I haven’t done a whats in my bag in a while. In fact, I just dug everything out of my bag and realized what a freaking MESS everything is. I don’t honestly know why I carry this bag everywhere, since I can probably fit my every-day camera gear in my pockets. For the sake of something to write about, though, I’ll spread it all out and go over it.
Digital Me, Again.
Yes, the elephant in the room: I’m shooting a lot of digital. I do shoot digital, but I have been a bit unorthodox with it lately. I’m working on a project with the goal of printing my first photography book. I’ve kinda struggled to find an identity in photography, and conceded that I’m past being some famous Magnum photog, so I’m going to make art that I like. To this end, I’ve been using the Frankenholga a lot. I’ve even created an Instagram site for my Frankenholga art. Eventually, I’ll collect enough images I really like and print a book.
There is nothing really special about the Frankenholga settings, except the ISO. I shoot at 6400 almost always for a couple of reasons. First, the lens is f/16-ish , so there’s a huge depth of field and a tiny hole in the lens. I can shoot as low as f/400 but I end up with over-processed images. I like to do some basic post-processing on these, and ISO 6400 guarantees that the images are uniform. Second, the high ISO simulates film grain, which is important when using a Chinese plastic lens on a digital camera. So I keep the ISO high, and I shoot RAW. If I’m using any other lens on this camera, I might switch to Velvia and drop the noise reduction to -2 since I’m not a digital purist. I like grain.
Canon PowerShot S40
Recently, I read a neat article — one that is currently causing me frustration finding again — that covered an artist that uses old CCD digital cameras for portraiture. She does a fantastic job and remarked that she started with a PowerShot camera. This piqued my curiosity, so I ordered an S40 from eBay and grabbed some new batteries for it. It came with a 256MB memory card, which is plenty. It’s actually a really cool camera for its age. It shoots RAW, has fully manual settings, macro mode, a rear screen… a lot of stuff you see on modern cameras. It takes forever to make a photo with it, but it’s got nearly all the features of my Ricoh GR but with a 4.1Megapixel CCD. What this really means, after shooting with it for a week, is that it has natural grain and the colors tend to render pretty naturally. This camera new was $799 in 2000, but I picked mine up for $20 + $15 for some new batteries. Not bad for a decent shooter that can simulate film just because of its low res sensor.
It’s a decent backup camera when everything else is either hindered by its ISO film or I just don’t want to lug a fat camera around. Hopefully there will be more photography from it that ends up in my collection. 😉
The Holga GCFN 120
The crazy rainbow-colored camera in the photo is the new Holga GCFN 120 I purchased. I’ve actually wanted one for quite a while now, and I finally found one I was willing to snatch up for a good price. It’s tough finding this particular one with the more saturated red lens. I was trying hard to avoid grabbing the pastel colored one as it’s just ugly. I managed to run a roll of Fuji Velvia 100 Slide Film through it, and this led me to the realization that ISO 100 film of any kind — specifically the kind with very little latitude — is not worth running through a Holga, as everything comes out really dark.
This particular Holga has a couple of cool features. First, it’s utilizing a glass lens. This is a departure from traditional Holgas that use the plastic meniscus lens. Second, it has a built-in flash with multiple color filters! This, combined with its cheeky low-res quality, make it a cool new camera for my Toy Cameras collection!
Google Pixel 2
This is the newcomer to the photography collection. I actually didn’t buy it to use as a camera — although it has a fantastic camera — but I always have it with me, so it does make a good camera in a pinch. In fact, I could probably run around with it all day as my primary camera and not be disappointed. Maybe I’ll do that for a future post. It sports a 12 megapixel sensor and a few nice features like HDR+ and Portrait mode (simulating fast aperture) and OIS which makes videos nice. I did manage to downsize to a smaller 5″ phone. I’d been using the Nexus 6 for a while, but it was getting cumbersome. I like the smaller form factor of this phone/camera, and I look forward to using it more! It does take really nice photos
There it is: My bag of goodies. I’m on vacation this week and I hope to find a few moments to get out and use these and other cameras, so look forward to more coming soon.