Angelology

My poor Leica M7 and Mamiya 6. They have been left home these last couple of weeks while I experiment with my iPhone and the new Instant film material from Impossible. I really do like the palette and look of the P100 Silver Shade film. It looks as if the images are from 100 years ago. The film is tricky to use though. Shooting inside I am okay. The exposures are spot on and they develop nicely and, most important, predictably. Outside, it’s another story. The exposures are often too light and if I adjust the camera to make the exposures darker I lose that creamy color and get a sepia brown color. Plus the development is unpredictable. If I stick the print in my pocket, parts of the film are darker than others. There are a few reasons for this, first it is cold outside (50’s and 60’s). The film is not at it’s best in colder temps. The blue coating isn’t completely light proof and I guess I need to work on my shielding technique. This is probably why the top half of my prints are sometimes darker than the rest. But when it works you get some of the most unique and beautiful images. The above image was taken at St. John the Divine on Amsterdam and 111th Street. In the side courtyard there is the most amazing statue. The angel on the top is only part of the whole piece! I love the way the angel looks as if he was breathed on to the sheet of film and it is so minimal. Just enough information to get the thought and feeling across. I might do a whole series on this Cathedral with this film. The 600 asa version of Impossible’s instant film just went on sale.  From what I have seen and read on the Impossible site this film is quite different from the 100 asa version. So of course I ordered a bunch to try. I also bought another SX-70  to load with the 600 film. I only wish it was not so expensive. At $2.62 each sheet I only press the shutter release after much thought and consideration. There is a reason these cameras do not have a motor drive!

Last Saturday I took a class led by Dan Burkholder called iPhone artistry. Dan is a keen user of the iPhone camera and the myriad photography apps available on iTunes. The real value of the class was the list he handed out with all of the recommended photography apps. These have been tried and tested by Dan Burkholder. I didn’t have to go through the tedium of looking and reading through all of the comments on iTunes and trying to find the best apps. Dan already did it! I bought a few of the apps. One of which is a stitching application that Dan uses extensively. This is by far my favorite. It allows me to stitch any number of images together. The above image of St. John The Divine is made up of 16 separate images! There is another app called Pro HDR which lets me create High Dynamic Range images with my iPhone quickly and easily. I have just been walking around New York with my iPhone snapping away and having a grand old time.

This is a scene from the train window. It was made using the Pro HDR app.

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