A Review by Sebastian Schlueter
What is it about film, that makes our heart sing? Why do people still shoot film, when digital is so convenient to use? There must be something that goes beyond detail, sharpness, precise color reproduction and this probably the "soul" of photography!
Beautiful grain, stunning tonality, bright and vivid colors, beautiful skin tones and subdued elegant shades of gray, all these attributes belong to certain type of film and wait to be explored, not only by the nostalgic enthusiast who is still drawn to the real medium, but also by the interested digital shooter, who is looking for a way to introduce the magic of film into the digital workflow. Read More
Inspired by my daylight encounters along the legendary "Pacific Coast Highway" I came up with a first set of images that could be the start of a series on fast food restaurants, diners and shopping locations along and surrounding PCH at night.
Stay tuned for more... Read More
Epson´s consumer scanners all come with "Epson Scan", a scanning software for all needs. Many scanner operators however tend to use third party software for their scanning tasks. Today I will show you how to get good results from Epson Scan, but I will also try to elaborate the drawback of Epson Scan and why Silverfast will give you even better results in the end. Read More
Aegean Spring in Rhodes
photos - Sebastian Schlueter
Beauty of course is subjective, but standing at beaches wide and open or small and fissured, looking at the light blue sea and breathing the lightly salted air that comes with the wind from the Mediterranean Sea, it is very hard to imagine somebody not being moved by the beauty of this island. The landscape is rough and rugged, but the recent rain over the winter months scattered many green trees and bushes all over the island. On the southeast coast there is a small village called Lindos that lies neatly below the big Acropolis. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Rhodes. The small white houses of the village cover the hills around the Paul´s Bay. Walking inside the narrow alleys gives me the feeling that this place has been here forever. Spring is special here in Rhodes, the streets are still empty and quiet. It is a time of change. People are getting ready for the tourists to arrive. Read More
My idea behind the "Filed Notes" series is simple. I want to provide some background information about the intent of my projects and series. In certain intervals I will be posting "Field Notes" that either contain technical or conceptual background information of my work. Read More
Star Ferry, a company established in 1898, looks back on a history of over 100 years serving the people in Hong Kong. A total of twelve ferries carry up to 70,000 people daily between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. After all these years it is still the most exciting way to shuttle between the two centers of the Asian metropolis. Following a very tight schedule the boats cross the harbour in less than ten minutes and despite the fact that there are alternatives available, like the subway and street tunnels, it is still the most inexpensive and probably the most exciting way to commute between the islands. The Star Ferries have been the only mean of public transportation for many decades. Boarding one of the ferries is still an adventure everyone staying in the city should experience at least once. Read More
My Mounting Solution for a flatbed Scanner
I have tried many mounting solutions for my Epson flatbed scanner and I was never happy with the results. Some solutions use additional glass and all of them reduce sharpness by a certain level. They deal with curled film quite nicely, but the loss of sharpness is not acceptable in my opinion. This is why I continued to use the original holders for quite a while. I still think they are the cheapest solution for good results. Handling can be a bit difficult though. By coincident I stumbled upon the Digitaliza 120 film mask and as I used a 35mm Digitaliza before I thought I would give it a try. After some experimentation I discovered that I can increase scan sharpness by increasing the distance between the scanner glass and the film. I made a 2mm thick rubber support for the Digitaliza and my scans immediately looked much better. It took me several test scans to find the optimum height. The 120 Film Mask is now my go to solution for mounting 120 film on a flatbed scanner. Read More
After my video tutorial in the last post, I thought a short follow up post with a detailed example would be helpful. So, no video today, but some further explanations on how I scanned the photograph below. But just in case you have missed the video, I highly recommend going back and watch it. It will give you a good overview of all the tasks required during the scanning process. Read More
Right in between the bustle of the city you will find a green oasis that opens its arms to embrace every visitor yearning for a escape from the chaos of the city. Singapore´s Botanical Garden is a wonderful hideaway, a treasure of the city. The beautifully maintained garden offers more than you might expect. Be ready for an overwhelming botanical experience, explore the beauty of the tropical flora and fauna - an epiphany for all senses. Read More
I always wanted to write about scanning color negative film. Now I was finally able to put together this site with lots of useful information to get started with scanning color film. The main part of this section is the video tutorial that can be found below.
