Saturday, November 28, 2015

Polaroid + Instax Challenge 2015/11

I'm going to echo the entire internet and say "I can't believe we're almost in December" and that I'm sharing my second last challenge photos!!

This month, it was getting down to the wire and feeling a little confused as to what photos to take, I thought I'd make life simple and show off two recent acquisitions. The polaroid photos is, well me, but more importantly my new glasses I got whilst thrifting. I also like this photo because I look bad ass in it, which is really far from my personality but I'm going to roll with that one. That zebra border, from the skins edition film is my favourite border so far, I also like how you don't know which border will be next, making it a random, fun surprise.

Monthly instax challenge - November
I also bought Gremlin a new collar from Rocky and Julio, they are having a huge sale at the moment too, if cat/dog accessories float your boat.

Things I learned this month
* I put my polaroid (636 close-up) onto the brighter setting, which on my camera is just a little slider on the front that you move to the right. I think this photo turned out one of the best in terms of being properly exposed, which I believe is mostly thanks to the flash.  Last time I moved that damn slider (on a different polaroid camera with no flash) it was blur to the max - you can see that image here.  Still contemplating that frog tongue though which may solve all my exposure dramas!

* I also moved the slider to the "close up setting" which seems to just move a piece of plastic in front of the lens. A lot of people said don't even bother as it will just make your photo blurry but my Polaroids are always blurry so I thought it wouldn't hurt. As you can see, not the most crisp photo but from my experience that's what you get anyway with Polaroids. Next time I probably won't bother moving that slider *shrugs* though I'm pretty indifferent on that one. The best advice is to avoid polaroid selfies if you're all about focus and instead get someone else to take the photo for you :P

* Instax on the other hand is all about that crispness which I love but it was a good reminder this month to be careful about backgrounds and to keep the camera at least 60cm away from your subject (the minumum focus distance). I took this photo of Gremlin on his favourite chair which is covered in cat hair and crud and genuinely not a super pretty backdrop and because I was too close to gremlin, I managed to make the chair in focus which was a semi/big/huge fail. I think had I'd taken it on the polaroid it really wouldn't of matter but the Instax is definitely more revealing and thus something to be mindful of.

Next month you know I'm going to go Christmas on you guys!

This post is part of the Polaroid Challenge 2015, you can see my past photos here and read more about getting involved here by the lovely peeps at The Cat you and Us

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Not My Cat /Peaches

I will admit I was slightly shocked/puzzled when a random cat walked into my bedroom, an expression quickly over written by 'oh my goodness there's a random cat in my house' excitement! Turns out she's the neighbours cat and we (Peaches and I) ended up spending a nice afternoon together. Big shout out to Gremlin who isn't the most social cat in the World for (semi) tolerating someone else using his cat scratcher, eating from his bowl and stealing my prime lap spot + desk space.

Peaches has since made a return visit much to my pleasure and Gremlin's disgust
I'm still hopeful one day they'll be friends :)

Any tips?

Note: I did try playing with them both separately, separating the bowls, giving both of them mad love.  Peaches is cool with Gremlin, it's just Ben and I are bad pet owners and never socialised our dude so he is mighty fearful/jealous of other animals.  I do have hopes of getting another cat in the future (dream!) so I hope there's hope. From what I read (plus watching too much Jackson Galaxy) is you need to do the introduction slowly and in a neutral location - I told Ben I seriously think we need to let Gremlin pick the next cat :P

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Clay /5

I've been wanted to share this guy for ages because he is so outrageous and I love him, introducing, the CAT BANANA

I thought this would be my easiest sculpt yet, just roll out some flat clay, make the peels, stick together, bobs your uncle but alas drying clay and trying to keep the shape intact is difficult especially the larger you go and this guy is about the size of a real banana, I actually bought a banana to sculpt him off :p But he's is super fun and maybe my favourite things I've made in clay so far.

