Thursday, 21 September 2017

Voigtlander Bessa 1 and Kodak Portra 160


I love using this Voigtlander Bessa 1 folding camera.  So much more of a challenge than anything in digital!

I only get 8 exposures in 6 x 9 format from a 120mm roll of film (although if I used the 6 x 4.5 mask, I would get 16 exposures, I guess I should try that at some stage!).  So, because it is more expensive to develop and scan medium format film at my local lab, I have to factor in the cost of using it as opposed to a 35mm film.  I can't just leave it sit on the shelf as an ornament though!

The focal length when folded out is 105mm on a Voigtlander Color Skopar f3.5 lens.  As you can see, it is still really sharp for its age with no scratches or dust.  I can't open it out wide at f3.5 though because the fastest shutter speed on the camera is only 1/250.  It doesn't have the shutter speed to match the larger aperture which is a shame because I would love to use it for portraits and get that shallow depth of field going.  

There are a couple of solutions to that though.  One would be to use a lower ISO film.  There are still a few ISO50 films around but I would like to try an ISO25.  Problem being that most 120mm ISO25 films would be long expired and that introduces little idiosyncrasies into the shooting and development of the older films that may deliver an unwanted surprise package in the finished product!

The second solution I am thinking, would be to use an ND filter to block out some of the light which would allow the use of larger aperture and not require a speed faster than 1/250.  This requires me to do some maths to get the correct settings (maths has never been a strong subject with me!)  Also, I would have to adapt any filter to fit on the front of the camera over the lens somehow.  It's a job for when I have more time to experiment I think!

This is only the second roll of colour film I have put through this camera (which was the point of the exercise; I wanted to use colour!)  I shot the Kodak Portra 160 at 100 ISO and only adjusted the contrast slightly in Lightroom.  Both exposure and colour have turned out great!



In this first photo above, you can see that most of the scene on the left and in the middle is fairly sharp but, toward the right hand side it gradually loses the focus.  As the Voigtlander is opened and folds out, there are two locking points on either side.  The locking point on the right hand side has a nasty habit of popping out of lock.  Usually I am aware when this has happened but for some reason I totally missed it this time.  As you can see it ruins the sharpness on the right hand side of the photo.








The photos in this post and corresponding Google+ page are
Copyright  Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved 
and may not be used without permission.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Quarantine Station at North Head, Sydney


There is a hidden gem in Sydney.  Well, it's not quite hidden because you can see it from the Manly Ferry on the way in and out from North Harbour.  It has its' own little beach and old style buildings and is in a very quiet spot on Sydney Harbour.  It's on the left as you leave on the ferry from Manly Wharf and get past Smedleys Point.  You'd probably see it and wonder what it was unless you had made the effort to visit North Head in the Sydney Harbour National Park.

North Head is the northern peninsula that guards the entrance to Sydney Harbour (and the southern peninsula that forms the other 'gate post' is aptly named.... South Head!)

North Head is a beautiful heathland on a sandstone promontory.  It has a special importance to the indigenous people of the Sydney area and, for them, it was a place of healing and a special ceremonial site.  A quarantine station was built there for the immigrants arriving at Sydney.  Prior to WWII, the military moved in and it became one of the most heavily fortified places in Australia during that war.  In 1998, the military moved out.  North Head these days is a sanctuary with many walks and tours.

The Quarantine Station operated from as early as the 1830s.  Migrant ships arriving with any suspected contagious disease were offloaded there as protection to the residents of Sydney.  The Quarantine Station operated up until 1984.  At that time the site was managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service for tours and as a function centre.  Because of ongoing funding shortfalls, the NSW Government leased the area to a private consortium with a history of revitalising old historic buildings and sites in 2006.  The Quarantine Station, after careful renovation, is now a series of historic buildings that offer 4.5 star accommodation, function spaces up to 180 guests, 2 restaurants and bar and a Visitors Centre that displays the history of the station.

