I don’t take portraits … well maybe I do? .. latest zine project

I have been making my own zines for a few years now and find the whole process very enjoyable especially when you get a finished copy of your work in your hands.

“I don’t take portraits” is my latest offering and is a slightly misleading title as it only features portraits that I have sort of unknowingly shot over the past few years.

What I mean is I never intentionally go to shoot portraits but I have seemed to have accumulated at least one frame from most of the rolls of film I have shot either as a way of testing the film/lens/camera combination or just to start/finish a roll.

Last month I went totally out of my comfort zone and agreed to an interview with Euan over at Biblioscapes … https://biblioscapes.com/ to talk about this new zine.

I don’t usually do this type of thing but Euan made the whole process very relaxed and easy.

Biblioscapes is a great site featuring a wide variety of photographers and styles and I enjoy listening to all of the interviews, I am honoured to be amongst such good work.

Here are the links to my waffling if anyone is interested ..

https://biblioscapes.com/in-discussion/tim-dobbs

and the zine itself ..

https://biblioscapes.com/library/i-dont-take-portraits

I had the zine printed by the wonderful Mixam who always do a great job.

Here is a link to the online proof that they generate before it went to print.

https://mixam.co.uk/share/6161d5d06810b6546dda72c4

Comments on the zine and my waffling all about it will be gratefully received.

Also I still have a handful of copies left so if anyone of you would like one please get in touch either through Twitter .. @timdobbsphoto or email .. timd.photography@gmail.com for details.

I have a few spare zines left from previous and I will be giving one free with each Portrait zine.

Trying Silberra Orta 50 ….

As I have said before I am trying to spice up my photography this year by trying different things so I decided to try out a roll of film that has been in my fridge for ages … Silberra Orta 50.

I have had this roll for over 2 years and have tried ilford’s Ortho offering before digging this out.

I really liked how Ortho 80 looked when I tried it so I was looking forward to seeing how Orta 50 compared as they are both Orthochromatic films.

You can see my previous blogs of Ortho 80 here:

It was a reasonably bright day so I loaded my Nikon F90 which I have been neglecting recently and went out for a walk.

When I returned home and opened the Massive Dev app to decide how to develop the roll I realised that the only developer that I had that was suitable was Rodinal which as it happens was the developer I used when shooting Ortho 80 last time.

The dilution/times were 1+25 for 11 minutes

The resulting negatives were extremely contrasty looking out of the tank and just the same when scanning.

I am not sure if it is the developer or the film stock itself but most of the images had a sort of a glow about them and quite a few of the highlights had blown out.

The overall look was pleasing and I liked the contrast and sharpness but compared to ilford Ortho 80 the tonal range was far more compressed.

If I had to choose which stock I would shoot again it would have to be Ortho 80 to be honest as Orta 50 was a bit too harsh for me and the grain was a little too intrusive but that may have been the fault of using Rodinal.

So here is most of the roll minus some duplicate frames.

Please click a photo to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

ilford XP2 in B&W chemistry … the whole roll …

One of the things I want to do this year is try different things with my photography as I feel that last year not only was my film roll count down compared to previous years it was also very samey.

Out of the first six rolls shot this year I didn’t really do much different to usual so with number seven I decided to see how ilford XP2 looked in B&W chemicals compared to C41.

I did a bit of research on the interwebs and decided to shoot the roll at 640/800 iso in my Yashicamat 124G and process it using ilford DD-X 1+4 dilution for 13.30 mins.

Once out of the tank at first glance the negs seemed rather thin and quite under exposed with the base looking a pale pink colour.

But on scanning I was really surprised how they looked, yes they were a little under exposed but nothing that Lightroom couldn’t handle and the images had bags of contrast and sharp as a tack.

The grain was pretty noticeable and I did have some weird effects in the sky but that was probably due to the fact it was expired film rather than the B&W chems.

Overall I was very happy with the roll and would develop XP2 in B&W again, most probably at box speed and fresh rather than pushing it.

I have experimented before shooting XP2 at various iso’s on the same roll then developed in standard C41 and got excellent results .. see here :

Anyway here is the whole roll … nothing really special here but it was an experiment so I don’t mind ..

