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Wednesday, September 2

Another few from the Rolleiflex


Rolleiflex take on the Leica bins

Back in June, I posted a pic of litter bins outside a public convenience in an Arbroath cemetery where we often walk the dogs. We were there again recently but this time I had the Rolleiflex hanging from my shoulder rather than the Leica M2.

Since the Leica shot was so well-received, I thought I'd give it the square treatment (like the other ones in this post, it's a big scan so make sure you view it at full size. All were taken on Tmax 400 developed in Firstcall Superfine)). I like it but it's a completely different shot to the 35mm format. The inclusion of the windows give the photograph the appearance of a face. It's not just about the bins but the whole toilet block.

I'm not too keen on the bit of sky at the top left but there was no way of excluding it from the composition without affecting something else. I think I'd just try to lose it in a print by burning it in through a low contrast grade filter. Alternatively, here's a crop that deals with the problem quite effectively.


I'd have liked stronger side lighting but, despite forcing Cath and the dogs to hang around for about ten minutes, the sun refused to emerge from behind some thin, late evening clouds. As we left I remarked that the quickest way of getting the sun to play ball was to no longer be there to take the shot. Well, that didn't work either as the clouds just got thicker so it was just as well we packed up.

Backlit Breakwater

The shot above is an early morning pic of Monifieth beach at the mouth of the River Tay. They can be tricky to expose properly but you'll notice that I absolutely nailed it. Confession time now - it was a complete accident! I put the orange filter on the Rollei as I left the car and forgot to make the two-stop allowance for it when working out the exposure five minutes later. It was one of those brainfarts that we're probably all prone to from time-to-time (at least, I hope it's not just me!).

On this occasion, it worked out well as my Sunny F16 calculation was a few stops over and the orange filter cut it back nicely. I'm not saying I wouldn't have got something usable, just that I'd rather not have been the one forced to print it. By comparison, the providential cock-up negative looks very inviting.

Through the Steering Wheel

And finally. Having said in my write-up about the Rolleiflex 2.8F that one of the benefits of having just 12 shots was that I'm not tempted to shoot any old crap just to finish the roll, I broke my vow here. I was sitting in the car waiting to pick Cath up and was footering with the Rollei when I caught sight of this pic through the viewfinder. It was in the spirit of Garry Winogrand - not his street photography obviously but rather his statement that he took pictures to see what something would look like photographed.

Here's the result of that wee experiment. What to make of it? I don't really know. There's a composition of sorts going on and I like the simplicity of the black and white tones. I think it's not obvious at all, though, that it's a steering wheel in the foreground without the caption so it probably fails on that count. Still, there's no harm trying something different even if it turns out to be an evolutionary dead-end, photographically-speaking.

3 comments :

DougH said...

Nice images. I like the square format. Fequently use Mamiya C330 and Bronica SQ-A; and even have a darkslide for 8X10 chopped to yield 8X8.

Herman Sheephouse said...

I like the last one Bruce - it definitely has that 'feel' to it. I like the bins too - square even-stevens shots like that really work - who'd have thought Arbroath could have such photogenic toilets!

Photo Utopia said...

Hi The square is a wonderful tool for cutting the clutter. If you're interested on my blog (Photo Utopia) I have a post

http://photo-utopia.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/the-ultimate-photographic-machine-or.html#links
about the Rollei where none other than Mr Reichmann praises the Rollei for giving:
'beautiful black and white (B&W) tones, shallow depth of focus and “mind blowing” micro-contrast details. As a digital shooter and owner of a Canon 5D mark2, it was something new to me that I have not seen before'

I couldn't have summed it up better :)