There are great views to be held of Sydney Harbour from North Head and access to the Quarantine Station area is restricted to only a few vehicles.  There is a shuttle bus that can assist with getting around but there are also many places to explore by foot on the 30 hectare site.  Be warned though, if walking from the gate down to the beach, there is a large staircase on the walking path with 234 steps (my wife counted them)!

Want to know more?  Visit the websites for Q Station and  North Head where you'll find plenty of information.

It is well worth the visit!


The photos on this post and corresponding Google+ pages are
©Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved and may
not be used without permission.

Some of the photos on this post are for sale, 
contact me if you are interested.

The Quarantine Station from the Manly Ferry - Sydney, Australia.

The accommodation offers spectacular views of Sydney and the Harbour.


Manly Ferries dance on Sydney Harbour.

Manly Ferry en-route to Circular Quay.




These are the autoclaves at Q Station.  Passengers luggage would be loaded into these 'vaults'
and disinfected with extremely hot steam.





Monday, 4 September 2017

Wild Water


Kim & I had a well deserved getaway last week. We popped down on a Sunday to Manly on Sydneys northern beaches area for a look around for a few days. Kim had found a very nice 1 room apartment for a very nice price online and we decided to head off. The apartment was perfectly situated only a 2 minute walk from the Manly Shopping Mall and the pubs & restaurants!

Manly is such a lovely area! Although it is famous for its beach, it was very crowded. Unlike Newcastle where you can get beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see and sometimes there is not another soul to be seen. I guess that it what happens to beaches located in a highly populated city!

We were expecting some mild weather for our visit; not too cold, not too hot. However....... A weather change blew in just after we arrived and the temperature dropped considerably. The gale force winds didn't make it any more pleasant either, and the chilly winds just blew straight through us! We did have a bit of rain but mostly it was overcast and very windy.

One thing about the weather though, it brought huge ocean swells to the coast and that meant for some spectacular surf and really big waves. It was just phenomenal to see these huge waves come crashing in on the shore and, as you will see, made for some fantastic photos.

On the Monday we drove north just to browse the suburbs, the beaches and anything else that caught our eye. Through the suburbs of Dee Why, Freshwater, Curl Curl and up to Narrabeen and Mona Vale. During a Google Maps recon, I noted there was a couple of ocean baths and we popped in to get some photos. The ocean swell at Freshwater Pool was fantastic as the big waves came in and tried to squeeze into the smaller bay. The wind was gusting high and was bloody cold! Irrespective, we braved the elements to walk down the stairs to the pool and got some amazing photos. Another thing we learned that day was that, in the city; doesn't matter where you go, you have to pay for your parking. At each car park along the coast it cost us $5 for only 40 minutes. I pay that in Newcastle for all day parking at work (if I can't snag a freebie!).

Moving north from there we popped into North Curl Curl Rock Pool. This is a lovely spot with a short bushwalk from the Surf Life Saving Club out onto the headland. There is a walk around the headland to a place called Coles Ledge but the waves were too big to try and negotiate the rocks on this particular day. We went a short way off the beaten track to get some photos of the rock pool from higher up. It was a real buzz to see the giant waves here smashing against the rocks and resultant spray rising higher than the headland itself!

I love it when the wind whips the top off the waves as they curl over to break. It reminds me of a herd of stampeding horses; their manes tossing and front legs extended into the run!

From there we just basically decided to tour the area and stay in the car; getting a feel for the location, checking out the real estate (big $$$$ in this area!) and just seeing what there was to see. The wind gusts were getting stronger and the wind chill factor made for a really cold day; even the locals could not believe how cold it was for the time of year.

I'm currently editing more photos of our little escape so keep checking back!

Jordy


The photos on this page and corresponding Google pages are
© Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission

These photos are for sale. Contact me if you are interested!

Movement in Waves - North Curl Curl Rock Pool.

Wild Surf - Freshwater Pool, Freshwater.

Pounding Surf - Freshwater Beach, Freshwater.

Freshwater Pool, Freshwater.

Surfs Up! - Dee Why Head, North Curl Curl.

Rough Water - Dee Why Head, North Curl Curl.

Pool's Closed! - Dee Why Head, North Curl Curl.