Search

Scotty Alan Photography

create. share. network. learn.

Bringing people together through common interests. 

It’s obvious that people who share certain things in common, especially what they are passionate about, tend to have some sort of connection over people who don’t share certain things in common. One of my passions is photography,  and film photography in particular. Many in the film photography community know that Fuji have stopped production of their Acros 100 line and the pro packs are gone. I bought as many as I could only certain I heard the last announement. I decided to do a project with the last rolls of Fuji Acros that I have. The project is photographing other photographers with that film.  

Meanwhile, a fellow photographer has been interested in purchasing a lot of photography books from me but we live sorta far apart and it’s been hard to connect. I finally decided to head over their way and “kill a few birds with one stone.” In the town that photographer works is a very scenic downtown area as well as a candy store / vintage camera / film photography shop and lab. 

I had announced in the North Texas Film Photography Group that’d I’d be in downtown McKinney and if anyone wanted to meet up I’d be happy to. Before I got there I recieved a notification from another fellow photographer that they were nearby and would be willing to meet up. Once I got there I saw him and made a few photos of him. I then ended up circling the block a few times and made some random photos with one of the two cameras I had with me (Minolta Hi Matic af II). I decided to sit for a while and wait for Goodies to open up and kill some time in there while I awaited to deliver the books to the fellow photographer. As I was sitting I noticed a gentleman walking past with a familiar looking camera. I decided to approach him and strike up conversation. He had with him the same camera that I’ve been shooting with for years and that was passed down to me from my dad, the Bronica.  He informed me that he was in the North Texas Film Photography Group and saw my post. We ended up talking about photography and the Bronica. We ended up parting ways and I made my way into Goodies to talk to the owner about photography, caneras, film, and Fuji Acros. 

That morning ended up being a very cool experience as I got to spend a little bit of time with three different photographers and deliver the books to their new owner. I made a few images that may or may not be award winning shots but their are meaningful to me. 

My film process, process!

There are a number of ways to develop film at home. The most common way is probably by using a film changing dark bag. I do not have one and have come up with another way to do it. I had some black felt that I got from hobby lobby that I used as a black background for a shoot, so I decided to try using that to block out the light coming through the cracks of the door. It worked!

42417683561_39d7e91d7c_o

So get a piece of felt that is cut to about 3 to 4 yards and another cut 1 to 2 yards. I drape the larger piece of felt over the door and then shut it. I push up the smaller piece against the space at the bottom of the door to keep light from coming in there. I also make sure all of the lights are off outside of the bathroom that may be able to leak in ever so sneaky.

41515231795_c54a0450a5_o

Before you go into the bathroom make sure you have all of the stuff you will need such as your developing tank, reel, and film… Of course  when you load the film onto the reel this needs to be done in pitch darkness.

41515229935_63fb959cd4_o

Some other things you will need to develop film at home are as follows…

  1. 1 jug to keep your stop bath in
  2. 1 jug to keep your fixer in
  3. something to measure out the chemicals and water.
  4. a thermometer to measure the temp of. the chemicals

40609768820_175ed701bf_o

So here is what I do. It may not be the most popular way but it works… First I will put the film on the reel in the bathroom. I will make sure the tank is closed and I will come out of the bathroom. I will pour the correct amount of water into the measuring cup and make sure its the right temp. Side note… different film types and different brands of developer require different amounts of chemicals and developing times. You can check out different development times by film type and developer type by using the Massive Dev app. Then I will pour in the proper amount of developer. Next I will pout it into the canister and start development time. After development, I will use the stop bath, then fixer for the given amount of times. After the fixer I will take off the lid to the tank and run sink water into the canister with the film in and still on the reel for about 10 minutes. Once the wash is done I hang to dry. So far all I’ve used at home is the developer, stop bath, and fixer seen below. If you are interested in developing at home feel free to comment with questions you may have. Last but not least, if you want to get your images online you’ll need to purchase a scanner. I use the Canon Canoscan 9000F mk II.

27547393497_ca8716e112_o

Minus the scanner, you can get into developing film at home for around $100 U.S. or less.

The Death of Fujifilm…

Yes, I know, this title may seem like it’s another “film is not really dead” or “hate on Fujifilm” article. However, that could not be further from the truth. I really don’t even want to get into that conversation here. This article is about Fujifilm Acros 100, myself, as well as other photographers and creatives. 

Most photographers, especially those photographers who still have a passion for film know that Fuji recently announced that Acros 100 has been discontinued in all formats. I recently placed what will most likely be the last order for this film. It took 3 weeks for Freestyle Photographic in California to get me the film as it was on back order. As soon as I received it, I went to place another order and they did not even have it offered on their website for purchase anymore. 

