Back to digital

Yes, I’m weak and I’m back to digital. And no, this is no April Fools Day joke. I’m really going back for a number of reasons that I cannot prioritize and include, among others, the urge to have quick results of my photo sessions, the crave for certain colors and tonality and the conveninece of low light photography with digital ISO management, which is way better than having to deal with high ISO film.

I took this random photo today; nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps even boring, but to me it was rewarding. The color rendition, the fantastic ISO management, the ability to enjoy it on the spot... 

Summicron C 40mm f2

Summicron C 40mm f2

Perhaps I should change the title of the blog. Truth is I don’t plan on stopping shooting analog, it brings another type of rewards. But expect a bit more digital from now on.

He’s also an analog photographer

Let me introduce you to Javier Jr., my son. He’s turning twelve soon and happens to be quite a film photographer already. 

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Fatherly pride aside, I think he has quite an eye for color and detail. Here are some photos from his last roll (he shoots film as well). Judge for yourself:

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All photos have been shot with his own Olympus OM-2n and Kodak Ultramax, developed at La Peliculera.

Pink silence

There are times when I feel extremely lucky to live in this latitude, with these beams of textured warmth  coming in a few times a day, depending on the inclination of the sun. Madrid has easy winters, with the precise amount of cold and sun rays. 

I like these two photos because they speak about the (beautiful) changes that are occurring in my life these days. 

Olympus OM-2n with Kodak Portra 200, developed at  La Peliculera

Olympus OM-2n with Kodak Portra 200, developed at La Peliculera

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St. John of the Cross

During the last year I spent many hours reading the poetry of Saint John of the Cross and also his biography. It had such a profound effect on me that I decided to visit the places where he lived, trying to see a bit of what he saw, to be where he was, in an innocent attempt at better embracing his philosophy.

The project is incomplete, since there are still unchecked places and also some others that demand a second, more thoughtful visit. I will do so when I’ve saved enough time and silence to do so.

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All photos were taken with the Rollei SL66e and Portra 400. I am satisfied with the results but next time I will bring the Mamiya 6 or the Mamiya C330 instead. The Rollei is not only way heavier but it also feels a bit fragile to be used in the countryside with dust and all.

All photos were taken with the Rollei SL66e and Portra 400. I am satisfied with the results but next time I will bring the Mamiya 6 or the Mamiya C330 instead. The Rollei is not only way heavier but it also feels a bit fragile to be used in the countryside with dust and all.

Trombone

Summer was coming to an end. It had been a hot day and the streets of Madrid were empty with most people still on vacation. Silence was caressed by the jazz notes of a trombone.

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Cinestill 800 is a tricky emulsion. I used it with a Carl Zeiss 35mm f1.4 and a Contax body, pushed to 1600 and the results were... just ok. I had to increase the exposure a bit on Lightroom for the images to be usable. I find the green dominant a bit uncomfortable. What do you think? Have you used it? And if so, for kind type of photos?

Pensions

I’m sure that pensions and modest hotels hold better and much more interesting stories about their guests than fancy ones. I sometimes like to spend my travel nights in them, often in small towns, wondering about the motives, hopes or worries of those who stayed before me: why did they stay there? How many nights did they spend? Was it a family trip, business, or perhaps a visit to a sick relative? Was the person who preceded me on that bed happy? Was he or she worried? Old or young?

Rollei SL66e, Kodak Portra 400, developed at  La Peliculera .

Rollei SL66e, Kodak Portra 400, developed at La Peliculera.

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Mom

Not only a beautiful soul, also the best mother I could imagine and a great artist with an extreme sensibility for colors. She’s still shy about her painting work, but you can get a small glimpse of her last work here.

Mamiya c330 and Ilford XP2 400, developed at  La Peliculera .

Mamiya c330 and Ilford XP2 400, developed at La Peliculera.

This photo comes from one of my first rolls shot with the Mamiya c330, which was a bit intimidating at first —too many wheels to check prior to taking a photo— but became almost intuitive after a a couple of rolls. The results ended up being as good (perhaps even better since the C330 is a bit easier to focus), also smooth and textured as with the big Mamiya RB67 for half the size. 

AVE MAD-BCN

Hundreds of bodies rushing out of trains that braked after traveling at unimaginable speed. Those rays of sun invite me to stop and ask myself if all that rushing is really necessary, when January is presenting us such morning.

I doubt between taking that train to Barcelona or staying there, watching, letting that warmth caress me.

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I took the photos with an Olympus Olympus OM-2, a Zuiko 50mm f1.4 and Kodak Gold 200 film (except for the last one, which is Kodak Ultramax 400) All of them were developed at La Peliculera.

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