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Scotty Alan Photography

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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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Several months ago I was in Half Price Books and came across a book about the musician Beck. Since the mid 1990s he’s been one of my favorite artists. I bought the book and thumbed through it briefly until recently. 

The book is made up of lots and lots of pictures from his shows, behind the scenes, and random pictures while on tour and in the studio. Part of the book is conversations with his photographer, Autumn De Wilde. I found the book to be very interesting and I believe is a must get if you’re into photography, music, or both. This has become one of my favorite photos books. 
(Excuse my poor images as the photos of the book were taken with my cell phone)

One thing I found most interesting and awesome was that all images in the book were shot on 35mm, 120 film, or instant film. 

Street Portraits with Alex, Clint, & Vlad: 01.02.17

On Friday December 2nd 2017 I met up with 3 fellow photographers at Cold Beer Company in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas, Texas for a cold brew, a bite to eat, and some good company. Once the sun dropped, after a bite to eat, and some good conversation, The Photastic 4 hit the streets to document the night.

While I am still experimenting with my set up, Friday night was the first time I shot on the streets at night doing street portraits. Instead of shooting with the flash off camera triggered by the wireless newer trigger and receiver, I had the flash mounted on the speed grip off to camera right a bit. I also had a diffuser mounted on the flash to soften the light. Below is what was used and some of the shots:

Gear used:

  • Bronica ETRS
  • 75mm F2.8 Zenzanon lens
  • Vivitar 285hv flash
  • Fomapan 400 film shot box speed

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Follow my buddies on Instagram:

My all time most favoritest camera…

The Bronica ETRS. 

This was my dads. 

He shot many weddings with it. 

He gave it to me when I graduated photography school in 2001. 

Street Photography with Fomapan 400

This was my first attempt at shooting with Fomapan 400. I really like the results. It seems as though it gives a more “gritty” look than what I am normally used to. I am not sure if it was just this roll, but after the film dried it had a lot of curl to it. The portraits were shot using off camera flash except the portrait of the couple which was just available light. The pictures of the murals were shot by using the sunny 16 rule as the camera has no meter in it.

Gear used:

  • Bronica ETRS
  • Vivitar 285hv flash
  • Zenzanon 150mm F3.5 lens
  • Zenzanon 75mm F2.8 lens
  • Fomapan 400 film

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Street Portraits: 11.26.17

I went back to Deep Ellum in Dallas to do some more street portraits. Today, I took a little different approach. First, instead of pushing the Fuji Acros 100 film to 400, I shot it at 100. Also, instead of shooting with a bare bulb flash I used a small diffuser to spread out and soften the light a little. I did have some problems with the flash firing at times. I think it had to do with the transmitter and/or receiver. Eventually, somehow, it worked itself  after I rearranged how the cords were attached on the camera. Here are some of the results that I got.

Gear used:

  • Bronica ETRS
  • Zenzanon 75mm F2.8 lens (50mm full frame / 35mm equivalent)
  • Vivitar 285hv flash
  • Aurora light bank
  • Neewer transmitter / receiver
  • Fuji Acros 100 film

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Street Photography: Street Portraits

Several years ago, somehow, I came across a particular YouTube channel hosted by Eric Kim. He was always talking about street photography. It captivated me. I watched as many of his videos as possible. Through Eric I learned about many other photographers who did street photography. Eric taught many different aspects about the genre. He taught about zone / scale focusing, He talked about many different techniques used to capture images of people on the street. Eric talked about using flash. He also talked about how small cameras were “best” for the genre, as smaller cameras seem less “in your face” as one is generally trying to get candid shots of people on the street.

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(Image above was a test shot taken of a photographer that was shooting with me today)

I’ve tried do this type of photography several times before, but with little success. I do like making portraits as that’s what I’ve been commissioned to do for many years now. Now I consider myself a people person as I love photographing people. I love meeting new people, I enjoy people watching out in public, but walking up to strangers and taking a photo of them has just been way out of my comfort zone. Today, November 24, 2017 I decided to give it another shot. I decided I was going to make street portraits. I decided I was going to walk up to strangers and ask permission to make a portrait of them. While this is still somewhat out of my comfort zone as well, I remembered something that Eric taught in several of his videos. He has a challenge where he challenges photographers to go out there and ask strangers permission to make their portrait. But the catch is… you have to try to get 10 people to say no. Well, today I was getting “yes” after “yes” after “yes.” At the end of the day I ended up with only 3 people saying no, which gave me a failure rate of only 15%. Or, if you’re a glass half full type of person, I got a success rate of 75%. Today I met several wonder people as well as a possible future client as one of the guys is in a band who is needing photography. Today was a success and I will definitely be making more street portraits in the future.

