Wednesday, March 4

Doing the Thing I Do (part II)

Sometimes an egg and fork can make you think deeply.

An ordinary shot, yes.  But the result is very organic.  Moreover, the process excites and stimulates me more than digital.  In order to get this shot, I used a 21mm extension tube on the 80mm CF lens, a nice lens that came with my Hasselblad 500 CM.  The 80mm on a medium format is wide enough to get a good perspective and yet give out a nice blurred out background even at f16.  Try doing that on digital SLR.  One would need a wide angle lens at f2 or wider.  The 21mm extension tube allows me to get closer to the subject.

I am really into this film phase.  I'm for the most part liberated from Photoshop.  Except for digitizing the image - digitalized with Carl Zeiss 100mm Makro on Canon 5D mk ii, everything is done old school: shot on Hasselblad 500 CM with Ilford 100 Delta Pro 120 film, and self-developed using Ilford solutions.

#Hasselblad #film #filmisnotdead #mediumformat #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #filmeisworththefight #bnw_madrid #bnw_awards #bnw_europe #unopix_bnw #bnw_photografe #bnw_globe #bnw_top #bnw_europe #BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #monochrome #fineartphotography  #Iamgenerationimage #organic #square #stilllife #egg #fork #plate #dish #newspaper #perspective #artforartsake #square #squareformat #Ilford #selfdeveloped #analog  

Saturday, February 28

Mimi Old School

Expired 35mm film on Hasselblad 500 C/M
Lately, I have gone back to Old School.  That is I have been shooting analog.  The process is longer and the tolerance for mistakes is unforgiving.  But the result can be very satisfying.  The photo of Mimi is one of my first attempts in using an expired 35mm film on a Hasselblad 500 C/M, a real nice medium format camera.  Since the format is wider than a 35mm film camera, I was able to include the sprocket holes in the image.  I used this in my Lomography days using Holgas and pinhole cameras but never on a Hasselblad.

The negatives were processed using Ilford solutions, and then digitized by laying the processed film on top of an iPad with a white screen and capturing the images using Canon 5d Mk ii and Carl Zeiss 100mm Makro f2.  The captured image is pixilated so I have to further process the digital negatives in Photoshop to alter the noise.

I am quite happy with the result here.

#oldschool #film #filmisnotdead #filmisworthfightingfor #mediumformat #Hasselblad #500CM #Iamgenerationimage #Ilford #DeltaHP5Plus #Iso400 #sprocketholes #pomeranian #beautifuldog #monchrome #blackandwhite #cutedog #portrait #Hasselblad #500CM #vintagecamera #expiredfilm #selfdeveloped #Hasselblad500cm #monochrome 

Thursday, February 26

Trying to get your attention here

Molly is the singer of the band.  Desmond says to Molly Girl I like your face.

Sometimes a flower is just a flower.  I'm shadowing Sigmund Freud when he commented that  "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."  I read somewhere that there is no evidence that Freud actually said that.  No matter.  Sometimes a misquote gets more attention than what was really said.  Selah.

#flower #yellow #yellowflower #sunflower #floral #macro #closeup #fineart #fineartphotgraphy #macrophotography #blackbackground

Tuesday, February 24

The Sneeze

Edwin Cordova as Ivan Cherdyakov

GENERAL: My dear young man, I am not angry with your nose. I am too busy to have time for your nasal problems. I suggest you go home and take a hot bath— or a cold one— take something, but don’t bother me with this silly business again... Gibber, gibber, gibber, gibber, that’s all I’ve heard all day. (Going offstage) Gibber, gibber, gibber, gibber.

CHERDYAKOV: Thank you, sir. God bless you and your wife and your household. May your days be sweet and may your nights be better than your days. May the birds sing in the morning at your window and may the coffee in your cup be strong and hot... I worship the chair you sit on and the uniform you wear that sits on the chair that I worship...
Oh, God, I am happy! I’m going home.
And yet.
Have I been the butt of a cruel and thoughtless joke? I AM FURIOUS!!
SONYA! (She rushes in) I have been humiliated. 


The scene was from The Good Doctor, a small budget play based on Neil Simon's take on Tales of Anton Chekhov.  

