A Year in Film: Week 9

My 9th week of photos. I shot my 10th and 11th roll of film in the Hasselblad 500c in a matter of hours.  A new record for me in pumping out film content.

We went to the Oregon coast on a beautiful day, stayed in a yurt, watched an incredible sunset, frolicked on the beach, and had a really wonderful time.

I also ended up creating quite a large job for myself.  Scanning and editing 2 rolls of photos made writing this blog seem like quite the daunting task.  But I thought, you know, I will just half-ass it and try to catch up so I can do a better one some day (hopefully).


Sun directly over Haystack Rock

I took this photo for the symmetry of the sun directly over the most interesting thing at this beach.  Although this also provides quite the juxtaposition of light and dark.
That rock is really dark.

I like that I got the wave crashing over the rock on the bottom, I don’t really like how I edited it/color corrected it.  I may come back to it again later.  I do love re-visiting old photos to see if I can improve them.


Tiny Dancer on the Beach.

One thing that may never end is my love of taking photos directly into the sun to get some sort of cool sun flare effect.
It pleases me.
I also really like all the cool things the clouds are doing in the photo.
As far as getting tiny dots doing interesting poses, I think my subjects are doing as good of a job as I could ask of them.  Their reflections look great.


Beach Raven

When walking on the beach I pointed out how cool this tree was to Jenny.
I also remember remembering how dumb most of my photos of trees look so far… But I don’t want to give up on trees.  So as I approached the tree a raven flew onto it.  He sat there for a while, and I was able to get close enough to it, that when it was ready to fly off, I was ready to capture it.  Luckily, it is slightly larger than a spec, which for a camera without a telephoto zoom is all you can really ask of a bird photo.


Jenny contemplates  vastness

This is my favorite photo of the roll.  Probably because it features my favorite model, but there are some other things I will point out too:
I love Jenny framing that big ol’ rock.
I like the band-aid on her thumb, I love the shadow of the earring on her neck.  Her purse perfectly matches her earring, and lends continuity to the photo (and outfit, what a fashionable lady).
The pattern on her shirt is great and the blue of the sky and pink of the shirt complement each other in a nice way.

I like it a lot.


Sunny Beach

Well, this photo proves that just taking a photo into the sun isn’t quite enough.  This is pretty boring.  I think the clouds were doing something cool, and they are pretty, but the photo isn’t that exciting.


Haystack Rock Jr. 

I like the cool sun rays emanating from the top left.
The cool hazy rocks make me happy.
The surf at the very bottom edge gives a nice dramatic feeling to the photo, like my toes are going to be wet in about one second.

Haystack Rock Jr. Part 2.

I was enjoying the reflection on the sand and tried my hardest to capture it here.
It is cool to see the clouds and sun in the sand, as well as my favorite little Haystack Rock Jr.
I think having the rocks at the top of the photo makes them feel larger than they actually are.  It’s an okay photo.



I love the absurdity of this sign.  I tried to lift up the box to see if I could open it, and also to prove that the sign was referring to the grate and not the box.  Better watch out guys, that sewer grate leads to a confined space.  And the only reason we shouldn’t go in there, is… because it is confined…
I wonder how many people had to go in there in order for this sign to be put up.


Lil pup Cerberus

My other favorite photo from the from this roll.
Jenny and I went to a different beach after Haystack Rock, to watch the sunset.  I saw this woman walking 4 enormous dogs on leashes and ran down the beach to get in front of her.  It was worth it though.  I was far enough ahead of her that I had about 5 seconds to set up the shot before she was in my frame.  For that fact alone I am happy it turned out,.
But… man, this is a pretty cool photo.
This photo is one where I do wish I was closer to the subject… though I do really like the reflection.    I am mostly just relieved that it turned out.


1. Sunset

Okay, Okay, Okay, now we are into sunset territory.  I was so enthralled with the beauty of this sunset that I ended up finishing this roll, and taking an entire second roll of photos in the following 20 minutes.
Now here is where I think I made my mistake.
I am supposed to show you guys photos and why I like and don’t like them.  What I think works and doesn’t work… Well… They all look the same.
These photos are all the same.
So I am just going to tell you a bit about my process and the problems I encountered processing them instead.


2. A bird makes this sunset different

Okay, so… All of the sunsets are functionally the same color.  But… I kind of just played with Adobe Lightroom to see what I could get away with as far as color combinations, luminence and saturation goes.  I don’t like all of them, but this is where most of my experimentation energy went.

These photos all have little captions if you click through them.   If you don’t I get it.


Well, another week in the books.  I am obviously late on this one, so I already have the other roll scanned and almost edited.  See you soon.  Also, I am curious which color scheme you think looks the best on the sunset if you care to give me your opinion.  I numbered them for convenience.

