Ponies, Pumpkins & Parents

Polaroid Automatic 100, Fuji FP-100C film

Two of our dearest family friends are regular volunteers at DreamPower Horsemanship in Gilroy, CA.  They invited us to the “Ponies, Pumpkins & Parents” event that occurred yesterday.

DreamPower is a non-profit organization which provides therapeutic horsemanship lessons, clinics, and camps for children, teens and adults.  Their staff includes seasoned horse handlers and licensed counseling professionals who help people facing challenges (medical, behavioral, etc.) by practicing animal care or simply how to ride on horseback.

We had a great time as a family, with my Dear Sweet Wife and I learning about parenting tips while our two boys played with horses, ponies, goats, chickens and ducks.

Their favorite activity had them playing out horse and rider, taking turns holding or wearing (!) the bridle.  While they thought it was a game, it was actually an exercise to practice responding to when others don’t behave the way you expect them to.

And as we hoped the visit made for some good photo opportunities.  Above is a shot I took on my Polaroid 100 of the horse “Pete” who is under the excellent care of our friend.

I also took some shots with my F6 and Rollei B 35 (which need to be developed), and my wife with her Fuji Instax Mini and D300.  Yes, we can be a little “over formatted” at times…

Galivanting Gullwing

Polaroid Automatic 100, Fuji FP-100C film

I attended another car show last Friday which was a perfect opportunity to test my new cameras.  I took a few shots on my new F6, but I am not yet ready to develop that roll.

My shots from my “new” Polaroid Automatic 100 instant camera came out great and are of course ready for viewing.

I knew the above Mercedes 300SL Gullwing was a valuable car, but I just checked online and in excellent shape it is worth over $500,000 US!

In other news, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops has updated their web site and it seems easier to find workshops by topic or instructor.  I recommend anything taught by Eddie Soloway, especially if you want to work on your natural vision.

Also, Nikon School is coming to San Jose in early November, though they are of course 100% digital now.  I took their class once several years back when it was still film oriented and it was excellent for technical tips and references.

I am going to attend the San Jose Photo Fair this Saturday.  This is my first time so I am hoping they have some finds and/or deals.

Willow Glen Classic Car Show

Polaroid 320, Fuji Film FP-100c

My Dear Sweet Wife already wrote about the wonderful time we had celebrating the birthdays of our two boys.  They turned 6 and 3 recently and we all really enjoyed the celebration.

We had cupcakes, cookies, family, ice skating, more cupcakes, more fun, rainbow cake, gifts, more fun, chocolate cake, more gifts… or something along those lines!

We took a short break from the festivities on Sunday to visit the Cruise for A Cause classic car show in Willow Glen.  This was a great opportunity to shoot some more Fuji pack film in my Polaroid 320.

I love the saturation of the Fuji color film, as well as the soft look of the 320 with its plastic lens and somewhat shallow depth of field.  However, a number of my prints were spotty from pulling them out too fast, coverd with paper fibers from storing them in the cardboard film box, and had blemishes from sticking to each other.

I am still learning how to work with its film and have a couple more takeaways:

  • Do not rush shooting, pulling out, or storing the packfilm!
  • When pulling it out of the camera, say “Pol-a-roid” slowly and keep it moving at a moderate and even pace.
  • After developing is finished and the print has been peeled free, hold it exposed to the air for a bit to allow it to dry.
  • Store the print in a clean case made out of plastic face-to-back (not face-to-face) so that the prints don’t stick to each other

First Few Pack Films

Polaroid 320, Fuji FP-100C

I finally got the last of my Fuji FP-100C pack of prints from Southern California scanned in.  These include a few more shots from the water park as well as from Legoland (my young sons’ favorite amusement park.) It was only my second pack of film that I ran through my Polaroid 320 camera and so far it is my favorite.

To back up a bit, I tried my first pack ever back in April.  It was some expired Polaroid 100 Sepia pack film (ISO 1500) purchased from Impossible which was a little tough to work with in terms of exposure latitude.  It had a classic B&W look to it but preferred strong light with low contrast.  One or two low-light shots were almost completely washed out and one or two shots with varied lighting levels resulted in clearly over- or under-exposed elements.

This Fuji FP-100C (ISO 100) color pack film definately required strong lighting, but seemed to be much more flexible in terms of contrast levels.  All my shots were in either in direct sunlight or at worst light shade, but every single one came out looking good.  Its color is beautiful and seems both vivid and even tempered.  Its look is very distinct and even when scanned is clearly not from 35mm film or digital capture.

I did start a third pack of Fuji FP-3000B (ISO 3200), however all three shots I tried were complete failures.  I thought this high speed B&W film would allow for shooting indoors but I was wrong. I had major problems with backlighting and even moderate side-lighting from windows.  I didn’t bother scanning these in at all, and will try the rest of the pack outdoors later…

So far my 320/pack film lessons learned are:

  • Use strong, direct and even daylight whenever possible.
  • Adjust for parallax even when subjects are 5 feet away.  (See my ninth shot which appeared fully centered in the rangefinder.  The right mariachi musician is only half in the print.)
  • Do NOT keep the developed prints face-to-face, their emulsions will start to stick to each other and feathering or ripping will occur! (See my tenth shot for some clear feathering on the wall and upper-left transport, in other shots I touched it up a bit in Photoshop.)

Buckets Of Fun

Big Splash

Polaroid 320, Fuji FP-100C

We wrapped up a long stay in Southern California this past weekend.  Visiting my in-laws is always a blast, but this time we spent nearly a week there and had the opportunity to visit a water park (twice!), Legoland, as well as meet our brand new niece.

I fired off a few rolls of film and won’t see them back from Photoworks SF for a week or so.  But I was able to start scanning my Polaroid 320 shots.  I made it through 5 instant prints from my pack of Fujifilm FP-100c ISO 100 color pack film.

This was my first Fuji pack, and so far I have to say I was impressed.  All my shots were taken in bright sunlight, and working with full light the exposures were spot on (way to go 320!) and the colors vividly saturdated (nice work Fuji!).

Hopefully I can scan the rest tomorrow night…