May 022014

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Fuji Velvia 50 / Hasselblad 2000 FC/M

By James Stevenson

Hi Brandon and Steve,

I’d like to share some photos taken a few weeks ago at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, near Mount Vernon in the US Pacific Northwest.

I’ve been looking for the right occasion to shoot Fuji Velvia 50 ISO slide film with my Hasselblad camera for a while, and this seemed the perfect day for it.
I’ve only dabbled with slide film before, nothing really prepared me for just how vibrant and rich the colours would be. Velvia is celebrated for these characteristics; bold colour, punchy high contrast and near-invisible grain. It’s not a film you would use for portraiture, but it’s unique in its rendering of colour in landscape and nature photography. The scans required little to no post processing, and no colour adjustment.

Whilst I do also shoot with digital cameras, there’s something tangible about the process of shooting film and using this beautiful old equipment that I find compelling. There’s always a new film to discover, each with its own distinct, qualities.

I’m grateful that film photography is still alive and well in 2014, and that there’s a good colour lab near my home in Vancouver. I hope this is just the beginning of a lifetime of shooting and discovering this wonderful medium.

All taken with a Hasselblad 2000 FC/M, Zeiss 110mm f/2 and 80mm f/2.8 lenses. Scanned with VueScan on an Epson V700 with third-party mounts.

Best regards, Keep up the great work on the site!

James Stevenson







Jun 252012

Photographing Tree’s. By Ibraar Hussain

Dear Steve, I hope all’s well mate.

I’ve really been enjoying the reviews and submissions and thought I’d add something else into the mix.

Here’s a short article about photographing Tree’s. Tree’s are usually looked over, and ignored, they’re just, well, tree’s! they’re always to be found and I love photographing them. Yes, I am a bit of a Tree Hugger, am quite conscious and positive towards ‘green issues’, and a ‘born again Pagan’, (not really, I just like the sound of the last bit! )

Tree’s are very interesting and curious to photograph. they have a lot of character and charm. To look at and to study their shape, way of growth, form and texture is something which can be a very fulfilling task.

The best thing about them is that they’re (more or less) to be found everywhere, in cities, along avenues and pathways, gardens, parks, forests, plains, high mountains, moorland, deserts and even in and around offices and shopping mauls – concrete jungles!

They’re also very interesting subjects on their own, collectively, or as part of a scene – urban or rural.

I like to mix it up bit and my pictures range from photographing a favourite tree at different times of the year with different mediums, (some folks have made some perfect examples of a tree during the year – blossoming in Spring, Fully laden in Summer, golden in Autumn and naked and bare in Winter – and of course covered with snow. Tom Mackie, a well-known landscape photographer has many examples, as does Joe Cornish and Charlie Waite in some of their books – superb stuff) to a shot of a scene where the line of tree’s make up the main subject.

I also like to capture fascinating or strange or historical tree’s such as The Druid oak in Burnham Beeches, or the major Oak in Sherwood Forest. I’m sure countries all over the world have their important landmark tree’s – and these can make interesting subjects.

Another idea would be to create a sort of abstract photograph combining certain elements from a tree – whether the branches as I am won’t to do, or the trunk – focussing on a specific aspect. Some people concentrate on the texture and look of the trunk – something which I think is very difficult to get ‘right’.

And Infra red – as this makes the leaves resemble snow! You can get some crazy results with this medium (whether film or digital).

And of course, tree’s can combine with the elements (both flora and fauna) in a landscape to make up the scene.

I also love to try to capture the play of light and shadow and the rays of the sun through branches when I am able to.

Anyway, here are some examples, and as for myself, I will be going out more as soon as the dire weather clears up, and will be having a look at interesting tree’s in the City. I’ve also just received my Polaroid SX-70 and a pack of Impossible Colour Shade Film – and I reckon tree’s will be amongst the things I’ll be photographing with it!

This is of one of my favourite tree’s in Epping Forest in Essex – just outside London. A lovely ancient forest which i enjoy walking in all year round.

it is an Oak, and a very attractive one at that, I just love the shape, the way the branches flow and extend upwards and outwards, and the curious shape of the trunk – the number 4 painted on it – well, I don’t know what that’s all about but I presume it’s an important tree and has been registered with the Corporation of London who own the Forest.

I photographed it with Tri X 400 (developed with ID11) with a GA645 Fujifilm camera.


And I also snapped it with the same camera and Fuji Velvia film.


