Author: Madison Hyer

Review: Pentax K1000

As a disclaimer, this review more or less covers my thoughts and opinions on a camera. By definition, given that they’re subjective, you may or may not agree. If you’ve read the article on getting a first film camera you’ll know that I completely support anyone and everyone getting into film and support however they can do it. I would also just like to say that the body of the camera does little to nothing in terms of getting the image you’re looking for. In its most simplistic form, it is a tool that holds the film in place and connects to a lens that allows for control of the light hitting the frame. Mechanically, the only thing that needs to work are the film advance, the film winder, the mirror, and the shutter curtain. As such, I personally judge a camera by the price and availability of good lenses as well as well as the build quality of the lenses and camera body. Having a metering system, automatic film advance, mirror lockup, and autofocus …

Review: Kodak Ektar 100

To see Kodak Ektar exposure tested along side 10 other film stocks, follow this link. To see my first (substantial) attempt at shooting Ektar while in Banff, follow this link. In the fall of 2018 I headed to Arizona for the second time and intended to see the Grand Canyon for the first time (btw, it was as grand as the name implies. Lots and lots of grand.) and when deciding what film to take, Ektar never crossed my mind. I thought to myself – I’ve shot a couple rolls of Ektar before and hated it. A lot. Then I found the work of Pete and David and decided I didn’t give Ektar a fair shake in my previous attempts. Albeit, I believe now that what I didn’t like was in fact the scans from the lab I was using moreso than the film itself. Color Ektar has bold colors that, coupled with the high sharpness, make it an incredible film for landscapes. Compared with Portra 400, I find this film to have a bit …

Banff (In Monochrome): New City, New Film – Acros & T-Max 100/400

This article shows off some of the black and white negative film I tried out on my vacation to Banff, CA in April2019. To see some of the color negative work, please follow this link. Several of this films in this article have exposure tested and compared to other B&W negative films – this article is located here.   The Canadian Rockies were calling and we answered. In a moment of spontaneity and luck finding round-trip tickets for only 18k points, we got our tickets and booked a hotel within a couple hours and I immediately started thinking about what film I was going to take. For ease (and out of pure laziness) I needed to make sure everything was ASA 400 or slower so I didn’t have to have the film hand-checked. For black and white negative film, I ended up taking a pro pack of T-Max 400 120 and 1 roll of 35mm. A few rolls of T-Max 100 120 and a couple rolls of Acros 120. Acros Of all the films I …

Banff (In Color): New City, New Film – Ektar & Portra 160

This article shows off some of the color negative film I tried out on my vacation to Banff, CA in April2019. To see some of the black and white negative work, please follow this link.  Several of this films in this article have exposure tested and compared to other color negative films – this article is located here.   The Canadian Rockies were calling and we answered. In a moment of spontaneity and luck finding round-trip tickets for only 18k points, we got our tickets and booked a hotel within a couple hours and I immediately started thinking about what film I was going to take. For ease (and out of pure laziness) I needed to make sure everything was ASA 400 or slower so I didn’t have to have the film hand-checked. For color negative film, I ended up taking a pro pack of Portra 400 (per usual), Ektar, and Portra 160. I also ended up taking a few rolls of Fuji Provia and Ektachrome. Portra 160 I gave this film a shot after …

Guide: Scanning with the Epson v600

First and foremost, I would like to say that I love my V600 scanner. I couldn’t imagine not having it. It’s difficult to imagine the true potential of your photographs until you have total control over how it’s digitized. Sure – there are more sophisticated scanners out there but this scanner does an excellent job for the money. At less than $200, it’s difficult not to get your moneys worth. As a disclaimer, this article is not intended to be any more than a guide for other getting started in scanning at home or looking from someone else’s perspective. I’m not saying it’s the best but it works well for me. The Image I took this photograph on an early morning hike in Hocking Hills, Ohio nearby where I live. I didn’t have my tripod that day but I had Portra 400 loaded in my Mamiya 645 Pro TL (the reviews for each are linked) and had the morning ahead of me. Step 1 – Scanning using Epson Scan software To start, I prefer to …

Guide: White Balancing Film in Photoshop

In this guide I am going to walk you through the 3 techniques I employ to white balance (WB) an image. The third method is more comprehensive and the method I use when I’m really taking my time and/or when the WB is really off. The first method is much faster but doesn’t give as good of results and the second method is a blend of the first and third. Preface Below is the before/after image that I will be using as a demonstration. To complete the edits on the image following white balancing, please see the article where I walk through my techniques for editing/finishing scanned images. Aside from white balancing, it consists of adjusting contrast/brightness and increasing the sharpness of the photograph. Method 1 This method, as stated above, is a lot faster but does not give as good results. The quality of the WB is lower and it darkens the image too much in my opinion. The start, open a curves adjustment and using the baster looking icons on the left, select …

Interview: David Chan

“Once I got the hang of it, it was easy to see why so many photographers are (re)discovering film. The way that light renders on film is simply magic…” David is an avid film photographer in California. I came across his work shortly after a trip he took to Banff and I was blown away by his work. His panoramic photos made me want an X-Pan (or Fujifilm TX-1), the colors in photos made me want to try Ektar again, and the energy of his work has inspired me to travel and take more photographs. JM: Thanks so much for doing this.  Your shots in Banff have inspired me to try Ektar again after one failed roll.  I’ve really appreciated all the direction and advice about my trip to Banff and photography in general. JM: Why do you shoot film? DC: I took some film and darkroom classes in high school and college, but it wasn’t until about a few years ago that I started seriously pursuing photography as a hobby again after purchasing a …