While positive film seems so much easier to scan, obviously you can see the positive image already, it seems some kind of mystery to scan print film. The first thing you hear is, that you cannot get accurate results due to the orange mask. The orange mask and the fact that the image is inverted are of course two complications we have to deal with, but these challenges are not as complicated as you might think. The biggest problem is that we need to accept the fact that there is no accurate or "correct" scan that we retrieve from the scanner. Even during darkroom printing all prints were interpretations. The old Ansel Adams quote about the score and the performance is also true for color film. Once you have accepted this, you are good to go!
Make you own scans, your own interpretations, give the scans your artistic voice. That is what makes home scanning so fascinating. Read More
In preparation of an upcoming video tutorial on how to scan color film, I thought I share some recommendations for exposing negative film especially for scanning. Read More
The beauty of the Maggiore Lake in Northern Italy.
A photographic essay. Read More
A perfect weekend in Berlin...
Strolling through the streets of Berlin, exploring hidden backyard and experiencing the spirit of this exciting city, has been a big pleasure. If you only have two nights, you need to choose wisely where to go. We decided to only do very little sight-seeing and visit other more typical places instead. This was more difficult than we thought as all the important monuments were so close to our hotel. Stepping outside the lobby we have been in the middle of everything. After some great cakes and wonderful coffee at Quchnia we felt ready to climb the stairs up the French Dome at the "Gendarmen Markt". Our reward was a mind blowing sunset over the terrific skyline of Berlin. Read More
Lago Maggiore, Italy Read More
Memories from a summer vacation
In my previous post I mentioned that I try to replicate the work done in the traditional wet darkroom. Today I would like to introduce these techniques to you and show you their digital equivalent. Read More
The Digital "Master-Print-File"
In the previous part of this installment we have discussed how we get a flat scan from black and white film in Silverfast 8.8. In the second part of this series we concentrate on the creative process of taking a flat and lifeless scan to a wonderful black & white master print. While we should normally never constrain our creative freedom, I still suggest we try to maintain a believable plausibility, which means we want to maintain the characteristic of the medium. A photograph should be identified as one and as we have already made the effort of shooting film, we want to maintain the beauty of this medium in the final master file. The easiest way of doing this is by replicating the tools a darkroom printer uses when creating a print. Of course we use these techniques digitally. Good care needs to be taken to avoid digital artifacts and a digital look. This is not as easy as it sounds, as digital tools can easily make their marks. We do our best to avoid these marks. Read More
From a negative to a black & white "Master-Print-File"
Black and White printing has always been a mastery that requires many years of learning, knowledge and dedication. Nothing will ever compete with a carefully printed black and white print. However acquiring these skills, maintaining a darkroom and finding the time to print regularly exceeds the possibilities of most people. Digital made things easier, but still it can be regarded a mastery to skillfully make a digital master print file from an analog negative. This tutorial will show you in detail how to scan black and white medium format negatives and than process them in Adobe Lightroom like the old masters did it in the darkroom. Read More
Happy Valley - 快活谷馬場
Wednesday night, "Happy Valley Racecourse" - Hong Kong. A crowded place, full of locals and tourists, eager to win and loose money, to enjoy themselves and to have fun. Since 1846 this racecourse gathers people from the whole city. Read More
How big can you print from 6 Mega-pixel files
I was never happy with how my Epson V700 scanned 35mm film. Don´t get me wrong, it is not bad, but in the end it is a massive pain to mount and scan a whole roll of 35mm film. On my search for a new scanner, I came across many suitable solutions from dedicated film scanners to small minilab scanners like a Noritsu LS-600 or the Kodak Pakon F135+. Chatting on Twitter about the benefits of each scanner I decided to go for a Pakon F135. Mike Poulit was kind enough to answer all my Pakon related questions. Finally I could not resist any longer and I ordered a Pakon F135 non-plus version from AAA image solutions in the US. Read More
I have not done this for a while, but it felt really good to do some black and white long exposure work again. This image and another one were just about right to be added to my series "Bayside Impressions". Read More