Notes : Daniel Ridings

May 30, 2007

Uncoated Elmars

Filed under: Photography — at 5:40 pm

I have still been testing the limits of what you can do with uncoated Elmars, shooting into the sun, but being careful to keep the lens shaded.

This first frame is from Odense, from the stream that runs through the city. This is right downtown in the center of town. It was taken with a 90/4.0 black barrel Elmar.

The next shots was taken on my walk to work. This path figures almost every week in my shoeboxes for this year. They were taken with an old 50/3.5 Elmar (uncoated). I didn’t get control of the flare in the first one.

Takes a little work to wind, reframe a IIIf (I’ve heard other photographers can do it without lowering the camera from their eyes, sliding their right hand index finger across the winder like a motor).

Then there is the question of extreme contrasts:

There’s more over at the shoebox.

May 29, 2007

PAW 21: Ewa

Filed under: PAW 2007,Photography — at 5:21 pm

Ewa and I have been married 30 years now (on Wednesday last week). Feels only natural to have a picture of her as my PAW.

Still beautiful.

May 21, 2007

A short meeting

Filed under: Photography — at 8:12 pm

When I travel back and forth between Odense and Lindome I end up “missing” a connection in Copenhagen by about 2 minutes … sometimes. Sometimes I would have made it but don’t have a booking on that particular train. I book for one that leaves about an hour later.

I could get into Copenhagen a little later so I wouldn’t have an hour wait, but then I wouldn’t be able to buy a 75cl Carlsberg, bag of peanuts and watch the people walk by.

Páll, from Færøerne, felt like talking. He’s lived in Copenhagen for decades now, a painter (the kind that paints on canvases, not walls). He remarked that he really didn’t connect with Danes. You have to belong to their clique to converse. Swedes and Norwegians, he said, were easier.

That kind of surprised me; but again, … there are all kinds.

We toasted,

I finished my 75cl and he gave me his address.

All with a Leica IIIf (Nathan says they are a babe-magnet … I’m waiting …), 50/3.5 uncoated Elmar, Agfapan 400, 1/30 @ 3.5

May 19, 2007

James Ravilious : A world in photographs

Filed under: photographer,Photography,publications — at 4:23 am

Tom Fenwick, a quiet member of the Leica Users’ Group and Rolleiusers, tipped me about an English photographer that I had not heard of. We were talking about older lenses and techniques to keep them in line (using a lens shade, basically).

The English photographer was James Ravilious, who died in 1999. For about two decades Ravilious devoted his time to documenting a disappearing form of rural life, the small farmer, around Devon. He developed a very characteristic style of low contrast, detailed photography, all in black and white. One of his techniques was to use old uncoated Leica lenses, well shaded.

I visit his web site, James Ravilious fairly often and under publications I ran across a DVD that has been made by banyak films, narrated by Alan Bennett.

It is a fascinating film about Ravilious. The people he took pictures of are revisited and they reflect back on his visits, many times taking their departure point from a photograph he had taken of them, their barns or their fields.

I recommend it highly. You can order it from Banyak.

May 18, 2007

PAW 20 : Copenhagen Central

Filed under: PAW 2007,Photography — at 7:59 pm

I spend a lot of time on trains and in train stations. This is one shot that even I am very pleased with.

Dressed to ride

Filed under: Photography — at 10:09 am

Denmark is a very cycling friendly country. The town of Odense is well set up for cycles, with dedicated paths and lanes everywhere you would want to ride.

I spent the week with a IIIf and 50/3.5 Elmar hanging around my neck. Waiting at a stop light, I had to smile:

Still playing around with the new/old Elmar

Filed under: Photography — at 9:39 am

I put in a bid on a whim for a 50/3.5 uncoated Elmar. I did it mostly because it thought, “if I get it that cheap, I’ll be happy.” I really didn’t expect to win and didn’t even follow the aution. I bid one pound over someone else, still leaving it very cheap, and no one bid over me.

It is in beautiful shape. Clear glass. If there are cleaning scratches, I’d have to pull out a magnifying glass to find them. I haven’t done that, but they’re probably there. Most lenses from this period have them.

An English photographer, James Ravilious turned the characteristics of this lens in contra-jour (against the light) situations into his trademark. While walking around earlier this week, I thought I’d give it a try to see if I could pull out some of the effects.

May 14, 2007

Uncoated 50/3.5 Elmar

Filed under: PAW 2007,Photography — at 3:27 pm

I have been productive, but not so much in writing, here on the blog.

For some reason that I really can’t explain, and I really don’t care enough to try and figure out, I have been attracted by older, uncoated lenses, Elmars.

This week’s PAW was with one:

That one was something of a torture test, lamp over a table, low light and a slow lens. It was taken wide-open.There is another one of Ewa that I like a lot, taken outdoors:

In fact, the whole shoebox from this week is with the same uncoated Elmar.

It’s the compactness and simplicity that attracts me, I think. I just enjoy making nice pictures with them.

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