Category Archives: Misc.

things that might not fit in a category.

10 year old epson 4870 vs all in one epson xp-640

i do my best to listen to people who know more than me and try to be informed whenever i purchase something new.  recently i had to do a little research because our canon printer pixma 4200 stopped working.  it wasn’t a high end printer but not the bottom of the barrel and it lasted about 11 years.  i went online and tried to unclog the head but it didn’t do much good, so, after looking around to try to find something that might print “stuff”  decided to get an epson xp-640.  it looks about the same size as the canon but it is higher.  it has a scanner built in ( no transparency lid ) and works as a “copier” and scans to a file.  i have never really been a fan of these all in one printers, i thought they were a good way to buy something with “extra stuff” that might not even be useful, and i was wrong.  first off, the scanner uses wifi so i don’t need to deal with cables, which is great because i don’t really want all these cables.  the ink is pretty affordable.  no, i’m not being paid by anyone to say that.  with the canon, i was buying all the inks about once every 6 months.  it cost me about $70-80 to buy the ink, canon ink, not off-brand that might clog my printer head ( i know, it clogged the head anyways .. )  the epson printer cost less than the inks i would have bought for the canon, and the replacement tanks cost a fraction of what the canon was costing me.  when i asked the sales guy, and a friend at a camera store, what sort of lifespan i should get out of the printer and scanner i was told a few years, so i bought the extended warranty too, for a few dollars extra so if something does go wrong, it isn’t pro rated and i get a replacement/$$. i used to have an epson printer, before the canon, and i kind of liked it, so i was looking forward to setting it up and using it.  i had a little trouble with the wifi, so i called and someone at epson helped me set it up, and it was painless.

before i bought the printer i talked to a friend i trusted at a camera store and asked him about the scanner.  i have been using a 4870 for about as long as i had been using the canon, so i am used to it, and like how it has a transparency lid big enough to scan a 5×7 negative.  i have never really had trouble with scans not looking OK, and it has  treated me well over the years.  i have had problems with it over the years and had to take it apart from time to time.  i found information online that helped me when i  needed it.  i was able to wipe the schmutz out from under the glass and clean it, and i was able to lubricate the scanning bar when it was making a clunky noise.   that all happened a few years ago, now i just dodge the little marks on the scan glass and i am used to “dust removal” as a necessity (with photoshop).  anyhow i asked my friend what the scanner on the printer was like and he said that it was probably at least as good as the 4870, seeing it was old and the printer/scanner is new.  i wasn’t really sure if i should believe him or not, after all sales people like to sell things.

 

i have a cyanotype i made a few weeks ago and i scanned it with the 2 different scanners, and 3 different drivers.  the epson 640 / epson scan 2, ( the bundled software that came with it ) vuescan /640, and the 4870 / epsonscan ( the bundled software that came with it ).  to be honest, i thought the scanner was going to be weak, after all it is an “all in one that cost something like 80$ ” so i set the bar low …

i have to admit it scans as good as the 4870, and vuescan is fantastic, i can’t say enough nice things about that product.  i bought vuescan BEFORE i bought the 4870 when i had an acer scanner and no driver, so something like 12  years ago i bought vuescan and have updated it flawlessly, over the years.

i’ve made a collage of the 3 scans from the two scanners, and can not tell any of them apart.  i originally scanned the envelope at 1200dpi and enlarged the bottom of the glass that says “anchor” and they all looked pretty much the same.  i put the vuescan image as the base, the 4870 as the top of the glass ( bottom of the image ) and scan 2 as the bottom of the glass/top of the image.

 

i guess the moral of the story is that all in one scanner/printers can be pretty nice, even if they cost 80$, maybe have a 2-3 years lifespan and you are a skeptic.

 

scanner show down

epson 4870 and all in one 640

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electric midnight blue

working on a new project i am going to call electric midnight blue

it uses a varient of the sunprints i have been making

these images were all made today in overcast sun in about 1-2 hours

next group will be cyanotypes, and thinking of making them really big down the road ..

for now they will be small

 

sun prints polymax rc

electric midnight providence

Also posted in alternative process photography, photographs, technique and style Tagged , , , , |

contact sheets

aside from sending rolls of 110 or 127vp to the local drug store or fotomat, or mail away to yorks

i processed my own black and white film.  when i was in high school i learned about developing film,

and putting the developed, procesed black and white negatives into those plastic sleeves.  for the better part of 10 years

i put a sheet of photo paper under the developed film and exposed it in a bright light for  a few seconds, and then into the developer and fix and wash

like a lot of people, contact sheets were my go-to way of viewing negatives after they were shot, processed and ready to print.