Tech notes:  The only available lighting was a couple of incandescent bulbs overhead and their effect was terrible.  The stage was not meant to be used for a play.  It was actually a sanctuary used by the Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church.  They allowed me to take pictures as long as I don't use flash.  I had to improvise.  FortuitouslyI have settled in the front row so I can take photos of the act. That meant I could shoot low and hoped that some of the overhead light would be mitigated by the low angle perspective.  Otherwise, all my portraits would look like the actors were from a family of raccoons.  In this case, the Canon 60D with the tilting view finder really helped.  I set the view mode to see everything on screen, and then I laid the camera on my lap.  The view mode help reduced the camera noise.  I tried to shoot when there was dialogue.  Otherwise, it would have called attention.

#portrait #BlackAndWhite #play #theater #TheGoodDoctor #ProvidenceChristianCollege #man #actor #YoungMan #Latino #Hispanic #drama #FacialExpression #vignette #fear #trembling #acting  #IAmGenerationImage #monochorme #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhiteisworththefight #bnw_madrid #bnw_awards #bnw_europe #unopix_bnw #bnw_photografe #bnw_globe #bnw_top #bnw_europe #BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #monochrome #fineartphotography 

Thursday, February 19

Doing the Thing I Do (Part I)

Hasselblad 500 CM, 80 mm CF lens with 21 mm tube extension, metered at f16 1/8 iso 400, shot at f16 1/15, expired Kodak Tri-X 400, self-developed using Ilford Ilfosol 3, Ilfosol Stop, Rapid fixer

Through the years I've gone through several pairs of eyeglasses.  Rose saved most of them thinking that one day I might use them as artwork.  I never really was inspired to do something artsy about them until now.

This was one of the 12 images from a roll of an expired Kodak Tri-X 400.  The final image is supposed to be in black and white - so I suspect that the funky bluish color is the result of the film being expired.  This was not part of my plan when I shot the image but the element of surprise enhances the wow factor in my opinion.

I have quite a few of unexposed expired films sitting inside the refrigerator.  The conventional wisdom is that films stored in a refrigerator are still useable.  They however don't mention how useable they are.  I'm planning to use them soon so I'm going to be in for a lot of surprises.

#Hasselblad #film #filmisnotdead #mediumformat #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhiteisworththefight #bnw_madrid #bnw_awards #bnw_europe #unopix_bnw #bnw_photografe #bnw_globe #bnw_top #bnw_europe #BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #monochrome #fineartphotography  #Iamgenerationimage #corroded #organic #square #AlternativeProcess #Expiredfilm #stilllife #eyeglasses #newspaper #perspective #artforartsake #square #squareformat

Thursday, February 12

The Barber Dog of Seville

#bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhiteisworththefight #bnw_madrid #bnw_awards #bnw_europe #unopix_bnw #bnw_photografe #bnw_globe #bnw_top #bnw_europe #BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #monochrome #fineartphotography  #Iamgenerationimage #corroded #organic #square #AlternativeProcess #dog #blackdog #street #streetphotography

Figaro had been so busy tending his barbershop that he didn't realize Otto, his canine companion, decided to saunter out on the streets of Seville.  Even though the collodion process would not be invented for another century, I was able to go back to 18th century Spain.  I was fortunate to bring my French view camera along with me.  This was one of the shots I made of Otto during his unsuspecting moment.  The man with one wooden leg walking away was a delightful addition to my street image.

Photo and concept © 2015 Rob Castro


Wednesday, February 11

Are you dreaming my memory?

#Hasselblad #film #filmisnotdead #mediumformat #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhiteisworththefight #bnw_madrid #bnw_awards #bnw_europe #unopix_bnw #bnw_photografe #bnw_globe #bnw_top #bnw_europe #BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #monochrome #fineartphotography  #Iamgenerationimage #corroded #organic #square #AlternativeProcess #Expiredfilm #expiredChemical #Badchemical 

Photo © 2015 Rob Castro
Model Vaan Huynh​
Hasselblad 500 C/M
Sonnar 150 mm f4 lens
21 cm Extension Tube
Fujifilm Neopan 100