I have been tossing around ideas on what to shoot with the last 13 rolls of 120 film that I have. Obviously I want to capture some meaningful images. Being that it’s a 100 speed film trying to capture my 7, 5, and 6 month old children would be more difficult than I’d like as I would need fast shutter speeds and great depth of field for those munchkins. This is where you as a photographer or creative come in…

With the remaining 13 rolls of Fuji Acros 100 that I have, I’d like to make portraits of other photographers. I want to create some magical portraits using off camera flash as well as natural light. I want to show how well the highlights, midtones, and shadows react in different lighting scenarios. Over the next several months I’d like to book photographers from all over the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex and create a body of work in which I can make into a book. If you are a photographer and would like to take part of this project and let me photograph you please contact me as soon as possible. If you are a videographer and would link to document this project that would be amazing. Please contact me for more info or to set up a portrait session. 

Minolta Hi Matic AF2

Today we went to Chuck E. Cheese and I brought along the Minolta Hi Matic AF2. This camera is one of my all time favorite cameras. New years 2017 I brought this camera along with us on a trip to San Diego, California and made many great images. 

This camera has a pretty fast 38mm f2.8 lens with a 46mm thread mount for filters. The camera is a semi automatic camera with the only control being the ISO. The camera will automatically select the aperture and shutter speed. Film advance and rewind are manual. There is also an optional pop up flash. The camera is powered by two AA batteries. The only thing I wish this camera had, given its majority of auto settings, is that the ISO went higher than 400. ISO 1600 would be amazing, and I’d even be happy with ISO 800. 

While the maximum ISO setting  is pretty low for “today’s standard”, ISO 400 has not really let me down and I’ve made many fantastic pictures with this camera. I like how the camera feels in the hand, as well as the size.  It’s a feather weight around the neck and can easily fit in the front pocket of a hoodie. I love the fact that I can set the ISO and pretty much just point and shoot. For me, especially capturing images of the kids or out on the street while doing street photography capturing the moment is a necessity and the Minolta Hi Matic AF2 has not let me down within the couple of years I’ve owned it. If you’re interested in getting into film photography or wanting a “set it and forget it” type of camera you can find this camera and similar others relatively inexpensive. No matter what camera you own as my buddy Amar Talwar would say, “Go create your magic!” Happy shooting! 

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L

And the journey to find the right bag seems to be never ending. I needed to find a backpack to carry my gear rather than a messenger style shoulder bag to take pressure off my back. I saw this bag a while back but kept coming up with excuses why it wouldn’t work for me. It seemed kind of gimmicky to me because of how it is designed. After doing months and months of research I kept coming back to this bag. 

Friday (yesterday) I decided to go to Arlington Camera to check it out again in person with my camera. After trying several bags they had in Stock I, again kept coming back to this bag. I finally decided this is the one that it was going to be. One problem though… The only color they had in the 30L was the ash. I wanted the charcoal grey…

I got on the cell phone and googled other places around me that might sell this bag. I finally landed on REI, and they had the color in stock… 

This bag fits my medium format Bronica ETRS with the grip, prism, and lens all attached. If you know anything about that camera you know that takes up quite a bit of real estate compared to a full framr DSLR, even with a grip. I can also carry a couple of lenses, a flash, a couple of film backs, and film. My everyday carry stuff will fit nicely as well such as my Macbook Air, a small note pad, pens, my Swiss army knife, and I usually keep some allergy and headache medication on me as well. 

If I wanted to use this as a light travel bag this would work too. A couple of pairs of shoes and a couple of outfits would easily fit with room to spare. 
If you’re interested in a backpack that is very versatile the Peak Design everyday backpack is a good place to start. 

For me, film > digital

I know, I know, the film vs. digital debate has been done 1,000 too many times. However, I’m not going to write about which one is better as they both have their place. Rather, I’m going to write about why I prefer film to digital… 

In three short words… it’s the process. 


First, I get to choose a film stock which is dependant upon the look I’m going for. Yes, digital can emulate film, somewhat, but not exactly. Next, I have to get a correct exposure for each shot I take. Each frame made costs money. When money is associated with something the owner/user sees that something as having value. In my opinion each photo taken on film feels more valuable than a bunch of 1’s and 0’s written on a memory card. Each actual image recorded on film is tangible. After the film is used its up to me to get that film developed whether I choose to send it to a lab or do it on my own. There is a continued care that has to be taken with the tangible pictures going from camera to reel, to inside of a tank, to developer, to stop bath, to fixer, to wash, to being dried, and scanned. Finally comes the part which digital shooters are familiar with… post processing, or editing as most refer to it. Some film shooting purists may disagree with the last step but I like to get rid of any dust spots that may be on my negatives. I will also tweak exposure and/or contrast in lightroom but that’s all the editing I’ll do with film. I generally spend 3 minutes per photo, 5 minutes max, in lightroom and photoshop. 

