Sunday, January 01, 2006

New York, New York

My New York pictures are here! Woohoo! Got them developed and scanned at Wolf Camera, which far exceeded my expectations (my last roll went through Walmart) albeit at a price. Here are some of the tolerable ones:













The film was Kodak black-and-white 400 ASA, processed in C-41 chemistry (and no, it was not T-Max, it didn't seem to have a name, in fact). I'm quite pleased with it. Here are a few more shots, of my cousin's family -- please note the beautiful behaviour of the film both outdoors (first two) and indoors (last two):









And finally, this is the Memorial Auditorium at Stanford, shot in evening light. Grain? What grain? :)



More new odds and ends, in both colour and black-and-white, at my Flickr page. Mostly portraits, some street shots.

PS: Ho ho ho I have this crazy Pentacon glass
At 50/1.8 it's an old normal with some class
It's razorsharp yet smooth on skin
And fills the greys from thick to thin
It's twenty-five years old and yet, it's not for sale, alas :P

29 comments:

DD said...

egulo ki new york trip er chhobi?

DD said...

beautiful. really.

expiring_frog said...

Haan. And thank you.

Bhooter Raja said...

A really silly question (for I know nothing about cameras, photography and physics), but is there any significant difference in the quality of images taken with a low-range digital camera and an ordinary camera?

expiring_frog said...

By "ordinary" camera I assume you mean a film camera. My biggest grouse with low-end digicams is that they have crappy lenses. The issues of noise (the digital equivalent of film grain), megapixels etc are usually insignificant in comparison. You have the same problem with low-end point-and-shoot film cams. The lens works great under "ideal" conditions: bright sunlight (or flash) from behind the photographer. Anything else is usually disastrous, resulting in flaring, softness, low-contrast, purple fringing etc.

This, of course, is an issue with low-end fixed lens cams in general. With digicams specifically, I find the low-light response is less appealing than with film. THIS IS A PURELY SUBJECTIVE OPINION. The exact difference between low-light film and digital images is not something I can quantify -- you could try both and see for yourself.

The slight grittiness and contrast in most film indoor pics (such as the ones in this post) would be extremely difficult to reproduce with a cheap digicam.

Lastly, really low-end digicams usually don't allow full manual control (of focus, aperture and shutter speed) and you're forced to rely on the auto settings or slight variations thereof. The auto system is usually decent, but frequently not optimal in other-than-"ideal" situations.

expiring_frog said...

PS: How low is low-end? With something as crappy as a camera phone, noise is a huge problem.

PPS: And of course, no low-end digital image can be enlarged as much as a (sharp) film image.

Teleute said...

oh wow. wonferful.

also, happy new year :)

Teleute said...

*wonderful, i meant :D

expiring_frog said...

@tely: Tenju. And HNY to you too :).

PS: *Tenku

Bhooter Raja said...

By low-end, I meant a 6-8 megapixel camera (something that you can get in India for about 8-10 grands). I have observed the fact that sharp film images can be enlarged much more than most digital images.

BTW, go to http://wadaphoto.jp/italy.htm
This place has got extremely high resolution images in remarkably small file sizes.

expiring_frog said...

@bhooter raja: Oh ok :). My low was much much lower :D. 6-8 mps indicate the camera is probably quite versatile and the lens is also tolerable.

I visited that site. Nice pics. Thanks for the link.

Are you looking to buy a cam? Try dpreview.com

Written.Draw said...

Excellent ! I find it hard to beleive that a friend has taken such photographs. Ever thought of shooting documentary films ?

btw, (completely off-topic) here are some pics my advisor recently took, this is travel photography though, not portraits: http://wang.ist.psu.edu/~jwang/photography/
Do pay attention to this one: http://wang.ist.psu.edu/~jwang/photography/2005/12/1024/_H1Q1939.jpg
Some of them were taken with medium format and Fuji Velvia film. Most others were taken with a Canon Powershot Pro 1 (8 MP).

expiring_frog said...

