Category: News & Updates

News and updates of the website, the blog, and service stuff.

What’s Coming for 2017

What’s Coming for 2017

So we’re here with just over ten days left in 2016, and I haven’t yet provided you, my faithful readers, with an update on what’s going to happen in the new year here on the blog! Well, there are going to be a few changes, but don’t worry they’re all going to be good. First up there’s going to be no overarching year long project in 2017, nor will I be engaging in a major project. Because my life is going to change, if you haven’t realized from reading some of my posts over on 52Rolls I’m getting married in April! So most of my year will be focused on that, being married. Don’t worry; I’m not giving up on photography or the blog since it was photography that started both Heather and I down this path.

A Lovely Hike
My beautiful bride-to-be Heather on a hike we took back in November

I’m wrapping up all my projects in 2016, so that means the 52-Roll project will be ending in a couple of weeks! I only have two more rolls of film sitting on my shelf waiting to become a part of that project. And it’s been a fun one, I’ve grown to have a great appreciation for the Hasselblad camera and the RPX line of film and will certainly be continuing to use the RPX 25 film at least which has become my favorite of the line. And the Anglo-American War of 1812 project that started in 2012 will also be coming to a close, and I have finished the book on the project as well! You can pick up a copy of “Fire & Blood” from Blurb.com!

Project:1812 - The Destruction of Washington
The Smithsonian Gallery of American Art as it stands today, was previously the US Patent Office to replace the one saved during the city’s destruction that burned in 1838. And the final photo I took in relation to the War of 1812 Project

Season 3 of Classic Camera Revival is looking up! We’ve recorded the first three episodes for the new year and plan on bringing in lots of new and some familiar faces, or is that voices, to the podcast! And I will be continuing to reviews cameras where I can next year hoping for at least one a month. The blog will continue to have content posted to it. More film reviews, different photographic techniques, more personal photographic works, and cooking!

That about wraps this up, so a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

2016 – A Year of Beginnings and Endings

2016 – A Year of Beginnings and Endings

Ah yes, the famous what’s up and coming for 2016 blog post. 2016 is going to be a year of beginnings and endings. And of course some continuances.

On Endings…
Finally after several years of work my on going War of 1812 project will be coming to an end, with the final locations marked and the written portions of the book completed and being edited it’s finally time to call the project quits. It’s been a wild ride with lots of going back, reworking, rephotographing, and expanding the project to encompass as much of the war I could cram into my head and my book. Look for it Christmas 2016!

Project:1812 - The King's Navy Yards (Amherstburg)

On Beginnings…
Yes folks it’s coming back a 52-Roll project! But this one is going square, that’s right working with the Hasselblad 500c for a year’s worth of work with the 2016 project! Like the 2013 project this one will require me to stick with one camera and one film, that is the Hasselblad 500c and the film is Rollei RPX 100. Like the 2014 Sheet-A-Week project I can use any lens I want, for the most part the 80mm and 50mm lens but who knows what I could get through the year, and I can use any chemistry I want to develop it. And just to give myself that extra challenge, I will also print at least one image from each roll shot.

CCR - Review 19 - Hasselblad 500c

The second project that I’ll be working on is simply titled “My Oma’s Camera” I recently was gifted my Oma Luyckx’s Instamatic camera. Now I never really knew my Oma Luyckx as she passed away when I was two, but recently the camera has come into my possession, I also have a bunch of slides that she shot with the camera. So through 2016 I’ll be sorted through and scanning/posting images from this camera as my own personal rediscovery of my Oma.

My Oma's Camera

On Continuances…
Classic Camera Revival will be continuing! Yes that’s right both review blogs (although probably reduced to one or two a month) and the podcast will be continuing for 2016. And what a good year we have planned for the CCR Podcast with even a Walk ‘n Talk meetup where we, the hosts turn the mics over to you, our listeners to talk about your favourite camera. Look for it around April or May of 2016! As for the review blogs I still have some fine cameras on the list for the rest of 2015 such as the Zenit 122K, Nikon F, and one more mystery camera!

CCR Review 2 – Pentax K1000

CCR Review 2 – Pentax K1000

Accept no copy, the one the only, the iconic camera that started out life as the bargain model that featured the the new K-Mount (Introduced in 1975), but has since gained greater popularity, and the camera you most likely used in your High School Photography Course, is the Pentax K1000. This all mechanical marvel is the essential student camera and general beater that can be used pretty much anywhere in the world today! The wide range of top quality lenses and ease of use saw it named the Film Photography Project’s Camera of the Year for 2014 and after having several pass in and out of my collection, I finally have one that is going to stay right where it is. This all mechanical beast is probably the best known camera, and with well over three million units sold one of the most prolific cameras out there.

