Plaubel Makina 67 with Kodak Portra 400 film

Well, it’s been ages since I shot my last roll of film. I’ve been fully concentrated on video projects, testing my Sony A7s camera and also working on a few photo projects.

I have in a way “abandoned” film, for several reasons. It requires time developing and scanning, and I am not doing much landscape work lately. The Plaubel Makina 67 is the only film camera I use these days, mostly for portrait work, and I usually don’t post these project on this blog.

The three images below were shot after finishing an environmental portrait work, I had three frames left, so I shot them to complete the roll. The film is Kodak Portra 400 Professional, an amazing film with incredible latitude. Some areas may seem overexposed, but even the Nikon D800E struggled heavily in these light conditions !

I rated the film at ISO 250, but next time I will use the box speed of ISO 400, this film really does not need overexposing like the majority of color negative films.

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(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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August images

A few images I shot during my vacations. I didn’t spend much time taking images, since I really needed a break and enjoy vacations with my family and friends. Also, my recent involvement with video, has decreased the time I spend photographing.

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(c)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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Underwater images with Panasonic Lumix FT5

The Lumix FT5 is an underwater camera I bought for family photos. It produces wonderful images and great video. It’s also shock proof, which means it can take a lot of abuse at the beach. Besides family snapshots, its a great tool for making some interesting images underwater. Here are some of my first images with this camera.

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(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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Lights and Thunder video

A few weeks ago I witnessed a heavy storm probably far away, since the sky was full of thunders but there was complete silence. I managed to film a part of the storm with my Sony CX730E camcorder. A better low light camera (like my NikonD800E) would probably be a better choice, but I didn’t want to lose time, so I shot the whole thing handheld.

Since there was no sound, I edited the footage and composed a soundtrack for it. For music composition I use Garage Band on a Mac, a very simple but at the same powerful application for writing my music scores.

(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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Timelapse at Samarina

A timelapse movie shot at Samarina (GREECE) during August. I used the Nikon D800E with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. The moving camera effect was achieved by taking 12 megapixel photos and emulating movement in Final Cut X.
Since Vimeo and YouTube may block the music in the video depending on the copyright status, I decided to compose my own soundtrack, and this is something I will probably continue to do in the future.
Next time I will try shooting with 36 megapixels size. Although it will sure be a burden to edit, the massive resolution will provide more space for simulating camera movement and it can also easily produce a 4K timelapse.

(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved

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Sony a7s

I am back from holidays, and I have just received my Sony a7s, a camera which of course will be almost solely used for video work. It will take a few days of learning how to operate it properly before I start posting videos.

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(I know it’s a lousy snapshot, but no time for a proper photo shoot !)

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Ready for some underwater shooting

The Panasonic Lumix FT5 has just arrived, weather is hot and sunny, so I am heading to the beach for the weekend to make some images and videos !!

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Summer

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It’s summer, which means that I am relaxing and having fun. My post update rate has decreased since I am enjoying my free time with my family and friends. There will be some new posts during August, not a at my usual rate , since I will be on a 3G connection away from wifi.

The image above was taken with my old Olympus 720SW waterproof camera. I have ordered its replacement since shooting with an eight years old camera (7 megapixels, awful quality VGA video, etc) is not something I enjoy.

My choice is the Panasonic Lumix FT5, which is not a new model, but comes at a reduced price. The main reason was the full HD video at 50fps which I am going to use a lot. The camera will arrive in a couple of days, so probably next week I will have the first samples.

(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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Telephoto

For the most part of my involvement with photography, I was attracted to normal or wide focal lengths. The range between 21mm and 50mm was my favorite with some exceptions shots for which I used the 15mm and 90mm. The Nikon 135mm f/2 was a lens that made me shoot more at a longer focal length, with the majority of my shots being wide open since it has a very special look.

So, when I opted for a telephoto lens for those rare times I would use it, I went for the 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 and not the 70-200mm. A good all around lens, not an exceptional performer or a fast lens but it gets the job done.

Due to a very busy schedule during the past few months, I didn’t get the chance to visit new places, and I basically revisit the same locations which are part of my frequent travel route each month. When you have extensively photograph a specific location, after a while you have pretty much exhausted your subjects. That means, that you need to take a different look than your usual. One way for me is infrared photography, that kept me going on for a while. After that, the next step is to explore new focal lengths, and for me is to use the telephoto lens at its long edge. So, the 28-300mm became a permanent addition to my photo bag.

Today, while I was taking a short break from driving, I noticed a few cows and a man in a nearby field. This a a field I have repeatedly photographed in the last, but the addition of the living element provided me with a new subject. The use of the 28-300mm was inevitable due to the long distance, so I put the lens on my D800E and took some images. I chose a fast shutter speed of 1/500 to although I should have probably be at the 1/1000 range to get a more steady shot, nevertheless I got the images (the 28-300 has VR and that helps a lot with handheld shots).

Despite of my more frequent use of the telephoto, I am not opting for a 70-200mm f/2.8. Its a very expensive lens and for now, I can’t afford such an investment for amateur use. The 28-300mm pretty much covers my current needs.

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(c)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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Fuji X100 Infrared

One more post with infrared photos taken with the Fuji X100 and Hoya R72 IR filter. This time, I decided to raise ISO settings in order to be able to shoot handheld with the IR filter. Using f/2.8 and ISO settings from 2000 to 3200 I was able to get shutter speeds of 1/30 which allowed me to shoot without the tripod. My Leica M8 can shoot at 1/30 speeds at f/4 and ISO 160 due to the weak IR filter in the camera. Still, the high ISO performance of the Fuji is very good (miles ahead from the M8), so despite the fact that you get noise, it can produce good handheld IR photos for web publishing. For large prints, I will try to not exceed ISO 400, which means that shutter speeds are low and besides the need for a tripod, there can be blur on moving objects, like tree leaves for example.

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The image above was shot from my car, and it was a very fast capture. I could not get out from my car, since the birds would fly away, but I am happy I could get this image even at ISO 2000. Short depth of field is due to the f/2.5 aperture.

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This is how the image comes out for the camera, using custom White Balance.

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Shot wide open at f/2, using auto focus was quite successful. With the Leica M8 making a short Dof photo like the ones above is really a hit and miss effort. It requires focus bracketing, and most of the time I avoid it.

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This was taken on a tripod with ISO 200 at f5/.6,so exposure was long (2 seconds). With base ISO setting, the X100 can produce a very clean infrared image and I have been able to produce great prints at 60cm x 40cm sizes, not bad for a 12 megapixels camera !

So, will I replace my M8 with the X100 for IR images ? Well, obviously not. To be honest, I would like very much to use the X100 for all my IR work, its very suitable for me to carry only one camera, but the M8 can do false colour IR, can be used handheld at base ISO, and its far more sensitive to infrared light than the Fuji (don’t forget that this was actually a design flaw !). The X100 is a much more versatile camera than the Leica and if I am not doing IR work, I will almost always take the X100 with me when I just want to have a small camera with me. It’s a superb camera even for today’s standards !

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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