Tag Archive for: film photography

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Wet Plate Photoshoot: Hisui

Right after the wet plate weekend at Lacock Abbey (see my previous post) I had planned to photograph a Cambridge based model called Hisui. I had found her profile via Purpleport.com and asked her to shoot with me. She agreed and we set our date on the 5th of August. With a day of work in between the weekend and the shoot, I did not have much time to prepare and unfortunately, it showed!

On my last day of the wet plate weekend, I noticed my collodion thickening up and showing more crepe lines than on the day before. I did mix up some fresh fix and developer, which were fully depleted.

Hisui arrived with her partner, spot on time. After explaining the process to them, we chose a few spots on the cemetery to shoot. I took a few Medium format film shots in between on my Rolleiflex (I must have had an inkling of what was to come) and we shot 6 wet collodion plates in total. Out of the six, there were two clear winners – which then both peeled off the plate! I chose to scan another 2, which I thought were OK, not as strong in form and execution as the 2 destroyed ones and 2 film stills. The film images I believe are good studies, but perhaps not final products. That will teach me to step away from digital….

Hisui, thank goodness, was patient and professional throughout the day and very understanding even after I let her know what happened to the plates!

 

The best 2 plates of the shoot *cringe*

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The second best 2 plates of the day

 

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The 2 best film images

there is a lot I like about the second image where Hisui flicks up the skirt, but it lacks the separation before fore- and background in the skirt that it needs to make it a true classic stunner!

 

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Jack Cooke by Yvette Bessels  (8)

Photoshoot: Jack Cooke

A little while ago I had flung myself back on Model Mayhem, full of zest and inspiration, eager to find some fresh faces to photograph in order to maintain and further develop my photography skills. I soon got in touch with local man Jack Cooke, we met for a meet-up and a coffee and decided on a first test shoot – a digital one. Anyone following this blog would now notice this is a slightly odd choice, but I had my reasons!

Not only would going digital on this occasion allow me to get a good feel of Jack’s capabilities, it would also allow for both of us to see how well we would work together without wasting a lot of time, money and film. We would not have to deal with the off chance of the film not coming out well and, most important, I wanted Jack to have a wide selection of shots to choose for his portfolio.

Apart from all those (dare I say; good reasons) it allowed me to dust off the digital camera and take it out for some fresh air! If all would go well on the day, we agreed to do another session in which we will use film and wet plate only. I did take the Rolleiflex TLR with me with 1 sneaky roll of 400 ISO. With regards to my previous post on planning shoots: I did not know what Jack would be wearing before meeting him at his house, I had not seen his bike or the pub where we would start shooting. We agreed on a quiet road, but again, I had not seen it prior to the shoot.

Thank goodness all went well! Not only is Jack a funny and likeable fellow, he is eager to learn and worked hard throughout the session. Some images at the start of the session did not work so well due to an ill-fitting blazer but later images of the day will have to count amongst my favourites to date. Not planning a shoot seems to be working well for me when going digital and even though it might cause small fits of stress on the days beforehand – I quite enjoy working like this.

 

 

Related Images:

Lacheratte, Belgium by Yvette Bessels - 120 film (4)

Urbex in Belgium

Abandoned coalmine Hasard de Cheratte, Belgium

© Yvette Bessels, 2013

Lacheratte, Belgium by Yvette Bessels - 120 film (4)

Coalmine: Cheratte, Belgium.

Since I’m still working on the images from New York, and the house isn’t tidy enough to show any images of that en public, I’ll play a little catch-up and share some images I have taken on my first proper Urbex trip a few months ago.

In my last week in Dusseldorf, I met up with a group of like-minded photographers via Meetup. We were going to an abandoned coalmine in La Cheratte, Belgium, and spend a good two hours on site. We went on a Sunday and even though the weather was cloudy, it was dry and the place was magnificent. For the occasion (and because I’m a geek) I had brought 3 cameras. Please note that some of the pictures are near identical and you can see the differences between the exposure qualities of the three camera’s really well.