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000
My grandfather’s K1000, now in my ownership with the sleeper SMC Pentax 55mm 1:2 lens

The Dirt
Maker: Pentax
Model: K1000
Type: 35mm Single Lens Reflex
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K-Mount, Manual
Year of Manufacture: 1979-1997

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

The Good
Probably the best thing about the camera is it’s simplicity. This gives any user a full hands on experience from manual focus to manual exposure (there is a built in light meter). Even setting the exposure is easy, just line up the needle visible in the view finder to the gap by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture. Being a mechanical camera means that to operate the camera itself, you don’t really need to have a battery, as the battery simply powers the light meter, no meter, no problem! Simply use an external meter, even your smart phone with an app on it can do the job, or use the tried and true Sunny-16 rule. And the lens selection is fantastic! The K-mount was used on several non-pentax cameras as a result there’s plenty of solid third-party optics not to mention piles and piles of Pentax optics out there. I would recommend using the SMC Pentax and SMC Pentax A lenses as they work the best on the K1000.

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

The Bad
If you’re not used to a fully manual camera switching to one might be a bit jarring, there is no automatic mode at all. Which makes it a good learner camera, but often will make you think a little bit more, which isn’t really a bad thing! However you can’t see what you’ve set everything to inside the viewfinder, which makes it a little difficult, you might end up shooting a handheld 1/10th of a second exposure! And the second thing I have an issue with is the lack of a dedicated power switch, which means the meter is always on, as long as you don’t have a lens cap…which is something.

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

The Low Down
If you’re just getting started in film photography or really want to get a handle on exposure, this is your best and safest bet. It’s not called a student camera for nothing. Plus they last a long time, and on the used market dirt cheap. You can get a decent setup lens, body for 100 dollars or even less. Plus the old manual K-mount lenses will work on modern Pentax digital SLRs.

But don’t just take my word for it, check out what Michael Raso had to say about it as well!

All photos shot along Highway 6 in Ontario, Canada
Pentax K1000 – SMC Pentax 55mm 1:2 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Ilford DD-X (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

#filmisalive

#filmisalive

Well anyone who has read this Blog or who knows me in person…knows I have a passion for several things. History, Military Reenacting, and Film Photography.

TFSM Fall '14 - The Lion, The Witch, and the wait??
A recent favourite image of mine, shot on Ilford HP5+ and developed myself in HC-110.

So don’t mind me…I just had to spread the word that film is alive and is kicking ass. That’s right folks, film is far from dead, the grave is no longer in sight of this dearly loved medium. Because there just isn’t anything like film. Don’t worry, I’m not knocking digital, and it does have it’s place in my workflow, it’s just I prefer to work with film. So where did it all start again? Right, the death of Polaroid. Funny how at the end there’s an odd beginning. The loss of Polaroid but a hole into the heart of photographers everywhere, they had been dying a slow death. Photographer friend Polly Chandler when out and maxed out a credit card on the lovely Type 55 instant 4×5 material when she found out it was being discontinued. Into this stepped three brave entrepreneurs, and they managed to snag the last operational Polaroid factory and named themselves “The Impossible Project” because their task was…nothing short of impossible. But they managed to, from scratch, recreate instant film for the SX-70, 600, and Spectra Cameras. Sure it was a long rough road, but they made it come back, and continue to work on improving.

Gazebo
From my very first pack of Impossible Project film…it’s only gotten better!

But they showed one thing, film is alive and people still yearn for project. So into this hole stepped other people who saw a need and reached out and started making new project. New55 is working on getting their replacement for Polaroid Type 55 into the market again after launching a successful kickstarter campaign. Impossible Project continues to improve their colour and B&W formulas and products. But now what? Where do we go from here? Today there are only three operational fully self-contained film production lines in the world. Fuji, Kodak, Agfa, but there was a fourth, Ferrania. And they’re working on getting that line operational again, because someone in the Italian Government had the foresight to preserve the plant and equipment and now a group of men, are working on getting it up and running. Their goal to produce three new slide films, yes, the idea of getting new slide film in both 120, 35mm along with Super8 and 16mm for motion picture is exciting!