Monday, February 9

All Lives Matter

#BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #wetplate  #monochrome #monochromatic  #fineartphotography #Fujifilm #fujifeed #xpro1 #rangefinder #Iamgenerationimage #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society  #AngsandUncertainty #corroded #organic #textured #wetplate #AlternativeProcess #FineArt #portrait #BlackPeople #BlackisBeautiful #fear #loathing #FearAndLoathing #fractured  #collage #surreal #AfroAmerican #postracialAmerica #BlackLivesMatter #square #SquareFormat #EyesWideOpen #textured #finepix



Concept and Photo © 2015 Rob Castro

Thursday, February 5

Broken (Louder than words)

#Hasselblad #film #filmisnotdead #mediumformat #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhiteisworththefight #bnw_madrid #bnw_awards #bnw_europe #unopix_bnw #bnw_photografe #bnw_globe #bnw_top #bnw_europe #BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #monochrome #fineartphotography  #Iamgenerationimage #corroded #organic #square #AlternativeProcess #Expiredfilm #expiredChemical #Badchemical #colorize 

We Wear the Mask

    WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
    And mouth with myriad subtleties.

    Why should the world be over-wise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
            We wear the mask.

    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the clay is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
            We wear the mask!

by Paul Dunbar (1872 - 1906)

Slowly, as time meandered it’s way through,  I was allowed many opportunities to get closer to people, and have a chance to understand them more. I think without realizing it though, I was also finding a way to get closer to the one man who I needed to understand the most, myself.  I didn't like what was revealed to me.  It confirmed to me why I have always felt alienated from people including myself.

by Juzno (2015 - 1877)

Model Vaan Huynh​
Hasselblad 500 C/M
Sonnar 150 mm f4 lens
21 cm Extension Tube
Fujifilm Neopan 100
Photo © 2015 Rob Castro

Monday, February 2

Hey Mr Tambourine Man


The Byrds covered two of the four verses Bob Dylan wrote and turned the song into a better melodic version.  William Shatner recorded it and almost destroyed the song.  Dylanologists would tell you that Mr Tambourine Man is perhaps the most enigmatic song Dylan ever wrote.  Is Mr Tambourine Man a Vagabond ("To your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind"), a Muse ("Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way"), a Messiah ("In the jingle jangle morning, I'll come followin' you") or a Drug Dealer ("take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship")?


#BW #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bnw #wetplate #fez #monochrome #Morocco #travel #TrafalgarInsider #Marrakech #tambourine #music #musician #fineartphotography #Fujifilm #fujifeed #xpro1 #rangefinder #Iamgenerationimage #bnw_life #bnw_zone #bnw_society #blackandwhitephotography #Byrds #BobDylan #WilliamShatner #MrTambourineMan #vagabond #Drugdealer #LSD


Thursday, January 29

The Story in Art But Don't You Love Her Madly

Must have been influenced by Akira Kurosawa, David Bailey or Edward Weston.

Must have been influenced by Akira Kurosawa, David Bailey or Edward Weston.  Or all of the above?  I've stepped back from what I have been doing as far as my approach to visual art is concerned.  I also have been studying and re-studying photos by the masters.  I've also gone back to my roots in photography - stuff that I did early on and didn't really know what I was doing but knew there was something about it - the excitement, the feelings and the story ... ah, yes the story... this for me is very important in art.  It is always the story that attracts me in art.

#story #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #bw #bnw #fineart #fineartphotography #monochrome #IAMGenerationImage #surreal #blur #existentialism #MeaningOfLife #fashion #glamour #fashionphotography #portrait #closeup #lookingup #perspective


Tuesday, January 27

Fear and Loathing


I am a black man living in a so-called post-racial America.  My ancestors were slaves.  People have decided my fate.  My life would become a failure.  This is all by design.  I am fearful.  I am angry.  I am a problem.  What are you going to do about it?  

Concept and Photo © 2015 Rob Castro

#IAmGenerationImage #BlackandWhite #BnW #BW #Abstract #AngsandUncertainty #corroded #organic #textured #wetplate #AlternativeProcess #FineArt #FineArtPhotography #BlackandWhitePhotography #portrait #BlackPeople #BlackisBeautiful #fear #loathing #FearAndLoathing #fractured #cubism #collage #geometric #surreal #AfroAmerican #postracialAmerica