What Happens if You Develop Colour Film as Black and White?

Hello there,

I just came back from my holidays to the land of ice and fire (yes, again), yes, I know. In addition to shooting my traditional long exposures with the beloved Fujifilm XT-2, I brought a film camera with me, and shot a bunch of images on film. Just because I love how the memories look on film, and it is always fun to shoot with my friendly snappy Pentax.

Meanwhite, my husband got inspired by my film experiments and got himself a second-hand Olympus M-10. He seems to be particularly enjoying shooting in black and white, which we then carefully (or not so) develop at home. So, when we got to Iceland, he still had half a roll of Kodak TriX400 black and white film left in his camera. Snapping left and right, it didn’t take him long to finish it on his first day there. As we returned home, we decided to develop this roll to see some photos from our holidays to feed our holiday blues.

So we did the whole shabang of opening the canister of the film in the black bag, rolling it on a spool, putting it in the development tank and pouring a crapload of chemicals on it, washing it with water, unrolling and hanging it in the bathroom only to realize… hey, the emulsion colour is supposed to be gray, not orange… and hey, these are not the pictures that my husband took.

Turn out that I accidentally took the roll of Kodak Portra 160 from the shelf instead of Kodak Trix400… and now my beautifully (supposedly) coloured film turned into a black and white one, and oh, joy, we have to start from scratch, because the actual black and white roll was still undeveloped.

I didn’t think that you can actually develop colour film in the same chemicals as black and white, but I must say that the pictures turned out beautiful. Better than I ever had on any actual black and white films.

But I let you be my judge. Shot on PentaxK1000 with the expectations to be Kodak Portra 160… but well, better black and white than no photos at all.

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Exploring West Fjords.
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Fascinated by the Super Powerful Waves.
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Always Love a Good Rearview Mirror Reflection.
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What is Iceland without Ice?
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Tried to Do a Bit of Long Exposure (You Can See A Flying By Seagull on the Cliffs).

Thanks for having a look and feel free to ask any questions, if something crosses your mind.

Ciao,
Anna

Are You Going on Adventure or Ticking off the Checklist?

Hello friend,

I was wondering what kind of travel photographer are you? Are you visiting a country with a checklist of places to photograph or are you going with the flow and shooting what happens to appear in front of your lens?

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Patrick and Alexandra discussing the importance of cracks for composition.

I suppose there is no right or wrong answer, but I noticed that there are two trends:

1. If you go and photograph places that are famous and well-known, you have to fight for your right to place your fat ass tripod to be able to take that shot because apparently you are not the most ingenuous person in the world, and a the check shot is on the list of many people. But if you get it right and in the interesting light/way/composition, you will definitely be rewarded with social media love.

2. If you go into the wild, you might as well find something absolutely amazing, or be left with nothing, but at least you won’t be frustrated with the fact that there were 459 people from the Eastern Parts of the Eurasian Continent with multiple selfie sticks trying to get the shot for themselves. If you are travelling more for the peace of mind, then maybe you should stay away from the well-flattened down by multiple hiking boots paths of your travel destination.

So in my case, this was a completely random stop in a completely unknown to me place (and those who have been to Iceland will know that there are many places that look like that), but somehow it was one of the most memorable and cool spots we did in our trip. Just the texture of that ice is amazing.

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Nature created ice chips. Fujifilm XT2 and Fujinon 10-24.

But as the weather wasn’t amazing, and the place was random, these pictures don’t stand out from the total never-ending flow of “northern lights”, “fiery sunrises in glacier lagoons” and “massive super-silky waterfalls” in Iceland and the goal for likes collected in treasure hunt wasn’t completed.

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Fujifilm X100T.

However, these hold a special place in my heart. This is Iceland, beautiful and special from any angle you look at it.

Have a great Easter Holidays, and stay safe!

Much love,
Anna

Would You Take Pictures If There Was Nobody To Show Them To?

There is more and more people complaining that Iceland is getting too crowded this year, and it seems to be true. I saw a lot of hotels being built, I saw many more rental cars added to the fleet, and I definitely saw many more obnoxious people in the places of interest.

I don’t know if it can cope… I hope it can. It makes me a little bit sad, since I am not a fan of mass tourism. I hope that it doesn’t leave Icelandic people too frustrated.

Hunting for the instagram-perfect place and pose became like a new meaning of life for some individuals, and it takes the magic out of some of the most fantastic places I have visited.

