives.

I’m sure I missed something. If you’re in a cozy RSS reader, please come over here and leave your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

The $50 film camera project

Minolta SR-T Super
[View on Flickr]

Minolta SR-T Super
[View on Flickr]

I wasn’t going to participate in Epic Edits $50 film camera photo project. But, when I went photowalking a few weeks ago at Balboa Island with Brian Auer and another friend, Brian offered to let me borrow his Minolta SR-T Super, 135mm f/2.8 lens[1. He also had a 50mm f/1.4, but I wanted telephoto because I was using my nifty fifty on my Canon EOS 40D.], and eight rolls of film. He’d even get them developed and scanned for me – what a great friend! I didn’t want to make it hard on him, so I only used two rolls. The roll I’m using here is Ilford Delta-100 Professional 135-36 Black & White Print Film (ISO-100).

Brian loaded the film, set the ISO speed for me[2. I think it underexposured two stops.], and I was ready to go.

Technical specs

The following is what what mattered to me most:

  • built-in light meter, coupled with the shutter speed and aperture
  • shutter speeds: Bulb, 1-1/1000
  • aperture and shutter speed displayed in viewfinder
  • a quick return mirror

Experience with the film SLR camera

I’ve never photographed in full manual. I was scared of needing to adjust aperture, shutter speed and focus before pressing the shutter. Fortunately, there was a light meter. Phew!

Brian told me that he sets his shutter speed at 1/1000 (max) then adjusts the aperture accordingly. So, it’s kind of like aperture priority. Once I got into a groove, it wasn’t bad at all.


The only film I’ve ever loaded was in those inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras. Align the film behind the shutter, snap the roll in place, then close the back. No need to wind because the camera did the rest. Here, it was a bit more involved, so I asked Brian for help. With the Minolta SR-T Super, you have to wind once, press the shutter, then repeat, until it was all the way around the spool.

Manual focusing was my other minor annoyance. I missed quite a few photos because I wasn’t focused and ready to press the shutter.


I felt less conspicuous because I was taking photos one exposure at a time – no continuous bursts. Also, it wasn’t as big as my Canon EOS 40D[3. At the same time, a minor annoyance considering that the 40D fits my hands pretty well.].

The lack of instant gratification is exhilarating. I framed a photo, pressed the shutter, and that was all I could do. No chimping possible.

At times, digital feels too clean. Since I’m in a street photography mode, the slightly gritty “feel” of the film photos appealed to me.

Like I said earlier, that light meter was clutch.


These are my three favorite photos:

In search for treats
[View on Flickr]

Third wheel boredom
[View on Flickr]

[View on Flickr]

You can view the rest of the roll at Flickr. I hope you like them!

P.S. Thanks to Brian Auer for lending me the camera, developing and scanning the photos, FTP-ing them to his server for me to download, and taking photos of the camera itself. He rocks. 🙂

I’m writing a short follow up which didn’t need to be crammed into this post. It’ll be up by next Monday, at the latest. If you don’t want to miss it, please subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks!

Update 9/23/08: I just realized I never posted my follow up. Blast! I promise it’s in draft right now and almost ready to publish.