ferrania

Add to this Cinestill, who produces still camera ready, c-41 process motion picture film is working on getting their wonderful stock into 120 format as well? Still think film is dead? Keep reading!

cinestill

How about a new, affordable Large format field camera? I’m game! As much as I like to shoot my Crown Graphic press camera, having another option available to me is also a fantastic idea, Intrepid Camera Co. is working on their prototype and the images they’re producing is fantastic, plus the camera looks pretty sexy as well!

intrepid-camera-co

So how can YOU help? That’s the easy part! Support film! Go out and buy fresh product from Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, Foma, Lomography, Impossible Project, Adox…but don’t horde, buy what you need, shoot it, and get more. Support companies like Cinestill, Intrepid, and Ferrania, let’s show them some film love. And most importantly promote them through whatever social media you have, twitter, tumblr, facebook, ello….anything really.

Cinestill Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/cinestill/cinestill-medium-format-film
Ferrania: www.kickstarter.com/projects/filmferrania/100-more-years-of-analog-film

And yes, I’ve backed both of these, as well as Bill Schwab’s Kickstarter for his Photographic Workshop up in Emmet County which was successfully funded as well as Lomography’s latest for the Lomo’Instant (also wildly successful).

Companies that Support Film
The Film Photography Project: http://filmphotographyproject.com/
The Impossible Project: https://www.the-impossible-project.com/
Freestyle Photographic: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/
Burlington Camera: http://burlingtoncamera.com/
The Darkroom: https://thedarkroom.com/
Borealis Labs: http://www2.borealislab.qc.ca/
Kodak Alaris: http://www.kodakalaris.com/ek/US/en/Kodak_Alaris.htm
Ilford: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp
Fujifilm: http://www.fujifilm.ca/
Lomography: http://www.lomography.ca/
Intrepid Camera Co: http://www.theintrepidcamera.co.uk/
Adox: http://www.adox.de/Photo/?page_id=234
Foma: http://www.foma.cz/en/photomaterials
FILM Ferrania: http://www.filmferrania.it/
CineStill: http://cinestillfilm.com/
New55: http://www.new55project.com/

Yes, film is still out there, and is kicking back.
Not Dead. Nowhere Close to Dead.

Brand New Site, Brand New Services, Brand New Year

Brand New Site, Brand New Services, Brand New Year

While we’re already one month into 2014 we’ve been working hard here at alexluyckx|photography to put together a whole new website. Our old site was designed and built all the way back in 2012, and while it served its purpose, the big thing on the web is change, always change, fresh new content. So here’s a break down of what’s new!

So what’s new at alexluyckx.com??

Simplified Navigation
Services, Portfolios, Projects, Prints (get to that later), the Journal (Blog) are now all at the top next to the logo, the five main reasons I have my site, making it easier to move between these sections. The rest of the site content is on the secondary navigation bar at the bottom. Social media options and a contact email address are now in top bar that’s always at the top.Additionally, no more hunting for services or portfolios on multiple pages, both services and photographic portfolios are on one single page.

New Services
This, this is the part I’m really excited about, we’re pleased to announce two brand new services to the alexluyckx|photography family. Traditional B&W Film developing and printing! Yes, you can now mail your Tri-X, Tmax, HP5, Delta 100 and our team of photographic experts will happily develop your film for you. Want to add some darkroom prints into the mix as well we can do that as well!

New Products!
Fine.Art.Prints. Yes, we’re finally offering for sale a rotating selection of hand-crafted fine art prints from the many adventures our photographers take, all shot on traditional b&w film, hand processed and printed.

Long Live Film!

The 2014 Projects

The 2014 Projects

Well it is getting to that time of the year where I lay out to you, my faithful readers what is going to be happening photographically with me over the next calendar year and update you on the ongoing projects. My 52-Roll project for 2013 has been a stunning success, and working with other faithful 52-rollers over on 52rolls.net has been a great time, seeing a little community built up over the course of the year that will continue into one of 2014’s project.

The War of 1812 Project, now titled “A Peace Forged in Fire & Blood” continues on and enters into the final year. Although the blog posts have slowed down this year with much of my energy focusing on going back to certain sites and rephotographing them in Black & White to fit with the overall theme. However the project does forge on, and the manuscript for the final product, a book, is written and is currently being inputted into an editors draft. It will be released in February 2015 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the end of the war! As for some major conflicts to watch for in 2014 is the Burning of Washington DC, The USS Chesapeake vs. the HMS Shannon, Battle of Bladensburg, the Battle of Chatugey, Battle of Lake Erie, The battles of Castine and Hampden, and the Battle of New Orleans!