A Year in Film: Week 8

February is over.  Week 8 is complete, and I feel pretty good about it.  This week’s photo prompt was “forsaken,” so I headed down to my favorite dilapidated building in Linton only to find that it was recently demolished.  Forsaken indeed.  Backup plan was just go to one of the most photographed places in all of Portland and try to take some semblance of an original photo there.


f16 1/30

The first photo I took this roll is one of my favorites.
I love how much it has going on.  So many layers.
The tree frames the scene well,
and the St.Johns bridge makes  a nice cameo in the background.
Also, this Airstream van is one of the most “foresaken” things I saw all day.


f22 1//60

Another thing I have been interested in is taking photos with the sun as a subject.
I really enjoy sun-rays filtering through trees, as well as the shadows of the trees.
having a small aperture, something slightly filtering the sun, and a fast aperture seems to help the photo not be too blown out.
I looked at a lot of photos of the bridge and didn’t find too many that looked exactly like this, so the sun-rays also help set it apart from the millions of other photos taken here.


f16 1/30

Another pleasing photo!
I love the green/blue cool color combo, also I am pleased with the color pallete.
The bridge really is a lovely piece of infrastructure
The clouds do a great job of framing the bridge,
The lines from the bottom left to top right lead the eye through the photo nicely.


f22 1/125

Another photo of the sun.
Again, I am pleased with the sun-rays and the way the sun hits the camera.
This photo was a bit tricky to color-correct due to extremes of light and dark
It’s very high contrast may be better for black and white,
Though I do think it is an interesting photo, and I love how forgiving color film is compared to digital photos.
If I took this photo on my digital camera, I think there is no way I would capture any detail of the bridge across the water, or the subtlety in the two rows of trees or the buildings across the river.


f8 1/125

I saw this couple sitting on the bench and I walked right up to them from pretty far off.
They are very small in the photo, but I like their symmetry and the sense of scale they provide.
The exposure is perfect, the light is good, but it is lacking something…
Maybe it feels like this image or something like it has been made too many times.
Maybe it is too busy, or the trees are missing something.
I’m not sure, there is just something about this photo that doesn’t really excite me.


f11 1/500

Hey!  Another photo taken directly into the sun.
This may be the least interesting of them all.
Though this boat did appear to be pretty forsaken, I don’t think I captured that.
I was obviously more interested in the little golden Roman dude.
The photo itself, kinda interesting, sun is cool, has sun-rays.
Subject: boat/hood ornament… Is it worth taking a photo of?  Maybe.
Is it my favorite photo ever: nah.
Would I choose this photo to show to friends outside of this blog?  mmmaybe.


f11 1/60

I wish I was closer to this Love sign
Also, this boat is way more interesting than the last.
I wish I was closer to that boat.
The dock is private and it belongs to this place called Green Anchors.
I need to go visit this place some time, I think there are a lot of good photo opportunities there.
Water/sky/clouds/reflection and exposure/color are all pretty okay though.
This one is a tossup if it would make it to my Instagram feed.


f16 1/8

Another outsider view of the Green Anchors compound.
There are other businesses there too.
And this photo definitely gives off a forsaken vibe.
I like the sign, a lot, and the barbwire is pretty nice too.
However; everything else seems pretty busy/jumbled.
I think this photo would be better if it was less busy.


f11 1/15

I hate this photo.
I think the shutter speed being so slow did something
Also, the light is weird.  I failed to make it look good.
It kind of falls flat.
One thing worth noting, is there are about 10 people at different places in this photo, I think most of them were photographers.

I am glad to have ticked it off my list of places to photograph, I am happy with some of the first photos I took there.
Though there are many opportunities to take cliche photos like the one above, these well photographed locations have some muse-like qualities to them that inspire and challenge me to create interesting photos.  Just knowing that millions of photos are snapped in one location creates a sense of competition – I feel like I have to work harder in these places to make my photo stand out in some way.  I obviously failed with this garbage photo, but I think my photo with the Airstream is notable and unique. This feels nice.


f8 1/60

O wow.
This is also the best photo of the roll.
Really happy with the exposure, model, creepy eye-holes.
Many of us in the pizza world have taken pizza-as-mask photos.
I think the one that sets this apart is that it was taken outside in the real world,
Not in the safety of a pizza restaurant.


f8 1/60

Another photo of what appeared to be something in the forsaken category.
Car on blocks with busted window and no tires.
Though it probably just belongs to one of these people,
I like to imagine the wheels were stolen
The photo does tell some sort of story though
I was really happy with the light of the setting sun on these houses,
This photo would be way better if the car was lit as well.


f16 1/15

Last photo of the roll is across the street from the car with no wheels.
The sun looked really cool on these buildings.
There is a lot of empty space though.
The photo may have been better if I moved my tripod, not in the middle of the road, as I am wont to do, but off to the side of the road, and focused more on the way the sun hits the buildings and the sunset.
It feels like there is a lot of dead space in this photo, and not the cool minimalist kind.
Well, it was a fun and productive week overall.  I have really enjoyed scanning and editing these photos.  My techniques keep changing, and I like to think I am improving. Tomorrow I am going to the beach and I am hoping for some sort of beautiful Oregon Coast sunset photos.
I have no idea what my next week’s photo prompt is supposed to be, but I do know I will be taking a lot of photos this weekend.

