Film Photography Love {cleveland film photos}

Once again, I need to sing the praises of my favorite film developers, Old School Photo Lab, in Dover NH. I sort of, kind of, went nuts with my film. I think in June-July I developed something like 10 or 12 rolls. I was getting the actual 4×6 prints back as well as high res scans and that was adding up- for good reason of course and I’m happy to pay for services used.  But I was running out of film budget quickly, haha! I believe these were all developed on Fuji 200 and 400 speed film, which I’ve been getting on Amazon.

I shot film while we visited the zoo in Akron….

Akron-collage

We’d never been, and I was really surprised with how botanical it was! The gardens were so pretty. I wish I had brought three full rolls- I only brought one and a half :/ Live and learn; bring more film than you think you need.  All of the following images are SOOC (straight out of camera). The only edit work done was to place them into the collage spaces.

I shot film at my hometown’s Cherry Festival (North East, PA represent!) I shot some of the attractions and the things that just scream Cherry Fest , North East for me…

CherryFefst-collage1

Cherry-fest-collage-2

I only wish I had time to get down to Freeport Beach. Oh well. I am planning on only taking my cell phone and my Vivitar v3000s camera on our family trip to NYC this month! I bought 40 rolls of film, and honestly I hope it’s enough. That’s going to be a hell of a develop fee though :S

I took my Yashica to the Luvin Lavender festival in Madison OH. One of my daughters and I went and had a nice morning together.

lavender-collage

And my other daughter and I took both the Yashica and the Vivitar on a walk through our neighborhood. We were having some painting done on our house, too 😉

walk-collage

I am obsessed. I can’t believe how much more I’m enjoying photography working with film as my medium. A friend encouraged me to invest in a Nikon F6 film camera… but with a $2500 price tag, I think it’ll have to wait. Forever. I am sort of eyeing up this Nikon F10 though. How many cameras is too many again?

 

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Thrift Shop Find UPDATE! {film photography}

A few weeks back, I was one of the lucky few who find vintage cameras in thrift shops. I happened upon a Yashica 35ME at Givits Thrift and Recycle. Read about that HERE. I used up one roll of film, with all my fingers crossed that something, anything at all would come out. The camera itself could have had any number of issues; it’s about forty years old and had been lord only knows where its entire life. If it had issues, that would have been fine, buuuuuuut I really wanted it to work.

I sent my roll of film (Kodak Gold 400) off to OldSchoolPhotoLab, paid my fee (more on that later) and thought, “here goes nothing,”. Let me say straight off, OldSchoolPhotoLab is fast like lightening. I mailed my film on Friday- to Dover, NH from Cleveland, OH. I selected high res scans and 4×6 prints. I got my gallery with scans on Wednesday. That’s pretty fast, friends.

So what was on those scans? Oh just things like… 1wm15  And a couple of these…

10wm18wm

And then these… 19wm

23wm
I love that the lens focused on the blades of grass, and my daughter is soft behind the grass.

But my favorite shot, of all 27 that came out, is this one. It’s 100% out of focus, but it looks like a memory. Sort of fuzzy, like you know it’s there but you can’t quite make out the details. The soft greens, and the sky through the tree limbs, my daughter’s bike in the lower corner… the shadow of the bridge on the creek bank. I just freaking love this so much. It’s technically garbage being 100% OOF but man. Rules are made to be broken, right? 25wm

I can’t wait to get my little prints back! I am going to work on learning the camera’s focus planes, and keep shooting. I am so so so excited to have found this camera. Talk about a great Mother’s Day gift!

Thrift shop find! { film photography}

For Mother’s Day yesterday, my husband, kids, and I went to a local thrift shop Givits “Thrift & Recycle” (5153 Darrow Rd. Hudson, Ohio). It was so cool- I found exactly what I was looking for (a nice solid wood chair for kids) and…. then I found this beauty. I love it. It was super well priced for what I thought was going to just sit pretty on a shelf in my office. The body is in great condition, it came with it’s original user manual (!!), the only thing that didn’t seem to be working was the light meter. Willing to take a chance, I bought some film (Walgreens, if you’re wondering where I found film that wasn’t Amazon), cleaned up the battery compartment and took it for a little spin.

yashica-1

I have no idea if anything will come out, if there are any other mechanical issues, if there will be light leaks since the seal around the film is pretty rough. But I don’t even care. Being able to fix the light meter myself was so exciting, I nearly cried. I asked my husband to drop the film off back at the ol’ Walgreens to see if anything will come out. They have to send it out, and I can pick up in FIVE DAYS. For real. How am I going to wait five days?! The anticipation might kill me. Are all the shots over exposed, since I didn’t have the light meter working? Did the film even load correctly? What’s my field look like?