Camera 1

My small digital Canon Powershot SX130 IS to take non-important snapshots. I still have one or two moments during a day of shooting where I just cannot seem to guestimate my exposure correctly. I use this little thing in auto to see what it comes up with and check it against my own numbers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. All of my failed film images are too dark.

 

 

Camera 2

The Praktica Super TL2 for 35 mm color shots (1 roll of 36). The lens I used was a Panagor PMC 28mm 1:2.5 Auto Wide Angle with an Izumar coated UV filter, and I had it mounted on a small light-weight tripod. This is the camera I have used since my days of Art College in 1999-2001 and I still love it to bits. Some area’s of the coalmine were very hard to get into proper focus but I think I got a few nice images out of it. I used Kodak 160NC film, which is, ofcourse, NOT suitable for this dark environment, but it was the only 35mm film I had at hand – and non-perfect images are still a lot better than no images.

 

 

Camera 3

The third and last camera I brought on this day was my trusty Rolleiflex Planar 2.8 with synchro-compur shutter. With 4 pictures left on a roll and 2 spare rolls of B/W film (28 shots in total), I had to think carefully about the shots and how I would set them up. It was a terrible shame I didn’t have my dedicated tripod handy for the occasion as it was still roaming around in a storage unit in the Netherlands, so I had to use it hand-held and hope that the camera-shakes wouldn’t be too bad. Eek! I used Kodak 400TX film and developed in R09 (Rodinal). I love how some of the images came out – especially those with a very classic feel – and I am currently using them to attempt salt-printing.

 

 

 

 

Soest medieval fair parade - 03082013 - film no 021. Tmax 100 in R09, 5 mins 600+40 at 24 degrees (5)

Image update

I’d like to take a moment and greet everyone that’s recently signed up for the news feed or the newsletter – ever since I’ve started the Large Format Project, we’ve grown from around 200 to nearly 600! So: Hellooo! I hope my blog and/ or website will bring some inspiration or entertainment value to your life!

It seems I’ll be having some extra time on my hands now that my friend Georgiana has left Germany to move back to her home country Romania, to find work. She had trouble learning the language and it’s hard to find a job in Germany without that skill and sad as her departure may be, I do very much hope she’ll have more luck in Bucharest. I already envy her friends that get to see her on a regular basis!

Now, in today’s post, I will not be whining any more about my sad, sad loss. Instead, I’ll be catching up on some images I have promised in some previous blog write-ups, but never actually shared, and some images of an event I never even mentioned.

 

JAPAN DAY

A good number of weeks ago, we went to Dusseldorf’s Japan Day. You can read the original post here. I took some images on my Uber cool but highly fickle Hanimex Electra II using Kodak Ektra 100 film (35 mm color with 36 exposures). The film had been loaded since we lived in Sydney, and I already shot half the film at our local Bondi Beach. Unlucky as I was this time, the film had not loaded correctly, and must have slipped inside the camera. All exposures came out doubled up! Even though it does nothing to detract from the nice quality of the film, or the vintage feel the camera seems to lend to the images, or even the fact that it looks quite cool – I think it’s a shame I don’t have a ‘back-up’ of the images I had taken. But I suppose that’s the risk you take when shooting film….

 

 

 

WET PLATE PHOTOGRAPHY

In the last session on wet-plate photography, I shot some images of Taz, that came out very well – and some of Angela, where I had more than one technical hick-up. I have since then scanned and given them their images and feel it would be only right to share a few of them here as well. I have taken some samples from the original scans and will be putting them into a separate troubleshooting section on the site, possibly within this week.

 

 

 

SOEST MEDIEVAL FAIR

At the start of August, we went to Soest to visit their yearly medieval event. We were recommended this fair by a couple that attended the medieval fair at Xanten a few months earlier. They stated that ‘it was the biggest and best around and each year they were looking forward to it’. This obviously sounded great so we looked up the fair, planned and booked our trip. We had no car, so had to go by train, taking us nearly 2 hours to get there and when we finally did – it was such a downer! There was hardly any signposting and the stands and performances were dotted through the town center. Not that it’s huge, but searching for the next stall? That takes all the fun out of it! We were lucky enough to be at the right place when the parade hit the main street and I got a few nice shots of it too.