A Year in Film: Week 7

This was a difficult week for me to get motivated.  I love taking photos, but I don’t always feel inspiration to point my camera in a specific direction.  One of the hardest parts of making 12 images every week is just leaving your house.


f16 1/125

This is the first example of how hard it was for me to leave my house.
This is my neighbor across the street.
Light was perfect, the house was lit up but the sky was dark and interesting.
This house has a lot of character, which I love,
I also love that it exists because it means I don’t have to try as hard to “Keep up with the Joneses”
As far as houses go as subjects… this one is not that interesting to me
Though I do like how the shrub on the right helps the eye move around the image.
And the lines from the electrical wire draw your eye back to the house.


f4 1/125

My second example of how difficult it was to leave the house.
The literal interior of my house.
I worked surprisingly hard on this bad photo.
I went back and forth about 15 times between the camera and the plant to remove as many distracting details from the photo as possible.
I still missed a few things.
In my brain, this photo would have been at its best if it was just a field of white and beige with a splash of plant in one-third of the frame somewhere.
This almost happened, but it was a little difficult to capture.
The inside of my house was fairly dark, so the whites are plunged into shadow.
Whereas the plant is being bombarded by light, so to make sure the plant wasn’t blown out and completely white, I ended up having to make the rest of the house a little darker than I wanted.
Color film has more dynamic range than digital, but no amount of range of lights and darks will make this an interesting photo.


f5.6 1 second

Okay!  Now a photo I like.
It started snowing in Portland and I was suddenly inspired again.  Over the last few weeks I had been keeping a mental list of locations that would be worth revisiting to get a photo.  This pool slide existence alone really stood out to me.
The snow helped make it way better.
I like that it is split into thirds.
One Dark third, where the subject pops,
The Middle which is neutral looking, but allows us to imagine what is behind it.
And the bottom is a nice field of white.
I also like that the slide is directly in line with the snow-covered shrub
And if you look close you can see that it is snowing in the top third.
I feel like this photo is a success in minimalism, and it is my favorite photo of the roll.


f8 15 seconds

Every time I drive by this staircase my eyes are drawn up the zig-zag pattern.
I don’t think I captured it well from this angle.
It may be something I have to try with a different lens from the middle of 82nd.
I like the lens flare from the top right light.
I don’t really like how there is no obvious subject and the bottom third is out of focus.
This photo is missing something.


f8 1 second

I love this Motel Sign, the colors and the shadows.
You can’t really tell that is snowing on me while I take this photo though,
so that is a failure.
I love that this place’s TVs are all in color, and I think the color sign is a very good use for my color film.
I don’t really love the angle I have of this photo.
In order to remove some distracting elements from the photo I had to get pretty close.
This photo would probably be made better if I went higher and got a better angle.


f8 4 minutes

I had such high hopes for this photo.
I turned off all the lights except my fireplace.
I wanted to capture the coziness of the falling snow and the reflection of the fire.
The fire just looks like 4 orange dots in the bottom.
An interesting thing about this photo is that the exposure time was 4 minutes.
That is the longest time I have ever used to take a photo, so that is cool, regardless if the photo is interesting or not.
My vision of what would make an interesting photo didn’t really materialize.
Good learning experience.


f5.6 1/30

The next morning I woke up early, energized by snow, and went down to the Zen Center next to my house.
I actually went with this little statue in mind.
I was glad to see it was covered so nicely in snow.
The sunrise, hint of orange and blue in the sky, really make this photo for me.
When editing the photo I also lowered the contrast to make the snow look more serene and powdery.
This photo pleases me.


f5.6 1/60

This is a real throwback to my palm tree photos from California a couple of weeks ago.
I got pretty low to get this photo, but I wish I got a tiny bit lower to separate the bottom-most thistle from the trees in the background.
I really like the clouds and the colors though, as well as the subject.
This single plant is similar to a nice five-stem bouquet, and I do remember my 7th grade art teacher saying that paintings of odd numbers of objects are usually more pleasing.
So… its okay.


f16 1/30

My intent with this photo was to get a bit more of a sense of the trail through the trees, as well as the bridge.
I like the colors and serenity, but it seems a bit too busy in the mid-ground.


f16 1/125

I probably spent the most time over the last few days editing and re-editing this photo.
I still don’t know if I like it.  But I do like the solar flare.
I think it may be a little too contrasty, I’m not sure.
I do like how the sun lights up the foreground and the hills are in shadow.
Seems like an acceptable photo, but nothing incredible.


f8 1/125

You may recognize this house from before.
Does the snow make it any better?  I don’t think so.
One success here though, is that the photo is a bit more in focus than the other.
I mostly took this so I could have a before an after
I think I actually like the non-snow cooler light version of this house better.


f11 1/60

The colors on this photo work well for me:
Green, pink, blue.
I really love this plant, and I like the snow-covered flowers.
I think I missed focus on this photo though.  It isn’t quite as crisp as I want.
It could be focus or, I might need a faster shutter speed to make sure it is crisp.
Something to consider for when I take photos of plants in the future, is they move in the wind.

Well… I’m glad that roll is over.  Ultimately, I am happy with a few of the photos, and I am proud to have done this for 7 weeks in a row.  I only have a few more photos to take for my 8th week, so we can look forward to this continuing.  I also just bought another 5 rolls of film, so I hope to keep going strong.

I’d love to know if you like a photo that I didn’t like.  Until next time…

A Year in Film: Week 6

Week 6.  I’m still doin’ it!  This week the goal was to fill the frame.  It was recommended that you either get real close, or you zoom.  My camera can’t focus closer than 3 feet and has a fixed lens, so zooming with my feet was the only possibility, and taking photos of small things would simply not do.

I thought, I would just take photos of statues.