Please click a photo to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

Last post of 2021 …… Shooting my favorite B&W film stock ilford HP5@800

This year I have only shot 54 rolls of film, probably my lowest quantity since getting back into film photography years ago.

I don’t have a definitive reason for this maybe just how things are in the world at the moment has obviously curtailed my photo opportunities.

At least half of the rolls remained in the cameras for at least a week whereas I nearly always managed to shoot and develop usually the same day unless I intended to send certain rolls to a lab.

So my early New Years resolution is to shoot much more.

Anyway the weather here in Wales for the last 2 weeks has been bloody awful with the only opportunity to shoot would be indoors or out in the God awful rain.

I don’t really mind shooting in the rain when it is accompanied with some mist as I can get out up here and get some atmospheric images.

I have quite a few cameras as you may have noticed if you follow this blog so when I decided to brave the elements last week I dug out my trusty Olympus OM1 with the 50mm f1.4 and loaded it with some ilford HP5 that I rated at 800 with the hope that I could get some frames above f4.

To be honest there was only a few times I got to f5.6/8 most of the images were f4 and below but all the same I was very happy with what I got.

Shooting the OM1 is great it’s such a brilliant camera with the benefit of not needing batteries other than for the light meter I think any film photography should have one in their collection.

I processed the roll in ilfotech LC29 1+19 dilution for 9.30 mins and scanned with my Epson v600

As I have mentioned before I prefer the look of HP5 when pushed to 800/1600 or even 3200 than actual box speed, the increased contrast and grain gives me the sort of look I imagine when taking the shot and works great in the conditions I had here.

Also I managed to stitch together a 7 frame pano which is the featured image at the top.

So here is what I got .. I have shot very similar compositions and scenes before on this blog on various other film stocks so take a look back through my archive if you want to compare.

Click on an image to view larger in a lightbox…..

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

Mamiya C330 and Fuji Neopan Acros …

The Mamiya C330 is a camera that I always seem to get great results with no matter what film or subject matter but it seems that this year this is only the 2nd time that I have shot with it.

I was going through my camera bags trying to sort out what cameras were stored where and I came across the trusty C330and decided to take it out for a change as I have been neglecting it.

I have a few rolls of Acros that I was kindly given that had expired back in 2019 so I wanted to see how they performed.

I have a couple of lenses for the C330 55/65/80/180 and 250 .. I mainly use the 55mm when I am out shooting landscapes but I decided on the 80mm f2.8 as it was very overcast and shooting 100 iso film meant I was probably going to be shooting shallow DOF stuff pretty much wide open.

After my little walk I developed the roll in ilford LC29 1+19 dilution for 5 minutes and scanned with my new Epson V600.

Considering I shot most of the frames at f2.8 the images were lovely and sharp with good contrast .. I have shot very little Acros in the past but I can see why everybody likes it.

Very smooth grain and punchy sharp images I will have to get hold of some of the new Acros to compare.

So here are the images .. comments most welcome

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Brand new … Expired Agfa Vista 200 .. is it still ok?

Back in 2016 or 2017 when you could buy Agfa Vista 200 for £1 in Poundland here in the UK I bought 4 packs of 10×36 exposures and 6 packs of 10×24 exposures which have been stored in my film fridge since the day I bought them.

I also bought probably 15-20 single rolls while it was still available which I have gradually used up.

The other week I wanted to give my Nikon F80 a run out ready for our week away in Tenby thinking it would be easier with the 50mm f1.8 rather than using my trusty F100.

I was looking in my kitchen fridge for a roll of film to just test the camera but didn’t have any Vista in there so I opened a pack of my 36 exposure stash which had not been touched since storing away in the fridge 4 years plus ago.

I didn’t doubt that the film would be ok as it was brand new when I bought it but as it was cheap consumer film and it was on a shop shelf when I got it I wasn’t 100% what I was going to get.

It was an overcast day but the light was pretty good but I aired on the side of caution and set the camera meter to iso 100 and shot the roll pretty quickly.

The F80 is a really nice camera to shoot .. pretty light compared to the F100 with the 50mm f1.4.

I decided to get the film developed by Filmdev so I could rule out user error with the developing but didn’t manage to send it off before we went to Tenby so I ended up taking the F100 just incase the F80 had any problems and sent the roll off with my Holiday rolls.