If you are a film photographer help a sister out. Where can I send film and get digital negatives back, that I could edit? Is the FindLab the best place to do this? I don’t even know what I don’t know. I am probably putting my cart way before my horse, but hey, can you blame me?

 

****EDIT*** Turns out WG was a bad, bad decision. I went to pick up the film when they told me I should, and was informed that they hadn’t sent it out yet, and that they may not for UP TO A MONTH. #ohhellno right. I picked the undeveloped film up and sent it to OldSchoolPhotoLab in Dover. NH instead.

Moms in the Picture

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend here in the States, and this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite #momsinthepicture over on my Facebook page. I was inspired to do so, with help from the good people at Pretty Presets who’ve written up some helpful blog posts to help you get in the picture.

You are worth so much more, than a shaky selfie shot. We get so caught up in how we look; is our “mom muffin” showing? Is our grey hair visible?  Can you see the bags under our eyes? These worries make us shy away from being in photos. What message are we giving our kids, when we dog on ourselves over how we look in photos?

Photos immortalize us. They are tangible evidence that WE LIVED. Exist in photos, make sure your children, your children’s children and so on know YOU LIVED.

Check out the helpful bog posts from Pretty Presets Blog HERE!  And while you’re at it, why not book a family session for yourself? I’ve got some gorgeous nights available in June AND July that would be perfect for families! Email me, wendy@wboycephotos.com for information or to book your session! 

Welcome to the busy season

Kicking it into high gear and welcoming the start of the busy season! I’m shooting Mommy and Me minis this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed that the rain will hold off for a couple hours. If you’re scheduled for a session watch your email; I will only cancel if it’s raining during the time of our scheduled shoot. Spring in Cleveland is temperamental, so even if it’s raining in the morning, it might be sunny and 75 in the afternoon. Our rain date was announced via email last week- if you did not receive that email let me know ASAP.
I’m trading some head shots with a fellow photographer friend this week as well. I’ve been doing some writing and need to submit a headshot along with the articles and I don’t have a current picture of myself. What do they say about the cobbler’s children having no shoes? If you follow wendy b photos on Facebook, you know I’ve been pretty busy; and really taking my own photo would be super boring. I like to be on the other side of the lens now and then! If the articles are chosen for publication, I’ll be sure to link to them here and on my Facebook page.
I’ve got some time that opened back in July, perfect for milestones, family sessions, and newborns! Don’t forget, if you refer a friend to wendy b photos, you both get some sweet kick-backs, so send your friends to over 😀 My August dates are limited, but I’ll be back in September with 4-5 session spaces. It’s hard to believe I’m already looking at August and September bookings!

capture-life
all images ©wendy b photos

It’s been a great year thus far; thank you for keeping me busy. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2017 brings!

Why you should just take the picture :life:

I noticed that I had taken fewer shots of my own kids than “usual”. I was working a lot more, and blabla life stuff, but I love taking pictures of my girls. I looked through the pictures I had and realized—they’re all very “posed”. Not terribly much in the way of our daily life or lifestyle. I don’t think I took any pictures at Christmas. I didn’t take my camera to Thanksgiving, and I know it sat at my desk during their birthday (twins man, those birthdays get pretty busy). There are very few of the girls just playing together which is one of my favorite parts of our lives.

Ooh, posey. : /

I tried to step out of my own box and look at what was holding me back and it hit me when I shared a picture of my cat to FB (on my dinner table being a bad kitty, because of course there was a cat on my dinner table).

My house is a mess. My family room has piles of toys everywhere, legos spread across all surfaces, Barbie clothes everywhere. My kitchen has cups on the counter, and last night’s supper pans in the sink. There are books on the dinner table, and like I said, the cat.

If you follow any lifestyle photographers, you see these gorgeous homes- perfectly cleaned, gorgeous light in every room, nary a dust ball on the floor. And forget a-hole pets on their dinner table.

I thought something else—screw it. We live here. Having a spotless home is not a priority for me. We pick up, but you’ll probably never see our whole counter top. There will always be cat/dog fluff swirling their ballets across the floor. My throw pillows will never be artfully arranged. This is what our lives are- they’re messy and chaotic. And I’m going to be more mindful about shooting us just the way we are. Slovenly pig sty and all 😉

Take the picture. Don’t worry about the mess. Sometimes, life is messy.

