Samstag, 20. August 2011

Change to Wordpress - end of this blog

Bokeh Princess, originally uploaded by topfloor.

Hello my dear reader,
it is time to move forward to a Wordpress Blog. It is hosted at my long term URL Please reset your Bookmark and redirect your RSS feed reader.
Thx for following, Carsten

Mittwoch, 18. Mai 2011

Leaving for Brighton (UK)

Santander Pirat, originally uploaded by topfloor.

Tonight, I'll travel to Brighton (UK) to participate in a workshop by L.A. based Street Photographer Eric Kim.
Following Eric's Blog for quite some time, it was a clear decision to go there when he twittered about his first european workshop.
His Blog is definitely worth reading if you have an interest in streetphotography.
Packing gear was a breeze as I just had to reconfigure (read: leave things at home) from my Italy trip some weeks ago. I hope to bring home some nice shots as Brighton is a very interesting place to shoot (been there in Aug 2009 last time).
Have fun,

Samstag, 9. April 2011

Film selbst entwickeln - welcher Entwickler?

unboxed - TRIX - HCD new - SOOS, originally uploaded by topfloor.

Einen etwas aufwendigeren Versuch habe ich in Braunschweig mit dem Team von der Firma Spürsinn und den Absolut Analog Leuten gestartet.

having fun - TRIX - Spur SD2525 multitemp - PP

Mit mehr als 10 verschiedenen Entwicklern ging die Gruppe an den Start.

Die von mir eingesetzten Filme waren TRIX und efke 25 /50, die Entwickler waren Agfa Rodinal R09, Tetenal Neofin blau, Spur SD2525, MixTour MT134 sowie der neue HCD Entwickler.

Eine Auswahl meiner Ergebnisse habe ich mit dem Flickr-Tag 'Analog Developer Check' in jeweils einer unbearbeiteten Fassung (Straight out of Scanner SOOS, Scan mit mind. 3200 dpi, 16-bit Graustufen als TIFF, ohne Schärfung im Scanner) und einer in Lightroom mit geringem Zeitaufwand optimierten Fassung versehen.

In den jeweiligen Tags der Bilder gibt Details (Entwicklungszeiten und Temperaturen usw.).

Very long time stand development - TRIX - Rodinal R09 15 hours dev - PP
Als vorläufiges Resumee für mich (der Vergleich ist noch nicht zu Ende): TRIX und efke 25 / 50 rocken mit Spur SD2525, ganz besonders mit dem FeinkornV2 der MixTour. An den neuen HCD laß ich auch nichts kommen, ob er in meiner Geschmackswelt mit dem FeinkornV2 / MixTour mithalten kann, werde ich noch austesten.

Ich freue mich auf Feedback. Falls Ihr von Flickr-Gruppen oder -Threads wißt, in denen solchen Beispiele auch gezeigt werden, freue ich mich auf Eure Flickr Mail - denn das Lernen geht weiter.


Montag, 4. April 2011

just a short bye bye for the week

City Icon - Ellis Island, originally uploaded by topfloor.

I will be heading to a small european island tomorrow for a short business trip, so I'll be offline for the week. have fun and continue to shoot and share, please!

Samstag, 26. März 2011

Streets in Color

riding, originally uploaded by topfloor.

The flickr group 'Streets in Color' selected this picture among the 'Featured Photos of the Week' of March 25, 2011.

Head dover to this group and have a look at their pool.

Happy Shooting!

Donnerstag, 24. März 2011

Large Format - First Steps

Central Tram station, originally uploaded by topfloor.

After meeting the local New York Streetphotographer Louis Mendez

Graflex Beauty - Louis Mendes

in New York last year, his Graflex large format camera inspired me to get hold of one on eBay as well. After visiting a really cool large format workshop in Braunschweig at Spürsinn some weeks ago, I found time to use my Graflex for the first time alone in the urban environment.

As large format camera‘s work great, but not fast, I choose some architecture at Kassel for my first venture. I had loaded my 4x5“ large format filmmagazines with Fomapan 400 film (with 26 sheets / pictures) and went out to have some fun.

Detail of the tram station shot
Detail of the first picture

For metering I used my trusty Gossen Digisix. After I had visited the castle, the new and the old train station, my given timeframe was over and I headed home.

Today I developed the film(s) - and was at my first point of confusion. I have Rodinal, XTOL and HC-110 developer in my fridge, but in the massive dev chart App on my Pad I could not find any information for the Fomapan 400 film I had used. Now Google is my friend, and in an large format forum someone had asked this question just 5 weeks ago and shared his experiences. So I went for 12 minutes at 20 degr. with XTOL 1:1, and the results turned out well. Then I googled how to loead the special 4x5 Inch JoBo Filmreel with the sheets, practised with one sheet in plain sight, and then ,shaked the soup‘.

Some examples can be found here . . .

Shooting me
shooting shooters

City Icon - Kassel's Castle
City Icon

Lessons learned this time: I need a larger development tank, as only 6 sheets of film fit in mine. Framing is still a little bit on the trial and error side. And I have to slow down even more :-)

Next time I‘ll be shooting the Graflex will probably be in Venice, where I hope to capture urban landscape as well as some street with this cam.

