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 🙂

1st roll of 2022 .. ilford Delta 400

This year I really want to push myself and get back to shooting more so even though the weather was pretty poor I forced myself to go out and get the first roll in the bag.

I have not shot any ilford Delta for ages and as luck would have it my @emulsivesanta gifted me a roll of Delta 400 which I loaded into my Yashicamat 124g and went out.

I debated whether to push it to 800 but decided against as I wanted to see just how sharp Delta 400 was when shot at less than f8 .. nearly all the frames were either f3.5 or f4 .. I did manage f5.6 on the Graffiti container image.

To be honest my walk only took about 45 minutes and luckily the rain held off.

I developed the roll in ilford DD-x 1+4 dilution for 8 minutes and scanned with my Epson v600.

I was very happy with just how sharp the images were and that I managed to pretty much nail the focus on the wide open frames, Delta 400 is very sharp and with very little grain compared to my beloved HP5 ( I do like grain mind ).

Maybe it’s the way I like to scan ( I scan pretty flat and boost contrast in Lightroom ) but the images seemed less contrasty than HP5 even with my usual boost but it didn’t matter as the look suited the compositions.

Overall I would say that Delta 400 is a great film I should really get some more especially in 120 format as it costs only 50 pence more per roll compared to HP5 in Analogue Wonderland’s store.

I bet if I shot this at f8+ on a bright day in my Fuji GW690iii the scans would be scarily sharp.

So here is the whole roll .. nothing really exciting (I did like the sheep shot thought)

Comments most welcome .. click 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

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

Plastic Pano camera .. Junk or Gem? …

I have loads of cameras all of which produce technically excellent images due to the metering/lenses and the ability to choose how you want the image to look as you can determine the aperture to control depth of field or the shutter speed to control the exposure.

I have always liked panoramic images and have in the past shot 35mm in my Fuji Gw690iii to get a sudo pano look and as I am very unlikely to find an Xpan in a charity shop I am going to have to make do shooting multiple frames and sticking them together to get my panos.

The other day I was going through my camera drawers and various camera bags and came across a little plastic camera that I didn’t know I had.

I am sure I never bought it so I must have been given it at some point.

Not knowing anything about it other than it said PN919 on the front I checked out Google to find that it was a rebadged Vivitar by the Readers Digest magazine from years ago.

It gives you the option of shooting straight 35mm or with a flick of a switch it gives a fake pano by just exposing the centre of the frame ( you could just do this in Lightroom on a full frame but where’s the fun in that”.

What I like with this camera which is also the same when I shoot my Holga and Diana cameras is the fact that I can just worry about the content and composition of what I am shooting and let everything else be what it will be.

I loaded it up with a roll of trusty ilford HP5 and went out for a walk to test it out.

When I got home I went to rewind the film and it was very loose and didn’t seem to be rewinding, I thought that the film take up spool had let go of the leader and I had not shot any frames so opened the back in very dim light only to find that it had fully wound on to the take up spool.

I quickly closed the back and attempted to rewind again and eventually it did start to rewind albeit very stiffly.

I developed it in ilford LC29 1+19 dilution and when I opened the tank I was pleased to see that only the last few frames had been affected with the back being opened.

Overall I was pleased with how the images look, they are not all that sharp but the pano effect coupled with the gritty HP5 look made me smile.

Would I recommend this camera if you could find one? .. in a word Yes! as it’s a fun thing to try, I wouldn’t pay a lot for it but if a cheap one came up then give it a go.

Here are all the images along with some images of the camera showing the pano mechanism.

There are also one or two full frames images there just to see the difference

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

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