Today I am showing people in my shot, but this time it is a bit different – just a quick “grab” shot with my Toyo 45A camera. I attended a lunch meeting for Oklahoma City area pro photographers hosted by Tara Lokey each month. It is a great time to get together with my colleagues and talk shop. Some of the talk is social, but much of it centers around the business of photography. This time we met at Italia Bravo in north OKC. I brought in my big view camera on a tripod and of course we all had to look it over carefully. It is not every day any of us see a 4×5 view camera out working anymore. After the meeting we stepped out in into the breezeway and had the waiter snap our picture. Of course the Toyo was on a tripod and I set everything up and loaded the film, so the waiter only had to snap the shutter. The light was dim and although I was using Ilford HP5 rated at ISO-400, I still had a slow shutter speed and some movement blurring. Oh well, these are just for fun. And it is great fun having a pic with my fellow pro photographers on black and white film.
I had just completed an editorial photo assignment in Osage County and was driving back through Barnsdall when I stopped to take this picture. I have photographed at Jack’s Place a couple of other times, always with a digital camera. This time I wanted to get something old style, authentic looking and historic that could stand the test of time. I set up my Toyo 45a field camera with my Rodenstock 155 mm lens and captured this from across the street. If I were to use a picture like this for commercial or editorial photography work, I would crop the bottom of the image. But for my 4x5x365 project I am showing the raw scans with the entire frame of film.
After wet scanning the image on my Epson Perfect V750 scanner, I noticed my ghosting problem barely showing up in the top of the frame in the film border. Humm. I had shifted my lens for this image, but usually when I do that the ghosting shows up at the bottom of the frame. And here I am shooting brand new TMAX-100 film that is fresh and current only about 2 weeks old, so I don’t think it is my film. I don’t understand why the same ghosting pattern is showing up in the TOP of the frame now, and on the film border which should be completely black. A processing problem perhaps? I still don’t know what is causing this problem. It is the same problem over and over and look identical in each picture, but usually it is at the bottom of the frame while this time it is at the top of the frame in the film border. Strange, strange.
I was driving home from an editorial photo assignment this past week north of Barnsdall, Oklahoma. I stopped in Barnsdall and grabbed a 4×5 photo, then drove on south along a dirt road on my way home to Edmond. The sun was just about down and the day was overcast, and I wanted to grab one more 4×5 image for the day. I saw this old pump jack off to the side of the road so I grabbed my Toyo 45a and a 4×5 film holder loaded with Kodak TMAX-100 and set up for this image. I wanted a decent depth of field to capture the scene but also knew the dim light and ISO-100 film meant I would have a hard time freezing the action of the pump jack. I could have pushed the film a couple of stops to gain more shutter speed, but instead I decided to try and catch the pump jack right at the top of the stroke where it is not moving much. You can see in this photo the wheels are spinning but the pump jack is nearly frozen. I shot with 1/4 second and F8. If I had snapped the shutter mid-stroke, the pump jack would have been slightly blurred.
Pretty happy with this picture. Nothing earth shattering and I prefer people in my photos, but sometimes I just want to grab a photo to document my home state Oklahoma that I really love, and the oil field is a big part of Oklahoma history. Now I have some of that history on film.
I shot this picture of downtown Oklahoma City on a rainy afternoon in May. I was at Devon Tower shooting a photograph of a Devon executive for a magazine story. When I got back to my truck I saw the traffic was fairly light and the rain had let up so it was just a light drizzle. Knowing I needed to capture a 4×5 image for my project, I grabbed my Toyo 45a, tripod, and a holder with Ilford HP5 film, set up right quick, and shot this image in just a few seconds in between traffic. I prefocused the camera, loaded film, and set my shutter and aperture so that when during a lull in the traffic I could run out, set up my tripod, and simply trigger the shutter. I thought it would be cool to have an old style black and white picture of downtown Oklahoma City.
Once again, film fogging has reared its ugly head. I still have not figured out what is causing this. You can clearly see the overexposure/fogging on the bottom of the picture. I had been thinking this was from too much shifting on my Toyo 45a but for this picture I didn’t shit the lens at all. Humm. Maybe my batch of Ilford HP5 is fogged or has been exposed? I am going to have to keep shooting to figure this one out.
Ahh, I like this image. Simple. I wish it had a tractor plowing a field, or better yet, a team of horses plowing a field, but they were nowhere in site. It was getting dark and I wanted to grab something before the sun set as I passed through Homestead, Oklahoma southwest of Enid, so this was the best thing I could find on short notice. I figured out that my Toyo 45a with the Rodenstock 150 mm lens is causing some artifacts on my images when I shift the lens all the way up, so for this picture I tilted the camera rather than shifted the lens, hence the keystoning effect of the elevator. If I shot it on my Toyo VRX-125 I think I could have fixed that, although it could be a function of my lens. Hopefully I will figure that out by shooting a lot of 4×5 over the next year.