Testing New Canson Papers

Burning the midnight oil at Indian Hill Imageworks!!! Just how many patches are in the icc. test target?…over 2,200!!

Stay tuned for my thoughts/ review on my first tests: Rives BFK and Arches Platine!

Now back to printing!

Viva la Revolution!

Stephen

The LOMO LCA – Part 1

Over the next few months I’ll be writing several articles on the LOMO LCA and LCA+. I’ve decided to use these small and very opinionated cameras for my new artwork series, entitled Vanishing Vermont. Articles will focus on working with these cameras, how to carry them, films to use and why… XPros, where to buy and differences in current and older models.

I know there are a lot of opinions out there (both pro and con) about the LOMO (LOMOGRAPHY) and I look forward to an open discussion, so first lets agree on two things: 1. Its the print that counts! 2. See number 1.

Here are a few helpful links to get things started…check them out and stay tuned!

Me and My 1991 LCA!

Viva la Revolution!

Me and My 1991 LCA!

The New Kodak TMAX 400 (TMY-2) – Pushed to 1600, Processed in XTOL!

New Tmax 400 Box

As promised here is a sample image (my wife Eve Ogden Schaub of Life=Art) in Puerto Rico pushing the new TMY-2 (Tmax 400) to an E.I. of 1600 and processed in Xtol Straight using Kodak’s suggested time/ temp . The light was very, very low as even at an E.I. of 1600 my exposure was still 1/8 at F1.4 (hand-held.) The image was made with a Leica M7 with a 50mm Summilux.

So what are my thoughts????

EveFull_1600EveDetail_1_1600EveDetail_2_1600

Please note: click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

1. Of course there is more grain than the 400 speed test I posted a few days ago (click here) but not a lot considering this is a 2 stop push! It is not as crisp and lacks some fine image detail as the other test image had due to the increased grain and I am sure the slow shutter speed and the f1.4 working f stop ( I do the best I can, but on 10 shots of espresso a day what do you expect?)

2. Good shadow detail and the highlights still have nice separation especially considering the light source.

3. Easy to scan- no problems with excessive contrast or anything…the scan was as easy as my last test scan. (Scanned on an Imacon Scanner at 3200 dpi, 16 Bit, wet mount, no sharpening.)

So what does this mean??? Where do we (I) go from here?

Well I for one will shoot this film as my NEW primary film at box speed (400) – but it is nice to know that in a pinch I can push this film to meet my needs no matter what they are… I am going to continue my exploration of different developers (stay tuned!!) for this film, but for now- Xtol works fine. Once again in my opinion – Kudos to Kodak! (It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to say that twice in one week!)

Image Copyright Stephen M. Schaub 2008

Revolutionary Quote for the Day – Sebastiao Salgado

”Before becoming a photographer,” Salgado firmly believes, “it is essential to have an education, an understanding for the world in sociological, political, economic and historical terms. Then there is no limit to the photography. To be a photographer is to be able to transmit a certain understanding of the world.”

Quote taken from the current issue of PDN (The Legends Issue, Jan 08.) Article/ Interview by Peter Hamilton

Sebastiao Salgado

Growth Industry: Photography As A Top Job Pick in 2008?

AudioBlog LogoPhotography is a growth industry? At least that is the assertion made in a recent Yahoo article titled “Eight Top Fields with Major Job Growth” by Sonya Carmichael Jones. We take a look at this assertion from a real world perspective and provide an inside out view of the “growth” of our industry today. Featuring Hybrid Artist Stephen M. Schaub.

Print Surface Resolution…A Proposal by Stephen Schaub

AudioBlog LogoEver wonder how much resolution (dpi) is possible on a print? Not printer resolution, but rather Paper or Print Surface Resolution. This audio blog lays out a proposal by Hybrid Artist Stephen Schaub on a new approach for determining just how good your prints can be on a specific paper.

The Tipping Point

Sitting in my studio with my Mentor Student Bill during our regular weekly class we decided to work on a new image Bill had made this last week. The image as described by Bill was not a “great image” but it had elements that he wanted to work with and explore. Cul.

I always give the advice that if you only work with your best images you are really missing the learning opportunity that other works you make offer. Working with images that are not quite 100% for one reason or another really releases the creative juices and allows you to take chances you would not with your precious perfect images.

The tipping point in this image was the initial crop. The monument was not the subject of the scene, in fact it hurt the image as it separated the scene into two distinct parts…the snow and color on the mountain was the subject and something which could be explored. Bill confessed to me after an hour of water boarding and general CIA approved questioning techniques that his initial instinct was to just shoot the mountain with the snow and color but he decided that the Monument would maybe make it better…(Bill will be forgiven for this lack of self confidence after he has read the Figital Revolution Manifesto 20 times as a penance.) So, after an hour of editing and working with color and local contrast the final image conveys the energy Bill was looking for in the first place.

What does this mean?…don’t discard an image too fast….the process of making an image can be very rewarding in itself and it is a great learning tool with regards to understanding your work and developing style.

Now go dig out those dusty negatives and digital files and get to work!

My thanks to Bill for help with this post…to view more of his works please visit: billguild.com

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah!

Have you ever logged on to a photo web site and heard photographers argue about the merits of one film over another? This 100 speed vs that 100 speed. XP2 Super vs REAL black and white films. What a bunch of #$@$%!

One of my favorite arguments I recently came across online was one in which a handful of “photographers” (they sounded more like a bunch of old hens) clucked on and on about Kodak and the “crappy” quality of BW400CN. Ok, this film is new to me so I decided to try something novel…

I’d test the film myself! There’s a thought.

So having now done a quick and rather unscientific test here are my blah, blah, blah thoughts.

1. Fine grain when scanned on our Imacon scanner (oil mount) (professional processed C-41)…I don’t know about wet darkroom printing from these negatives and don’t really care as I am not heading back into the dark any time soon.

2. Not quite as sharp looking as say XP2 Super (smoother grain tho) or some other black and white negative films (REAL Black and White that is) or films processed using the very cul dr5 process but acceptable and perhaps ideal for portraits.

I just made using my in house workflow (oil mount scan, PS, ect…) a 16.85″ x 24″ print that is simply amazing. The grain is fantastic and at any “real” viewing distance the print has the sharpness one would expect from an analog process and not that hyper-digital sharpness crap. Oh, yeah…this is 35mm!

So what does this mean? First, stop kicking Kodak in the face. They make some good films (not all) but most problems photographers have with Kodak are the same problems other photographers have with Fuji and Ilford. Rather, we are a bunch of prima donnas(who me, YES you) that can’t get out of our own way and we want what we want now(I hear the hens clucking)! This demanding position of total excellence is fine from time to time but we need to be careful about spewing random meaningless talk that does nothing to help promote/ enhance our medium. That is not to say that Kodak and these other companies (The Photo Industrial Complex) don’t deserve to get kicked in the ass now and then but most of the talk I read on the web is meaningless and based on personal issues and not real photographic observations.

I have attached a sample image made using the BW400CN for those of you who need to see it to believe it (I’m in this group myself). The first is full size, the second (crop) is a crop from the full sized image (16.85″ x 24″)….very cul! This is 400 speed 35mm film!

Which process do I use (film)…when I can dr5 with FP4 or HP5 or if time is tight and the lighting is unsure XP2 Super or now BW400CN.