i’d look at the sheets, and circle or “X” the views to print or not to print, and keep track of things.  in some cases the contact sheet is all i have left

after i had a flood and a bunch of my best negatives turned to clear film / emulsion soup.  as time wen ton

for some reason, maybe it was becasue $$ was scarce and i wanted to save my paper for prints, or because so many of my exposures were all over the place

that a contact sheet would only show part of the story, or maybe i just got lazy, and stopped making contact prints.  i got good at looking at the negative

and seeing the print reversed.  i saw the contrast and somehow decided it was good enough.

i miss making contact sheets, but unfortunately 27 years worth of procesed film to make contact sheets of ,or 4×5 or bigger negatives to make contact sheets of

is a daunting task and i would rather not bother.  back in the late 90s i bought a umax1200 scanner and it was fantastic.  it did everyting i needed, and i think

i still have it in a box.  it was nice becasue i could scann all size film upto 5×7.  and i started scanning film instead of making contact sheets and

it worked out as a good compromise.

i use a couple of nikon digital slr’s as well as film, they aren’t new but a d100 and d200,  they do what i need them to do, and i like that.  when i make a  bunch of exposures

i still make contact sheets of them believe it or not,  sometimes they are postiiveprooof sheets, and sometimes they are negatives.  today i wandered around the streets

or providence ri, and have plans for digital negatives.  i worked on the frames and turned them into contact sheets to bring to the xerox shop.

im not a machine gunner, i don’t click and look except once in a while to make sure the meter was working.   the camera is set to 1 frame at a time and

i take my time as if i am using a film camera.  if i had a film camera i would have shot just as many views and sat on the curb or stone wall to unload and load the camera

and maybe i would have runout of film.

 

i’ll be heading out to staples tomorrow to see what is what.  my local copy shop charges 10x what staples charges for regular copies, so whilei want to support my local shop

im not that rich.  i’ll be getting paper as well as OHP film to see if there is a difference and making cyanotypes soon.

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

Also posted in alternative process photography, photographs Tagged , , , |

TMY retina image

as i have been making long exposures again

here is another one on kodak tmax 400 film

this is a very long exposure,

reversed negative

tweeked levels and color removed and then tint added in photoshop

retina

multi hour retina image
reversed tinted with photoshop

Also posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, technique and style Tagged , , |

stuff for sale

i typically buy, and never sell,

its time to sell off some of my stuff

 

polaroid procam  untested, $50

polaroid 1step with a bunch of old film $25

pentax auto110 camera, winder, tele, wide and normal lens, teleconverter
bunch of filters
bunch of film
ratty-pouch

toyo cx “KIT”

camera, recessed lens board, flat lens board, speed graphic to cx lensboard ( RARE, NOT MADE ANYMORE ) bag bellows  $800

 

silver magnets – 70$

trickle tanks  – 216$

 

cameras made to order to make retina prints  ( prices vary ) $30 and up

reproductions of original photography ( http://jnanian.imagekind.com )

Also posted in things for sale

clarification

retina images are NEGATIVES made IN a CAMERA

sun prints are contact prints or photograms.

 

the images are ephemeral, they are not light safe, they usually turn whtie if fixed

they usually can not be developed or they turn black from the long exposure.

 

they can be made with dektol soaked paper, and sometimes loolk like they are COLOR photos, not BLACK and WHITE.

 

there are ways to fix them, but  its a lot of trouble so i don’t bother.

 

EVERY image that i have made is the result of a copying an original

with SCANNER and using PHOTOSHOP.

 

 

after the image is scanned, i treat it like any other negative.

invert ( postive>negative or neg>positive)

levels to adjust contrast since they get damaged/degrade from the scanner

cropping /straightening out  since i can’t put them perfectly in the scanner,or they were made with a camera i can’t compose with

desaturating/tinting / colorizing  i remove tone of the image and add color to make it more like a color image, or painting or something else

 

i call them retina prints after niepce’s experiments with silver chloride paper

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/firstphotograph/niepce/

i don’t use silver chloride paper, but made with modern materials, handmade materials.

Also posted in film development technique Tagged , |

tmy 400 retina film negative

like the last image i uploaded

this one is also on photographic film

black white kodak tmy 400.

great film for all around photography.

it is also a nice film for making 2 hour long exposures.

