Water towers of Luxembourg

Sort of a new project for me, the different water tower designs here in Luxembourg. Shot on my Cambo SC2 4×5 Monorail Large Format camera with Rodenstock 150mm f5.6 Sironar N lens, a combination I really start to like.

Photo-2015-08-02-0001-stitched Photo-2015-08-02-0003-stitched

The water tower on the left is on my way to work and I have had now several weeks to see what light would work best. A sunny early morning seemed the best and that is what I went for: the light would not be too contrasty yet and the sun would still touch the tower horizontally without throwing a shadow downward. The light-play makes these photos interesting.
I spotted the water tower on the right on Google maps and will try this one again after the corn has been harvested so I can get a little further into the field to avoid the narrow crop.

NTR – North Sea Jazz Special

To celebrate 40 years of North Sea Jazz Festival, the Dutch broadcaster NTR showed a programme on the NPO3 channel on 5 July at 23:00 which highlighted recent and classic concerts from the rich history of the festival.

One of the very special classic concerts was the Archie Shepp Quartet with Johnny Meijer on jazz accordion in 1981. As became apparent, saxophonist Hans Dulfer had brought Shepp and Meijer together and it had been the only time they had played together. In 1981 I visited the North Sea Jazz festival for the first time and, being a big fan of Archie Shepp, I had been present during this remarkable concert and taken photos.


A few days before the taping of the program I was approached by the team behind the programme to confirm that it was my photo and asking permission whether they could use the photo. I could supply them with a high-res version of the image and allowed them to use the photo if they could give me full credit. I can image that not many photos of this event are still around 34 years after the fact and I was happy to oblige. They generously left my photo and my name up for the duration they discussed this concert with Hans Dulfer which impressed my family. :-)

ADOX CHS 100 II reciprocity failure information

Now that ADOX CHS 100 II film is available on 120 format (as well as on 135 format and many, many different sizes of sheet film) it is getting really interesting. I have used a lot of ADOX CHS 100 ART on 120 format and loved the results and ADOX CHS 100 II film is said to be just as good. As a medium and large format shooter, I’m really happy that this film is now available in all formats.
ADOX provided a technical sheet for this film here, but crucially, the reciprocity failure correction information was missing. I emailed them, and they kindly obliged and provided me with the following information. I have not been able to verify any of this, I hope that you can let me know how you got on with the information below; it will certainly be a good start:

Up to 1 second, no correction required.
2 seconds: 1.5x (3 seconds)
4 seconds: 2x ( 8 seconds)
8 seconds: 2.5x (20 seconds)
15 seconds: 3x (45 seconds)
30 seconds: 4x (120 seconds)
60 seconds: 6.5x (6 minutes 30 seconds

In a graph it looks like follows (time metered on the horizontal axis versus the required exposure time on the vertical axis):


See also Howard Bond’s article on reciprocity departure for a really good article on the subject which is also referred to as the Schwarzschild effect.

Treasure the accidents

Sometimes things go wrong and the results might be worth keeping. Here a few of my recent favourites:

ADOX Color Implosion film In the above photo, I accidently put the camera in multi-exposure mode and took some long exposures from different angles. The Pentax MZ-S is a professional 35mm camera with all the settings conveniently available as switches on the outside of the camera for quick adjustments, yet it also means that you do need to check the settings when pulling the camera out of the bag.

Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 secondsIf you work without tripod and put the camera on the railing of a bridge for a long exposure or night photography, make sure it is not a train bridge! I had put my camera on the railing of Norra Järnvägsbron in Stockholm to photograph the City Hall for this eight second exposure and the moment I released the shutter a long train came by.

Scanning Large Format

I really need a better scanner that can handle the large 4×5 inch negatives that I’m working with now, but at the moment I have no choice but to use my Epson V500 PHOTO.

For the moment I found the following solution: I scan the negative in parts and use the Photomerge feature in an old version of Adobe Photoshop Elements to stitch the parts back together.  Not a great way, probably not recommended, but so far it has done the trick. :-)

Cambo SC2 4×5 camera

I bought a second-hand Cambo SC2 4×5 large format camera, see here for an image of one just like it, and a Rodenstock Sironar APO N 150mm lens, see here. The 150mm lens is on the 4” x 5” negative format similar to a 50mm lens on an 35mm SLR.

