Saturday, 17 December 2016

Pentax SFXn 35mm Camera.

I was very lucky to have been given this camera by a work colleague!  He said that it had been sitting in his garage for some time and not used.

I am ALWAYS ready to welcome pre-loved film cameras into the fold.  This one especially, since it used Pentax K Mount lenses, some of which I already had.

There was a film still in the camera but that wasn't going anywhere until I got the correct batteries to power it up.  I was a little concerned that I may not be able to get the batteries these days.  I found out that this Pentax takes a pack of 2CR5 Photo Lithium batteries which, are still readily available.  The pack is 2 batteries wired together into a heat shrink type casing which fits onto the side of the camera as part of the grip. Take off the side panel, insert batteries and voila! There was an old film in the camera. It must've been at the end of the roll because no sooner had I inserted the batteries and turned the camera on then it started to beep and rewind the film.

Yes, this camera has motorised film winder.  It automatically winds film on after loading, after the shutter is activated and, automatically rewinds the film back into the spool when the end of the roll is reached.  The camera operates in full manual mode but there are options for Aperture and Shutter Speed priority and, Bulb.  If you're feeling lazy it can also be operated at full auto mode point and shoot.

This camera also boasts autofocus.  I believe it is a 2nd generation autofocus Pentax.  In the body of the camera there is a small motor that drives the focus ring on the lens via a screw thread coupler. The screw thread coupler can be found on the side of the lens mount on the camera body.  The Autofocus is activated when the shutter-release button is pushed down half way (similar to all autofocus DSLRs on the market today).  I think there might be a little cleaning and lubrication required for the autofocus motor and gears on this particular camera.  When it worked, the autofocus motor complained loudly and the gears were grinding whilst trying to drive the focus ring of the attached lens.  I wasted about half of the roll simply because whilst trying to entice the autofocus to work, the shutter release button would sneak past the halfway mark, go all the way down and, expose the frame.  When the autofocus is working..... there is a green indicator in the viewfinder to indicate that the subject is in focus.  

Because the autofocus motor was working intermittently, I decided to use manual focus.  Even in Manual Focus the small green light in the viewfinder will light up when you have manually focused correctly.  

I loaded a roll of Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100 about 2-3 months ago and have just got it back from the lab last week.  As I said, half of the roll was wasted because of the vagaries of the 'autofocus'.  The rest of the roll turned out very nicely exposed and sharp.  The lens I used was a Pentax F SMC 28mm prime f2.8 which is a very capable lens.

Anyway, here are the results (the ones that were in focus at least!  hahaha)

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

The photos on this blog post are for sale, 
contact me if you are interested.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New stories from an Old Camera

I hadn't put a film through my Voigtlander for some time.  Pretty remiss of me but, I had a couple of new 35mm cameras that I was trying out and the time just slipped by.

I'd had a Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100 sitting in the fridge for a while and, I decided it was time to load it and start shooting.

The Voigtlander Bessa 1 folding camera is a medium format film camera.  From a roll of 120mm film, shot in 6x9 format, I get 8 exposures.  It's more expensive to develop and scan than 35mm, so I try to be circumspect about what I shoot with it.  It is really a landscape camera.  I would love to use it for portraits but, the top shutter speed is only 1/250 and so I can't really open up the shutter for a shallow DOF because I don't have a fast shutter speed to match.

I took the camera with me on a couple of photo safaris.  The first was to the sand dunes at Worimi National Park (north of Newcastle in NSW).  With this camera, I use a light meter app on my iPhone that I downloaded a few years ago!  A bit funny; using a digital app as a light meter for a totally manual film camera but, it is very accurate!

The sand dune photo shows the latitude of exposure that film has, as opposed to a modern digital sensor.  I had been using the 'sunny 16' method for exposure but, had inadvertently set the shutter speed at 1/250 (using the sunny 16 method the shutter speed should have been 1/100).  Surprisingly, the sand dune photos turned out ok and not way over exposed like I thought they would have.  I am thinking that the faster shutter speed may have saved those shots because it was very hot and the midday light shining off the sand was very, very bright.  Otherwise, they may have blown out and overexposed.

The 2nd safari was out to a small town called Stroud, about a 50 minute drive from home.  It is a lovely rural area with beautiful countryside.