2:30-4:30 sunday nov 27

made with a speed graphic and ilex seminat lens ( at 3.5 )

outside was bright, the plant was backlit, with very little room light on it

after 2 hours i grabbed the film and scanned it and inverted it, and tweaked the levels a bit

( i made a large slow scan and the film was extremely grey from the light beam )

instead of cropping the junk out of the image, i cropped the image in the film.

 

here it is:

retina image (film )

2 hours, inverted+levels tweaked in photoshop

 

it is kind of interesting that i was exposing this image today because i was having a online conversation on apug about transparancy of naming images and processes.

i found it strange that some folks make commercial photo paper paper negatives and refer to them as calotype or salt prints or talbot types and was asking what other people thought about

people.  and i was questioned about why i call these long exposed images retina prints.  a link to a post here was posted into the thread

and it was suggested that i am less than honest about how i describe these images.  it was suggested that these images, even just the negative is so different from

Nicéphore Niépce’s original process that it isn’t truthful that i call them the same thing.  it was suggested that i do not say the images were scanned

or inverted in photoshop,or that i tint the images in photoshop sometimes and add color,which all seemed a bit strange seeing i can’t imagine how i would get the images

on the internet without scanning them, and whenever i talk about these images i say they were inverted in photoshop &c.

maybe i shouldn’t call them retina prints?  but i can’t really think of what else to call them seeing they are pretty much the same thing

except i haven’t used salted paper, but have used everyting else under the sun ( glass, metal, plastic paper coated with bottled emulson or home made emulsion,

store bought photo paper ( rc or fiber based ) as well as color and black and white film.  maybe it is because the thing i am scanning is the retina image

and i don’t come right out and say “a scan of”  seems like it is implied whether i say it or not.  maybe i will just call them long exposed photographs instead

of a name game.

Also posted in photographs Tagged , |

retina FILM print

yeah i know photo paper + retina print

but i have made retina film prints before

and even retina glass plate images too !

 

 

inverted, desaturated contrast-tweaked and a little brownish tone added

inverted, desaturated contrast-tweaked and a little brownish tone added

 

retina print

porch

 

today i made with ilford film  ( it seems  )

a retina print tinted.

 

you would think paper is so slow it would take a huge exposure for paper and none for film but

this film was exposed for at least an hour.  unlike the color film or plate experiment it was not 1-4 hours ….

and the results were OK but not like a super exposed image, unfortunately the sun sets early in the fall !

NEXT TIME i’ll do this in the am or early afternoon so i get more sun !

anyhow

here is the tinted ( photoshop! ) retina print

tweeted

inverted and colorized

wait 9 month or a year and see what happens …

i admit it, sometimes i don’t want to process film.  i get tired of standing there and agitating, or shuffling sheets in a tray in the dark.  i started doing stand development because i didn’t want to deal, my version of stand development only lasts for maybe 1/2 hour if i remember to come back in time, sometimesit lasts even more.  i use the same develop my every day film in, sumatra coffee, washing soda,vitamin c and some dektol.  i shake the bubbles off and leave.  sometimes i put of processing film for a few weeks or sometimes i am not very good and put it off for a few months, 9 or 10 months this time.

 

the film sat in a ziplock bag for all this time.  i would process sheets, i would develop paper negatives, i would make contact prints,  even make emulsions and developers from scratch, coat things, and develop them, but i wouldn’t process the rolls of film.  i’d think about it sometimes

painted cyanotype with watercolors

film reels cyanotype with watercolors

finally i processed the film, at least, some of it. i had about 15 or 20 rolls to get through, and i made it through 9 of them.  i loaded the film into the metal reels.  it took a while since i was out of practice.  some reels roll easier than others, and for the first time in a long while i had a few areas touch and not develop.  that’s ok.  after the film was hung and dried and sleeved i began scanning them.  i will eventually print them

but i figured scanning is as good a way as any to see what i have, so i scanned, and scanned and scanned. i remember most of the photographs, sort of. but not really.  it was a nice feeling to have distance.  there wasn’t any sort of importance or need or “i have to see this or that”  they were just negatives.

i remember seeing a show on garry winogrand years ago and how he exposed the film and left it for a year or more before he processed it.  ( i think there were 10 thousand rolls of film to process after he died. )  and i can see why he did what he did.  the distance adds to the editing process.  there isn’t a ” this exposure is going to be SO GOOD !” and process the film 20 seconds after it was unloaded. the film is just there and ready when you are, if it is good, its good, if it is bad, you probably don’t remember even making the photograph, so it is OK.

these photographs are from a handful of long walks i took.  sometimes they were made walking home from my mechanic;s place abotu 5 miles away.  i took 3 differnt routes home.  some were taken on the way or way back from picking up beer making supplies.  it was a road i used to travel often with a camera but no so much anymore.  time sat still and the places were virtually the same.

anyways … it’s ok to leave film for a while before you process it,

it mght even be a good thing.