I also love knowing I have something to go back to if any of my hard drives fail. Yes, there is enough cloud, but I’m not going to put my hopes in something I can’t see (other than God) over something that been a tried and true method for decades upon decades. 

The pictures are tangible and I love the organic feeling process of developing film. This, for me, is why I prefer film over digital. 

Real Super Heros

DonsHeadShot

copyright Olan Mills

It’s said that any guy can help make a baby, but it takes a real man to help raise that baby. No one is perfect. We all have our short comings. We all make our mistakes in life. What makes us better people is realizing that we made mistakes and being able admit them, apologize for them, and grow from those mistakes. My father left us when I was in second grade. Since that point my sister and I had a rocky relationship with him which was later restored 10 fold, and we miss him dearly.

However, my mom remarried a guy from our church. This man took me under his wing and treated me like I was his own. We watched sports on T.V. together, we went to Dallas Mavericks games together, and he taught me about cars and the used car business. Most importantly, he loved Jesus. He was a good example to my sister and I of what a father and husband should be. He treated my mom well. He listened to me whenever I needed someone to talk to. More importantly he showed me/us love. He never really told me he loved me, but he didn’t have to. I knew he loved me (and my sister) by his actions.

Now, as I am an adult, I am in a similar role as I have been divorced and remarried. I have a beautiful daughter from my previous marriage and a beautiful daughter with my wife. I also have a stepson. I love both of my biological children with all of my heart and I love my stepson as he is my biological child as well. It’s proven that kids that grow up without fathers are more likely to have troubled childhoods and grow up to be adults with serious issues. I would have to assume that there are some children who grow up with fathers who are not good examples of what fathers should be, and end up with the same, or similar issues.

I have been blessed with a step dad that did the best he could and that helped raise me into the man I have become. If I can be half the father to my children as he was a stepdad to me, then I will feel that I’ve done well as a dad. I/we love you Don Hagin and you will be missed greatly. See you on the other side!

Landscape in 2018

First off, I want to wish every one of you a happy, healthy, safe, and blessed new year! 2017 proved to be a good year for my photography. I released three publications which were: “Automatic in San Diego” , “Black and White On Both Sides” , and last but not least “Folk In Texas”. I also made a few of my new favorite images while working with other artists.  (See below)

This year I’ll feel accomplished if I could publish a total of two publications, “Folk In Texas” vol II, and one which would include my new photography endeavor, landscape photography.

 I would say that there are three main things that have sparked my interest in pursuing landscape photography. I’ll start with the first landscape image that really caught my attention, which is Ansel Adams, Aspens photograph that was made in Northern New Mexico in 1958. 

I know it’s probably a cliche’ answer but Adams is my all time favorite landscape photographer. This is my all time favorite landscape photograph. There is something about this image that just grabbed my attention right off the bat. It keeps my eye moving from left to right starting with the dominant tree in the foreground, moving to the smaller tree just to the right. Finally, my eye moves to the two front thin tree trunks to the far right, then back to the large main tree on the left. I love how the light falls into the scene and how the dark background creates some sort of mystery. There is just something about this photograph that keeps me wanting to look.

The second is a person… Ben Horne. I stumbled across Ben’s youtube channel sometime late in 2016. I ended up subscribing to his channel, watched most of his previous videos published, and I continue to watch new one’s he releases. I was/am amazed at his approach to making photographs. The way he shoots is the complete opposite of what I’m used to. While I do not consider myself a run and gun photographer in any genre that I may shoot (weddings, events, and portraits), I’m used to making a very “healthy” amount of pictures in one session. Horne may make three, two, or even one picture in a day or trip, if that. His style is slow and melodic. There’s a purpose to his approach and I greatly admire how he has the ability to slow down, take in the moments, and create magic. Horne uses a large format camera and shoots 8×10 film. While Ben’s tools are on the opposite side of the spectrum from myself, as I shoot medium format 645 film and 35mm film, I believe he offers up something we can all learn from, even if one is a digital photographer. I encourage each of you to check out his youtube channel and at least watch a couple of his videos. 

The final is God. I don’t think there is much to say here. Just as Adams’ Aspen photograph leaves me in awe when I look at it, God is a million times more an inspiration. The mere magnitude and beauty of our Earth and mother nature created by a devine being leaves me continually speachless. While I respect everyone’s right to believe what they wish I’m going to end with this quote by former atheist Lee Strobel: 

“To continue in atheism, I would need to believe that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason. I simply didn’t have that much faith.”

