As some of you might know I work in Cologne, Germany. To make my lunch breaks more interesting I set myself a weekly challenge to take a series of pictures with the theme ‘yellow’.
All of these were taken with the Olympus OM 2N. Isn’t it funny how much english language there is in this very german city!
I must say I find it hard to take pictures in the city. I see little beauty in noisy, dirty, crowded streets, while the country with its quiet, muddy paths is heaven.
This one isn’t really yellowy but Lynda requested a close-up picture of a little old fashioned bakery shop I photographed before:
Here they come, my first Holga shots and also my first 2 self-processed rolls of film (both Ilford HP5plus)!
I think the Holga and I got off to a good start, though so far I’m having trouble finding the right focus point (apparently it’s not quite in the middle either but a bit to the right). Hence there’s only one photo that’s really and truly in focus and it’s the best shot from the two rolls:
I have to apologized for the bad quality scans. I got prints done and scanned them because I can’t scan negatives but I can see now it was a bad idea and a sad waste of money: the quality of the prints is appalling and this is not the first lab that I’ve had this problem with. I think I’ll have to dig into my savings to buy a scanner after all. Scanning negatives apparently is the only option if I’ll be shooting more film.
The up side is: I will definitely be shooting more film in the future. I am totally in love with my Holga and my Om-2N and have a lot of fun using them.
I went to another barn event today (a Quarter Mile Race on the local race track) and took along all three cameras and did indeed use them all! Each one is unique and I find myself looking for totally different motives, and seeing completely different things, depending on the camera I have in my hand. It’s fascinating and just an awful lot of fun!
Ok, two more horse shots (of course):
This one is pretty badly out of focus, but I still liked it too much not to show it:
A couple of weeks ago I just wouldn’t put it off any longer: I bought a Holga, a chinese toy camera. After a bit of research I decided on getting it directly from Hongkong via Ebay for the incredible price of ca. $20 USD (as usual german shops would have charged at least 3 times as much).
And oh, isn’t she pretty in her kitschy plastic cheapness?
I’d been wanting a Holga for some time but I was put off by having to research where to get it, how to use it, how to work with medium format film and especially how to process/develop film myself. But then I got my OM-2N and was getting back into film anyway. And the black and white photos I got back from the different labs I tried all had one thing in common: they were incredibly bad quality (think grainy, scratchy, blotchy), the labs took ages to make them and there would always be photos (and negatives!) mysteriously missing that were definitely correctly exposed. Top that with a staggering price and processing my b+w film at home has become a necessity.
So I thought, might as well do it thoroughly and go medium format and get a Holga (I am officially a freak).
I got a development tank and the chemicals and read and read and read about the process.
Today was the big day, it was time to process the first roll of film from my Holga! I won’t bore you with the process (I’ll just say I nearly cried when it took me 5 tries to get the film into the reel of the development tank in my semi-dark bathroom, under a dark bed sheet). I am still dumbfounded that after a lot of guesswork concerning development times and such, there is a strip of film drying in my bathroom…and it has pictures on it!!!
Actual, real pictures that are at least semi-correctly exposed! I’m hooked, processing film is my new favourite thing in the world!
See, this is the inverted image, they’ll be real photos!
And how convenient that I now know my Holga leaks light pretty much everywhere…off to buy some black tape tomorrow!
Eventually I would like to try out developing film in Coffee, because it’s more environmentally friendly and even cheaper than chemical developer and… well… it’s cool (can you say freak) 🙂
All in all the process was easier than I thought and I can’t wait to see the photos on paper and to process my next roll!
In between all those colourful, bright digital shots I just have to throw in these black and white photos from my Olympus OM-2N. Not only because they are different but because I am thrilled by how they turned out. It was love at second sight I’ll admit but I am starting to see the huge potential of this small and amazing SLR.
Not to mention that I just get a thrill out of using it…pressing that shutter and especially advancing the film manually is pure joy for me…I’m weird like that 😉
I am pretty suprised at just how contrasty and grainy this 125 ASA film turned out. I shot black and white film with a point and shoot as a teenager and don’t remember them turning out so ‘retro’. But then again I wasn’t using a 30-year old manual SLR so maybe that’s the difference.
I will definitely take the time to get to know this camera better though the prices to develop film are really steep and I’ll have to restrain myself from taking too many pictures.
Don’t worry about the digital photos though, I’ll keep them coming 😉 I have three photoshoots with adorable kids scheduled in the next 2-3 weeks, starting this weekend with 4 toddlers under the age of three!
I never got around to posting them, but I got my first test roll of film from my Olympus OM-2N scanned a couple of days ago. They’re only a couple of test shots I did when I was hanging out at the barn, but I am so in love with these lovely retro colors. Also I had forgotten how soft film is. We’re so used to tack sharp digital photos that these seem sort of dreamy in comparison.
Sweet baby at the barn:
Don’t even know what I love about this picture but somehow this draws me again and again!
Taking full advantage of the Zuiko 50mm 1.4 lens. Very interesting bokeh I think, definitely different than with my Canon (though my lens there is also 50mm 1.4).
And of course my cats, what would a post on this blog be without them?
I will be going on holiday next week (yay!) so don’t be surprised if things are a bit quiet around here. I hope to be coming home with lots and lots of new pictures for y’all, both film and digital (keeping fingers crossed for good weather!!) 🙂
Also I have been thinking of starting a series of tutorials on how to use a vintage treadle (or how I use my treadle to be specific), very basic things like threading, oiling, changing needles, adjusting tension and stitch length etc. Might be handy if someone buys a treadle without a manual and wonders how to use it. Would anybody actually be interested in that? Let me know!
Having discovered serious photography only a couple of years ago I really only know digital. I did have a much-used analog point and shoot since age 14 though and have always loved shooting black and white film.
I knew my dad had some analog SLRs somewhere and on my begging got them out for me. So here’s my newest toy:
It’s the Olympus OM-2N, an analog SLR from the late 1970’s and I am in love with it. Now don’t be fooled by its relatively small size and vintage look…this baby was the height of technology in its day and is still a serious and professional camera. But oooh, isn’t it cute, too?
And the even better news: there’s more where that came from! My dad not only has two more models of the OM-series but also a set of lenses in every size imaginable, most of them prime lenses! He was planning to be a professional photographer in his youth (guess it kind of runs in the family).
I chose the OM-2N because it comes with aperture priority as opposed to only full manual, which I thought would be easier as I am still figuring out the various knobs and manual focus. For starters I also took along a 50mm 1.4 and a 180mm 2.8 lens (sigh).
I shot the first test roll of film today and will be taking it to be developed tomorrow (provided I figure out how to rewind the film and get it out of the camera first). If the photos turn out anything close to how awesome it felt to shoot them I predict this Olympus and I are going to be very fast friends!
It’s funny how automated you become when you shoot a lot…the first couple of photos I found myself quickly looking at the black back of the camera and wondering immediately after why I was doing so. Then I understood I was looking for the (nonexistent) preview picture to see if I’d gotten it right first try.
I will be shooting mainly black and white film I think and I am so excited to get to know film in general and this camera in particular better. That said, I am still loving the digital world…I googled the camera just for fun and the first thing that came up was the complete manual as a free pdf – thank you internet!