The reality is more like this…

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than that…

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But you still can find lots of places for yourself, if you are not in a hunt to check off the list of overphotographed locations. I must say, I enjoyed most those places where we were on our own and we didn’t have to fight with the selfie sticks obsessive kind.

It is still stunning, although the mountain doesn’t have a certain name. And the ice cubes don’t come from a glacier.

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On the other hand, I just watched this movie called “Bokeh” on netflix. Super artsy-hipster kind of “conversations don’t make much sense movie”, but the essence is an American couple goes for 5 days to Iceland, and one night some kind of weird event happens and they are just left 2 of them in the whole world on their own. Iceland! For just yourself – isn’t it the dream?

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But then the question is would you take pictures if there is nobody to show them to? Would you live in the wild or in the failing city? The character of those two are very different, and the girl just wants to go home, and the guy is quite fine with staying in Iceland until the end of his days.

I wonder what each of us would do. I wonder what each of us would think in this case.

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But in any case, stay safe, my friends.

And thanks for stopping by.

Anna

It’s All Part of The Masterplan.

You know what’s the main problem with Instagram? It is addictive. Like a bag of chips that you can’t put down once you taken that first slice of potato.

You just starting off, and you made an account, and you posted something and surprisingly there were 50 people who showed up and cared about what you posted, and you liked it. 50 people… not bad, right? You’re life will never be the same! It was a trap!

Next thing you do is you make sure that you film whatever happens during your day in vertical mode, because otherwise it won’t fit on the instastory. You have all those beautiful images that you so carefully created putting your heart and soul into it just to squeze them into that ass-small format where nobody is even going to see your cliffs if you shot them at 11 mm… and most of the comments will be from bots saying that you’re rad, and clapping with their missing limbs (cause bots don’t have hands, let’s just agree to that)… what kind of sad ridiculousness is that?

And you need to post every day, otherwise all the likers, stalkers and voyeurs will unsubscribe and go somewhere else. You need to post at the right moment, otherwise if in the first 3 minutes lots of people won’t like your post, it will never make anywhere. You need to research the most trendy hashtags for the type of content you post, otherwise you won’t get enough bot likes and your post will look pathetic.

But isn’t that all pathetic?

Instead of creating something new, or planning on a project, you just keep staring at your screen in hope for appreciation from someone you never met in your life.

_DSF1503When I am in Iceland sitting on a heap of fresh moss, the thing that I care least about at that very moment is who is going to like picture of “me arse” sitting here. It’s just awesome to have the soft greenness under your feet, the crazy changing weather in the sky, the drizzle from the waterfalls, and the waves that tend to be naughty, trying to lick your feet. It is awesome to have it to yourself, and who cares how many bots will appreciate you posting a picture from that experience. I rather spend more time roaming around the lava field than checking how many more hearts did I receive in the last hour. And you will check, because it is addictive. And it feels good when there are many of those hearts. It feels shitty when there aren’t as many as you’d like there to be.  But does it matter? Not really. It just stresses you out. Cause what if you don’t have the next picture to post?

And it feels great to go on a trip and not to worry about what the instagram community expects from you. What?! You are going to Norway but not to Lofoten Islands? But what is there else in Norway to do? Must stand on the edge of the cliff and on the rock inbetween of two mountains. Yeah, right, maybe not.

But it’s all a part of the masterplan._DSF1560-Edit

Dance if you want to dance,

Please brother, take a chance,

You know that they’re gonna go

Which way they wanna go.

All We Know is That We Don’t Know 

How It’s Gonna Be.

Please, brother, let it be.

Life, on the other hand,

Won’t make us understand

We’re all part of a masterplan.

Weather Is Not Always Friendly, Some Might Say.

And that it was bloody windy that day.

Windy in the most annoying way.

Those early spring winds

like to knock you out and take you out for a spin.

But with the eyes, the nose, and the mouth full of sand,

I still enjoyed roaming around.

This spot is just made for fabulous shots,

no matter how much talent you’ve got.

And if you’ve got ego, then listen amigo,

Just get in the picture, and see how in the mixture,

You just vanish in nature,

Does it make you feel major?

Thanks for reading this stuff,

I’ll be back soon enough.

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Anna

Sometimes it’s Black and White.

Hey friend,

I always shoot my landscapes in colour, and enhance the color, and bring out the details… but I though what if I try to turn them into black and white… would it work? It kinda leaves the bare essense of the image and no bullshit around.