 

colored black and whtite photo

colored black and whtite photo

shadow and textured wall

shadow and textured wall

retina print

retina print

run down fieldstone buildingjakes antiques

Also posted in photographs, technique and style Tagged , , |

until dec 1 2015 50% of all donations given to the RI food bank

if you have been following me for a little while, you probably know that for a handful of years

i have been donating $ earned from sale of my photography to charity.  through the generosity of others

and the purchase of my photography, i have given somewhere between $500 adn $700 to a handful of charities

from doctors without borders and the japan society ( the haitian earthquake and japanese earthquake / tsunami )

to one great hour of sharing and the ri food bank ( hurricane sandy, and local relief )

well, its that time again.  until dec 1st i will be donating 50% of all profits from sale of my photography on imagekind.com

to the ri food bank.  my work can be found through the “buy my art” banners on my website or by clicking

http://www.imagekind.com/search/nanian  or my storefront http://www.jnanian.imagekind.com

there is a great variety of work there, some streetscape views, abstracts, experimental, the only thing i don’t put up there are portraits.

thanks !

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paper negative fun with an empire state 1A

I’ve been on the lookout for a back for a camera i bartered for years ago.  the camera is a century 8 grande portrait outfit

 

century 8 portrait camera

 

(photograph courtesy of historic camera.com  a great website if you like looking at “old stuff” or want to see what you have )

http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=century_8

anyways when i received the camera it came on an ornate semi centenial stand ( without the film holder rack ) and the camera came with an 8×10 back.  i eventually made a 11×14 back for the camera out of foam core and waxed paper, and a paper negative holder as well.  it worked like a dream.  i just had to load each sheet separately, no big deal unless i wanted to take more then one photograph.

eventually i purchased a 7×11 film back and holders which i mounted on what was the mount for the 8×10 back.  and that worked beautifully too, but like the 8×10 is about 1/2 the 11×14 negative, the 7×11 REALLY is half the size.  11×14 is such a giant negative i have wanted to get back to shooting that format for a long long time.

recently i found an inexpensive back and a couple of film holders.  if you have ever priced anything large format, you know inexpensive is a relative term.  about a year ago i found a back, broken and in pieces that someone wanted to sell to me for a more money than i had to spend.  i don’t have very much money so i passed and figured eventually i would find something a little more for someone with a shoestring budget.  well, it happened a few weeks ago.  i got a back and holders, and it came with a camera and a 8x1o back as well.  couldn’t have been happier seeing it cost less than the amount for something broken !

the camera arrived in the belly of a greyhound bus.  just don’t ship greyhound on holiday weeks where there is a lot of bus travel, people and their luggage get first priority.  i brought the giant box home and unpacked it.  about a day later i had the camera cleaned up.  after 10 years in a box in someone’s basement it got kind of dusty, and dirty.  i reglued parts of the film holders back together too.  it didn’t have a ground glass ( focusing screen ) so i went to the local home goods store and had a piece of plexi glass cut down to 11×14, and i sanded it and sanded it, and sanded it until it was scuffed up enough to work as a cheap piece of ground glass.  i figure if i sometimes use waxed paper scuffed plexiglass would work fine.  it cost me less than 12$ and about 5 mins of time and saved me probably 4-5 times that.  i clipped the corners and inserted the ground plexiglass.

first i made a retina image.  i  wanted to see if the film holders leaked or the bellows were a mess.

the image came out really nice, so i desaturated it, and added my own color since i like doing that sort of thing

 

2 hour exposure, expired photo paper

2 hour exposure, expired photo paper

the other day i decided to load up the other 11×14 film holder up with paper, and a a 8×10 too.

i made a few kitchen window photographs

 

 

onion and limes and dirty window

onion and limes and dirty window

15-20 seconds

scrubby and window light

 

with an assistant later in the day we made some portaits.

legs

legs

 

counting to 20

counting to 20

 

looking forward to taking the empire on the road, and using the back in-studio

Also posted in using vintage equipment Tagged , , , |

coffee cups

originally …

i made 4 exposures, 1 with NO filtration and 3 others ( RGB ) and i was going to make a trichrome image of these coffee cups that look like stacked bowls but i ran into a little trouble.  while i love making exposures and i love processing film, i had no way of identifying the negatives after the film was processed.  i suppose if i was some sort of superhero i could look and know what was what, but there is too much stain in the film for me to be able to see which is which.  this can sometimes be a problem when processing 36 sheets of film at a time, and they get a little jumbled up  😉

so, instead of spending hours trying to ID the film, or making many many attempted trichromes with photoshop like some sort of mind bending puzzle i decided to take one of the images and hand color it, 4 different ways.  i used christmas colors and had some fun.

so, here are a few hand colored photographs.