How to: create a holiday silhouette

A year or so ago, I typed up a post about silhouettes but because Word Press is sort of the devil, it got eaten and is lost in the pits of internet mystery. So here goes with Take 2: Holiday Silhouette.

Long story short– expose for your tree lights, focus on your people, under exposing the people. Voila! Silhouette.

girls-silhouettewm16
ISO 200, f 1.6, 1/40th, 35mm 1.4 lens used

I just asked my daughters to stand in front of the tree and BE TOTALLY 100% STILL FOR PETE’S SAKE JUST STOP MOVING. (proud parenting moment  -_-)

But I had good reason to demand they be totally still. If you know anything about photography you know LIGHT MATTERS. Light is the single most important factor in your photography but when you shoot this, you want NO LIGHT. Why is that, Wendy?

Glad you asked. To create this specific holiday silhouette, your only light source will be your tree. If you have day light, lights on in the room- you will have a harder time getting that soft bokeh from your lights on your tree. But when you have pretty much zero light, you’re going to need to use a super slow shutter speed. When you have a super low shutter speed, any movement will look like a ghosty blur. No bueno.

What you’ll need in addition to a basic understanding of the manual settings of your camera:

  • tripod or something sturdy to set your camera on
  • holiday lights, the more the better. DO NOT wrap your kids in holiday lights.
  • a kid or two who will STAND STILL FOR THE 100TH TIME, I SWEAR TO GOD. (swearing to god optional). Also good for practicing with, stuffed animals because they are the best at being still when people are in the room.
  • a DLSR camera

Handy to have:

  • remote shutter release

First things first, mount your camera on your tripod or Sturdy Thing. You’re going to keep your ISO low, and your shutter speed SLOOOW like I said above. You can up your ISO a little bit, but don’t go to high or you will risk too much light on your people. My ISO was set to 200. My shutter speed was set to 1/20th– if I was trying to hand-hold my camera at that shutter speed the silhouette would be a motion blurry mess.  If you have a remote shutter release, it’ll be nice to use so you don’t risk shaking the camera even on your tripod when you push the shutter release.

Next you’re going to set your f-stop. I was set to 1.6 since my lens is pretty baller and I knew I would be able to get both girls in focus with it. For super beginners it’s sometimes suggested that your f-stop equal the number of people in your picture, so with 2 people, I could have set my f-stop to 2.8. If your lens only goes to 3.5, just remember to move your subjects farther away from the tree (some day, I’ll teach you all about depth of field and why it matters).

You should be good to give it a shot. Set your person or stuffed animal up, and take a test shot! How’d it look? Was your subject in silhouette? Was it a little brighter than you expected? If so, you can speed up your shutter, or close down your f-stop. Were the lights little pin pricks? Slow down that shutter even father! Show me in the comments on wendy b photos what you got!

Trying new things {editing with wendy b photos}

I shared on my Facebook page that I had been experimenting with some different editing styles and a friend suggested seeing the side by side which is a great idea 🙂 The newer edits are more matte, slightly film like.
In this first example, you can see how vivid the fall colors are. A lot of this is to do with the available light- we had a gorgeous day with lots of light hitting those leaves making everything REALLY bright and strong. In the after, I applied a soft matte and texture which softened those colors without desaturating them too much.

Before and After, trying stuff is fun!
Before and After, trying stuff is fun!

In this image of Cecelia, the edit made the greens a bit deeper and the image a bit cooler/ bluer. I like what happened with the green, but I’m not sold on the skin tone- this is an example of how this newer edit style for me may not work as well on every image, with every skin tone 🙂 I like both images, and could do some work on the skin to bring back some warmth and maybe a bit of light but for comparison’s sake, this is a “one click” edit.

BACeCewm

Then there’s my Lilly. The first edit was almost exactly what I wanted; I remember being really happy with the image over all, but also feeling like something was missing. I shot this over a year ago, and had one of those “AHA!” moments when I created my matte/ film edit. The change is subtle but I love it. Her skin looks perfect, the greens are deep and rich, the matte and grain is just right. I love the clean image, but the film-like texture is *exactly* what I was hoping to get. 

I took some photos of my daughters for their 9th birthday, and edited totally with the new look and loved every one.

So you can see, the changes aren’t huge, but change is hard for lots of people myself included. I’ve been a pretty “safe” editor but something in my gut has been pushing me to try something, to push my boundaries and experiment with my editing style. Like I’ve said, I can’t promise that this softer, grainy, textured, darker look will work with all sessions or images, but I do know that it’s been a lot of fun to use and I really like the look!