Film Photography Podcast Episode 62 – June 15, 2012 – SHOW NOTES by Alex Luyckx
Fresh off the plane from the UK and in the studio for June 15th is Michael Raso, John Fedele, Mat Marrash, Dane Jonnson, and Mark Dalzell!
On today’s show, the joys (and failures) of defunct Polaroid formats, Camera Show-And-Tell with Mark and Dane, Using Paper Negatives, Book of the Month, and Darkroom Tips!
Remember, next weekend is Photostock 2012 (http://www.photostock2012.com/ ) in Harbor Springs, MI and the following weekend (June 29th to July 1st) is Analog Pulse Weekend (http://aperturetremont.wordpress.com/ ) in Cleveland OH, hope to see everyone there!
The gang pours over the various ‘defunct’ formats that Polaroid has introduced over the years but none managed to survive as Type 100, 600, SX-70, and Spectra. In addition to instant film Polaroid also introduced a series of instant 35mm films which included the required chemicals to develop the film in its own processor. The processor is easy to use and Mat demonstrates. Of course, you also have to make sure that the chemicals are still good. How do the FPP boys fare? Tune in to find out!
Dane shows off his modified Polaroid Colorpack II with a hotshoe (for an electronic flash) replacing the stock flash cube socket. Flash cubes are becoming harder to find and when you do, they’re quite expensive. Mike goes on to add when purchasing old Polaroid stock off ebay or online in general beware! You could end up with a pack with dried up chemicals or dead batteries, which many of us has encountered! The gang continues on with the i-Zone Polaroids – another 1990s attempt to bring Polaroid back in the hip-and-happening market. The i-Zone cameras used a separate chemical pouch to develop the film (which you could get in a sticker format!)
It’s show-and-tell time with Mark and Dane showing off some of their latest purchases. Dane (still on a Russian camera kick) brings up the Smena 6 – a zone-focus camera from 1969. This Bakelite beauty produces sharp images with contrasty colors (something common with most Russian Cameras). The odd film loading method of using a second cartridge to spool the film into – then back into the original reel scares some people off, says Dane. Mark shows off one of his latest purchases from London England, a Hong Kong made Helina 35x. A shiny nickel-plated Leica-style view camera that uses the old “M” sync for the flash, that when used with an electronic (X) sync flash produces some freaky results. Mat chimes in that the M-Sync was for old bulb style flashes and even the powder flashes. Dane adds that if you disassemble the camera you can adjust the shutter to match up with the X Sync.
Mat’s book of the Month again from the FPP library is 500 Lighting Hints, Tips, and Techniques by Rod Ashford. It’s still available on Amazon on-line. “It’s a great book,” Mat says. It starts off with the basics, light meters and slowly builds up to more advanced techniques. The book even demonstrates how to setup a light tent! Mike adds that if you don’t have thousands to spend on hot lights, go to your local hardware store and pick up work lights and then use bed sheets and tinfoil to fashion modifiers. McGuyver it – use what you have.
Mike brings up the topic of Paper Negatives, a technique that Dan Domme talked about in an earlier podcast. Mat continues with the discussion. Photo paper is Orthochromatic, Mat explains, only seeing green or blue light – making reds turn out really dark or black.
It’s important to meter, meter, and meter again because it’s such a low sensitivity it’s easy to over expose. It is also a good idea to pre-flash your paper, in other words, expose it to a low-contrast yellow light or use a yellow filter (or both) to get better results. Once you’ve done that you can develop the paper as normal then do contact prints from it. If you have more questions, drop the group a line at email@example.com
Continuing on the same line as last episode, Mat brings us another darkroom tip at Mike’s urging, adjusting Exposure in development to the print. It has to do with consistency, a major theme and good thing to practice in photography – finding that line between technical and artsy prints. Mat explains that to make printing easier, you can adjust the amount of development you give you negative, so that you have all the detail you want, so that when you go to print, you aren’t spending hours trying to recover a print because of a bad negative. Even preparing the paper is important, such as pre-flashing it. It will give you a more consistent and better-looking print in the end.
Coming up in Two Weeks, Two Weeks (You sound like a bird)…X-Ray film, getting to know your camera and much more!