The main event was taking place between the inner and outer defensive walls, charging 2 euros per person to walk along a few stands and people sweating their pants off in re-enactment gear, having lunch. Truth be told, we COULD have stuck around till the evening, when they would be re-enacting the battle, but we were knackered and fed up and too cheap to pay the 20 euros to sit on an uncomfortable stadium stand! Needless to say, we were not impressed…..

I shot 3 rolls of film this day and managed to ruin one of them by not following the manual (what do you mean, I cannot stand develop kodak?!? Let’s just see about that shall we??__ please note: you cannot stand develop Kodak Tmax 100 in Rodinal -_-)

 

 

 

 

Model Shoots II

Models: Lucy Qin and Helsa

Location: Sydney, NSW

© Yvette Bessels, 2012

Midlands Air Museum

Midlands Air Museum, UK

© Yvette Bessels, 2011

copyright: Yvette Bessels photographer

Ford Foundry demolition: additional images

In the last few days in Sydney, I had spare time to scan some additional images to the Ford Foundry Demolition in Leamington Spa. I had already posted some images to this demolition on this blog, back in May 2012, in connection to the Exhibition and the Gaia Coop I had organized. Most these images however, were snaps taken off prints – the prints having been donated to the Archives in Warwick – and these are scans of the negatives. All Black and White 120 negatives were taken on Shanghai GP3 film, on Microflex and Rolleiflex TLR cameras. I have also included some images of slides I still had lying about, these were taken on a Praktica Super TL II, on outdated Fujifilm 35 mm slides (if memory serves), using various lenses.

 

 

 

 

 

Scenes of Hongkong 2012 - shot with Rolleicord TLR on Fuji PN160NS - film no C002-2 (1)

Hong Kong Film Images

Finally I managed to get round to scanning all those blasted film images – and you’ll have to understand that this is not to complain about using film. Oh no! My fun lies in shooting, understanding and developing film images, not so much the scanning part……but I suppose one cannot go without the other, especially if you intend to post any of this stuff online! :D

These are images taken in Hongkong, September 2012, on a Rolleicord TLR camera, using 120mm Fuji Neopan 160 ISO color Film. Lab developed and scanned with Canoscan 9000f.

 

 

The final images in Black and White are also finally finished. Because we’ve got another upcoming move, this time back to the EU due to circumstances around Sean’s work, I have been working hard to get everything scanned, backed up and archived before I entrust another load of my belongings to a shipping company. There will be insurance in place – but I doubt that will compensate for the loss of my ENTIRE archive of negatives, should this occur.

Black and white images taken with a Rollecord TLR, using 120 Shanghai GP3 100 ISO film. Developed in Kodak D-76 and scanned with Canoscan 9000f.

 

 

Personal update: websites and new camera collection

Seeing it’s been a while since my last personal update, it was about time I shared some news.

I am currently still working for Linus Carr in Warwick and everything is going well. There is a website planned for his art business which both I, and a fellow named James will be working on. Thank goodness he will be using WordPress – I am getting quite familiar with all the ins and outs of this system. My main job will be providing the image content and there will be a lot of it!

On a personal project/ vintage photo front, with all thanks going to my parents, I am now the proud owner of a Rolleiflex, Rolleicord and accessory collection (see image). The father of an old high school friend of mine who’s wedding I photographed, had this lying about in his attic and offered it to me for a great price. Initially I declined as I couldn’t justify the expense at this time (we had just bought a car) but my mum and dad decided they would get it for me. And I couldn’t be more grateful! My plans for today are to test out both cameras with a comparison to the Microflex I already own and then slowly but surely test all filters, lenses and backplates. I can’t wait to get started!!