Pushed …

I have time on my hands, life has slowed to the pace of a snail.  I am not good at doing nothing.  Consequently my blog output has suddenly risen and playing with the camera occupies a large part of the day.  This is not necessarily a bad thing – life back home is always too full.  Here in Comillas the opposite applies.

Days start too slowly – we skip mornings, arrive ready prepared for siesta time and finally hit the streets early evening.  I could not do this for long, it feels like a life wasted but for a short time it is fine.

I avoid using flash – it has limited range, it is intrusive, it does nothing for facial features and the strong shadows are unnatural.  As the light fails, the answer is to push the X100s to ISO 6400, change the white balance to incandescent, switch the film simulation to Provia Standard and then fade into the background.

Once captured, the images are cropped and the levels adjusted in Photoshop CC. ON1 is used to convert to black and white with a basic green filter, a minor vignette applied and a border added.  Then a final dabble with sharpening, levels, brightness and contrast in Photoshop finishes the job.  And, the real trick in all this? – remembering to reset the camera to its standard settings.

On the Run, Phoning HomeThe Fountain and Church Door were taken out and about on the streets of Comillas last night.  It keeps me amused and out of trouble 🙂

On the run ...Evening in the square ...The fountain ...Iglesia de S. Cristobal ...

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

By coincidence I was about to post these two images under another topic but conveniently they seem to fit this week’s photo challenge.  During the week I watched the BBC Imagine story of Vivian Maier, the nanny and amateur photographer whose prodigious talent was only recognised after her death in 2007.  Predominantly she photographed the streets of Chicago and New York in the 1950s and 1960s leaving a precious archive of more than 100,000 negatives which were only saved from oblivion quite by accident.  The photographs are a delight and surprisingly, they were all shot on a twin lens 120 roll film Rolleiflex, a less than discreet device which would have demanded a close-up relationship between subject and photographer on some very mean streets; not something I would like to attempt unless I was relaxed about losing some teeth.  These two examples are not intended for comparison with Vivian’s much superior work but they do demonstrate how close I was prepared to get on the 1970s back streets of Dundee with a similar camera – a twin lens Mamiyaflex.  Vivian would work from about three feet for some of her street subjects – I only felt comfortable at something like thirty.  Cartier-Bresson worked with a Leica 35mm for good reasons.

Dundee 1977Dundee 1977(click on the images to enlarge)