End Of The Year Photography Rant $#!%

I’ve seen so many things over the last several months that just makes me want to leave every social media photography group that I am a part of. Here is the short, quick, and controversial list of my photography pet peeves of 2017.

BW-0009WR

Full Frame is better than crop sensors and full frame sensors gather more light than crop sensor cameras. First off, sensors do not gather more or less light based on their size. Sensors measure light per unit area, not total area. Why do I say this? Check out this scenario… If you added more and more light to any given room the room would get brighter and brighter. More light equals more brightness. If the bigger sensors gathered more light statement was true then Sekonic, which is the leading manufacturer in hand-held light meters, would be making light meters for cameras that had full frame sensors, crop sensors, medium format sensors, 4/3 sized sensors, and point and shoot cameras with sensors a little larger than what a cell phone has. That’s not the case. Light meters measure light per unit area just like your crop sensor, just like your full frame sensor.

As for your full frame camera being better than a crop sensor camera…. Just know that for 20, 40, and 50+ years photographers did not want to go to full frame cameras because the sensor/35mm film was TOO SMALL! And here people are now boasting about how crop sensors are just too small, yet there are plenty of photographers making a perfectly fine living shooting with Canon 7D’s, Canon 7D mk II’s and Fuji mirrorless cameras with crop sensors

Untitled-1

I’ve seen this posted several times over the last month… “What is the best portrait lens to get?” The responses have been predictable, quite funny, and sad all at the same time. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people replying with the same…. 85mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, 70 – 200mm F2.8, 200 F2.8, 24 to 70 F2.8. I’ve seen these lenses being stated over and over and over and over again. First off, there is no such thing as a portrait lens. What kind of portraits are you going to be making? Are you going to be making environmental and lifestyle portraits? Are you going to be mostly doing family portraits and portraits of larger groups? Are you going to mainly be doing portrait work of models in the studio? Are you going to mainly be doing headshots? I’ve seen many AMAZING portraits done with 35mm and 28mm lenses. Please stop the lens discrimination. STOP LENS PROFILING! Not one person is asking the person who initially made the post very important questions that need to be answered before spewing off what they think is best for someone they don’t know and don’t know what they will be shooting.

The last thing I am going to touch on is the dynamic range. All of a sudden there is this dynamic range craze going on in the photography community. Most likely it’s mainly because these camera companies are creating this craze to make us, the consumers, the prosumers, and the professionals we think we are, think we need a newer better camera with more and more of this and that in our camera… But that’s their job. They are trying to make money persuading us we need the newest and the best. While there’s nothing wrong with getting new gear, digital photography hasnt been around that long. No digital photographer has had a life long career doing photography, and if they were to they’d get by just fine with a Canon 7D Mk II, a 5D Mk IV, or the Nikon equivalents just the same. But many will be going out to upgrade again and again without truly understanding what they need and don’t need.  Since 2001 I’ve been doing family portraits, senior portraits, weddings, model portfolios, events, and concerts. I’ve shot both available light and used off camera flash. Not once have I ever been concerned with dynamic range or needing more dynamic range out of my camera. Yes, there are cases out there in the photography universe where more dynamic range may have been needed, but for the majority of what these Facebook group photographers are shooting, cameras that were put out 5 and even 8 and 10 years ago will get the job done just fine.

sivion-Dark-Side-of-the-Cocoon

(image above is an album cover I shot this year in 2017)

Okay, I know I said that the dynamic range rant was the last one but here’s one more… Be careful of who you take advice from. There are many Facebook group photographers who have been doing photography for 6 months to a year and people are going to them for end all and be all advice and these photographers are giving it out as if they are the end all be all. The same thing goes with these people on youtube. There are so many channels out there pushing photography gear. One thing that you may not know is that these people with affiliate links on their channels are getting kick backs. They are making money off us clicking on the link and buying the gear. Now I’m not saying that all of those photographers are bad people or are a scam. Just be mindful and do your research. There is a big difference between youtubers who are talking about photography and pushing gear, and photographers who are running a youtube channel.

In conclusion, do your research before purchasing gear. Seek advise from those who’s work you really admire and who have been around the block a few times. Ask questions and keep asking questions. Don’t settle for short answers. Ask why they recommend something. Know your gear. Learn how it works inside and out so you won’t have to rely on people who may or may not mislead you. As for leaving all of the social media photography groups, that most likely won’t happen. I enjoy helping others too much to do that. In 2018 I challenge you to focus on vision over gear and books over gadgets. Go out and create your magic and share it with the world!

NOTE: All images in this article and on my website were shot with a crop sensor camera or a camera that was produced in the 1980’s, 1970’s or 1950’s.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: