“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
~Henry David Thoreau
I took this photo of a grass in my garden using my old 58mm Helios f/2 manual focus lens (off my Zenit EM), it was fitted to my Canon EOS DSLR. For this photo I set the ISO at 100, aperture at f/2 and shutter at 1/320 second. Considering this lens is well over 30 years old, it takes photos that equal the quality of those taken with the latest Canon lenses. So if you have an DSLR, get yourself a cheap retro manual focus lens off a film SLR (something like this one off eBay: LINK) plus an adaptor to suit your camera. Fit it on your DSLR and select manual mode, open the lens to its widest aperture and get creative.
In 2011 me and my family went to Portugal for our summer holidays. One day we were walking in Lisbon when we reached Praca do Comercio.
Standing in the square there was this tram, with all those people sitting near the windows; I tried to remember where I saw another scene like that before and in my mind came Robert Frank and his book.
Of course the historical moments of the two photos are quite different and the people were living different lives but I wanted to catch only the photographical similarities.
I hope you like it.
For technical details lovers, here you are: f/8, 1/80 sec, ISO-100, 60mm
This is a photo that mimics the look I would get from a film SLR I used nearly 40 years ago! that moody black and white image with a slight vignette. The digital image was taken with my Canon DSLR at 1/80sec. at f1.8 with the ISO at 400. I used Photoscape to tweak it, to give it the look I want; this is a great free program that has all the manipulation features that I need. On the subject of metal chains, history dates them back to around 225BC when the design was used in wells to draw buckets of water to the surface. Up until the mid 18th century, chain making was carried out by craftsmen by hand. The craftsmen would hammer the metal and pull it into small circles. Once the correct diameter was reached, the craftsman would cut the looped wire into individual circles and interlink the circles, closing them and solder the join. As an example, a 16 inch chain might contain over 500 loops. The process was painstaking, time consuming and error prone.
“Scusate il ritardo” is the title of one of the movies directed and played by Massimo Troisi, a famous italian actor and director.
The translation for “Scusate il ritardo” is “Apologise for my late” and I think is the right title for my post, arriving after about three month of being admitted to be a “Monochrome Muse”, first male in a “ladies club”.
Well, I hope that the photo was worth the waiting for.
This is my first photo “converted” from Color to Black & White (usinf the Russell Brown method, for technical information).
I’ve chosen Venice because is the city where I go everytime I have some time to spend for shooting photos and also because is a city that offers in every place a unique set for shooting.
This photo is taken from the “Casa dei Tre Oci”, an early ‘900 building usually seat for photographic exhibition.
The day I got my photo I went there to see the Elliott Erwitt’s “Personal Best” exhibition. Walking throught the rooms I found myself in front of this window and I realized to be in front of Venice. Also the frame of the window was attracting me and so I decide to take this picture.
A seagull gifted me with his flight I caught by luck…
Of course the picture was “coloured” but I thought that could be a good “admission test” if I was able enough to convert it in an acceptable black and white photo.
But the main problem for me was that I’ve never post-produced a photo so I had to study how Photoshop works.
To keep it simple, I was in deep trouble. But now, after a huge amount of photoshop tutorial I had my BW photo…
Hope you like it, and also I hope the other Muses will forgive me for such a delay.
I hope they, and all the readers, will forgive me for my terrible English too…
Hope you won’t wait three month for the next one!
I’m curious to read the comments. See you next time!
As this is my first post, I would like to share this photo that I took in 1979 with a Zenit EM, the first proper camera I owned. I took it at photographic evening classes where I was learning how to process and print monochrome film. I think I used Ilford HP5 400ASA off a bulk roll that I loaded into a 35mm cassette in the dark room. The “aspiring photographers” then went round the other classes to find subjects. This is a photo of a guy in the calligraphy class. 35 years later I can still use the old manual focus Helios lens off the Zenit with an adaptor on my Canon EOS DSLR!
My husband, son and I had such a lovely walk today, that’s when I snapped this corn.
As we walked along, my husband was telling our son that when he was a child he used to go to his Grandad’s farm during the summer holidays and harvest the corn. He remembers being on the combine harvester as it chopped off the corn heads, covering them in a fine dust as they worked the fields. What a wonderful memory to have, don’t you think? A little Enid Blyton, eh?