I needn’t have worried as the F80 and the Vista worked great, the images were sharp and well exposed with the greens really popping.

I am so pleased that I have 100 rolls stored away that I can slowly shoot knowing they are fine.

So here is a selection

Click on an image to view larger…

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

First time shooting Cinestill XX Double-X in 120 format … full roll

When Cinestill announced the release of XX Double-X I could not wait to get my hands on some to try.

I have shot Double-X film stock 5222 in 35mm that I picked up from Nik & Trick and really liked how it looked so when I realised that I could get to try it in 120 format I was pretty excited.

I bought some in both 35mm & 120 from the excellent Analogue Wonderland and waited for a suitable time an place to try it.

Last weekend we had a typical welsh August day with rain & wind and a pile of mist up on our wonderful Garw hills so I loaded up my Mamiya RB67/65mm lens and went out hoping to get some nice atmospheric misty images.

Sadly or happily depending on how you look at it by the time I got up the top of the valley the majority of the mist had dissipated but what that meant was I had more light to play with so rated the film at iso 200 and managed to stop down to f8/11 on most frames which once I had developed the roll really showed how sharp this film stock is.

After scanning and slight tweaks and dust spot removal in Lightroom the results were great .. lovely contrasty images with excellent detail and great tonal range ..

I developed it in ilford LC29 1+29 dilution for 8 mins and scanned on an Epson v500.

So here is the complete roll …

Comments most welcome .. click on an image to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Short Tenby break on Lomo CN400 & CN800 ….

A few weeks back we managed to get away for a few days for the first time since last August.

We visited one of our favorite local places … lovely Tenby.

I took along 2 cameras my Minolta X700 and Minolta XG9 with 2 lenses .. the 35-70 f3.5 and 50mm f1.4.

It was my intention to load one camera with 400 and the 2nd with the 800 for the evening.

You may notice by the lack of night shots that plan didn’t really work due to the lack of tripod and my shaky hands after a few drinks.

The first day there it was lovely sunshine while day two was overcast but my favorite images were on CN800 in the early evening sun.

I never finished both rolls while in Tenby and completed them back home but I have only posted the Tenby images here.

Lomo CN 400 is my favorite colour negative stock but CN800 is a close second.

The film was developed and scanned by the wonderful FilmDev who always does a great job at a great price.

So here are the images … Lomo CN800 first followed by CN400

Click on an image to view larger … there is a 3 shot pano of St Catherine’s Fort

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Another roll of Ektar in the Mamiya 645 ….

My first blog post this year was a roll of Kodak Ektar using my Mamiya 645 and I pointed out that I rarely shoot Ektar but here you go I have shot another roll using the same camera.

Ektar is a pretty sharp film stock especially when you shoot it in 120 format and with good light which really shows on this roll which I was really pleased with.

I developed it with the Tetenal C41 kit and scanned using my Epson v500 which gives pretty good scans with 120.

So here is the roll .. I have only posted 12 frames as I duplicated some of the tree at the end of the roll which were all more or less identical.

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Fomapan 400 in 120 format is a revelation ….

I have shot Fomapan in both 100 and 400 iso in the past on 35mm and have tried different developers but have never been all that impressed with the results I have achieved.

I have seen lovely images shot using this film so I bought some Fomapan 100 and 400 in 120 format to give that a go.

I also bought some ilfotech LC29 developer at the same time so I loaded my Mamiya C330 with a roll of 400 and on a really cloudy overcast afternoon I went out and shot the roll at my local haunts where I have had nice results in this type of weather/lighting before.

Even though it was not the brightest of days I still managed to shoot most of the frames at between f5.6 and f11 hoping to test how sharp Fomapan 400 is.

After development the negatives looked pretty contrasty so I was excited to scan and see what I had.

The initial scans using my Epson v500 and Epson scan were promising and once in Lightroom/Photoshop the images blew me away … really nice contrast, not too punchy and sharpness in spades.

The C330 always gives me contrasty sharp images on most film stocks and didn’t fail here either.

Fomapan in 120 is like chalk and cheese compared to 35mm, I never got anything like this even from Fomapan 100 yet alone 400.

Suffice to say I immediately bought more Fomapan 400 and will be shooting it much more in future.

Here is the whole roll .. comments most welcome

Click on an image to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav