Caitlin – Forest Dreams

When kicking around ideas for a shoot with Caitlin I was inspired by her tattoo work – subtle yet with a strong goddess/cup/chalice feel to it.   I wanted to focus on this a bit and then do some experimental stuff for another project idea.

This was also the first shoot with the Mamiya RZ67proII instead of the Pentax 645n as my medium format body – but with the theme only about 25% of the images where shot medium format – by far most where shot in 35mm with a combination of the Nikon F100 and Canon T90.  The decision for the shift to more 35mm was led mostly by the films I wanted to use and the fact I was shooting a handmade pinhole lens on the T90.   Specific details of some of these items will be in followup posts.

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Forest Dance with Canon T90 and Efke 25

The last few images from the Forest Dance shoot have a bit of a different feel since they are the only part of the shoot captured on 35mm film instead of medium format film.

Efke 25 is an old single layer silver B&W film that is still in production.   Not my favorite by any means – but the super slow ISO allows shooting wide open even on sunny days.

The Canon T90 is an interesting camera.  It’s a bridge between the older AE-1 style of SLR and the EOS line.   It still uses FD lenses and is fully manual focus, but has the autowind, hand grip, and exposure features of the early EOS film cameras.  Oh and it flash syncs at 1/250 – something a Canon 5Dmkanything has yet to do.

Most of these where shot on a Canon FD 50mm F1.4 – wide open.  This allowed me to start experimenting with some looks for a future project.

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Forest Dance – Rolleiflex T and Ilford XP2

During the Forest Dance project I also had my Rolleiflex along with me and I too the opportunity to finish up a roll of Ilford XP2 film.

I’ve found that Ilford’s XP2 is one of my favorite films where I want a high contrast B&W but still want the convince and latitude of C41 processing.   It’s great for my cameras without meters since I can often “Sunny 16” it and get a good image back.   Of course the fact that I can get these processed at The Find Lab under their basic scanning – something you can’t do with normal B&W film is a bonus as well.

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Forest Dance and Kodak Ektar 100

I knew we’d take a few shots down by the lake so I also packed a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 for this shoot.  Ektar has a wonderful color – although you have to shoot it a bit more like slide film (or digital) in that it doesn’t handle extreme over exposure like Portra 400 can – it really needs pretty much a rock solid exposure.

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Forest Dance – Pentax 645N and Kodak Portra 400

If the shoot is a person and I want color – you can bet on the fact I’m going to have Kodak Portra 160 and 400 ready and loaded.   While Portra 160 gives ever so better results in the right light – the shear versatility of Portra 400 is unmatched and it is my goto film if I’m not 100% sure of the light conditional I’ll be dealing with.

As for the gear, this was the last shoot with the Pentax 645N before I sold it.   Looking at the quality of these images it’s hard to find any fault with results from this wonderful camera.   It is without a doubt the finest 645 medium format camera out there for weddings and portraits in my opinion – yeah a lot of people rave about the Contax – until the fickle POS dies on you mid shoot because it’s too (insert one:  hot, cold, humid, dry, Saturday, month with an R, etc).   If I was focusing still on weddings and portraits – this would be my goto camera – but it just doesn’t feel right in my hands if I’m not shooting a wedding or portrait.

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I also decided to break out some “off camera lighting” for this shoot.   In this case I was using a trio of Cactus FR60 flash units being fired by a cactus V6 transceiver.  These are left over from the wedding days when I’d rock these things for wedding receptions – but the truth is film responds even better to digital to flash.

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Processed by The Find Lab

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