Once again a photo from Bill Dragoo’s adventure training class in Lexington, Oklahoma last week. This is a portrait of David Judd on his BMW R1200 GS motorcycle. He has added crash bars to the bike, along with a taller than stock windshield, headlight guard and oil cooler guard. I overexposed this photo just a bit. We started shooting right after daybreak and the sun rose fast so I didn’t adjust my exposure settings quick enough to match the rising sun, hence the overexposure. The nice thing about film is the wide latitude – even with the over-exposure I was able to get a decent image from the negative.
Today we have Todd Hamm on a BMW R1200 GS Adventure motorcycle. This is similar to my bike but his is a newer model. And he seems tall enough to manhandle that behemoth bike. I sure love my “beemer” and am betting he is living his too.
Again, this photo was taken at Sun Dog ORV park near Lexington, Oklahoma during Bill Dragoo‘s Adventure Riding clinic. The South Canadian river is in the background. Looks like I got the focus spot on for this picture. Shot with my Toyo VX-125 view camera on Kodak TMAX-100 film.
I love motorcycles – if you haven’t noticed already. I love riding bikes and I enjoy meeting other motorcycle riders. And I love taking formal portraits of motorcycle riders with my 4×5 camera.
Earlier this week I was at Bill Dragoo‘s Adventure Training Camp held in Lexington, Oklahoma. I got there at daybreak and set up to shoot portraits of people attending his class. They were learning to ride big adventure bikes off-road in the sand, dirt and mud. The training is held at Sundog ORV park, located right under the bridge that spans the South Canadian river and connects Lexington and Purcell. As riders completed their first task, they rode over and set up for a quick portrait. The next few days I will be showing portraits of the riders in no particular order.
First up is Guy Strunk on a KTM Adventure motorcycle – a “Katoom” for you none-motorcycles types. This is one of my screwups. Looks like I accidentally opened the slide on my film holder after taking this picture. Luckily the picture is still good and will just need a bit of cropping.
I have shot well over one hundred thousands pics on film and over that many on digital since I started photography in 1996. My film work has been sporadic in the past 10 years. Most of my work has been with digital cameras, and I love shooting digital. It gives me much better control of the end product and is a much more efficient and reliable workflow. Yet at times I still miss shooting film, especially with my large format Toyo view camera. A few years ago I sold my really nice Mamiya RZ-67 Pro II system for pennies on the dollar (wish I had that back) thinking I would never have a need for that system again. I also sold my really nice Jobo processing system at about the same time. Not a smart move at all.
I have started back shooting a bit more film recently, all for personal projects. I purchased a processing kit on eBay and right now am focusing mainly on black and white, since it is much easier to process. If you are not shooting a lot of E6 color, the chemistry is hard to keep fresh, so color is on a back burner for now.
A couple of months ago I was out riding my dirt bike, exploring the back roads of Oklahoma while on the way to somewhere else, something I do often. I had a recently purchase Mamiya 645 1000s camera with me loaded with Kodak T-Max 400. I spent a sum total of $250 on the camera – nice and inexpensive, but I knew what the camera was capable of. For film you just need a good lens, a light tight camera body, a way to focus, and a way to trip the shutter. The 645 had a great lens so I knew it would be good for what I was wanting.
I stopped and shot this photo with both my Olympus OMD EM5 digital camera and my Mamiya film camera. I just got around to processing the film. I think there is just something about the look of film that is hard to reproduced on digital. I think with digital every pixel is perfect, where with film that is NOT the case. You see lots of little imperfections with film and that is part of what adds to the character of film. And that analog imperfection is hard to replicate with digital, even with the best filters around.
I will be shooting a lot more film in the upcoming year, especially with my 4×5 view camera. I am back. Back to black and white film.