Jordan K.

Jordan is a Nebula nominated SF author, but this image was taken for the Hearts on Our Sleeves project, portraits of transgender and gender expansive community. It’s 2023, and I was hoping that the fight for human rights would be tilted toward more acceptance, but sadly, LBGTQ+ and trans people are used as boogeymen for certain people to advance their agenda. Because of the Pandemic, I hadn’t been able to find time or the subjects to photograph for this project. Hopefully this will be a good restart.

Using 8×10 Barrel Lens with a Shutter

… and with flash! Look at this beauty. An 8×10 barrel “Gundlach” single meniscus lens on a Gibellini AG810 with Sinar Copal shutter and modern (Godox) flash. Works great. I 3-d printed the lens adapter board. As long as the lens is not super heavy ( > 3 lbs) and the back cells are not too deep, the setup works great.

Replacing the Retainer Clip of a Jobo Lift

I have been using a Jobo CPA 2.0 rotary processor with a lift for many years now. It has been generally reliable and I can process from 35mm to 8×10 with it, from B&W, to C41, and even E6 slides. However, there is a weak link in the system: The four white clips are the retainer clips to hold the drums or tanks in place. However, they can break after years of use, and it turns out that the procedure to replace them are not trivial. First, here’s what a clip looks like: Clearly the shape of the clip means […]

“All Photography Is Political”

“All photography is political” and it definitely is with this one. The building behind is at the site of the former Sun-Times building in Chicago. The name plate deserves a middle finger salute. I used the pictorialist lens to throw the background entirely out of focus, making the blight a bit more tolerable with the first letter further obscured. The lens is a Cooke Rapid View from the 1880s, taken with the Gibelline ACN45 4×5 camera on HP5+ film. I love the rendering of this lens. Here’s a shot of the bridge with the same lens. A slight swing to […]

Aquarium, CFV II 50C with Different Lenses, vs. iPhone 13

We tried to go to the Monterey Aquarium in May, but our car caught on fire o.O Despite some PTSD issues, we finally made it to the aquarium yesterday (July 2nd). Here are some photos that came out OK. About half were taken with the Hasselblad 907x, with the 45p and the adapted XPan 30mm lens, and the other half were taken with the iPhone 13 Pro. Not sure if one can tell the difference with web sized images, suffice to say that the iPhone 13 does quite well for this use.

2-Bath PMK Pyro: My Go-To B&W Developer

I have been developing my own films since 2004, B&W, E-6, C-41, I do them all. I started with a Job CPE-2 rotary processor and upgraded to a CPP-2 when I started shooting 4×5. Now I even develop my own 8×10 using Jobo Expert Drums. Since the developer is agitated continuously in a rotary processor, not all B&W developers are suitable to be used in such a setup. Also, a negative developed in a Jobo tends to have a higher contrast so some compensation methods must be used. The general recommendations when using a rotary processor are Use the developer’s […]

The Not Quite Indestructible Leica M9

While I was cleaning whatever is left of the camera, I made up fictional sales descriptions: “My conservative rating for this camera is near mint. A CLA will make this back into a formidable shooting machine.” “This M9 has slight sensor corrosion, but Leica should be able to replace it for free.” “The Summilux 35mm produces lovely images with great bokeh. Slight coating damage but that adds dreamy signatures to your images.” “The shutter curtain is rated for 200,000 actuations and is as precise as when it left the factory 12 years ago.” … Oh, so what happened? The long […]

Pinkham & Smith VQ IV vs. Cooke Portrait lens

If you find a 100 photographers on the street and shake them and ask: “What is the most famous portrait lens?”, they would probably call the police and charge you with not abiding by safe COVID protocols. There is that one person though, especially if you are in Tonopah, NV, and happen to meet one Jim Galli, he might say “Come on over to my truck”, and pull out half a dozen 100 years old portrait lenses under the front seat. { Disclaimer: I have never met Mr. Galli, but if I do, I full expect this scenario to play […]

Cooke Series II Lens

Note: this was originally published at Medium on Sept 1, 2018. I have since gotten, um, even more soft focus lens, see and Dennis Taylor patented the first triplet in 1893 for the company “T. Cooke and Sons”. Its design eliminated most of the optical aberrations using just three elements. The patents eventually went to Taylor Taylor Hobson (no relation to Mr. Dennis Taylor). TTH, or Taylor Hobson Cooke lens, created some of the most beloved images from the 1920s to 1950s through the expert hands of Alfred Stieglitz and other studio photographers. The Cooke Triplet design lens […]