I haven’t seen blue sky in five days, we’re entering the edge of what locals here call ‘winter,’ which means rain. It looks like the clouds may be starting to break though, so hopefully…
I’m going to try something new with this blog post, rather than chronological order I’m going to start with my favorite photos and work down. I should also make two notes, there are sunset photos near the end, for those who are followers of this blog you’ll note there are lots of sunset photos, you have been warned. Secondly there will be a geeky final paragraph about some film stuff, if you don’t want to read a lot of technical film/photography jargon, then skip that too.
There were a lot of ‘firsts’ for Nosara this month, first mini-golf tournament, first charity race and first motocross race. The motocross race on May 13 was cool, it was hosted in a field in the north part of town, and like most events here was low infrastructure.
I was able to wander all over and cross the track even during the race. I’ve also always wanted to shoot motocross, so this was cool. It was a loud muddy overcast affair, but I came away with some good clean pictures and had the chance to be creative.
I tried to slow the shutter here to keep the crowd sharp and the riders blurry. I didn’t think to use a flash, second curtain sync would have given me the same picture with a slightly sharper view of the bike at the end of the blur, would’ve been cooler.
A week and a half earlier there was a community outreach event. A local hotel, provided dental services for school children from neighboring communities over two and half days. Harmony Hotel has a community sustainability committee whose job is community outreach and development.
Dental access, like everything in Nosara, is limited. Dentists from Nicoya visit once a month but their time is limited. However, the university of Costa Rica’s dental program has an internship component. Usually students fulfill this obligation by doing volunteer work in Costa Rica’s countryside.
Harmony Hotel’s sustainability committee contacted the university and offered to pay for transportation and accommodations for the dental students. Several students and their prof showed up in the afternoon of May 2 and took over one of the hotel’s cabinas to use as an impromptu dental office then for the next two days then cleaned kids teeth and wrote referrals for anything serious.
Saturday morning was a much-anticipated charity run through the jungle, I’ve been asked to write two preview articles for it to date. There was both a 12k and a 5k race and the money went to charity, run of the mill stuff but I like the starting line picture.
A week before on May 12 there was a mini-golf tournament, welcome to small town news. It was little affair, surprisingly popular with the adults…
During the first two weeks of the month my girlfriend Yamina came to visit again, it was pretty awesome, the next three pictures were taken while she was here and we were wandering around.
and here is the geeky post…
I like to shoot film, I brought a Baldex med format folding rangefinder with me, some Kodak D-76 developer, fixer powder and my developing tank. I had never used the Baldex before so I’ve been testing how it works with some expired Tri X 400 a friend gave me as a birthday present.
I was able to develop two rolls so far, one at 400 ISO and one pulled to 200 ISO. Although I don’t have an enlarger or a med format scanner to scan them, I saw a post on Petapixel (a photoblog I follow) which detailed how to build your own med format scanner with a remote flash, a DSLR and a cardboard box.
The results I got were ok, although I’m not sure if that was the expired film doing weird things or the ‘scanning.’ I have some rolls of still good Panf 50, so I’ll try that next and see. At the very least it’s a good way to quickly scan negs to make digital contact sheets.
So yeah that’s it, some community meetings/events this week, then it’s back to Nicaragua for another visa run at the start of June.
I recently bought a Canon 5D Mk II, brand new. It’s a full frame, 1080 DPI, 22 megapixel, 28 000 iso capable camera and it weighs less than the lenses it uses… Previously my primary digital bodies had been the 1D Mk II and 30D, fairly good crop body, 8 megapixel cameras, biggest issue with the 1D was its weight though, it weighs about 10 bricks. I posted about my new camera on facebook and a friend responded with the following:
“I just wanted to say, welcome to 2011. Since you’ve been stuck in 2003, a Black man is President of America, The European Union has realised they can’t artificially inflate their currency. The Canadian dollar is higher than the American dollar, There was a giant earthquake in 2006 in the Indian Ocean that made the Earth change it’s orbit slightly. Oh, and Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi are dead.”
Pretty much sums it up, my 1D was released in 2003 and the 30D a year later, in short – The 5D is the most advanced and only new camera I’ve ever owned.
That said it’s low light performance is a little slow (my only complaint).
I found it ironic that the same night I purchased my 5D I also purchased a bottle of paper fixer for black and white paper printing, regardless the darkroom process gave me something to shoot right off the bat: the darkroom process.
I haven’t had an actual event yet to cover with the camera, although I have no doubt it will perform well when I need it to. I mostly keep it in my bag on my to and from work and school, and sometimes make an interesting picture or two.
I need something to shoot….
For now that is all peace,
It has been almost two months since my last post. While I find that hard to believe, the last little while has been very busy. Although I’m not inundated with photo work right now I am in the final stretch of my undergraduate degree at Carleton. I’ve also been preparing for Costa Rica somewhat. One consideration has been which film camera to bring? At the advice of a friend I’ve decided against bringing a 35mm SLR and opted instead for 6×6 medium format.
I’ve been playing around with a Bronica Medium format. I’ve used it for a few daytime walk arounds but for the most part I have had unstable results with low light exposures. However, last night I performed test using a roll of Ilford HP5+ rated at ISO 1600. I’ve figured out the camera’s operation, mostly and have my first scans. The operation and results have been great thus far and medium format strikes me as a great new medium (hahah) to play with.
Firstly; the frame is square, for someone used to the standard 4×6 ratio of a 35mm frame this is new. Secondly; the camera uses a top down view finder which means rather than hold the camera to your eye you cradle it in your hands and look down to frame, its called a ‘waist-level view finder,’ great for low angles. Also the focusing screen is mirrored so all the framing movements feel backwards.
Here are some low-res uploads regardless the sharpness and level of detail is incredible…
The colour photos were shot on Velvia 100 ISO 120 format film and processed by the good folks at Labworks on Bank St.
The black and white photos were shot on Ilford fp4 ISO 120 format film and processed by myself in my kitchen..
However, the cost of scanning 11 negatives at medium resolution (equivalent to 3 megapixels or so) was $37… Kinda ridiculous, the film is still affordable, especially if you buy in bulk and purchase online; scanning at high resolutions is not. So I think I need to find an affordable high-res medium format film scanner.