Montag, 21. März 2011

City Icon - New York's Lady Liberty

This photo was really fun to take. It was shot on a very cold, sunny winter day in january. Revisiting Lady Liberty for the 2nd time, after 27 years of absence, was one of my highlights of this NYC trip.

Walking around the island, looking for a pleasing angle and an acceptable background, operating the camera with gloves and enjoying the view of Manhattan was challenging.

This picture is one of those I like, converted to bw in NIK Silver Efex Pro 1.

Have fun,

Freitag, 11. März 2011

In favour of analogue - Unlimited Grain Bookproject

Wedding and Portrait photographer Edward Olive's photostream on flickr is really worth a visit. He often uses light in this great, classic Hollywood manner. His photos speak a unique language of light.

Together with other photographers, he started a project I want to point you to (text from the Flickr Photopage of the shown photo of Edward). . .


A collection of fine art photography featuring the work of Edward Olive and other artists.

More and more photographers are starting or returning to use film. There is a revival going on.
On our website we can see a growing interest in this now called "vintage" phenomenon of analogue (analog) photography.
We realize that analogue is not the right term and it should really be "photography that includes a chemical process". However, this is a mouthful, so we stick with analogue.
We run the THIAPS website now for about 3 years and slowly we grew tired of looking at brilliant photography on a computer screen.
So let's print it. It took us 6 months to create a short list of photographers who we wanted to ask for this project. We also came to the conclusion that one book would probably not be satisfactory, so we decided to go for a series of books. For some reason we thought that portraits would be the perfect theme for the first one. Other topics, like landscape's, urban, street photography, nocturnal and more could follow.
And we call it the UNLIMITED GRAIN series.
So, now we have 120 pages with a wide variety of analogue photography from large format via 35mm to instant film.
I hope this book will inspire you and that more people will take an interest working with film and chemicals.


The Participants: Lauren E. Simonutti, Joshua Black Wilkins, Frans Peter Verheyen, Vittorio Colombi, Stephane Polteau, James Wigger, Steffo Weber, Maciek Lesniak, Urs Bernhard, Claudia Moroni, Carmen Palermo, Tanel Verk, Shannon Richardson, Alek Lindus, Tadas Kazakevicius, László Lejkó, Deborah Parkin, Ben Parks, Edoardo Pasero, Madlen Kirchner, Flavia Schaller, Tobias Feltus, Anna Chobotova, Milosz Wozaczynski, Tim Franco, Alexey Alexeev, Giancarlo Rado, Ocaña Fernández, Laurent Orseau, Vít Kocián, Daryan Dornelles, Piotr Biegaj, Kiarash Sadigh, Leo Tage-Hansen, Aleksandra Patova, Vladimir Longauer, Marina Romanova, Takala, Joshua Black Wilkins, Katsunori Yamaguchi, Oliver Weber, Rik Garrett, J.R. Ball, Philippe Mougin, Edward Olive, Christo Stankulov, Cole Emde, Jonas Mattsson, Saroyan Humphrey, Lambis Stratoudakis, Steve Korn, Caglar Tahiroglu, Yuichiro Miyano, Lars Daniel Terkelsen, Ben Rains, and Thomas Krauss

Explore analogue photography, as it exists today and what it will be tomorrow.

THIAPS, The International Analogue Photographic Society is a platform for photographers who love the tactile quality of film-based images, as well as enjoy the wet and warm smell of developers and fixative, with a strong belief that "Film is not dead it just smells funny."
For those who create their photographs with 35mm, roll films, sheets and plates, with Polaroid or Liquid Light, with Large Format or any tool what so ever, as long as chemical processing is involved.

Photo 'Light through door' by Edward Olive (c)

Donnerstag, 24. Februar 2011

Films I like . . .

Just wanted to share a few examples (a few already posted here) with you. Shots I took using film, selfdeveloped if bw. Scanned with either the EPSON V750 or a Nikon Coolscan 9000ED.

Kodak TRIX 400
Example 1
surf and drink

Example 2 (shot very close to the location of the shot above)
white park
High quality bw film with unique look in contrast and grain. Can be pulled 1 stop and pushed 2 stops, even 3 if it has to be. Does not like every developer though. I prefer Rodinal or XTOL.

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Kodak Portra400 (new)

Passing Times Square

The colors are close to natural. Skin tones are 'real', and the non-skin colors are relativly vivid. As I like a punchy look in my color images, this new Portra 400 is good, but the 400VC (vivid color) is my favorrite (discontinued) -> see below for an example of the 400VC

Example of the Kodak Portra 400VC . . .

can't resist

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Fuji Provia 400

top of the rock II

Excellent film for shooting when the sun is gone. This example was pushed 2 stops. I love the slight color shift, the cinematic look it gives me. My favorite film for the evening / night, when 1600 ISO do the job

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Rollei PAN 25

The dancing house I

Sharp. Perfect for shooting in the sun, giving me the chance to shoot wide open when I have to.

