Medium Focus

With all the craziness in my life lately, I haven’t been able to take out my Mamiya 645 into the field and actually play with it. So I used the local fireworks event to give it the old college try. There’s a lot of room for improvement, and it’s a bitch trying to just guess your way through things and shoot without a light meter. But when I pulled this film off the roll this morning I wasn’t exactly upset with the result. They’re mostly shot with an 80mm Mamiya 1.9 lens, but a few are with the 150mm Mamiya 3.5.  400 speed Arista film and Ilford developer.

So here’s 10 frames, none of which are fireworks, but just some general shots of the scene.

Here’s a shot of my fiance at Gus’ Coney Island. Shot at 1/125, f1.9. The focal range with this lens wide open is incredible, one eye is in focus and another isn’t. I wanted to shoot this at f 2.8 but I wanted to keep the shutter speed at or greater than 1/125 while handholding the camera.



For this shot I put the camera on the table and pointed it at the bar. I thought 1/60 would be enough to get something and not have any blurriness  hell something should be in focus here. Still wide open at 1.9. I should have flipped the mirror up before I fire the shot.



This shot was taken on the Dickinson bridge facing south. Probably around 7:15 so the lawn wasn’t totally packed yet. 1/500 sec at f 16.

Mount Clemens


The crowd watching one of the smaller stages. I overestimated the power of the sun here and shot it at 1/500 sec at f /11. A bit underexposed.



Here’s main street. Showing the municipal buildings, carnival rides, and random people. f 16 and 1/500 sec.



Here’s some people chillin on the grass. 1/500 f 16


At this point we were down on the grass by where the last shot was. Here I tried to see how well the 150mm lens would work, aimed at the Macomb County Sheriffs. F16 1/250


Kayte took this one of the stage across the river. F 16 1/250 again.



Girls lying on the grass in front of us, kids and whatnot interacting about. F 5.6 1/250 sec…I think.



Street folk on my way to drop this thing back off. f 8 1/250 sec.



I’m looking forward to shooting more soon, so stay tuned.

Getting Silverfast to work (If you bought an older Plustek or similar scanner) on your Mac

So I recently have been getting into film photography…which I haven’t talked about on here because I simply have not been impressed with the quality of scans I’ve been getting by doing the DSLR macro method of film scanning for numerous reasons).

In my quest to get good looking scans, I recently purchased a (barely) used Plustek OpticFilm7400 on eBay. Many of the reviews and whatnot for this scanner complain about the software not working with MacOS, despite the advertised assertion that it does. When I tried to install the Silverfast 6.6 software on my Macbook Pro (running MacOS 8.8.3), everything went smoothly. Upon launching the software, however, and error told me that the program could not open. I recognized this error as a universal binary error: it’s claiming to be universal, but it’s not. It was written for PPC Macs and if you are running a newer version of MacOS that no longer includes Rosetta, you won’t be able to run the program. I didn’t want to use Windows 7 in VMWare to get it running. That’s just bollocks.

But you’re not out of luck. Follow the steps below to get everything working.

  1. Make sure you have the Silverfast disc and your serial number. 
  2. Insert the CD, but do not run the installer .
  3. Download the demo of Silverfast 8 (or whatever the latest version is when you read this) from the Silverfast Demo website. You’ll need to select the scanner you have.
  4. Run the .dmg you just downloaded and go through the install process to install the Silverfast 8 demo.
  5. Run the Silverfast 8 demo. It’ll give you an option to enter a serial number, put in the serial number you have for Silverfast (the old version).
  6. Click ok (or whatever it says). If you skipped step 2, this is where it yells at you to “insert original media”.

If everything went well, you’ll get a “Thank you” pop-up and you’re set to run the software. Free upgrade and no worries.

Scan away.

Bonjour, Montreal!

I had the chance last weekend to check out Montreal, the frozen Canadien city. French canada is a wild place! Here’s a glimpse into life there.

Snow day in Detroit

Last night, Southeast Michigan got it’s first snowstorm of the year. Here’s a look at how the people of Detroit took to the snow the day afterwards.

Requiem for a Neighborhood

In the farthest Southern point of Southwest Detroit lies a neighborhood called “Oakwood Heights”. A place I have always considered abysmal. There’s a asphalt plant on one side, a salt mine on the other, then an oil refinery and a river. Marathon Oil Company, who operates the refinery, bought up all the land and is allegedly turning it into a park. While many homes are already boarded up or being demolished, some are still occupied.

While shooting, I spoke with a man named Mike. Mike’s friend isn’t thrilled about the buyout as he has a welding shop that does well. He’s worried about relocating somewhere where he won’t be able to walk to work and wants to find somewhere where the taxes won’t kill his business. Mike said they’d been welding together since they were kids, and he was 61 now. Overall, however, It seems that most residents have been happy to take their check and get out. While it reminds me of Poletown, there is certainly a much better vibe about it all.

These shots are the neighborhood and some areas around it, mostly controlled or influenced by Marathon Oil.

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