Project:1812 - Brown's Point
Recently re-photographed image of the Brown’s Point marker, part of the Battle of Queenston Heights.

Right on the heels of the Tri-X roll project comes another 52 project with a twist. I won’t be shooting roll film, instead I’ll be shooting sheets, one sheet of 4×5 a week for the entire year. Of course my film of choice is the classic Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP). Now some people have warned me about this film, and I know that it is wildly different from the roll film I know and enjoy, but it’s all part of the fun a little bit of a challenge so to speak. Other than the film there are no other real rules, I can use any camera, any lens, any speed, filter, chemistry to develop ect. Plus I aim to basically carry the camera with me during the week and really focus on crafting the image slow it down, shoot and make it meaningful.

Camera Collection - Feb 2013
My Beat Up Speed Graphic will be pushed to the limit over the course of the project

The aim of the project is to really improve and slow down my photography, and to better get to know the 4×5 format and really see how far I can push Tri-X in sheet format with a greater range of developers. I aim to play with D-76, HC-110, Xtol, Pyro, even Rodinal to see what I can do…and who knows what else I can come up with. Should be a good year here at Alex Luyckx | Photography.

The Badlands

The Badlands

I had known about the Cheltenham Badlands for sometime but I never realized how close to me they actually where or that we had such a formation here in Ontario. (And I’ve also recently found out there’s another such formation in the province). It was almost like the opening scene in Jurassic Park. Formed on an ancient riverbed out of Queenston shale, the formation was exposed in the 1930s after soil erosion caused by poor farming techniques revealed it. The land was purchased by the Ontario Heritage trust for conversation. Although the photos don’t show it, the red coloured soil is caused by high levels of iron oxide in the soil. I brought along a roll of Kodak Kodalith Type 3 film to photograph the badlands (I should’ve brought colour I know, next time!), and I was blown away by the results! Mike (from the FPP) had posted a suggestion of using Kodak D-76 Stock for 6 minutes, however not having any D-76 around (I’m not particularly a fan of D-76), I went hunting on Flickr for other options, specifically with XTOL, and came across using Xtol at a 1+1 dilution for 6 minutes. Although the gentlemen who posted shot the film at ASA-10, I figured shooting at ASA-12 was close enough for results. And it was.

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands

Want to try this film out? You can pick it up while supplies last the Film Photography Project Store!

Nikon F4 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Kodak Kodalth Type 3 (6556) @ ASA-12
Kodak XTOL (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C

What’s Up and Coming for 2013!

What’s Up and Coming for 2013!

With the end of the year upon us, I figured it would be good to start announcing what’s up and coming for me in 2013.
Project:1812 continues to move on, with most of the Niagara Region covered this year, I’m switching focus through the winter of 2013 to documenting the campaigns in the western areas of Toronto, Forts Malden, Mackinaw, St. Joseph, and the battles surrounding them, also Port Dover, and Backus Mills. Hopefully in the summer and fall I’ll be able to get out covering some of the Eastern battle sites and fortifications along the St. Lawrence. So this project continues.

But the big news for 2013 is the return of the fifty-two roll project. With the fanfare I got with the project last year, I decided to let it rest for the 2012 year, and then bring it back in 2013. However this time it’s going to be a bit different. The idea will be to build up my skills with black and white photography, developing, and printing. So you’re going to see fifty-two weeks of Tri-X; the classic black and white fast emulsion from Kodak. So if you have a theme idea, please leave me a comment. Like the original fifty-two roll project I’ll be laying down some restrictions for myself, which are a bit more specific.

  1. A week Starts on Saturday, ends on Friday.
  2. I can only use a Nikon F3 with a AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 lens
  3. I can only use Kodak Tri-X
  4. I can only use Kodak HC-110 to develop the film
  5. I must post at least seven shots per roll.

The idea is to build some level of consistency, and hopefully by the end of this I’ll have a solid body of not only negatives but proper silver prints of some of my better works. So keep an eye out for the new project and the continuation of the War of 1812 one.

Long Live Film.

And back

And back

Sadly, all the old posts are long gone. The server that they were on crashed last night, not to be revived. So sadly I lost all my previous posts here. But never fear! I will continue posting here and will get around to posting the Mastering the Basics Tutorials since they were a popular item, with some tweeks and changes done to them as I retype.

Until then. I shall leave you be!