Gear used:

  • Bronica ETRS
  • Zenzanon 150mm F3.5 lens
  • Vivitar 285hv flash
  • Neweer wireless flash trigger and receiver
  • Fuji Neopan Acros 100 pushed to 400

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Perception is reality, or maybe it’s not! 

I grew up loving Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Michael Jackon, Prince, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith, and Pudge Rodriguez… 
Later, once I got into photography, I grew to love Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Elliot Erwitt, and many others… 

What do all of these people have in common? They were some of the best at what they did. They were some of the best of the best. They were pros pros. They were the professionals professional. Regardless if they knew it, they wouldn’t say it. 

Please, for the love of art, business, and for the love of humanity,  don’t  say you’re the best at something. If you are, just be it. Your actions will define you, not your words! 

And if you say you are the best at something you better damn well be. 

My Six Phases In Photography:  No photos here, just words!

Looking back over my photographic journey I can see that I went through several different phases. Here, I’m going to summarize the phases where I’ve been and where I currently am at. 

PHASE ONE: Intro to photography…

While some may think this phase might have been a few months or a school semester or two, this phase lasted a lot longer than that. In 1995/1996, my senior year in high school, I took a photography course. I enjoyed it but I sucked. I sucked at photography real bad. I barely knew enough to make a decent exposure, and that was only maybe a few frames per roll of film. If I got a decent exposure I felt lucky. I ended up going to a community college after high school, but not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, I just took classes to get my basics done. I ended up spending 5 years at a community college.  About the third year in, I decided to take another photography again. I took another intro to photography class. This time I really started to get a grasp on composition, exposure, and printing in the darkroom. I was having fun and making a lot more decent photographs. 

PHASE TWO: Advanced Photography and a little bit of money…

During this phase of photography I really had an understanding of compostion, exposure, and using the golden hour and the early morning to my advantage. During this phase I touched on studio lighting.I took a lighting class that was offered during the summer and it was about 4 weeks long. We had minimal time in the studio. I knew one lighting set up and stuck with it. During this phase I also started getting some paid gigs. While I went to a school that taught fine art photography and not commercial photography, I had no idea about the business aspects of it all.  I’d go on to make enough money to cover the costs of film, processing, and a little extra for gas. 

PHASE THREE: The digital revolution, or was it? 

I graduated college in May of 2001. Sometime in 2002 I decided I needed to go digital. I bought my first Canon 6.1mp DSLR that I took a small business loan out for. Digital was a different beast. I was used to getting acceptable, good, and great images from a film negative. With digital I ended up getting frustrated time and time again. My photos sucked… again!

PHASE FOUR: Can I flash you? A breath of fresh air! Getting mo gigs and mo money at this thing! 

While working at Starbucks this random dude came in wearing a shirt that said “Can I flash you?” I struck up a conversation with this dude and he ended up being a photographer too. As a matter of fact, he turned out to be a darn good photographer. Zack Arias and I met up a couple times to talk photography. He ripped my college portfolio to shreds. But he inspired me to be better. He ended up moving to Atlanta and we kept in touch for a while. He encouraged me to get into flash photography, and even use flash outside. After learning flash and learning it well, I felt like I was a brand new photographer… On. A. Whole. New. Level. 

PHASE FIVE: Put it down! Pick it up! 

Early 2012… burn out sets in. Photography has become a beating. I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of the business. I’m bored and uninterested. Family problems and more. I give up my studio lease, sell all my studio equipment, and quit… 

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About 6 months pass and I get the itch to start scratching at photography again. All I have is a Canon Elan 7e and a Bronica ETRS. Both are film cameras my dad had given me. I bought some film, shot it, and fell back in love all over again. I went on to developing my own film again by using the caffenol process, as well as the traditional black and white process. 

PHASE SIX: Bodies of work! 

This is where I am currenly. I’m tired of merely looking at images on computer screens, laptop screens, and on cell phones. I want something tangible. I want something I can hold. I like getting a wiff of the combination of paper and ink. I love feeling like I actually created something. I love feeling like I actually created something other than a combination of 1’s and 0’s that flash on and off of stuff that will eventually stop working. Currently, I am enjoying where I am. I’m enjoying making prints, zines, magazines, and books. I have a feeling I’ll be here for quite some time. And I’m looking forward to my next project, and the project after that, and the project after that. 

I have no idea what the next phase is… but once I figure it out, I’ll let you know! 

Pick up a brand new camera, pick up a 6.1mp camera, pick up a film camera, or pick up a cell phone and shoot. Enjoy where you are at but don’t stay there. Don’t settle. Keep growing. Keep changing. Keep creating your magic and share it with the world. 

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