A blog about everything by Jack Baty

Category: Photography

From my walk on September 20, 2023

Took the camera on my walk today. I decided to process each of the photos differently. Some using presets, some as custom black-and-white conversions, and some using “auto” in Capture One.

Fixing a photo by pretending it’s shot on film

At Scooper’s ice cream with Gail

Whenever I botch a digital photo with unwanted motion blur or missed focus, I “fix” it by converting it to black and white and applying one of the dozens of film effects presets I’ve collected. This is an attempt to trick myself into thinking an image is better than it is.

When I blow an actual film photo, I’m often okay with it, so I figure the same thing should work for digital, right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Roll-119 (Leica MP / HP5)

Most of the roll was shot in Grand Haven on the pier and beach.

Keeping the Leica SL2

The Leica SL2. I’m keeping it.

I had every intention of selling the SL2 in order to fund the new Leica Q2. Good intentions being what they are, I should be sure to always sell the old camera before getting the one meant to replace it.

I took some photos of the SL2 and posted it for sale on Fredmiranda.com. I thought I was asking a fair price and expected a quick sale. The offers that came in were too low, so I waited. After a couple of weeks, I reduced the price a little. There was one serious buyer, but he was taking his time and his offer was less than I liked.

At a certain point, it feels like too much of a loss and I start second-guessing the whole enterprise. After all, I would still need to sell the L lenses and such, which is a hassle. And you know what always happens, right? Yep, I get the itch a year from now and have to re-buy the entire kit.

So I skipped all that and decided to keep the camera. The Q2 is great, but I still don’t love the 28mm focal length. Or at least not having only the 28mm. Plus, I have a few really nice M-mount Leica lenses that work great on digital. The SL2’s versatility is useful, and maybe I’ll finally do that series of extended family portraits I’ve been planning.

Self-portrait in mirror. Leica SL2 with my favorite lens, the 50mm Summilux ASPH

2023-Roll-118 (Leica MP/HP5)

Roll-118 in the Leica MP with 50mm Summilux ASPH. HP5+ in HC-110 and scanned on the V850.

Silver is Better

Back in photo.net’s and rangefinderforum.com’s prime, there was a gruff, opinionated, brilliant, and helpful forum member and photographer named Al Kaplan. He helped me a great deal after I got my first Leica.

When he died in 2010, his family sold mugs and T-shirts to raise money. I’ve kept the mug on my desk ever since.

Silver is better

Silver is better, indeed.

Oh, and here’s one from later that’s actually on film, as it should be.

Silver is Better Al Kaplan mug. Leica MP. HP5.

Unexpected side effects of throwing away ruined film

Tornadoes blew through nearby and took our power with them for a couple of days. I keep my film in a small fridge in my office, so when the ice in the freezer section melted, it soaked my large format film boxes. While disappointing, most of the film had been expired for years. Some of it was E6, and I have no chemicals to process that anyway.

Most of the boxes were already opened, so even though the remaining sheets were still in the interior plastic bags, I decided that it wasn’t worth the trouble of testing to see if the film was still usable. So I threw it all away.

Instead of feeling bad about not having that film, I was surprised to find myself feeling relieved. I could finally stop thinking about if and how I might shoot it. Was it even still good?

So now I’m looking sideways at my bags of oddball and expired 35mm film and wondering how I’d feel about getting rid of those, too. I have been going through the expired color rolls, and it’s been interesting, but color film doesn’t offer me much over nice digital files. I can’t make color prints in my darkroom, which is a big part of why I shoot film in the first place.

But the oddest thing that’s happened is that now I’m looking at my books, records, movies, cameras, RAW files, saved articles…everything. How much do I actually need? How would it feel to only have the stuff I actively use/love. You know, stuff that “sparks joy”.

I don’t want to do anything rash, but I kind of want to do something rash.

Steve at Founders

Mostly I just like taking snapshots of friends and family. Here’s Steve at Founders.

Black and white photo of Steve sitting at Founders
Steve at Founders

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