Week Three is dedicated to my Dad and to Mary-Irene. Mary Irene I first met on twitter as one of the social media gals from the Eastman Kodak company, we met for lunch back in August when I was in Rochester and she was the first person outside of my circle of photography friends to hear about this project, she has since moved on to work for Toys R Us, so this is the perfect blend, her past job at Kodak (Tri-X), and her new job (Toys).
The weather report was saying that the weekend was going to be dull and rainy, so I really didn’t want to go outside to complete the week three roll, so instead I decided to do something a little different. With the help of my dad we built some Lego and I then setup a small studio space and setup my off camera lights and started to photography the creations. Not just Lego, but die cast models, Star Wars toys, and even some Playmobile in the mix, all the toys that I grew up with, and still own (never getting rid of my Lego). My setup was I’d use a long sheet of white paper as the seamless background, then two SB-600s with softboxes on the left and right set to 1/8th power, then used my Elinchrom Skyports as the trigger. I used my Nikon D300 (Digital) to set the power and aperture, as I was stuck at 1/60th of a second as my Nikon F3’s fixed sync speed, and ISO was stuck at 400 for the tri-x, so it was just a matter of determining the power level of the flashes and the aperture. Sort of like a modern day Polaroid.
Well I do have to say I was very happy with the results after I pulled them out of the tank on the Sunday afternoon. It was hard to just pick seven to show off.
Nikon F3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX)
Dev: HC-110 Dil. B 4:30 @ 20C
Strobist: 2 SB-600 flashes at left and right, M 1/8 through Softboxes, triggered by Elinchrom Skyports
When you use Leica, Nikon, Carl Zeiss optics the idea of plastic lenses and “toy” cameras will often scare a photographer, you really don’t know what you’re going to be getting out of your image. It certainly won’t be the sharpest image on the block, vignetting is going to be there, soft focus, light leaks, all very possible. Add Expired film into the mix and things just start getting dicy.
Something that many photographers won’t even touch, and I used to be like that…until I picked up, on a whim, a Holga from The Film Photography Project. And instantly was dragged into the wonderful world of toy camera photography. I just had to tell myself “the images won’t be perfectly exposed, they’ll be out of focus, and probably look weird” and sure enough they did.
But I was okay with this. I recently took my holga out to a small group retreat back in march but never got around to scanning the film I shot, until recently and found that I really liked these images.
My original idea for this week (and one I might use later on) was to get random people in the streets to throw on some headphone and dance, but at the time I realized that might be a little creepy, so instead I called up my friend Emily who is always willing to pose for my cameras. So off into Toronto we headed with an mp3 player filled with music, a camera loaded with a roll of film, and she danced, pranced, and played around in parks, subways, and alleys. Yes we got questioning gazes, smiles, and outright confusion.
But good times were had by all.
Did I ever mention that I think I’m addicted to the new Kodak Portra 400? Because I am…such a glorious film.
In a recent trip to Toronto’s Lomography store I came across their Fisheye camera, a cheap plastic fisheye lens camera, and compared to other cameras they have so I picked it up, having caught the toy camera bug from my Holga (c/o the FPP). The results were well interesting to say the least, I was literally just shooting from the hip, not bothering with any rules or that nonsense, just going out and photographing for the sake of photographing.