Look at this one, how the opening in the sky looks like eyes, and the glacier and the mountain look like a nose and the snow is somehow of a beard leading to the smile of the lake… I’m sure the colour version would distract from that perseption.

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Waterfalls actually work nicely in monochrome too.

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I’m just experimenting and trying to teach myself something new… not to rely on colors, but try to build visually strong image like in the old-school times when most of the images were black and white.

And somehow I have a feeling that if the image doesn’t work in black and white, then it is not so great in colour either.

Just something different, and some photos reflecting my current state of mind.

Take care of yourselves,

Anna

Jokulsarlon Black Sand Beach or How I got Kissed by Atlantic Ocean.

So one of those must visit places in Iceland is this magnificent Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon beach with black sand and gigantic pieces of ice just lying around.

Although the first time we arrived there, there were no pieces of ice and it was raining like it’s the end of the world. But I saw some cute seals, that I quite liked, but nobody else wanted to take pictures of seals. It was so good to be wearing my goretex jacket and not be getting wet under the rain… how did I live without this thing in Russia?

The second time went around Jokulsarlon it was a beautiful sunny day, and there were plenty of pieces of ice. We had a great lunch full of arctic char (literally), and some fun bathroom stories. Denny put on his fancy waterproof boots, and we were all cheerful and happy to be there. But you don’t joke with the sea in Iceland, it can lure you and trick you into doing stupid things… and then it strips you down and laughs at you. So we were all mesmerised by the ice, roaming around, looking for the perfect shot, that we forgot to keep the distance… and as Kris told me not to leave my backpack on the ground in case I need to run from the wave, I thought he has a point, but I forgot to run. And as I looked at that big junk of ice in front of me, holding my tripod in place, I got swallowed by the sea, and hit by that very piece of ice I was trying to take picture of._MG_5744-Edit.jpg

And then yeah, you were half-body immersed in the sea, and yes, you have waterproof pants, and jacket, but no matter what – your shoes are full of water, and whatever you have underneath those pants is full of water. Hopefully your camera is safe, but full of sand, and everything is going to be full of this black sand for days from now on… and outside it is still around 2 degrees (40 F), and we are here until sunset.

But you go to the bathroom and try to dry yourself, and then you realize nothing is going to help you, so you just roam back with your shoes making that sounds… if you grew up in Russia, you know, because every mid-season you have your shoes full of water. That nasty feeling…

And then you see all your friends in the same state really, because everyone but one got hit by the same wave, or the next one. Patrick left his shoes in the hotel, gave up on the idea of drying them. But I made it till the end of the day, and maybe my mind wasn’t sharply concentrated on taking photos, but I had fun… the sunset wasn’t spectacular, but it was just nice to be there. It was a special moment, and I love this place so much. _MG_5916-Edit-2.jpg

Even if you don’t take pictures, watching these pieces of ice slowly drifting around is so relaxing. I wish we were there when auroras were dancing in the sky.

I was surprised I didn’t catch cold, but to make sure I took a couple of shots that night at the hotel. It was the third and the last night we stayed there, and the wifi was so bad in the room, you had to go hang out in the common corridor to catch some signal. Very conveniently Kris was there with his bottle of scotch. His catch phrase was that you can deal with anything, if you add “with scotch” at the end of the phrase. Like oh, there is a girl in my bed “with scotch”. God bless.

More arctic char, and I believe we were brave enough for fermented shark that night as well…

The next morning was a beautiful sunny morning with a stunning sunrise, that we missed._MG_6076-Edit.jpg

We ran out in our pj’s with Emily trying to take pictures of whatever we can. Those heaps of hay look like camels sleeping at sunrise.

After breakfast we went back to the Glacier Lagoon again, and the weather was absolutely beautiful. It was even so warm in the sun that you could suntan.

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And we roamed around the big pieces of ice being wary of the waves, and I screwed up some good otherwise photos because it is not a good idea to have polarisers when shooting into the sun. Nobody got wet this time.

We laughed, ran away from the coming water. Pat took this magnificent picture of me surrounded by 1000 year old ice._MG_6569-Edit-Edit-Edit.jpg

Didn’t want to leave… but couldn’t stay there forever as well.

Here is a picture of Pat as well trying to catch a piece of ice for another fantastic shot of his. Yeah, I know, his backpack is bigger than him, but size doesn’t matter, right, girls?

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Have a great weekend!

Love you all,

Anna