Don’t give away your photos


received this message from CrowdMedia.

Sounds nice, right? They think my photos are special and so they want to share them. And they will respect my copyrights! Plus, they will do the account for me. How considerate!

If you think it might be too good to be true, it usually is.

Straight citation from CrowdMedia Terms of Use:

"Your content may be used by publishers for editorial purposes, usually to illustrate an article that is coherent with your content.

When a publisher uses your content through our platform, they have to pay for that content and to give you proper attribution at all times.”

It doesn’t state who the publisher has to pay for. For the photographer, right? No, for CrowdMedia. So they will take your photos and you get nothing.

Be careful people!

Linna Cruising 2013. Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Olympus OM-2 and OM-4, 24mm f2 and 40mm f2 Zuikos
Kodak Ektar 100

15.2.2014 Bouldering Finnish championships

Ilari Kelloniemi tops out 3rd route of men’s finals. He placed second in the competition dominated by Andy Gullsten.

I did a print of this photo yesterday.

T-Max 400 @1600

Elder woman hitting a neo-nazi with a handbag.
Växjö, Sweden, 1985.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find uncropped version in high resolution.
photo: Hans Runesson

Garagefest – Joensuu, Finland
Band: Räjäyttäjät

Assignment for Student Union’s newspaper, Uljas.

Nikon 35ti
Kodak T-Max 400 @ 1600
D-76 stock, 20ºC, 9min 30sec

Is it just me or is the Internet dull, thin and single use?
I’m longing for something real, hefty and lasting,

Starting (film) photography - Street

This post was supposed to cover scanning film. Instead, it’s about street photography. 

How to take photographs of strangers?

It must be a feeling of guilt or shame that makes snapping away photos of strangers so hard for many photographers. It’s not normal in our social context to shoot strangers. That doesn’t make it illegal. Taking photographs in public places is not restricted by law in most countries. I would still recommend you to check your local laws, in case you are North Korean or something.

People quite often reason their selves that taking photographs of strangers might be dangerous. Just think about it, would you stab somebody because that somebody took a photograph of you? I have once been physically confronted because I took a photograph. I have never got into trouble for shooting sober people on the street. And I have hundreds or thousands of photos of strangers.

How to take photographs unnoticed?

Act normally. Easier said than done. In a few years I have learned following:

A) Don’t look at your camera. People tend to focus their attention on things others around are looking at. You should also learn how to get your camera’s settings right before you need to rise your camera up to your eye, so you are ready to shoot.

B) Don’t look directly at your subject. Eye contact will draw attention to you.

C) Don’t act like a stalker. Walk slow or fast if you need to, but avoid stopping, turning around or otherwise attracting attention by strange behavior. You don’t creep around a girl in a bar for half an hour before you approach her, do you?

D) Find your flow. When you are absolutely inspired of something, you couldn’t care less about what other people think about you. When you are confident, people won’t question what are you doing.

Example shots:

When I took the photo above, I was noticed, as you can tell. The man demanded me to stop photographing. This has happened to me maybe five times. In Finland, all one can do is tell that he/she doesn’t approve the publishing of their photo. So I decided to censor the man’s face. Not particularly nice thing to do, but he wasn’t nice to me either.

Because the street was quite empty, I didn’t even try to hide my intentions. I walked near this man, took my camera, walked closer and got my shot. No words were exchanged.

This woman never noticed me in the crowd.

Starting film photography - Choosing BW film & developer

I have a few friends who are just starting film photography. They want to learn how to develop their own film and how to print or scan it. There must be many others thinking the same questions my friends are thinking. So, I thought I would write about the process of choosing film and developer. On the next post I’m going to cover scanning with a flatbed scanner.

What is the look I’m after for?

The difficulty in film photography is that you can’t snap your photos and then alter them as you like. If you are a Photoshop Lightroom user, maybe this analogy will help: you are stuck with one preset for the whole roll. You can alter the photos after you have scanned them or when you are wet printing, but there is much less you can do about film photos than digital ones. Therefore the idea is to find a film and processing scheme that will give good results without much tweaking.

The first thing is to know what kind of look are you after. I my self tend to search Flickr to see how certain film looks like. I simply type  ”Tri-X" or "Delta 3200" to the search field and search for photos that match the setting I am going to shoot in. The problem is, quite many of the film shots on Flickr are digitally altered. Another problem is that the same film may look very different on different formats. Shots taken on 35mm cameras look grainier and harsher than photos taken on medium or large format cameras.

When you find photos you like, take a note if there are tags of the developer used. Different developers have big impact on how the exposed film is going to turn out. Also colored filters change how BW film acts, so look for information about possible filter used as well.

What film should I buy?

I would recommend any ISO 400 film to begin with. 400 is a do-all sensitivity that will let you shoot in many indoor and outdoor conditions.

There are plenty of ISO 400 films. Kodak Tri-X, Ilford HP5+, Rollei Retro 400S are grainier, giving a classic film look. They are also quite tolerant to exposure errors. I personally like Kodak T-Max 400 which is a very versatile film with more modern look. On the downside, T-Max is more particular about how it’s exposed and developed.

Big plus with some ISO 400 films is that they can be shot at ISO 800 or 1600, meaning you deliberately underexpose the film to get shorter shutter speed at low light. Then you’ll compensate the underexposure by giving the film longer development time. This is called pushing. Just remember: you have to shoot the whole roll at same ISO to get properly exposed shots.

Which ever film you choose, try to stick with it for a while. Be constant with your developing habits and try to find proper look with the developer you are using. You can alter agitation, developing time and many other variables to get different tonality. Shooting one roll of this and other of that won’t teach you much.

What chemicals do I need to process my film?

You’ll need film developer and fixer. Other chemicals are not essential. Developer forms the image on an exposed film and fixer makes the film resistant to light. I won’t go into detail how to process your film.

What developer should I buy?

Many people who start film photography shoot quite low volumes of film, so a developer that has a long shelf life may be the best option. Kodak HC-110 and especially Agfa Rodinal are known to have very long life expectancy. I personally use Kodak D-76, which is sold in powder form. When the powder is mixed, Kodak recommends the developer to be used in 6 months. I have used 12 months old developer with good results.

I find “one shot” developers easier to use. One shot developer is diluted with water and then used only once before it’s disposed. It’s easier to get constant results with one shot developer, as you are not going to use same diluted developer over and over again, calculating how much the developer is weakened after x rolls of film.

By the way: Be mindful when disposing film processing chemicals!

The next level?

So you already have found your basic ISO 400 film? Or maybe you have this one specific photo shoot in mind and you special film for the purpose?

For landscape, studio or outdoor portraits you may find many films with very personal looks at ISO range 50-200. Agfa Scala, Kodak T-Max 100 and Ilford Pan F+ all give different looks.

Shooting film handheld at night? While there are less and less very light sensitive films available, there still is Ilford 3200.

For tripod work with extremely long exposures, use a film with low reciprocity failure, for example Kodak T-Max or Fuji Acros.

There are also infrared sensitized films that give quite unique effects when shot with IR filter.

I want to emphasize: try not to get blown away. I’m positive three different BW films is all most of the photographers are ever going to need. Mastering even one is better than having shot all of them.

One camera - Olympus OM-2n
One lens - Zuiko 40mm F2
One film - Kodak T-Max 400 (TMY-2)
One developer - Kodak D-76

Let me know your ONE set!