Welcome to Heath's blog. This is mostly not wedding photography related, for the work that Jac and Heath do for weddings, please click our logo above, or 'main blog'. There will be more experimentation, technical information, and commercial work displayed here. I'll try to update daily but it's unlikely! To see more information about us, click here.
Steve and Doni on their family farm (on Pentax 645n). Photography with these two is always so interesting due to their personalities and how they live and work on the land. Since we photographed their wedding, we have grown into good friends. As you can see here there family is about to grow. These shots were taken with an old but brilliant camera, the Pentax 645n. This camera is steadily taking many film shooter's hearts as it performs as well as a camera that costs up to seven times as much, the Contax 645. With the 105mm 2.4 67 lens the field of view is about 65mm (on 135 format). Unfortunately this isn't quite as general purpose as the 80mm lens on the costly Contax. However, as a shooter that is used to 85mm and 35mm lenses side by side on 135 format, there is a bonus. Dual wielding with the 105mm on one side, and a 75mm on the other side is perfect (with a 45mm [28mm in 135] in the pocket for when necessary). Then the big 67 body sits nearby for shots need further subject isolation, a 50mm equivalent (if 46mm [135m equiv. of the 75mm] isn't close enough), and a bigger neg. To see the digital photos my lover-in-crime Jac took during the same shoot, click here.
s Excited to say that I bit the bullet and ordered the new Sigma 50mm ART for my Nikon D800. I ordered through Adorama within a few hours of the pre-orders so I should be on track for receiving it at the end of May. I'll write an informal review here on how it works for wedding work. The Sigma 50mm ART for Nikon (D800 will be used for the test) will be a month later than the Canon version, but it should be interesting to see how it performs on the 36MP sensor with greater resolution than what the current top Canon models can capture. It is much more similar in design to the Zeiss Otus 55 f1.4 so that seems to be a more suitable comparison than the other available 50mm lenses for DSLRs. I'm also curious to see how well it works with the Nikon F6 and F100 film bodies in terms of autofocus accuracy and whether or not it is overkill compared to the traditional double gauss designs. The Noritsu scanner can get 30MP from 35mm film, so the important part will be to use a low grain film like Kodak Ektar 100 or perhaps even some slide film. Sigma's site info here.
k Yes, it is true, I love expired film. Add surf to the mix and I'm a happy person. The waves have been really fantastic over easter, and these shots document one of the days. One of the less crowded days actually... It got crazy busy. Half of these shots were taken by me, and half by my other half, Jac. There is a shot of me walking towards her in the set above. Hi. The generally accepted rule of thumb is expired film needs to be exposed an extra stop for every ten years past the expiry date. My stepdad handed me this roll of film and said he didn't know how long it had been in existence. He also said it hadn't been kept in the fridge. I decided to rate it at 100, while the box speed was 400. I really like the way the colours are inconsistent across expired film that hasn't been stored well. It's nice not having a clue what you'll get, and then feeling stoked with the result. The camera used was a gift from my cousin, an Nikon N70 (F70 in the US). It requires a bit of fussing to get the aperture you want on a lens without an aperture ring (I was using the 85 1.8 -G-), but for $25 on eBay what can you expect? Putting it on portrait mode makes it shoot at f/2, and sport mode to keep the shutter high with the lens a little less wide open. The film was Kodak 400 Ultramax High definition or something like that. I'll leave you with a shot of some of the family that was there with us. These two shots weren't the best for skin tones, there were some other shots on the roll that were very good, but that's what you get with expired film. I just like these shots because of the subject =) ss
* Emily Rex has been a friend of ours going back quite some time now. She has the best singing voice we've ever heard, and we realise that sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn't. We shot her wedding and had a great time with her and her man Jarel. She also sang at my younger brother Will's wedding. Just so good, we'd recommend her to anyone who needs music for any function. These shots of Emily Rex were taken on Kodak TMAX 100 on the Pentax 67II with the 105mm f/2.4 lens using the number one extension tube. They was scanned using our ANR D800 scanning method. More details of this method can be found here. We have not changed these into pure black and white images as we enjoy the colour shift to sepia. If we had done these D800 'scans' in a darkened room they wouldn't have had the colour shift, but we like the way it looks (it would be pretty crucial if 'scanning' colour and wanting accurate results). We've also kept the dust and grit on the image to leave a little bit of a grunge look. We didn't use the normal compressed air or air puffer to keep things clean. The top image is Emily Rex's fan page profile display picture. Click here to see it and to like her page.
s Spot the difference. And also spot the fairer member of Jac and Heath! Photoshop ethics is something that I've thought long and hard about. I've lectured at a tertiary level on it, and also both Jac and I were recently interviewed for television on it. It's important for young girls to know what they see is not real in advertising and fashion. For this particular job, it wouldn't have looked professional without the photoshop work. But is that a valid excuse? Our eyes have been trained to see imperfections as 'mistakes', and clients don't like to look incompetent. How about the excuse that if we don't do it, someone else will? Seems like at the end of the day we still have more questions than answers. Photoshop ethics will be a continued source of interest to us, and we're happy to hear any opinions anyone has. For our wedding work, we like to go case by case. If a bride has a stress pimple on her face the day of her wedding, what do we do? Well if it can't be hidden by makeup, we will go through all of the pictures and remove it. That just seems fair!
d (Pentax 67II + 45mm f/4) A Kodak Ektar cityscape. Why did I choose Ektar? Very small grain, very high resolution, very strong colour. It seems as though Kodak Ektar has a gift at cutting through glare and smog. Which of course a city is known for. This shot makes the view look very clear. On a humid 100 degree day in summer in New York, this is quite a feat. This was taken last year, and I'm posting it after having a request from a friend for a large print for his house. I'm happy for him to print this as large as he likes, and I'm confident the resolution and colour will blow his mind. I'm looking forward to seeing Kodak Ektar on a grand scale. The scan was made by Indie Film Lab on a Noritsu. It is about 28 megapixel. It was on their $8 untouched scans, which I very much recommend. I may be able to share more thoughts here on it when the print is made. Here is another shot from the same time with the same setup, but in the opposite direction. I've warped the perspective a little to keep the verticals a little more straight. I enjoy the warm tone that's happening here. This wasn't added in post. Can't wait to get back to NYC again this year for another wedding in September! j