4 up

hand colroed black and white

feel free to poke around on imagekind if you see something that you like they are less expensive than me making the prints by hand 😉

 

 

Also posted in technique and style Tagged , , , |

film processed in dektol and coffee

my last entry i mentioned i had finished exposing about 36 sheets of film.  it was more than that ..  4 bag-mags filled with a variety of tmx ( 100 ) tmy (400 ) and some mystery film that was bad enough that it never exposed.  maybe 10 sheets were as clear as unexposed film when it came out of the developer.  they were some of the first sheets i processed to test the developers.  i increased the times and added a little more dektol to my mix.  originally it was about 1:8 but i added so it was more like 1:6.

i hadn’t ever processed film in dektol before, only heard about it, and i have to say i was happy with the results.  i have to fine tune my dilutions and times but for the most part everything looked good.

i exposed in a variety of different lighting conditions, room light, weak window light, bright light and i exposed my film well.  sometimes developers need a little encouragement.  i go against convention.

here are 2 from my  39 sheets.

1:6 / 7+ 7mins.

dektol and sumatranol test

1:6, 7+7 mins

dektol test

Also posted in film development technique, technique and style Tagged , |

writing about photography

in a recent interview with on the onwardphoto blog, jorg colberg spoke about the importance of writing about photography.

http://tinyurl.com/qalulvr   i couldn’t agree more with what he said.  often times people who make photographs have trouble talking about them.

i am guilty too … it is HARD to write about photography, but with a little practice it gets a little easier.

i have a series of portraits i have been making since i was 19 ( more than half my life ).  the project began years before and i didn’t even know it … when i was reading studds turkel’s book “working”, a book about people talking about what they do for work …  i began my project by cold calling businesses and asking if i could photograph people who worked there.  i was a fly on the wall, sometimes, other times i would have conversations with the subject to learn about what it was they were doing, and i would photograph where they worked too.  i documented  people that worked in slaugherhouses, were gravediggers, machineshop operators, mechanics, factory workers, butchers …  people from all walks of life.  i enjoyed talking with these strangers and learning about who they were, and creating almost a story that surrounded each portrait i took.  eventually i began photographing people on the streets as i wandered their neighborhood with a camera,  or where they had a late night snack, or breakfast.  i continued with these portraits, even letting them lead me into paying jobs photographing people for magazines and newspapers, and i never stopped interviewing my subjects to learn a little bit about them.

when i worked for a eileen mcclure, she told me tricks she would do to get her subjects to loosen up a little bit.  she only had seconds to do this seeing she had appointments every 20 minutes all day long …  and she said she had it easy because she was a little old lady, and people don’t feel threatened by little old ladies.  my trick ended up being just having a conversation, and because i was no longer a guy with a camera but someone else.  over the years i think the project has taken a different shape, and really tells more about me than it does my subjects.  if i wrote about the project,  i would write about who my subjects were, and how meeting them changed how i look at portrait photography in general, but how i have learned that people are pretty much the same, whether they are rich, poor, a corporate titan, leader of a state, or someone sitting on their porch, who didn’t remember who i was or who she was a few weeks later when i returned with a print.

i couldn’t agree more with the idea that one should be able to write something, anything, about what it is they do or did with their camera.

 

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8th, or is it the 9th roast sumatranol for photographers

over the last few days, i have roasted another few pounds of sumatra beans for photographers.

they start off green, and i pour them in the wok.  after a while i hear the first crack, as i move the beans around in the vessel.  the colors begin to change

light brown first then darker.  the beans get wet with oils then dry again, sometimes i roast them a little darker and sometimes lighter.  i haven’t noticed

a difference in the quality of the developer between the two roast-colors.  the beans are resting now someplace cool before i store them airtight.

$8.50 / lb

sumatranol -c kits are also available, $8.50 / L ( kit contains enough coffee, vit c and sodium carbonate for 1L of developer )

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