Saturday, April 01, 2017


There are times when I find myself walking around with my camera and not making any pictures.  I know then that it is time for a reset as I am not really seeing what is around me.  Sometimes, it helps to change cameras, lenses, film or film formats.  Deciding to focus on some particular subject matter also can be helpful, and I often end up choosing to look for botanical subjects.  I may also jump-start the process by looking at some of the great practitioners of the botanical arts from the past that I particularly like, including Imogen Cunningham and her callas, the simple arrangements of Adolf De Meyer, Blossfeldt, Weston, Mapplethorpe -- there is no shortage of inspiring artists.

These photos were made in the cottonwood forest beside the Rio Grande and at Albuquerque's Botanical Garden.

The only 35mm film I had on hand for my Pentax Spotmatic was Arista Edu Ultra 400; it has nice tonal characteristics, but is a bit grainy for this subject matter.  I processed the film in HC-110b.


JR Smith said...

Nice series. I like the first one the best I think. I've never used this film.

Mike said...

I liked the Arista Edu better in 120 format. In 35mm the 400-speed stuff is ok with some subjects, but not particularly well suited for nature subjects, I think. I just got some 100-speed Arista in 35mm and some Acros 120 along with a bottle of Rodinal, so am looking forward to playing with all that.

Jim Grey said...

It's good to have go-to subjects for when the well runs dry. Mine is my house and the things around it. I can blow through a roll pretty fast just walking through the yard. By the end of a roll of Fujicolor I usually feel the mojo return.

Mike said...

Good point, Jim. I think our own houses are an often overlooked opportunity. When I was looking at Imogen Cunningham's work recently on the estate web site I saw a lot of still life pictures she had made of her immediate surroundings that were really nice. Sudek also did a lot of his best work without leaving home. Could be an interesting blog topic.

JR Smith said...

I did an entire rainy day series just shooting things around the house with my Micro-Nikkor lens.

Mike said...

JR, I'd like to see some of that. I thought the recent things you've posted have been really nice -- the wine bottles and the iced tea shot.

Most of my own indoor stuff over the past couple of years have featured my cats. I did manage to do some still life that I liked with a 35mm on the Zorki 2C, and a couple with the Panda.