Then I took one photo of a statue, took one photo of a building, and then I considered it done.


f4 1/250

I saw the sun hitting this, saw that it was big, and saw that it was a feather…
Seemed like a no-brainer.
It definitely fills the frame.
It is just abstract enough to be interesting.
I like the symmetry, pretty okay.


f8 1/125

Alright, I filled the frame 2 times.
Great job me!
I like the boxes inside of boxes. The shadows also make boxes.
Turns out, shadows help make photos interesting.
I really love the window.
I maybe should have just zoomed in on it?


f11 1/125

We went from Hood river all the way up to Mt. Hood.
Trying for a landscape shot.
It is important to have an interesting foreground for landscapes.
I think the dead trees work.
From this angle, that mountain doesn’t even look that big.
Although, this photo may work better in larger print.
Those 2 tiny dots below the right tree are people snowshoeing.
So that ads a nice sense of scale.


5.6 1/500

For this photo I was trying to get just three elements.
I messed up by getting the hills in the bottom third.
I still like the photo, but think it could be cleaner if I tried a little harder.
This is an interesting case where I should have just set my camera on the ground instead of use a tripod.
I even jammed my tripod into the snow, but it wasn’t low enough.


f4 1/500

This sculpture is called “In the Treetops.”
It is right in front of a Buffalo Wild Wings.
What you leave out of the photo is often more important than what you include.


f11 1/125

Light at the end of the parking tunnel.
This photo isn’t that exciting.
But I like the setting.
It is lacking somehow.
It could use another exciting element to the photo
Or it could be simplified somehow.
It would be more interesting if it wasn’t just pavement at end of tunnel…


I went to my parent’s house to see their chickens.
I showed them my camera, ended up doing something weird,
And we ended up with a double exposure.
I have since learned how to do this on purpose.
Though, I think this turned out perfect.
Jenny is framed by Jenny and my mom.
It shows the process of gathering chickens as well as posing with them.
I like it.
I may try an entire roll like this in the future.

f11 1/125ish for all chicken photos.

For film settings, I just set it once and then didn’t really look at it again
This whole chicken photo series happened in about 10 minutes.
I’m pretty happy with composition on this one.
Both chicken model and human model have their eyes open.
I’d like the background to be a little blurrier, but, I am happy that my lovely model is in focus.
If this was a real serious photo shoot, I would have had an assistant off camera with a reflector dish bouncing light at my model´s face to lessen the shadows, though I am happy with the result regardless.


O I like this one a lot.
My father, the chicken whisperer.
I really like the framing of the tree in the background
Also, he looks so happy.

One thing that is tricky about film scans
Is the color of the scanned film is inherently yellow/orange
There is a surprising amount of color correcting I am having to do
And I haven’t figured out a way to make it consistent yet.
With a few more rolls to draw from, I will probably be able to set up a macro,
But in the meantime, the photos hue/color/temperature are going to be a little variable.


Pensive Jenny and Chicken
I don’t have much to critique
I think the light is nice and I really like the chicken pose.
maybe would be slightly better if I adjusted my location so the pile of brown on the left wasn’t in the shot.  Overall though, I like it.


I was enamored with this chicken
It is so poofy,
But I dont really like this photo
Too much dirt, not enough chicken.
I’m fine with the weird pose and angle though.
Would be better if I were closer.


I got closer
And I really love this photo.
I like the chaotic framing with the chicken in the foreground
I like being on this side of the fence
I love the chicken model
I was also inspired by my friend Cody to make this a bit of a self portrait.
Also, the shadow could symbolize so many things.
Hand-turkey; me waving hello;
the chicken being trapped and foreshadowing for it being grabbed or pet
I think it makes the photo substantially more interesting and pleasing.

Though I would love to know what you think.

Week 7 is this weekend, and it is going to rain.  I find myself chasing the light or looking for more interesting light and colors recently, more than I am looking for interesting subjects.  The challenge is called “zoom burst” but that isn’t something I can do, so I am still undecided on my theme… I will figure something out!


A Year in Film: Week 5

Week 5. Oh what was week 5 again?  California two roll double feature!  I think there was a theme, like repeating patterns or something like that… I maybe took it into consideration, but didn’t want to be too restrictive on my photos.

These rolls of film were scanned by me, then digitally edited in Lightroom.  I probably went through the editing process about 4 times – this is tricky!  I started editing them like I would my bird photos, but that really detracts from the magic of film, so I restricted my editing to just the exposure, highlights/lights, shadows/blacks, and temperature correction.  I didn’t play with the contrast, clarity, vibrance, tone curve, or split toning like I normally do.  This is more or less “au naturel.”

Well enough technical talk, lets look at those photos!ROLL5001-2

f16 1/60

Uh oh, my first photo is the best one of the roll.
Its like when Chumbawumba makes an entire album but the best song is just the first track…


f8 1/250

That little speck in the top left corner is a guy on a bike.
I like the little valley; feel like composition is interesting.
It is just that the color seems a little off to me.
Too green?  It was soooo green though, this one proves difficult to deal with pre and post editing.


f16 1/30

What a happy little tree
Turns out I love Oak trees.
California is a pretty good place for them.
These first hilly oak photos were taken in a place called Coyote Canyon.
When doing landscapes the goal is usually to have distinctly separate layers.
I feel like this photo is almost there; I think this oak tree just needs a little bit of room to breathe on its crown.
If I were able to take the photo from a few feet higher, I’d be able to separate it from the smaller trees in the background and it would be a very good photo.