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Fuji Velvia 50F

Rialto Cross

Great for crossing. I usually bracket this film (3 exposures) as the color effects chance drastically with over- and underexposure. Totally surprising, fun to shoot subjects I have shot digitally or with 'normal' film.

Have fun finding the film that pleases you most for a given situation.


Sonntag, 30. Januar 2011

Special Situations - special film: Fuji Provia 400X

top of the rock II, originally uploaded by topfloor.

The Fuji Provia 400X is a color reversal film with a unique feature - it can be pushed 2 stops and delivers unique color characteristics with a cinema look when used after dark.

Tokyo, here I come... - Praktica Hanimex 66 with Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f2.8 on Provia 100F

On the Fuji page, you can read . . .

. . . delivers the same vivid color reproduction and regulated gray balance as ISO 100 film. Excellent results in push-/pull processing for a wide range of exposures, from -1/2 (E.I.280) to +2 (E.I.1600) stops, and even up to +3 depending on the scene.

This shot from the Rockefeller center (Top of the Rock) is SOOC and shows some of it's potential. I exposed some more rolls at ISO 1600 for streetshots after sunset and look forward to see more results.

Some more fine examples of the great use of the Fuji Provia 400X film is shown by flickr user Dove Vadar aka Francis Tan like these ones . . .

3 impressions part 3: bokeh transcend


All photos used in this blog post (besides the one of the view from the Rockefeller Center) were made by Dove Vadar (Francis Tan), he has the full Copyright.

The film is not cheap (6 Dollar for 120, 10 Dollar for a 135 film), also processing is more expensive than the C41 process. Still, the color characteristics are unique.

It's really special to discover the various film types and their use for my style of photography.

Have fun and discover your views of Gotham city icons!

on Steichen's suit - the Flatiron building

white park, originally uploaded by topfloor.

As flickr user Scottoo remarked, my try of a winter shot of the Flatiron building was inspired by Steichen. I had the privilege to see an original print of this picture

Steichen, Flat Iron Building (New York City), 1905

at a Steichen exhibit at South Sea Port / NYC in Oct. 2010 and was moved by the strength and simplicity of this picture.

It inspired me to return to the Flatiron three months later and do this winter shot of the Flatiron myself.

Have fun and enjoy your views of the icons of Gotham city!

Samstag, 22. Januar 2011

Medium Format Examples

food service, originally uploaded by topfloor.

A little while ago I blogged about doing travel- and streetphotography with a foldable medium format camera.

I tried another approach while I am in New York on a business trip with a Hasselblad (waistlevel finder) medium format SLR.

This photo is an example what can be done with a 'slow' camera (manual focus, manual metering) such as the rented 503CX Hasselblad with the 80 mm CFE lens (a normal lens for medium format).

Finding the spot (background etc.) and waiting for the action proved to be one of the successful ways to make this work.

If you care about some more examples of this kind of pics, have a look at my flickr stream (places i've been - Manhattan flickr set).

Have fun,

Donnerstag, 13. Januar 2011

Hassi ready for Gotham City

Hassi ready for Gotham City, originally uploaded by topfloor.

A first time for me - shooting a medium format Hasselblad with waistlevel finder. And big luck to be able shot shoot it in Manhattan while here on a business trip. The camera is a 503cw, rented from Adorama Rental Company ARC in midtwon. I use it with A12 backs (3) and a 80 mm CFE lens, which is roughly the same as a 50 mm lens in 35 mm format.

The picture is left - right reversed, which takes some time to get used to (I turn the cam to the wrong side when recomposing). Shooting low downs is a breeze with this kind of finder. Metering is done with a separate lightmeter (Gossen digisix). Cool feature - the digisix gives you the Exposure Values as well. These are also on the 80 mm lens, so I can find the appropriate shitterspeed / aperture combos quickly :-)

Loading film in the A12 magaqzines is easy - once you know which mistakes to avoid. A youtube video (just search for loading film Hasselblad) helped a lot.

Put 5 rolls of film through (Kodak new Portra 400 and TRIX 400) the camera today while walking the Intrepid / Times Square / Flatiron and SoHo, will collect the developed and scanned film from Luster tomorrow evening.

Shooting a larger medium format camera like this is asthonishingly easy, handling etc. seemd quite easy for a beginner.

Have fun,

Mittwoch, 12. Januar 2011

Unbelievable - blogging in 30.000 feet

FRA, originally uploaded by topfloor.

I am just traveling from Frankfurt to New York in a Lufthansa Airbus. Lufthansa is offering WiFi for free, so I can. Surf the Net, write a few Mails and Write this blogpost. A first time for me, I was analog bevor, just reading books and magazines on flighttime. I enjoy the freedom to roam, and wanted to share my anxiety for my NY trip.
This trip is for business purpose, but in spare time I'll shoot some Rolls of film. My M7 and some medium format gear look forward to be put to use. May the analog power be with me :-)
Have fun.