Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kids Portraits

Well, I sold off my Olympus E-P3 in March after pre-ordering the Olympus OM-D E-M5 in late February. Good thing I still had my Olympus E-620 or I would be going through some serious withdrawals! I have yet to receive my Olympus OM-D E-M5, and the wait is especially excruciating when some people I know already received theirs.

In the meantime, I took out my Minolta 50mm f1.4 and paired it with my Oly E-620 and thought I'd attempt some serious portrait photography by getting my kids to model for me . I am not much of a portrait photographer but after seeing a friend's (who is a pro) portrait work, I felt inspired!

I am quite pleased at how well the above picture turns out!  I had bought a scanner and it came bundled with Photoshop Elements 9.After doing some research I found some really good PSE Actions that made photo editing, especially portraits, that much more simplified!

I am still learning photo editing with PSE Actions and I am especially pleased with the output of the Black and White action set that I purchased.  I really love the different black and white tones that come with the set!

I wanted the face on this picture to contrast and pop more, but it seems I still have a lot to learn on how to edit using the action sets.  I have seen what they are capable of, if only I knew the right combination!mrgreen

I am quite pleased with the black and white tones of this picture.Doesn't look too bad, does it?

Personally, I find the Minolta 50mm f1.4 lens a superb lens for portraits when paired with a 4/3 format camera. To help me focus more accurately when using manual lenses, I bought a Dual Split Image Focus Screen from ebay. No, I have not replaced the focus screen on my Oly E-620 yet because I have to wait for dear hubby to make the time to do it for me. I am all thumbs when it comes to working with tiny things!

I think it is time for another round of portrait photography! And I already know where I'd like to do it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Black and White Film Photography

I had the opportunity to shoot black and white film on three of my Minolta cameras recently. Overall, I am pleased with the results from my Minolta cameras!

The pictures, taken in Old Placerville, in this collage were taken with the Minolta Hi-matic 7s. I have had it for about 3 years at least and this was the first I'd tried it out. The first shots I took with it, I forgot to focus on the subject by utilizing the built in parallax correction. And there were at least four instances where I forgot to remove the lens cap!! I am rather pleased with the output of this camera! Next, I will be using expired film with it, the better for producing lomography effect!

Here's another shot taken with the Minolta Hi-matic 7s of Main Street in Old Placerville.

I forget how dependent I have become on the auto-focus function of the digital cameras! The pictures in this collage were taken with Minolta X-370 using 28mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4. The focus on the majority of the pictures of people was not particularly sharp. It was a lot easier to focus on objects.

I owned a Minolta Hi-matic AF2 when I was a college student in the early 80s. I was always happy with the output of that camera and when I saw them on ebay, I just had to get one! I got a beautiful looking one for under $20 and I just couldn't wait to try it out. I used a C41 process roll of black and white film because I didn't want to wait two weeks to get the pictures back! As it turned out, the pictures had a reddish tinge on them because the C41 process black and white film was not truly black and white. That was the first I'd tried such a film. I bought a few rolls, but now I know better - the true black and white films produce much better pictures.

The local water tower here in Galt, shot with Minolta Hi-matic AF2 using C41 process black and white film.

Finally, here's a "self portrait" shot with Minolta Hi-matic AF2. :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Film Cameras

As you can see I have been playing with my film cameras!  I have acquired a few more film cameras since the last time I wrote about my vintage camera collection.  Even two vintage instant Polaroid cameras to add to the collection!  And I have a couple more cameras on the way.  :-)

The Minolta Freedom Zoom 90 on the bottom right is a freebie, and I took it the kids school for two days this week and took several pictures of the kids and their friends at school.  I have one more shot left in the camera and the roll is ready to be developed.

I am really thrilled by the Olympus Stylus 120.  I got it for a mere $10 (inclusive of shipping) at a Goodwill auction site.  As if that is not enough, I won a bid (I was the only bidder) on an Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 170 for a mere $15 and that amount includes shipping!  A steal, really!

The pictures of the kids on the right side of the collage were taken with Olympus OM-2n.  I am really happy with the output of this camera.  The pictures of Duncan on the left were taken with Minolta X-370. The pictures taken with that camera were mostly dark, and I suspect that was mostly due to the fact that the majority of the pictures were taken in the shade and the film speed that I used was not that suitable for taking pictures in the shade.  The other possibility could be the inaccuracy of the built-in light meter in the camera - due to its age.  However, I doubt that is the case because the first roll I took using that camera when I first got it came out ok.  I will have to try another roll of film with a higher ISO to be certain.

I sent in 3 rolls of black and white film to be developed some time last week.  I didn't want to have to deal with mailing in the rolls of film to a place outside Sacramento, so I took them to Walmart and let Walmart send them out.  Two weeks turn around time, they said.  So the photos should be ready for pick up by the end of next week.  I can't wait to see the result!  I should tamper my excitement because they could all turn out to be crap! :-)

I ordered a good photo scanner last weekend and it arrived on Wednesday.  I am really happy with this scanner because it can do a much higher resolution scan than my scanner/printer unit.  The new scanner can also scan slides, negatives and editable documents, and much to my delight, it came bundled with Photoshop Elements 9!  Not that I know how to use that software, but hey, there are tutorials on YouTube!

I don't know what it is about film cameras and film photography, nostalgia perhaps, but they seem to have stirred up quite a passion in me!  I am like a kid playing with my toys!  ;-)