f16 1/125

This photo was tricky because I was shooting in the shade, but it was very bright on the hill.
Film is very impressive at how much detail it captures in the shadows, so I tried to expose for the sun and hope the foreground would retain some detail.
It did!  I really like this photo a lot (except I forgot to crop the black frame of the negative)
I love the path going from the bottom and then continuing on the hill in midground
I love the framing of the shadow and the little tree and white cloud framed in the center.
I am pretty happy with this one!


f22 1/60

I took this photo because the light was hitting the grass in a really nice way.
After looking at the photo, I don’t think this translated as well as I wanted it too.
Framing of oak and shadows is okay, composition is okay, just not exciting.


f16 1/8

Photo taken in shade with no real interesting light.
I took the photo because I like the separation of the little trees,
though the ones on the right are a little busy for my liking.
Trail has some nice lines, but what it is missing is good lighting.


f5.6 1/250

Our second day in the bay area we went to Santa Cruz.
As I was waiting for my “California Omelette,” I noticed how nice the light was hitting this plant.
The sun-rays make for an interesting photo, as does the decor,
Though I am kind of torn on this, just because the subject is functionally just a potted plant.
One of the most important lessons I learned from this journey is how delicious avocados taste in California.


f5.6 1/250

This fisherman almost immediately started telling us ghost stories
I asked if I could take his photo and he said he wasn’t a “Wanted Man” so it would be ok.
He was nice, and I am really happy with how this photo turned out.
I need to just take more photos of strangers,
But they are hard to approach.
But I am usually happy with results when I do it.
I need to be brave.
B+ photo


f11 1/60

The fisherman told me this boat was haunted.
I like the colors of this boat; the splash of red at the bottom.
This photo gets obvious bonus points for having a bird in a corner.
(This may be the reason I took this photo).
I think this photo is okay, it doesn’t really tell a story, you can’t tell it is haunted.
But… I am okay with composition, and it is a reasonably interesting subject…
Not incredible, but not terrible.


f16 1/250

Is this photo Cliché?
It must be, because I like it a lot.
Things it has going for it:
It has 3 objects, odd numbers are pleasing.
Rule of thirds (nothing is directly in the middle)
Framing: the middle palm is framed by the outside 2
Nostalgia: it reminds me of how warm and nice Santa Cruz was.
Things going against it:
Uhhh… I don’t know, being critical of your own work is hard sometimes…
It might have been good if I did f22 and tried to get everything in focus


f16 1/250

I like this a bit, though I bet this photo has been taken thousands of times.
I like that the rocks leads in a reverse c shape
I like that there are cormorants and a gull throwing its wings in the air
This photo could be more interesting if it had a long exposure and the waves were smoothed out and ghostly.
Also, the angle isn’t that exciting; you can’t really tell there is an arch.
This photo is okay but nothing special.
The horizon at almost half with a boring blue sky was probably a mistake
Framing/composition could use some work on this guy.


f16 1/250

This was a bit trickier photo of the same arch rock
I set up the camera and waited for a human to occupy the gap between the two rocks.
I knew it would be mostly a silhouette because I was shooting into the sun.
This photo has some pleasing blur/glare/lack of sharpness due to the sun reflecting straight into the lens.
Composition seems pretty strong. I like the repeating lines of sand/water/rocks.
I think this photo is pretty good.


f11 1/30

This is a eucalyptus tree and it smells amazing (though you can’t really tell digitally).
I thought the light was hitting this tree in a nice way and I liked the texture of the bark.
And the smell was great too.
Now looking back at this photo though, I don’t really think it is that exciting.
Light and texture are there, but not really sure how I feel about the subject.


f8 1/125

Bubble guys!  These guys had big buckets and made even bigger bubbles.
It was a difficult scene to capture
Though I do like the composition
It is nice to have subjects doing something in frame
And having an object lead you across the frame.
I don’t really like that I cut off a person on the left… A little more in or out would be better.

ROLL6003 (2)

f8 1/125

I tried again when the kids had gathered.
I am glad I waited a few minutes and tried a second time because I like this one better.
Kids having a good time.
I also like it a little further back and having the bubbles against the trees makes for a bit of a better composition.


f8 1/60

Before the wedding we headed to IN-N-OUT
We were greeted by a pre-Quinceanera party.
This girl matched the restaurant’s theme perfectly.
She was also happy to let me take her photo.
I also like the kid in the back left.
I am happy with this shot, though shooting into the sun and having the face be in shadow makes the photo a little less crisp feeling than I want.
Overall, pretty good though.


f8 1/60

This photo is okay.
I think the photo I should have got is the kid in the black jacket and glasses playing the drums.
He has a sweet mullet that you can’t really see.  I should have just gotten closer.


f8 1/125

I took this photo mostly for the cool Palm tree
But thought it would be enhanced by a model.
I love Jenny’s glasses and her shadow in the bottom left.
I also like how the shadows play on her dress just highlighting her face/necklace/and bracelet.
We practiced posing a lot with a cell phone first, and I am happy with how this turned out.

