reflection

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Back in 2018, my cousin gifted me with his old film camera. It was unexpected but I am so grateful for it. It brought back many memories of when I first started in photography. At that time, there was no digital photography. Everything was on a negative film. But what had initially sparked my interest in photography was being able to go out with my friends and capturing portraits of them with my SLR camera, point and shoot, and even disposable cameras. It was just something fun for us to do and I used to love seeing pictures I took on my friend’s bedroom walls or lockers. So from that point on, everywhere I went, I had a camera on me.

Obviously with a “new camera” comes new adventures so when I got the film camera, I was excited to start experimenting with it. It’s been a while since I have used film so along the way, I’ve learned to take my time with composition and framing. I learned that each frame is precious and should not be taken for granted, especially since a roll is film is just 24 or 36 frames. Photograph the moments that really speak to you. And practice patience in creating and developing the images.

But omg, that sound of the shutter too! It instantly brought back so many memories.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some images that I’ve taken in the past year or so with my Canon T70 and 35-70mm lens. By the way, none of these images on this post have been edited. I may or may not edit them in the future, but for now, it’s just fun seeing the results of the film.

My first set of images were taken in August 2018. I brought it on a peach picking trip with me and it was really just to see if the camera was working if there were any light leaks and a refresher on how to use film. I’m sorry to say that I forgot what kind of film these were captured on. I tried going through my Amazon orders and I don’t see any film listed. It may have just been some old rolls of film my cousin had in his camera bag. Although it’s a little fuzzy, this roll of film got me excited to start shooting again.

Delaplane, Virginia August 2018

Nowadays, I find myself researching different kinds of film and cameras, just to see what’s out there. I love watching youtube videos of other photographers getting great images with their analog cameras. I have to admit though, it’s a little hard for me to capture film images. I have my digital camera which I love, but it’s hard to balance the time between my digital and film camera. I spend most of my time shooting on my digital camera because I’m so used to it that sometimes I’ll even forget that I have a film camera on me.

It has helped to go on photo outings that are dedicated to just film. I’ll leave my digital camera at home and I love the feeling of roaming with such light equipment. Since I don’t have additional lenses or equipment for my film camera, it has been a nice change of pace to just have one camera with one lens.

Kodak UltraMax 400: San Diego, California January 2019

Kodak UltraMax 400: San Diego, California January 2019

Expired Film

I am extremely grateful for my friend, Jim. He was my photography mentor when I interned at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum while I was in high school. We’ve been able to reconnect through social media which was really cool when we found each other! Last year, he was kind enough to give me a whole bunch of expired Portra film 400 and 800 rolls of film. It has been so fun to try to go through all the rolls. I’m nowhere near completing them, but to see how the expired film develops has been super interesting.

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I captured this image across the street from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. My friend, Birch and I spent a very cold morning walking around Chinatown and somehow ended up in front of the museum. I asked if we could stand in this spot for a little bit because I noticed this reflection coming from a staircase railing.

At first, I was waiting for someone to walk closer to the museum to walk by, but I saw this interesting moment happen and had to capture it. It sort of reminds me of an image I posted last week at the Washington Monument. I was so concentrated on what was happening in the background that I didn’t even notice someone was about to walk in front. It’s interesting because at this time of day, there weren’t many people walking around in general so I’m surprised I captured two at the same time.

My favorite part of the image is that it looks like an optical illusion because the reflection sort of looks like it’s coming out of nowhere. I also love how the man in the front also appears in the reflection. Overall a very interesting street scene that turned out very cool.

My camera settings for this image are F5 at 1/3200th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

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I captured this image on the same night as this image but it was also a few days after I captured this one. I obviously still have the same composition in my head but I wanted to see what it would look like during this beautiful foggy evening.

So I set up my camera the exact same way as the previous image and just waited for someone close to the Washington Monument to walk by. It took a while because it was oddly quiet for 8 pm at the National Mall, but still, I waited. I was so concentrated on finding a person in the background that I didn’t even notice a person was about to walk in front of me to create an even bigger shadow. I love the way that it turned out, especially since you can see the reflection of both shadows in the water puddle.

Now I want to know, which image do you like better? This foggy one or the image I captured early morning?

My camera settings for this are F4 at 1/30th sec and ISO 8000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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Out with Andy and our Sunday sunrise morning friends, we made our way from the Washington Monument to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We were all capturing images of the reflection of the building and the Washington Monument, but I ended up capturing a few images from this angle. I liked how the NMAAHC looked like it was slicing up the Washington Monument. I think it made for a unique point of view. But I thought it was missing just one element. So I asked Andy to walk along the path.

Adding a human element there makes this much more interesting because it’s a total play on scale. From this point of view, he looks as tall as the trees and street lights. Everything is almost at the same exact level. Plus I think his reflection in this one came out pretty interesting too.

My camera settings for this image are F16 at 1/200th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm zoom lens.

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Thank you to my friend, Frithjov who told me about this location. He actually told me about it years ago and I have always kept it in the back of my mind to go and try to find some reflective puddles. But now that the fencing around the Washington Monument is down, I thought that Sunday was the perfect opportunity to go back and check it out. Also, I saw him while I was parking my car earlier in the morning which was probably another memory trigger to go back to the Sylvan Theater. LOL.

So after we were done capturing images at the Lincoln Memorial, Jarrett and I made our way over to the Washington Monument. It was such a beautiful morning with fast-moving clouds. I felt like I captured so many different images on our little walk but this one was probably my favorite. I love seeing the perfect circle the American flags created around the Washington Monument plus the tiny person even reflected a little in the puddle couldn’t be more ideal.

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/200th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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Since the new year has started, I’ve been trying to go out with my camera as much as I can. I’m not sure what kicked my butt into high gear like this, but I’m grateful to live in a place where I can never get tired of exploring and documenting. In the past two weeks, I may have visited the Lincoln Memorial at least 5 times. Each time is different and I am still not tired of it.

But over the weekend, we had surprisingly beautiful weather. For the middle of January, I will take temps in the high 60s any day! So I was even more excited to be out with my camera. On Sunday morning, as I was walking towards the Lincoln Memorial, I got a text from my friend, Jarrett asking if I was out shooting. He had already been there for a while so he had already scoped out the scene. The rain we got Saturday evening left a huge puddle inside the Lincoln Memorial. After catching up a bit, Jarrett took me inside and my mind was blown by how clear and reflective the puddle was. I took a few shots and then had to ask Jarrett to step in for a few.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/4th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.