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Scotty Alan Photography

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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. 

Lomography Cine 400 :: You be the judge…

In the summer of 2017 I took a photography class called Toy and Vintage Cameras. At the end of the class I received a variety of films to shoot. One film in particular that I was excited to expose was Lomo Cine 400 film. Lomography only produced 4,000 rolls of this film so to find it now it might be difficult. I honestly don’t feel like rambling on any further so here are some of the results. I will say if I ever do get a chance to shoot this film again I would like to shoot it with more light and maybe overexpose it by 1 stop. Leave a comments below and let me know what you think.

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AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 400 Film

So a buddy of mine, @vladiballs89, talked me into trying out some film that I had never shot. I loaded a roll of Vista Plus 400 into the Nikon RF2 and shot a test roll. I was surprised, yet pleased, with some of the colors I got. The first few pictures were made at the Fort Worth Stockyards one Sunday morning. A few weeks later I decided to try and shoot some fall color at a park near my house. I really like the saturation of this inexpensive film. While this roll of film was shot with an inexpensive point and shoot camera, I would like to shoot a roll in a more controlled environment, like a portrait session with the Canon Elan 7e. Next time I shoot this I will also overexpose the film by a stop to see what kind of results that produces. Below are the results from my first outing with this film…

(film was developed at Lone Star Darkroom and scanned by myself on a Canon Canoscan 9000 F Mark II. All images are straight from scans with no post processing in post production except to remove dust spots)

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The Leash by Peak Design

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A couple of months ago I purchased a new camera strap, The Leash, by Peak Design.

Features

There are two different adjustable loops, one on each side of the neck strap (circled in black in the photo above). To adjust the length while its around your neck, simple slip your finger through the loop and adjust. The camera strap came with two sets of anchors (circled in white in the photo above). The anchors stay attached to your camera and they latch into the end of the strap. Since The Leash comes with two sets of anchors one could use the second set as a back up, or if you are like me, put them on a second camera.

Build Quality

The Leash is just a little thinner built than it’s bigger brother, The Slide. It’s made out of a strong seatbelt like material that feels comfortable around the neck or shoulder. The Leash and it’s anchors are built to withstand 200 pounds of force. The Leash is adjusted from about 32 inches to about 57 inches in length. One could use this as a neck strap or over the shoulder and across the body. It’s about 3/4 of an inch wide and weighs about 3oz.

Final Thoughts

I have 5 go to cameras for different reasons, the Bronica ETRS, Fuji XT 10, Canon Elan 7e, Minolta Hi Matic AF2, and the Fuji GS645. Since I liked The Leash so well I decided to purchase another. This would allow me to attach the anchors to 4 out of 5 of my go to cameras. Now I can switch cameras quickly by only using 1 or 2 neck straps between 4 cameras. While I could possibly use The Leash on the Bronica, because of how big it is, The Slide would most likely be a better fit for it, which I may end up purchasing. The Leash is comfortable, durable and tough, as well as sleek looking with a minimalist design. After 20 plus years of doing photography, The Leash is by far the best camera strap I’ve ever owned. I’m now interested in checking out other products made by Peak Design, such as their camera bags.

The future of Photography Magazines…

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The first photography magazine I ever read was Shutterbug, mainly because it was the first one that captured my attention while passing by the magazine section in a grocery store. I would guess this would have been mid to late 1990’s. I had just picked up photography as a hobby and was taking classes in high school and  later, college. Shortly after reading a few issues I was hooked. I decided that I should just pay for a subscription as it would be less expensive than purchasing it at the shelf price every month. Eventually I purchased subscriptions to Popular Photography, Digital Photo Pro, Rangefinder, and Black & White.

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I had subscriptions for years. I found many articles interesting and I learned a lot by reading those magazines. I’ve learned about lighting and lighting modifiers. I’ve learned about different types of light. I’ve learned certain aspects about wildlife photography and portrait photography. I’ve learned about photographers that I ended up following online. I’ve found photo labs across the nation that developed film (and some of those labs still continue to do so). However, over time, a lot of the content became ads and redundant information that seemed like I was reading over and over again. I eventually canceled all my subscriptions and just continued to by a few magazines every now and again as I found an interesting article in one. Thinking back throughout 2017 I would guesstimate that I’ve probably only purchased MAYBE 3 or 4 photography magazines this whole year, and I may be over estimating LOL.

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Back in 2015 American Photo stopped printing their magazine and shortly after shut down the website version as well. At the beginning of this year (2017) I heard that Popular Photography was coming to and end as a print magazine via the PetaPixel write-up. I was just scrolling through Facebook and I saw a sponsored advertisement for Digital Photo Pro. I recently (a couple of months ago) saw a print copy of that magazine in a bookstore, so as of now I am assuming they are still in print. It got me thinking what the future was for this magazine along with others. I am just curious as to how many photographers still purchase printed magazines. I am curious as to what magazines can survive the test of time. Is this digital age killing the printed versions? Will they come back? Film is certainly making a big comeback as some movie producers recently paid Kodak millions to produce film for some movies. There has also been several new 35mm film formats come out in the last few years, as well as the recent release of the new Polaroid Originals film. What can be done to keep the printed versions alive? Do they need to revise the content being put in the magazines? Are they just doomed or is there any hope? My hope is that they can survive. Just as I’d rather listen to records, tapes, and CD’s, read paperback and hard cover books over digital versions, and look at prints over images on the screen in front of me. I’d rather hold a photography magazine in my hand and flip through the pages, read the articles, and look at the 4×6-ish, 5×7-ish, and 8×10-ish printed photos inside of it, instead of scrolling up and down on a computer or phone screen. Do you read photography magazines? If so, which ones? Do you read the online version or printed versions? Do you hope the printed versions can survive or are you fine with the online versions? Leave your thoughts, opinions, and comments! Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling. Peace and blessings!

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