My last photo in CaliforniaROLL6009

f2.8 1/15

Well this photo was a mistake
I mean, I took it on purpose, but I was tricked by taking cell phone photos out the window.
I don’t think I focused this one when I took it.
I don’t like it at all, muddy colors, out of focus, not crisp, not interesting.
Oh well, can’t all be winners.


f8 1/60

Back in Portland
I have driven by this structure a lot and it fits my alternating pattern theme that I neglected in California.
I thought the most interesting angle would be from underneath.
It is pretty interesting, though I don’t really like the white sky above…
I should have waited for clouds or underexposed or something.
It has potential, I may try again in the future.


f8 1/60

I loved the clouds and sky and wanted to take their photo
But then I thought just a photo of clouds wouldn’t be interesting enough
Well then with that logic this is very interesting.
And also disjointed and chaotic feeling.
Is it bad? Is it good? Is it art?
Yeah, probably.


f12 5.6 1/125

This was more of a proof of concept photo
I had rushed photos previously where the subject was out of focus and wanted to try again.
Moving objects are difficult.
On this one I had to lower the aperture so the shutter speed could be high enough to stop the action and not blur.
Though with a smaller aperture I have a smaller window where the subject will be in focus.
So I pre-focused my camera for the little bike on the asphalt and did my best to take a photo when the cyclist was right over it.
Not incredible photo, but it was crisp, so I am happy with that.


Overall, California photos are very pleasing to me, I feel like I am improving, and I am still having a really fun time.

I just did a chicken photo shoot, and some other random stuff for my next roll of film, so look forward to that in our next episode.

I appreciate all of your comments and feedback in whichever forms you give them to me.  Thumbs ups, shares, comments, I love it all. Thank you guys for reading!

A Year in Film: Week 4

And what a week 4 it was!  All of these photos were taken January 28th.  I got through a whole roll in one long day and I was very proud of myself.

The original goal for this week was “Wildcard, photographer’s choice.”  I chose to try to get some nice landscape type photos out of Forest Grove.  This worked for a while, but it is hard to always see a good photo, especially 12 in one general location… So after a while I headed back into Portland.

Another thing I should mention is that this would have been done last Friday, but my favorite photo store’s printer broke, so I ended up buying a scanner.  So all of these photos are now painstakingly scanned by me (wow, it takes more effort than you would guess, like 10 minutes a photo).


f16 1/30

I like the reflections a lot,
The flooded road is interesting
But light isn’t incredible
Pretty dull, nothing really pops.
Passable photo.


f22 1/30

My friend Michael Cavanaugh  and his Northwest Topographics series continues to inspire me to take photos of buildings.
Especially this building.
I like the lines from the railroad track
I like the way the white cube sits on the green grass
Though I wish the green grass and that line was a little more prominant
Pretty happy with this one.


f16 1/125

The goal of this photo was to get an interesting tree silhouette
The tree shape is interesting
Though the photo is less exciting than I thought it might be
This is a good tree though, it inspired me to try the photo from a different angle.


f11 1/125

I sure am glad I tried this from a different angle
So far, favorite of the series.
Love the strong yellow line and straightness of the road
Tree frames the barn and only other prominent item in photo well
Pretty pleased with this one
Though these road landscapes are kinda cliché… This road landscape is mine.


f8 1/60

This is my first self portrait.  You can tell if you look real close.
I like the colors
I like doors
I like that it says “Lust Dinner”
This photo is okay, though, again, photos of doors seem not super exciting,
it is interesting enough, and the sharpness of the photo pleases me.


f8 1/60

Another photo taken for the writing on the wall
I love the bacon art
Also the dumpster text is interesting.
When taking the photo I was waiting for the little kid in the bottom of the bus to look at me
I think composition in this photo is pretty strong.  There is a lot to draw eye around photo, but I think there is a bit too much sky.
Though I do remember moving my body to include a bit of the barrel and wall on the left.
Interesting enough, though light is kinda drab.


f/16 1/8

I felt so fortunate to come upon this
I had the photo all set,
Then I apparently got distracted by a guy who wanted to talk about how cool my camera is.
I remember waiting for a few minutes for people to clear the shot… I don’t have any idea how I got this person with the backpack in the frame.
It is a glaring error on my part.
They are also wearing a bright teal jacket which I de-saturated just because it makes me so angry… ughh… this photo… so much potential…
It is still pretty good, but it could be better.


f5.6 1/60

This car was interesting enough for a second photo.
This is solid and timeless and is in a no parking zone, so that is nice
It is just okay though.  Nothing incredible.


f22 1/4

I was losing light, but this cool sculpture came with its own lighting
Behind it is a tattoo place that used to be home to Portland’s Most Nobel Prize winningest scientist, Linus Pauling.
It’s the Alpha-helix
Oh yeah and there is a mermaid behind it
And I waited for them to open the door to get a photo of someone going/coming
Turns out… it was too dark, though it is nice to get a chandelier in there.
pretty ok/interesting photo.


f4 1/60

Well, when I took this photo, I wrote “three amigos”
Not a good sign.  I only see 2.5 out of focus amigos.
Street photography is going to be hard.
Moving objects are tricky, especially if they are not moving on a parallel plane.
I need to remember to be careful as I open up the aperture.
f4 leaves a pretty shallow depth of field.
Another question to ask, is would this photo be good if it was in focus?
Probably not, but it would be better.
Also, I don’t really mind the out of focus telephone pole on the right… This was purposeful, I’m reasonably happy with framing and composition actually, it just feels bad to feature a Mc-Minimums so prominently without receiving any compensation for it.


f2.8 1/30, forgot bulb mode, oops

I installed my cable release for this photo,
But then I neglected to change my camera settings to bulb mode
And I shot this night photo at f2.8 at 1/30th of a second.
The bottom, much better, photo was shot at f11 for 34 seconds.


WOW!  I love this photo!
I am very pleased to have such a good result come out of this.
Really pleased.

Good week 4 all things considered.  I think the main thing I learned from week 4, is if you find a good subject, feel free to work it a bit.  Don’t just take one photo and move on to the next thing.  See if you can frame it differently or compose your shot in a more interesting way, look at it from as many angles as possible to have a better chance of getting a good photo.

Week 5 I took two rolls of photos in San Jose for my long weekend trip.
These are coming soon!

A Year in Film: Week 3

Week three and I continue my photography momentum.  This week’s theme is “Quiet Moment.”  I tried to portray quiet moments with water, coffee, and birds, and books, with varying degrees of success.  It was a fun week though, and I am ultimately pretty happy with a few photos.

All photos this week still on Kodak Portra 400 metered at ISO 320.  29050001

f22 1/4

This sunset ended up being pretty good.  The purple of the sky and water and yellow of the sun are pleasing.
I also like the details of the trees on the sky.
Not super happy about the foreground reeds.
And photo feels like it is just slightly askew.


f22 1/2
The extra 1/4 of a second helped smooth the water out a bit

Thought it feels like this photo is even more of a tilt than the last on
The beaver eaten tree in the foreground is much more interesting than previous photo.
And it is nice that the reeds in the foreground do not compete with the reflection of the trees.
This photo would probably look pretty good edited, maybe like this:29050002

Edited in Lightroom.

29050003f11 1/60th
Can you spot the duck?
This photo, would not look good edited in lightroom
It feels  a little top heavy,
not much interesting is going on
Its all just green.
Though the lack of exciting things here really helps me find the quiet/relaxing theme.


F22 1/15

Exposure on this was a bit too long
The bamboo/willow looking plant at the top is a bit blown out
Also a bit top heavy
Would feel better maybe if this one included 2/3 plant 1/3 water instead of 1/2 and 1/2
To be fair, a duck tricked me into taking this photo,
But when I went to get the shot it swam away.


f2.8 1/60

This photo turned out pretty okay.
The subject is crisp and in focus
Framed nicely by adults
I like the rim lighting on the hair/heads.
Its ok that window is blown out, nothing interesting out there anyway.
A nice quiet family moment.


f4 1/30

Another nice quiet moment
Would be improved if the notebook she is writing in was against a solid background
I like the placement of the subject
There is interesting things happening in each corner
And the books make for a nice backdrop.
Would have likely been better at f2.8 so the background was a bit more blurred
And at 1/60th of a second so the pen was crisp.
Not a terrible photo.


f11 1/60

This is the best photo of the roll.
It is also exactly what I had in mind when I went downtown to get a quiet moment shot
I walked around this city of books 3 times before I saw someone sitting next to the window.
However; it was luck that this couple walked by.
Also serendipity that the books behind the reader transform into the building in the reflection.
And if you look really close over the walking man’s shoulder there is a yelling head.  I don’t know if that is real or a billboard or a book.
Overall B++


f5.6 1/60
Perhaps my second favorite photo.
Light coming from the window next to jenny is so nice
As are the greens and red in the corners of the photo.
The deepness of the black of her jacket is perfect contrast for the white of the mug.
And her hands make me laugh
I told her to drink like that though, so it is my fault.
I should have told her to tilt the handle so it goes straight up like a dorsal fin.
You live and you learn.


f8 1/125
Bird photos.
Sure bird watching lends itself to quite a few quiet moments in my life, but…
Man, bird photos are hard enough with a digital camera and a zoom lens, taking thousands of photos…
What was I thinking?
This goose is the best of the bunch
And it isn’t that good…
Although the thing that sets this goose apart from my other photos is that it is in focus.









f8 1/250
These photos are not good.
Not interesting landscapes.
Not good bird photos.
These were both taken while I was laying on my stomach
Leaning head over the water with my camera inches from the water.
This weird pose made for shaky/rushed type of photos,


f5.6 1/250

This could have been the best goose photo.
But instead it is a photo of gravel that has a goose hogging all of the attention.
I tried a film loading experiment
I didn’t actually think this photo was going to turn out.
I thought it was going to be blank.
So I was rushing this one as well.
Too bad, lighting is good, pose is good, eye catch-light is good.
It just lacks “critical focus.”

Ultimately, I got a few photos that I like a lot, and I always learn something new.  I now know how to load the film, so I should remove some problems.  I know that I need to slow down, make sure I have focus, and make sure I am close enough to my subjects to get an interesting photo.

I also learned that 1/60 of a second is pretty good for photos of humans and 1/30 for someone moving is a bit too slow.

Next week is another week where I get to pick my theme, so look forward to 12 more photos coming soon!

A Year in Film: Week 2

For the second roll of film this year, the challenge was “Full Manual.”  This is pretty easy since I am shooting on a 60 year old camera, so I just went for a drive up The Gorge with Cody.

I love how this project gives me a chance to be super critical of all my photos.  I hope I learn something from taking the time to critique each one. 26090001

f16 1/60
First photo of the day wasn’t really that exciting.
No clear separation between layers of hills, light not that great, no real subject.
I just thought the way the clouds were obscuring the peak was interesting.
That doesn’t really translate though.


f11 1/250
I pulled over just so I could take a photo of this van.
I love the one yellow hubcap.  The weird shape.
Moderately happy with the framing, the van is an obvious subject
It is in an interesting location.
f22 1/60th

I really like the light on the building on the bottom right
And the shadows hide some interesting cranes
Good layers and clouds.
Not a terrible photo, though it is missing something.
A Godzilla perhaps.26090004

f4 1/500
Best photo on the roll.
Codymon is looking crisp.
Good depth of field.
I like the framing, I am pretty happy with this all around.
What’s he lookin’ at?26090005

f22 1/15

The bright white spot is the sun.
It was making some interesting rays
But I obviously didn’t capture that.
Minimalist photo, and unexciting photo.
I like how the blue looks though.
Shot this whole roll metered at ISO 320, so that is a good note to self.


f16 1/30th

I messed this photo up.
I was rushing to get the lady in red in the shot.
But I accidentally shot at 1/30th instead of 1/60th.
This led to a bit of blur that I didn’t intend.
Though the blur isn’t as bad as the fact that I clipped the ice cream cone.
The ice cream cone is the best part.
Photo had potential, it could have been better with more patience and attention to detail.26090007

f22 1/15
This whole photo is askew.
As if the world is bending to the will of the tree on the hill
And not the other way around.
Another foggy/no good light/no subject/not interesting photo.
Note to self: stop shooting fog unless lit in an interesting way.26090008

f16 1/4

I wasn’t smooth with my shutter release and I bumped the camera.
This photo was ruined due to my error.
This weird Sears could be a lot better if I had a steady hand.
I am using a tripod, but I gotta be careful wit the slower shutter speeds.26090009

f22 1/4
I should have taken a step back.
The R being at very edge bothers me a lot.
I think I learned two important lessons this roll.
1. Fog/low clouds are hard to capture well
2. Don’t clip the subject of your photo/take more time composing the shot.


f22 1 Second

I really loved this scene, so I spent a lot of time on it.
I was careful to frame the sign and the door
I was careful to make sure the buckets of compost weren’t clipped.
This is a really weird restaurant entrance.26090011

f5.6 1/60th
Not exciting or interesting
If I take photos of people I have to get closer.
I also should maybe not use a tripod in the middle of the street.
If I worked on my timing the guy outside could be slightly more to the right.
That would make the photo a bit better.
But it really isn’t that interesting or great. 26090012

f11 1/15

Last photo turned out pretty okay.
I should have shot at f22 1/4 to smooth out ripples.
The color is pretty good, as are the branches of the trees to the right.
It is pleasing but not super exciting.

Overall I had a great day shooting photos, and I feel like I learned a little bit from the experience.  I really enjoy shooting film, and look forward to doing it all week.  I can’t wait for the next roll!

A Year in Film: Week 1

My goal this year is to shoot 52 rolls of Kodak Portra 400 film on my borrowed Hasselblad 500 C.  There are similar one camera, one lens, one film, one year projects, but this is mine, and I am going to do my damnedest to stick to it.

Each week will be themed according to the rules of Dogwood Photography.  There is also a group on Reddit that I will be submitting these to, though I am trying to work a week or two in advance just so I have time to develop my film.

There will be a lot less curation on these photos than on my bird photos.  Wanting to document my whole process and learning curve.  I am assuming there will be weeks where I get no good photos…

This week I also tested shooting all photos metered at ISO 200.
This is supposed to make them brighter/vibrant.

So. This week’s challenge/theme was photos of complementary colors.
The friendliest kind of colors.22840001

f8 1/30
This ended up being the second photo of the roll.  The first photo was lost to a loading error.  One of my many lessons I am assuming I will learn shooting 52 rolls of this film.
Blue/Orange and Green/Red complementary colors. 22840002

f16 1/8

For some reason I thought red and blue were complementary.
Meh… close enough.22840003

f16 1/8th

Some lady came out of the building to ask what I was doing.
I told her it was an art project.
Orange/Red and Blue/Green

f16 1/4

Goal here was to get a bit of car movement to actually make this orange/green photo interesting.
Though I do love the details the Hasselblad’s medium format give in the brick and the tree.

I may end up focusing more on pleasing colors/textures in the future.

f4 1/15

Red and Green booths really caught my eye
This place also has Street Fighter two.
El Burrito Loco #3 (My favorite neighborhood taco shop)
I learn here that if you shoot blue in the dark it just looks black.
I shouldn’t be surprised

f5.6 1/60

This woman perfectly matches this laundromat.
I learned another lesson here though:
I gotta keep my head up when taking photos.
3 seconds after she passed there were two women holding vacuums that walked by.
That probably would have been a better photo (shrug emoji)22840007

f5.6 1/30th

Happy about how vibrant this is.
Though it is pretty boring.
And slightly askew.22840008

f5.6 6ish seconds counted in my head

I just really love laundromats I guess.
This was supposed to be orange/blue, but the blue of the building went black.
You live, you take notes, you learn.

f5.6 and cable release malfunction22840010

f5.6 30 seconds

I took two photos due to the first not working the way I wanted.
I have a cable release that doesn’t quite work, so the first photo is probably 1/15
The second photo, the release triggered and didn’t fail,
so I was able to do a 30 second exposure.
Not really sure which one I like better.
The second one is growing on me,
seems a bit more interesting, and the wood texture is nice.
Also, it is better aligned in the frame.

Week 1 is done.  I sure learned a lot with one roll of film.
Let me know if you have a favorite photo!

Click Here for Week 2