I do have a Kodak Portra 160 in the fridge that I will be getting out at the end of the week.  I have only put 1 colour film into the camera since it has been resurrected (see the results of that here) and am really looking forward to that!

This Voigtlander came with the Prontor-S Color Skopar 35mm lens.  Focal length when unfolded is 105mm.

All photos on this blog and corresponding Google+ page are
© Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved and
are not to be used without permission.

The photographs on this blog post are for sale.
contact me if you are interested.

Sand Dune - Worimi National Park, NSW.

The Lean To - just out of town on The Bucketts Way,Stroud, NSW. 

Letter Boxes - Alderley Lane, Booral, NSW.

Canon - Silo Hill, Stroud, NSW.  There are 2 cannons on Silo Hill in Stroud.  These cannons were originally set up in Sydney to guard the harbour during the Crimean War (1855-56) and were situated at Bear Island, La Perouse.   They were later sent to Fort Scratchley and became part of the defences of Newcastle. In 1909 they were obsolete.  They were dismantled and sent to Booral via the Karauh River and from there by Bullock Dray to their current location in  Stroud.

More Letterboxes - Booral Rd, Booral, NSW.

War Memorial - Stroud, NSW.  It is always a pleasure to see the many
different War Memorials in small towns.

Dirt Road - Worimi National Park, NSW.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Patience is a virtue

On this particular afternoon, I had wandered down to Nobbys Head and out onto the breakwall of Port Hunter.  I was there for the afternoon to catch the Sunset but it was pretty drab looking with cloud cover and a very bleak outlook.

Not wanting to waste the time I had spent getting there and walking out, I decided just to hang out and watch the harbour life.  

The breakwall on Nobbys Head is a great location for 'ship-spotting', the large coal ships, container ships, sailing boats, tug boats etc.  A lovely place to sit and enjoy the sea breeze and fresh air.

It was totally worth the wait.  As the cloud broke apart the sunshine forced its way into the opening, splashing its awesome light off the cloud and down onto the water.

It turned out truly spectacular!

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

This photo is for sale, contact me if you are interested.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Sand Dunes - Worimi National Park

Just north of where I live is Worimi National Park; 32 kilometres of awesome beach and the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere.

The name Worimi comes from the name of the indigenous tribe that inhabited the area of Port Stephens and the Great Lakes region of coastal New South Wales.

I have wanted to get out to the sand dunes for a while to capture their harsh beauty and especially that definitive line between bright sand and blue sky (great for minimalism!).

One of the main access points to the National Park is via Lavis Lane off Nelson Bay Road at Williamtown.  You can drive to a certain point (car park) but after that you require permit to drive on the beach and it can only be done in a 4WD vehicle.  I don't have a 4WD and had to leave the car at the car park.  It is only 1-1.5 kms from the car park to the start of the dunes and I was prepared to walk there and back on the dirt road.  By the time I got out there at about 11am, the temperature was at 32 degrees celsius and was just a bit hot!  A big thanks to the 4WD who stopped and gave me a lift out and also to another driver who offered a lift back to the car park (both of which I took advantage of!)

I spent 45 minutes wandering around a couple of dunes before deciding to head back to the car.  I did get some good photos but really, you will need a 4WD to get around there if you want to capture the whole awesomeness of the place!  There are 4WD tours of the dunes and I am going to make further enquiries about these.  It would be ideal to get onto the dunes just before sunrise or just at sunset.  The light and shade would provide some wonderful photos and that great golden light would reflect off the dunes and set them afire!

A little further north of Worimi is Birubi Beach.  It is the northernmost point of the sand dunes.  From the Surf Lifesaving Club there, you can wander onto smaller dunes and still capture some great subjects.  This is probably the easiest access for sunrise and sunset photos if you can't get 4WD access; you can walk say 300 metres and be in the midst of a great location without having people wandering into shot or 4WDs or Quad Bikes suddenly appearing over a dune and leaving tyre tracks everywhere!  Although I didn't go that far north for this last shoot, I have included a photo from a previous safari to Birubi Beach so you can see just how beautiful it is!

I took my Voigtlander Bessa 1 folding camera also, loaded with Fuji Acros 100 (black and white film).  The sand was very bright in the middle of the day with the sun reflecting off it, so I set the shutter for a faster speed to hopefully compensate for that extreme brightness.  Hopefully it works; I hate wasting film, especially 120mm!  It may be a while before those results are in though.  I will keep you appraised!

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

These photos on this post are for sale.  Contact me if you are interested.

This is Birubi Beach further to the north of the Worimi National Park.

Monday, 17 October 2016

A Visit to the Country

I'd been a little bogged down with my photography of late.  Work, bad weather, other commitments; it's hard to plan a photo safari sometimes.

I realised that I needed something apart from the haphazard spontaneity that I love so much about my photography;  I needed a project.  For a while now I had been noticing the bridges of the Hunter Valley.  Truss bridges, Lift bridges, small low wooden bridges that rattled; there were quite a lot of them on the river systems that make up the Hunter Valley.  So, I decided to map them and mark them out for visits.  

You can see how this project is panning out on the Bridges of the Hunter Valley page here on my blog.

The good thing about this project is that, although I go out with a purpose in mind, after I have photographed the target bridge, I can revert to my 'haphazard spontaneity' safari style.  If nothing jumps out at me, that's ok; I still have the photos of the bridge to edit and post.

For this particular safari to the country I had targetted 2 bridges; the Cooreei Bridge over the Williams River at Dungog and the Brig O'Johnston Bridge over the Williams River at Clarence Town. The Brig O'Johnston Bride is the oldest surviving wooden truss bridge in NSW.

After visiting Dungog first where I got some good photos of the Cooreei Bridge (and the steel truss rail bridge on the opposite side of the park) I drove to Clarence Town.  I arrived at Clarence Town to find that the Brig O'Johnston Bridge was undergoing some upgrade work.  There was too much plant machinery and safety fences around to get a decent clean photo of the bridge.  The upgrade work is expected to be completed in 5 months so I'll have to make an entry in my diary for that one.

The drive from Dungog to Clarence Town is not that far and the land in between is beautiful!  As I was driving into Clarence Town, I noticed an abandoned car (a 1950 Commer tray back truck) sitting in a paddock and made a mental note of it's location for when I returned.  Anyway, because the bridge at Clarence Town was a no goer, I decided to head back the way that I had come and visit the abandoned truck.

It looked amazing!  Still retaining some of the original paint work and badges and more than enough rust to give it a great abandoned look.  I took a number of bracketed exposures at +/- 2EV to merge into a High Dynamic Range photo; that always helps to bring extract the details of the rust and enhance the colour also.  Leaving the Commer to the Brown snakes that had probably made a home in the cabin I started the trip home.  

No sooner had I left then I saw a tree in the middle of a paddock close by.  This tree was unique; it had been cut right down with only the stump remaining but, triumphantly, there was a small regrowth right out of the middle of the old stump!  

As I was on the home stretch, I was passing through Bolwarra area on Flat Road.  I had the window down and was taking in all those great country smells of cattle, flowering trees and newly cut hay.  I saw a farmer on his David Brown Tractor raking a small paddock; up and down, up and down, slowly raking all the mown hay into neat rows.  This would later be picked up by a traditional baler or a machine that would turn it into a nice hay roll to be wrapped in plastic, the product called baleage.

I pulled over and walked across the road as he approached the fenceline.  I had to yell, 'Mind if I take some photos as you rake?'  He gave me a nod and a wave and just continued on - up and down.  After a couple of rows he drove up to me and turned off the tractor.  It was great chatting to him.  It had been raining for a few days earlier in the week, he said that if it had rained another 8mm then it would have been too wet for him to rake and it would have been a waste of feed.  Hay that is baled too wet can burn.

After I said my goodbyes I drove a short way down the road to where the mown hay had already been raked and baled into a cylinder.  Once the hay is rolled it is then covered in plastic.  The plastic keeps out the oxygen.  Inside the oxygen free bales the hay ferments turning sugars into lactic acid which makes for a better quality feed.  It is like pickling the hay and the cattle love it with less wastage.

It was a wonderful afternoon.  I got one bridge at least, for my project and, I got some other spontaneous photos simply for enjoyment!

All photos on this blog post and corresponding Google + page are
Copyright © Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved and
may not be used with permission.