@written.draw: Tenku. I sometimes fantasize abt shooting a short, but it remains at the level of fantasy :D

I saw those photos -- lovely. And yes, the one you mention is startling :).

el rel said...

V bad limerick, v beautiful pics, shades of HC-B and Ed Weston. What happened to the light leak? And did you take the zoom lens? I have this sneaking feeling it's still sitting in a cupboard here...

expiring_frog said...

@el rel: The limerick was supposed to be bad enough to be annoying, in keeping with its content. I have this sneaky suspicion "light leak" may be a result of faulty processing, though it also happened in a decent camera store in Lausanne. Strange. Zoom is definitely still in cupboard or wherever.

Kele Panchu said...

Very beautiful! What is your camera?
My recent experience with B/W devoloping was terrible. Some expert suggested taking the photos in color then converting them to B/W in photoshop.

Your univ also might have some darkroom for renting. That way it will be much cheaper and better.

expiring_frog said...

@kele panchu: Panchuda, onek dhonyobad aar noboborsher shotokoti pronam. I use a Praktica MTL3 stolen from "el rel" above, with a Pentacon 50/1.8 lens. I think it's circa 1980.

Did you develop your BW yourself? And did you use normal BW film or the C-41 variety? The latter can be developed by the colour process and is a) economical and b) convenient -- any standard minilab will process it. And the quality is very good, as good as the old stuff. Kodak T-Max 400 CN and Ilford XP2 (also 400) are standard pro C-41 BW films. It's a little tougher to do C-41 at home, though.

Ami aage du-ekbar nije korbar cheshta korechhilam -- and did some of the ones you see on Flickr -- but it was a bit of a pain :). I agree, ekta darkroom khnuje bar kora khub bhalo idea. Esp. if the chemicals are free and it has one of those machines :).

You could shoot colour and then desaturate, but then you have to be careful (so I read) how you merge the RGB channels for optimal results. There are lots of pages abt this online.

I wish someone would create a cheap dedicated BW digital camera (no Bayer patterns) -- a sort of 21st century Pentax K-1000. A couple of expensive ones exist for pros, I believe.

blob said...

yes,yes, do not let all these lavish compliments swell your already unsymmetrical head to an even more unsightly size and shape. However, the pix are not entirely gross.

satchisgod said...

Seconded on atop (he/she/it wasn't me). Also, the NYC snaps seem to have a weird noir-ish tinge. Anyways, HNY.

expiring_frog said...

@satchisgod: If you're referring to "blob", I know it's not you, and I also know very well who it is :).

Yours is the second noir comment. Are you referring to the greenish tinge? The scans came that way and I liked it, so didn't desaturate.

HNY to you too :).

FuNkYcHuNkY said...

chobi gulo no doubt fatafati aro post koro please

expiring_frog said...

@funkychunky: Guru korbo nishchoi kintu prochur kaajer chaap. Ektu sporadically cholbe.

satchisgod said...

Actually noir bollam kaaron apart from the general dark/grim tinge...that one with the Chinese woman...there's a certain uncomfortable questioning something in her glance.
Aar greenish feel-ta mondo laagchey na.
And that link I'd sent you...the exposure is awesome naa?...maaney, too many things look properly exposed and I'd have imagined doing that all at one go would be very difficult.

expiring_frog said...

@satchisgod: Chinese man, actually :).

Yes, the exposure is beautiful -- even if there's been some histogram tweaking, the original must still have been bang on.

poushali said...

u've done a great job! the images are brilliant. they seem deceptively quiet, but speak volumes.not that i understand much abt photography, but well,here's a layman's opinion, for what it's worth.
btw, i'm a big fan of b/w pics, so i appreciated them even more.

expiring_frog said...

@poushali: Tenku v. much :).

lazy lunatic said...

one of the pics remind me of tom hanks in "catch me if you can". I wonder, Why did the world go colour?

ankur said...

I saw your pics just now..
brilliant snaps Sid!

expiring_frog said...

@ankur: Tenku boss. How're things?