This is a very interesting and dominant tree I came across in The Chitral Gol national park in the Hindu Kush. I love the way it fills outwards. (Fuji GA645, Fuji Velvia 50)

The Druid Oak, a 500 year old Oak in Burnham Beeches in Berkshire. (Contax G2, 21mm Biogon T* Kodak e100vs)

Line of trees in Osterley park – I love the form of the upper branches, the way the middle tree disrupts the shape,  and the reflections. (Fuji F200EXR converted to BW, dodge/burn, Film Grain added)

The following line of tree’s is to be found near Turville in the Chiltern Hills. The Moon plus Red Kite add to some magic – i like this as it gives me the vibe of the place (Fuji GA645 Fuji Velvia 50)

The following photos are in Epping Forest. The BW are my favourite as I wanted to capture the shafts of lights flltering through the branches and the magic they create in this beautiful spot. (Fuji GA645 Ilford Pan F 50 ID11)
The 3rd photo is a different spot – Fuji GA645 and Agfa RSX 200
This photo was a hit n miss affair with the Contax G2 21mm Biogon and a red 25 filter. The Film was Kodak HIE Infra-red, which I didn’t have a clue how to expose for, nor develop – so was pleased with the results. Virginia Waters – Surrey
The following is a snap of branches, I like the light and shade and reach of the branches backlit. Epping Forest. Fuji GA645. Ilford Pan F 50.
Mar 212012

Capturing Morocco with a Contax G2 and some film

by Jens Franke – Website Here

Hi Steve,

I really love the stories on your site! I’m a german based Designer and an avid photographer and I wanted to share my impressions of my last photo-journey to morocco with you!

Morocco – the strangest country which is so close to us. The cold country with hot sun, stone-old culture and probably the most open-hearted people you can imagine. During my preparations i was researching a little bit to get first visual impressions and inspirations for my trip. Everything i found there was suggesting me that the South of morocco must be an austere and dusty country with just a few people living there on the country side. In the main cities you could get the feeling that some people are just pleasant when you intend to buy something for the doubled price … It’s not! Behind the curtain you will be convinced of the contrary! You’ll find benevolence, friendship and real warmth beyond wealth and poverty!

In my pictures I wanted to capture a glimpse of the southern Moroccan spirit close to the western Saharan border. But a lot more I wanted to capture the people in their natural environment – Moroccos inhabitants are the real points of interest of the country!

The following pictures are made with my Contax G2 loaded with Fuji Velvia 50 and Portra 400vc mostly using a 45mm Planar. I’m looking forward to hear what you’re thinking about my photographs!

Thanks and Greets from Stuttgart, Jens

 If you want to share YOUR experiences with gear, travel or just photography in general and have it posted here for tens of thousands to see every day then e-mail me here and let me know what you have in mind! – Steve

May 212010

Hey guys! It’s Friday and I have some new film shots for ya! I had a roll of Fuji Velvia 100 processed through Dwayne’s in KS and realized that I did not ask for scans, just processing! BUT these slides came just 4 days after I sent them. AMAZING speed. I used these pre-paid mailers that I bought at B&H Photo which is also why I did not get scans.

It is so cool to get slides back in the mail. Much different than negatives from print film. With slides you can hold them up to the light and actually see the shot. I know most of you know this but many of you film newbies may not.

How the slides were delivered to me from Dwayne’s.

It’s so cool to hold a slide up to a light and check out your images. They are even better in a projector but these days our computer screens have turned those into old relics that wind up in bargain bins at old photo shops or thrift shops.

Anyway, I ended up scanning these at home at low res just so I could post a few. I also shot some Fuji Pro 400H and had those scanned at the drug store. Sometimes they do a decent job and other times they SUCK.

Velvia Rocks

But first check out the COLOR from this Velvia 100 slide film. WOW….

Fuji Velvia 100 will give you the EXTREME color POP! Leica MP, 35 Cron

I shot this specifically to test for the bright yellow and colors in the painting. Velvia is pretty saturated and may not be to everyones taste but I just bought 10 rolls so I have some on hand in case I ever want this kind of color.

Reds, greens, and purple. Velvia 100 delivers them all in a BOLD way :)

So yea, Velvia 100 rocks when you want really strong color. It rocks better than digital. I would say Velvia film rocks like KISS and digital rocks like MINI KISS. Just pick your preference :)

Fuji Pro 400H crap drug store scans converted to B&W

I also shot some Fuji Pro 400H last week and ended up converting most of them to B&W due to the scans from the drug store not looking so good. I HATE when that happens. So the images below have ZERO Fuji magic because there is no Fuji color!

But hey, working with scanned film is like working with digital except you have the “film look” so I just used Silver Efex Pro to convert these over in one click using my super secret “huff-o-matic B&W” preset…

All of the images below were shot with a Leica MP, 35 Summicron ASPH and Fuji Pro 400H but they were all converted to Black and White using Nik Silver Efex Pro!

Thanks for looking…I have to go finish packing for my big move on Monday AND shoot some film as well. Also, I have a VERY cool camera on the way to review. It’s a new MF film rangefinder that I have been wanting to check out. The Fuji GF670 should be in my hands as early as the end of next week. I should be settled in my new place by then so I hope to put it through its paces with all kinds of film. Until next  time!



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