This is my very last guy I've been working on, he currently has some white frosting (aka glaze) on but I made a bit of a boo boo as each clay body fires at a different temp and then each glaze has its own firing settings. I think in this case the glaze I choose needs a higher temp to make it go off but the clay body doesn't and thus Ben has strongly recommended I scrap off the paint and start again. I'm kind of thinking I can't be bothered and will just leave the glaze on and push the firing of the clay body a bit. 

If there are any clay peeps out there reading this they will probably shake their head in disgust but honestly this clay cat donut was really the easiest thing I've ever made, under and hour, which is amazing for me!

And my guys altogether!
Clay is fun - go make something :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Camera Comparison

Whilst taking this polaroid photo the other month, I had the idea to take the same photo with a bunch of my cameras to compare! When I got my film photos back the other week, I finally had them all together to be able to do this post :)

1/ My canon film camera 1000f shot using kodak Ektar 100 rated at 400 scanned and edited using this method.

2/ My canon digital SLR 5D Mark II, shot using my 35mm 1.4 lens edited in LR

3/ shot on my iPhone 5 and edited using the photoshop express app

4/ Shot on my 636 polaroid camera using the impossible film skins edition.

I was actually super curious to see them side by side and very shocked to see the iPhone didn't lag terribly behind. The polaroid well, yeah, it's got it's own thing going on :p but the different between the film shot and the digital was also interesting, digital gave a more stock standard representations whilst the film took a slightly different direction.

So what do we think? Which is your favourite?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The truth behind correct film colour

One of the reason I love film are the colours it produces and how it handles light - amazingly! This past week with all my film dramas and the quest for "correct" film colour have left me even more confused. My assumption has always been, when you put film in for developing it will come back the way it's meant too. For years, I would just go down to my local shop and accept the film I got back was how it was meant to be. Finding out about professional labs, like FIND in the US, where you can put your preference in for brightness, contrast and tones, I started to wonder more. The scanning technique I now have down pat (can find it here and here) gives seemingly true to colour results in regards to film stock but a big part of the workflow has colour correcting. How do you know what colour your correcting to? Is film as annoying as digital with time demanding editing? Should we care about maintaining the "correct" colour of film? Arghhhh.

I still don't really know where I stand in all of it but for now, I'm settling on making my photos as pretty as they can be, which is what I wanted by sending them off to labs anyway :) Any film photographers, or anyone else out there who have thoughts on this whole madness? I want to hear!

Apart form rambling, I did want to share my roll of Ektar 100 shot on my canon 1000f. I'm a big fan of Jonathan Canlas who has recently been rating Ektar 100 to 400 (or higher). This is called push processing, where you overwrite the settings in your camera (telling it to shot at 400 ISO) rather than the rated 100. It's then processed at 400 which should result in photos with more contrast and colour and which was exactly the results I got and couldn't be more happier with!

You'll spy some shots from our local fair and some shots from Ben's Mum's place :)

 You might spy these guys above from this post over here.

Ektar 100 pushed to 400 - converted to b & w  
And I love that shot of Jake and Coco so I made it black and white as well :)

So that experiment with rating Ektar at 400 was a success and I currently have some portra 160 rated at 400 in my camera to give a whirl too :) Film is fun, although, I'll admit at times infuriating :P

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Getting Film developed in Australia and its troubles!

So the last time I talked about film, I had my rolls sent off to the FIND lab in the US who did a great job and got a two thumbs up from me. The lovely Sara, suggested Carmencita Labs in the comments of that post and I thought I should send my latest three rolls there (Spain) to check them out :) I packaged them up and sent them on their merry way, well that was until Australia Post rang me up to tell me there was a problem - not something you want to hear when shipping away film :p Luckily the film was a-okay it had just never left our shores because apparently film is explosive and they refuse to ship it. So yup, just another reason to love Australia post.

I really think something is amiss here, everyone I've spoken to has been quite shocked to hear they wouldn't ship it and to add extra insult the lady at the Post Office told me I couldn't even send my film interstate - say what! ANYWAY, I got home and randomly found, just around the corner, a photo store (that I never even knew existed!) that could process my colour film - hurrah! It was nice to only have to wait 2 days for my film rather than 3 weeks.

When I got the prints back, I knew the scans just weren't producing the colours I knew the film should of contained. It reinstated why it's been worth the extra expense and time sending my film to a professional lab overseas. I did some more googling and found a lab in Brisbane who seem promising and who can process black and white film, so there is still one last option to try. I can't help but have my spirits dampened by lack of choice though. I even got to the point of googling how to develop my own film - an option I might investigate further in the future (if you have experience yourself with developing let me know in the comments!!).

So anyway, I still had the processed film in my hand from my local photo shop and wanted to go about scanning them myself to see if I could get some better results. Kid you not, the last week of my life has been googling scanning techniques and hours and hours of different attempts before I'm finally at a stage where I'm happy with the results. I've actually put together a guide (more for me than anything) so I can easily reference it in the future. If you find yourself in my situation you can find the guide here and here.

The first lot of film I'm showing you today is ektar 100 film, using my OM1.  I love my OM1, it was my first ever film camera, which I got from my Grandma and it made me fall in love with film. Unfortunately on a trip to Tasmania I slipped on ice and dropped the camera and since then the light mere has never worked, so it's been sitting in a box all lonely. I thought I'd take it for another spin but with the light metre not working, issues were abound. I did pick up a manual light metre from the op shop but really who has time for that :p I've also been known to copy the settings from my digital camera to the OM1 but again (who has time for that :p) so I'll admit, a lot of this roll I just guessed settings and thus a lot of this roll went pear shaped :p I still want to share it though!

So this picture - gosh, I'm slightly (okay more than slightly) scared of heights but Ben has the daredevil nature in him and is always willing to jump! I've jumped from that spot (once!) but I scaled down the wall (a lot!) and even then I was freaking out :p

I couldn't believe when I got back this roll (funnily enough just weeks after returning from Fraser) that it had a picture of Fraser from the previous year - oops! I really should try and finish film faster!  Also spoiler alert - this years Fraser trip photos to come in a form of a blog post, at some stage!

I also learnt about Newton Rings in my hours and hours of scanning madness! See those oil type marks near Ben's face? You get them if the film touches the scanner bed's glass plate! I'm all knowledgeable now and shall never have them ever ever again! 

and just for fun, above is the scan I did myself and below is the print I got back from my local lab....

I hope that shows you why I was intent on learning how to scan myself because I felt the photos needed help and I have a feeling Carmencita would of had me on the right path - stupid Australia Post :P

I took the majority of photos on this roll when My little bro, Jake and Ben's nephew, Sid came to stay with us. We went down to Kureelpa, which is our nearest water hole and one of the best!

I also cheated and converted a couple of scans into black and white because I thought they looked kick arse :)

The other roll of film I got processed locally was another Ektar 100 but this time I shot it rated at 400 (essentially pushing the film) and on my reliable canon 1000f with some great results :) Can't wait to share!  I also have a couple of black and white films but I'll have to wait till I venture down to Brisbane to put them in, unless of course I take the plunge and learn home developing in the meanwhile :P

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thrifty Sunday /12

Another round of Thrifty Sunday!

First up a cute beaded necklace that I've been rockin' a lot lately

A cheap rubix cube to try and practice on :) My little bro can solve these with his eyes closed (well almost!) and he's been trying to teach me.   Truth be told, I'm not as switched on as him but it's definitely a new goal of mine to be able to solve at least one.

Also a cute Zelf! I love that they're pretty much the modern day troll doll, this particular guy is called Mermalade!

Nail art book! Okay I'm pretty hopeless with my nails but I really love this book, I love the layout, photos and cute illustrations and hopefully it will inspire me to up my nail art game!

And lucky last a cute plastic Anthurium brooch.
I was happy to see a "western Germany" on the back - a nice nod to Grandma :) :)