This is my first photo taken with this camera and lens combination:

Not an overly interesting scene but important to me in any case as everything worked out. Large Format photography is quite different from using an SLR or a medium format camera: so many things can be adjusted. In this shot the camera is facing down a bit and I tilted the lens even more forward to increase the DOF. The back of the camera is kept vertically so the vertical lines wouldn’t fall ‘backwards.’
The image is composed on the ground glass with the aperture open using the dark cloth to actually be able to make out the details. When you’re happy, you close the aperture, meter the scene and set the exposure on the lens, insert the film holder, cock the shutter, remove the dark slide, release the shutter, reinsert the dark slide, preferably with the black side in front to signal that this side has been exposed and remove the film holder. That’s one photo done!

I posted it on Facebook and a bloke immediately jumped to the conclusion that the white reflections on the water was dust and treated me like a film newbie. So cute when that happens. :-)


While walking around Skansen in Stockholm I had the chance to shoot some ADOX Color Implosion film and some Kodak TRI-X. As Skansen isn’t too large, we came upon the same scenes several times and I shot the same things with the different films.

ADOX Color Implosion film Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

This is not intended to be a comparison between colour and black and white as ADOX Color Implosion film is of course a very atypical colour film.

 ADOX Color Implosion film Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

Even though I enjoyed shooting the ADOX colour film and the results were fun, I probably won’t be buying it and will continue to rely on slidefilm for my colour photos and for black and white film for everything else.

Selective lighting

Ever since I bought my F&V K480 video light I had wanted to pick a dark location, light up just the model and create a photo with the model correctly lit but the rest close to pitch dark.

ADOX CHS 100 ART at EI 100, developed in HC-110 dilution E for 8:30 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

In the photo above, the light source is to the left in front of the model; I metered off her chin with my external lightmeter and used my camera in manual mode with an exposure of 0.5 seconds at f/2.8. The TTL tried to inform me that the exposure was way, way underexposed but as always, the incident lightmeter knows best. The video light is easier to use for me than an off-camera flash unit: The light I am using is available for metering and any shadows are visible while the shot is being set up, so it easy to make it work, etc..

Marcus Landslide

During my visit to Scottsdale, Arizona, we walked the short, 3.7 mile, Marcus Landslide trail at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park in the Sonoran desert north of Scottsdale. Some 500,000 years ago one of the instable mountains crumbled and 5.5 million cubic meters of granite rock, vegetation and soil flowed eastward for 1.5-kilometres.

Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

What’s left is a very scenic area with beautiful and changing vistas around every corner of the hike with the mountains on one side and the valley on the other.

Kodak TRI-X at EI 800, developed in HC-110 dilution B for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

The surprising thing is that this enormous landslide was only “discovered” in 2002. I think the word really is “recognized” as the location had been known for ages, of course, it was just that nobody had recognized it as the remains of a catastrophic landslide.

Shot on Kodak TRI-X at EI 400 using an orange filter, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds.

My grandfather’s dog

My grandfather from my mother’s side with Ilse van de Kilstroom, his guide-dog, in 1946/1947; my grandfather was the first blind person with a guide dog in the town of Zwolle and was heavily involved in organizing the regional  office of the Dutch Blind Union in Zwolle. My grandfather and all his sisters turned blind at a later age of what we believe to be cataract although we are not very sure and it must have run in that generation of the family.

Ilse was a Saarloos wolfdog which is a crossbreed between a German Sheppard dog and an European wolf. The breed was created by Leendert Saarloos in Holland and Saarloos ran a school for guide dogs in Dordrecht.
The dog was a quarter wolf and could not bark but howl; she was afraid of fireworks and at the end of the year my grandfather would arrive home at times, drenched in sweat, as Ilse had pulled him along in a dash to get home. When my father started dating my mother and take the dog for walks, it did happen that they ran into my father’s older brother and if that happened, Ilse would do her best to sink her teeth in the leg of my uncle and she ruined several of his trousers and coats, somehow she had it in for him.

Even though Ilse served my grandfather very well as a guide dog, these family stories do make me wonder how well suited this Saarloos wolfdog really was as a guide dog :-)

(Photos by my father on some very vintage camera)

Travel, techniques and background information