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The Official Head-Case Photography Thread.


Knuckledragger
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  • 2 weeks later...

Supposedly us here in the Northeast are to get dumped on tomorrow. I took this picture late Tuesday night during the first storm this week:

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This is actually two exposures combined in Photomatix using Exposure Blending in Highlights & Shadows - Adjust mode. I further tweaked it in Photoshop applying both the Lomo and Holga scripts. This is the first time I have used the scripts since I migrated from Windows to OS X. Depending on how horrible the weather is, I will have several opportunities this weekend for more snow pictures.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

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After a nasty bout of food poisoning that kept me in bed most of the previous day, I woke up quite early. I noticed that there was nice early dawn sky. As usually happens, my efforts to photograph it ended poorly. I did manage to snap a couple pictures of my new front door and outside lanterns. I didn't waste too much time framing, as it was bloody cold outside.

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Last year I spent over $200 on slide film, developing, and scanning. I was really underwhelemed with the results. This made me more than a little embittered, so I stopped shooting film after I got back the last rolls. Late last month, my stepfather's oldest son gave me his late 70s Ektragraphic slide projector and screen. Earlier this evening, I set them up and loaded the slides from the first two rolls of Velvia 50 I shot into the carousel and looked at them. The projector has some real issues, its focus knob doesn't work, so I have to manually move the lens with my hand. This makes perfect focus impossible, but it still enabled me to get a very good idea what the slides look like.

My discoveries were almost universally positive. There are some underexposed shots, and a few that are poorly composed or have other flaws. By and large, I really liked what I saw. When one shoots transparency (slide) film, there is no negative. The slides are the film that went through the camera. What I saw on the screen is exactly what I shot. Velvia 50's colors are beautiful to the point of being surreal.

What is now painfully obvious to me is that the lab I have been using (Iris Photo in Northampton, MA) suck giant festering moose balls when it comes to scanning. They have displayed astounding incompetence in other areas, but apparently they save their best work for film scanning. This is really grating because I pay them $20 a roll to have the film scanned, on top of a $20 developing fee and $12 for the fucking roll of film. :rant:

In one sense, I'm fortunate that they're around, as there is no other place remotely near me that still develops slide film. Slide film development is a science and not an art. As long as the machine doing the work is calibrated correctly, properly exposed slides come out looking OK. What is now painfully clear to me is that slide processing is all that the Iris staff are good for. I need to buy a slide scanner, and soon. Unfortunately, the good ones are not cheap. Furthermore, proper film scanning is a process nearly as fussy as the actual exposure. The prospect doesn't bother me too much. I put considerable effort into shooting slide film last year, and was rewarded with crummy results. I think I have found a way to correct that.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Last year I spent over $200 on slide film, developing, and scanning. I was really underwhelmed with the results....

A few months ago I was pleasantly surprised that Kodachrome still exists so I shot a couple of rolls. Below are a few color test shots.

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The film was processed at Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas, and uploaded via an Epson V700 scanner.

If you are only using 35mm you don't need the V700. The V300, 4490 or Canon equivalent will do just fine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I made it to the sodding audio repair shop before they closed @ 5PM, got home and unloaded two McIntoshes (including a boat anchor of a monoblock) and still had time to grab my camera and chase the sunset. I ended up using my EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 USM III tele-zoom, which is largely regarded as the worst in Canon's entire line. It managed to get a couple shots nearly in focus enough that I could use them. I processed these two as RAW files in Photomatix, and then worked them over in Photoshop.

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A while back there was an amazing combination of sunset and fog in my yard, so I went out and snapped a few pix. Idiot me had the camera on landscape mode, which oversaturated the colors and looked like ass. Fortunately, after the first dozen shots I switched to RAW + jpeg, so there are some I can salvage. I've been putting off editing them forever. I still haven't distilled jpegs from the RAW files, but I did run one through Photomatix and make a pseudo HDR image. It required much cleaning in Photoshop and is still kind of messy, but the end result is at least okay:

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I set the saturation levels very low on all three of these shots when I tonemapped then in Photomatix. My goal was to avoid as much of the cartoony aspect of HDR as possible.

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