San Francisco and the Xpan: how I think my photography
By Dirk Dom
I’m not manic now for a month or so, which is great, but I didn’t start or did anything. Day before yesterday I just stopped scanning at 1AM, yesterday and today I don’t feel in the mood. I ‘m going to start something because like now I waste time. My shots of S.F. are good. I learnt a lot about what’s interesting in photography. Not the usual tourist stuff.
The panorama’s of the Xpan I make straight, they look better that way, they look finished.
From this (original scan)
To this:Select, process, transform, and stretch away. Anything goes.
This one I think real special:
The Xpan on “B”, f/22, eight seconds’ exposure, hand held while a train got in the station. It moved, it’s double; the manikin ghost is made of the two overlapping images of that man.
Peter Lik (one of the two photographers in the world who sell to the general public for lots and lots of money, and who is a commercial genius) sold a shot with a ghost for over 6 million dollars:
Maybe I can, this one, too? I’m happy with 5,999,995 dollars. I’d better keep the negative safe, because I’ll never be able to make this shot again.
The shot I’m proudest of is this one:
Of course, this is the ultimate tourist shot. Just that I haven’t seen it yet and it’s so spectacular. I was walking near this boat, searching for interesting images, and I just couldn’t believe it when I discovered this one. The tower and this boat, couldn’t be better. I’d take the big Fuji 617 to S.F. just to take this one shot. But with the Linhof and the 47mm I can shoot it in 6×9 black and white and crop. Finding panoramic compositions is different, you have to fill the entire image with interesting stuff in a way that looks natural and not just shoot things that are in the middle; it takes an effort. I discover panoramics before I look through the camera and this one really hit me. Sometimes Photoshop helps: I’m crazy about fire escapes
Now, that wasn’t panoramic enough.
Stretched (at these extreme perspectives you get away with anything):Nice, eh?
Kodak Ektar 100 is a sublime film which scans incredibly. Burnt out highlights like cloud parts, I don’t even look at them anymore, they’re always good. Shooting film is so much easier than shooting digital!
The 65mm (2.55 inch) negative of the Xpan is very comfortable to work with, with the Epson scanner at 2,400PPI I can enlarge to about two feet at 300DPI.
I really like the colors of this one:
A sidewalk, cement. Such fine color nuances you can get with the digital Leica, I don’t think I could get them with mu Olympus PEN. Look at the fine, etched highlights.
I crop to this:
Which reminds me of this:
Not doing anything with it, because the image isn’t good enough, but a new idea: associative photography, showing with an image what the abstract shot reminds you of. No words.
The most typical S.F. shot I took: Haight Street, of course.
From this shot, had a bit of work with it:
Since legal, Marijuana is everywhere, must be a big boost to the economy.
Finally, to show that I’m just as good as famous Flemish photographer Bert Danckaert: See how I put the shadow out of the middle? I’m an Artist Genius!