Recent PostsPortraits with the Rolleiflex Portrait with my Rolleiflex 11/14/20 Work on film over the summer Motorcycling with a small camera Greenville, Texas Visual exploration Why I enjoy film and meaningful photography Accidental art The Olympus OM-1 as my escape from isolation In praise of the small camera
Fuji recently announced a replacement for the wonderful x100f compact camera. This replacement, the x100v, promises sharper images and it comes with a tilting screen and an aluminum body. There is a lot of excitment about this newly-announced camera, which will be available at stores at the end of February 2020 for the silver model and late in March for an all-black model. And, as you may anticipate, the price for a used x100f is dropping fast, as photographers look for ways to fund their new x100v, which can be pre-ordered now. It turns out that I gave my older x100t to my son when he left for college, and I really miss it. I picked up a near-mint used x100f for less than half the price of a new x100v and I am happy. Here are some pictures I took with it, using the Across b&w film simulation at the SMU Meadows Museum. Love this little camera!
As part of my Sunday walk around downtown Grapevine I stopped by the old blacksmith shop by the railroad, which was closed. But I saw someone working outside the shop, painting some pieces of wood. Artist Jim McGinnis was working on this beautiful day and he was kind enough to let me make his portrait. I picked the flag as the background, in an area of the dark shop illuminated with window light coming from camera left. I took a couple of frames with the Rolleiflex and some shots with the x100f. I like this one best because of his expression and how he is holding of the old camera. Thank you, Jim!
Last Sunday I rode my motorcycle to the town of Grapevine, which is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Grapevine has a quaint and historic downtown area with a train depot, some wineries and places to eat, and an active Main St on weekends, especially when the weather is nice. I took my Rolleiflex with a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 ASA and also my x100f digital camera. The purpose of the trip was to get better acquainted with the Rolleiflex and shoot in full sun to make sure small exposures work correctly. After I scanned the negatives I was blown away by the quality and detail of the images! I ordered five rolls of Ilford FP4 125 ASA film to try with a fine grain emulsion. Here are some of the images from this outing.
Today at Prof. Fritzel-Shows' class of "Expressive Photography" I had my first ever exposure (pardon the pun :-)) to cyanotypes, produced by coating paper with a solution of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. This coating is sensitive to UV light and can be used to create a contact print with a negative. I used 4x6 "negatives" created on an Epson printer from digital files. These cyanotypes required exposures of more than 10 minutes. I enhanced the blue a little on the computer as a couple of then could have used a longer exposure. This is a lot of fun, as it is "wet" and experimental.
My 1954 Rolleiflex Automat K4
My father loved photography and passed that love to me early, when I would go into the bathroom, turned into darkroom, to witness the magic of images surfacing in the bath of developer. He submitted a really incredible image of his to a competition and won a prize - a very nice Rolleiflex - in 1958. This was the camera that he used to take my baby pictures - and I still have the negatives of those baby pictures... beautiful 6x6 negatives, mostly in excellent condition.
My father with his Rolleiflex taking a selfie. My mother here was 20 and was pregnant with me This is the image my father won a prize with and how he received a Rolleiflex
Late last year I took a course on Film Photography and used the camera my father had when he did in 2002, which is now mine. This 35mm Olympus OM-1 is gorgeous and the Zuiko lenses are wonderful, but I still had the lust of possessing a Rolleiflex. Ebay offered me an array of choices and I picked up a circa-1954 Rolleiflex Automat in great condition! I replaced the mirror and the glass focusing glass and the camera works perfectly. It even works with remote flashes. I am happy with it and I plan to use it for special projects this year.
Lexie photographed with my Rolleflex and studio flashes Lexie photographed with my Rolleflex and studio flashes
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© Paco Romero