Hasselblad 503cw

Yosemite National Park on film

The Great Yosemite! This was one of the highlights of my trip. I was fortunate to be there in a "less" busy season because during the summer it gets totally packed. But even then, it was still pretty busy! Going on one of the more secluded trails is really the only way to get some solitude. It was still pretty foggy in the afternoons but I was happy to get some sun in between.

On day 2 we went for a hike through the meadows in the valley. I love the mid-morning light on film. It was so peaceful and pleasant. The birds are so different than the birds in Florida - so many colors and songs. Just watching them alone was a great activity. Now that I've seen Yosemite with my own eyes and heart, I'm looking forward to reading the works of John Muir and how he processed the valley almost 100 years ago.

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab.

Sequoia National Park on film

My trip to see Sequoia was short but sweet. We stayed at Lodgepole Campground and were lucky to not have any bear invasions! The initial shock of seeing the sequoias left a lasting impression on me. I gasped! They really must be seen in person to grasp the massive size...so tall... so thick... like wise, patient giants.

There was fog for most of the stay but it felt like walking through an enchanted forest. It added a level of mystery to these already mysterious trees. All of the trees in the area are astoundingly tall, but the sequoias are like none other. Some of them have been around since the time of Christ. What a thought.

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Do you see the crowd at the bottom? (General Sherman Tree)

Do you see the crowd at the bottom? (General Sherman Tree)

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All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab.

Death Valley on film

My dad and I kicked off our great California Road Trip of 2018 in Death Valley! We got there close to evening and left early in the morning so we missed the scorching afternoon heat. My main concern was getting to Mesquite Dunes before the sun set so I could get a variety of shots.

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Man, those sand dunes are tall! After setting up camp at Stovepipe Wells, we raced back over to the dunes to get into position. I was in the beginning stages of a cold and I think I had a mild fever - but that wasn't going to stop me! 

We ran and power-walked through soft sand over dune after dune. When we finally reached the top of the first larger sized dune, my face was beet red. I probably should have stopped for water breaks, but sunlight waits for no one! I was so out of breath and so thankful to be on DayQuil. 

After I got some final intense sun shots, I used a tripod to get some early evening shots which gave more emphasis to the pink and purple tones. 

Once I was done shooting, I laid my head on my backpack and just relaxed as we watched the sky turn a variety of pastel colors. The nearly full moon lit up the desert beautifully. We were the last ones that far out into the dunes but we didn't mind. The desert at night was worth the climb. The next day we headed for Sequoia National Park.

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. Scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab.

Butterfly World

There are few places like Butterfly World. It's exceptionally better than a butterfly garden or a mini exhibit that you sometimes see at zoos and festivals. The amount of exotic butterflies flying around is so incredible, and most of them are imported or rare species. I had trouble capturing them since they are so fleeting! This is one of those places where you can sit on any number of benches and enjoy a nice day in an enclosed environment (which means no unwelcome bugs, thank you very much). 

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All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. They were scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California

Magic Kingdom On Film

Merry Christmas! I took my Hasselblad to Magic Kingdom about a month ago to get some ideas out of my system. The sun was a little shy that evening so I had to work quickly. I tried different angles of Cinderella's Castle as an experiment and ending up liking more shots than I thought. I love how in one hour the scenery and colors changed so much. 

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My focus this time was seeing how the colors would render. I've found that I'm so used to my editing style with digital photos that initially I felt unimpressed by the scans, again! But after examining them and putting my favorites into this post, the magic of film reawakened inside of me. There is a value in the consistency of shooting one film stock. Even though each shot is different, they work together in an beautiful way.

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The Seven Seas Lagoon at night - I rested the Hassy on a guard rail for stabilization

The Seven Seas Lagoon at night - I rested the Hassy on a guard rail for stabilization

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. They were scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California

Hasselblad 503CW First Images

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I took my first shots with my new Hassy on the 500th year mark of the Reformation, which happens to be on Halloween. I went to Crane's Roost to catch the last few minutes of daylight to at least take one shot of the Majesty building and totally forgot about the trick-or-treater traffic! So I didn't make the sunset but at least I had a few minutes of dusk left.  

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The Boathouse at Disney Springs - the 6x6 format really covers the whole scene

This being my first roll of 120mm film, I tried several experiments. Mostly I tried overexposing by one and two stops, but I also tried shooting hand held at low shutter speeds. Since Daylight Savings Time (DST) happened, the sun sets around 5:30pm, which leaves my beloved golden hour of shooting quite elusive for me. I actually took two images of the Majesty building, shot on two different days. In the first photo, the sun was still above the horizon but I maybe overexposed it more than I should have and lost some definition of color. However, you can see the pinks and purples picked up in the waterfront.

Initially I was a little disappointed with my images as a whole, mostly because I accidentally only took 10 out of 12 photos (??? learning curve...), and most of my shots were during overcast skies or at dusk. I did find however that the shots I liked the most were the ones that I actually metered for. I have an okay/bad ability to guess my metering (lol) but I didn't receive my meter until half way through my roll. I feel comforted by the fact that I can get predictable images when I plan correctly, and otherwise...well... I get what I 'pay' for.

The fortunate thing is that since this was my first roll, all of my mistakes are easy to be corrected for. I'm still building a relationship with my film lab, I'm still defining my ideal look, I'm still waiting for DST to happen again so the clocks will change back. I tried to squeeze this roll into my everyday life so I could get some quick feedback and it served it's purpose. Now I'm excited to take what I've learned and apply it with even more intention. Patience is certainly a virtue with this craft...a painstaking one... but photography wouldn't be the same without it. Ahem, cell phone cameras.

My first shot - the sun had already set below the horizon - (handheld)

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. They were scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California