These photos on this post are for sale.  Contact me if you are interested.

Abandoned 1950 Commer flat back truck - Clarence Town, Australia.

Raking Hay on Flat Road - Bolwarra, Australia

Raking Hay on Flat Road #5 - Bolwarra, Australia

Revenge of the Tree #2 - Clarence Town, Australia

Hunter Valley Rural - Flat Rd, Bolwarra, Australia

Hunter Valley Rural #2 - Bolwarra, Australia

Hay Rolls in the Paddock - Flat Rd, Bolwarra, Australia.
Surprised on editing to realise that a Pee Wee photo bombed me!
In the background Magpies wheel in flight and pick out the worms and insects from
the new mown paddock.

Cooreei Bridge over the Williams River - Dungog, Australia.
The reason for my rural safari in the first place!

The Rail Bridge over the Williams River - Dungog, Australia

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Canon EF 75-300 f4-5.6 zoom lens

With the Canon EOS 300V camera I bought in April came an EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 zoom lens.

The only time I ever really use a zoom like that is when I want to get some nice shallow depth of field using a wide aperture for portraits or get up close and personal with something that may bite or sting me!

So, I decided to use the lens at the 300mm mark (when I could) and check out the results.  I loaded the camera with Fuji Acros 100 35mm (black & white film for the non-believers!)

Happy with the outcome!  The lens worked well and gave some nice images.  For some reason I was expecting a little more grain than usual when using the lens on the full zoom but that did not eventuate. Pretty happy with the sharpness also at such a long zoom also.

All photos on this blog and corresponding Google+ page are
© Life with Jordy Photography and may not be copied or used
without permission.

If you are interested in having a family photo shoot, or perhaps you would
like an individual photo shoot contact me here.

Patience - waiting for a decent wave at Newcastle Beach, Newcastle, Australia.

The Photo Shoot - lining up the bluffs from King Edward Park I was surprised to see
a photo shoot taking place on the edge of the bluff above the Bogey Hole.
Newcastle, Australia.

The Sail - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
A great subject for a minimalist approach.

Lifestyle! - need I explain further?  Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia.

An Ocean full of Fish.  I hope they caught some!
Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Boy on a Skateboard.  Looking over the bluffs at James Fletcher Park in Newcastle, one will
get a birds eye view of the skateboarders in the skate park.
Nicely situated for this photo and shadow capture!
Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Fisherman at the Canoe Pool, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

The David Allen comes into Port Hunter.  This ship is the dredge for Newcastle harbour.
Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

The Busker!  Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Peyton at 8 weeks.

I haven't really done much portraiture or family work (apart from my own family!) and it's one of those things that I'd like to do a little more often.

As far as family photos go, I'm not much of a formal bloke.  I recall getting some photos taken when our kids were little in a formal studio.  Sit just here, look over this way - SMILE - BIG FLASH - thanks for coming.....  It was all too clinical.

Nope, I prefer to be outdoors with families, chasing kids as they're having fun (or not having fun as the case may be!  haha), catching the elusive fleeting looks as they play and interact with brothers and sisters; just being natural.

There are times when the kids just can't run amok having fun.  One of those times is when you're only 8 weeks old.  That is how it was for this shoot with gorgeous bub Peyton, her whirlwind sister Lexi and, Mum Kayla.

This was a fairly simple shoot, Peyton can't support her head or sit and so we set her up on a white sheet in a bedroom where the light was great!  Watch this space though, Kayla has a few ideas up her sleeve as Peyton and Lexi grow up so there will be more to come!

After I finished the editing for this shoot and was reviewing the photos, I started thinking about what equipment I could use to take it to the next level.  One thing leads to another sometimes.  I find myself online now, looking at softboxes, reflective umbrellas and all the gear I may need to get into the portrait/family photo niche.  

This could get interesting!


All photos on this Blog and corresponding Google+ page are 
© Life with Jordy Photography  All Rights Reserved and may not
be used without permission.

The photos on this particular blog post are not for sale.

If you are interested in having a Family Photo shoot, contact me here.

Bronica ETRSi and 35MM N Film Back

You may recall that I wrote in an earlier article  (Jan 2019) about some difficulties I was having with a 35mm N  Film Back on my Bronica ...