Tulips, Hills & Alternative Lenses
I find myself jaded somewhat by the digital world, and at the same time caught up in the bustle that can make an analogue heart dance in the simplicity of digital light. I don't have the latest and greatest digital cam, but I do have some clean and some fungus filled old lenses from analogue times, lenses that when mounted on my old GH4, I have a small feeling of resistance and having some quirky input in the image captured. I love these old lenses. Here is a sampler.
Driving home from work every week night I pass this spot on Kara Rd, looking west and within a band of time that includes late afternoon, sunset and early evening. Tired after the workday and summer approaching with longer days again I try to get into the habit of stopping, getting the flouro vest on, out of the car, park off the road and get out my biox of treasures.

This 1st set is with my GH4 and a CZ 80mm Biotar borrowed off my Pentacon TL 6 and fitted with an adapter. Love this lense. There is some music I recorded that was inspired by these images and called My Side Of The Mountain. Listen here.
Click on images for larger view.

Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road

Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road Looking West On Kara Road

I find the whole concept of 'Looking West' rather magic. The wonder, mystery and hope of it all. Definitely rooted in my love of Tolkien as a younger human........the west has become a favourite muse in my photography.

The 2nd series embodies again that call to get off the couch, in this case a Friday afternoon after a week of work in education and collapsing in a sigh of relief that Friday evening has arrived once again with the hope and freedom of a weekend to be a do what you want tonand need to in that other life that work impinges on.

I had been looking at these tulips planted by my wife in planters out on the deck and visible from the place of recline, thru the bifold doors....and visble in the delicious light that inhabits that early evening air.

Here I used my humble olf GH4, the 80mm CZ Biotar, a Hellios 44-2 and a CZ 135mm Sonnar Ektar mount.....all with appropriate adapters.

One thing I really love about these lenses is how they handle colour. I then found myself in that situation of whether to edit in colour or monochrome. Yes I know its wise never to include both, however my edits are never just click on a filter and whamo.........I edit with an analogue heart........and both the colour and the monochrome image tell a story in their own way. I use Nik Silver FX and the presets I have made over the years that express that analogue story. It's not a matter of one click, in my editing inherent is that love of darkroom and the analogue processing and emulsions that could impact and touch the story of the image.

This in no cheat cheapscape conversion and they take time. I hope you can see my heart in these.

Tulips Outside My Window There Is Always Another Perspective There Is Always Another Perspective Tulips


Thank you for reading this.I would love to hear from any who get what I am saying and it resonates in their own photography.

This ability to write articles is one of the special aspects that keeps me at Ipernity.

Alternative lenses are cheaper and for me bring some kind or creativity and artistry of their own to the image. For me so much of my photography is about letting go.


Graham Hughes
aka KiwiVagabond


raingirl said:

I read this and think about process. I love process.
(Sorry if you wanted me to talk about lenses, but while I'm an analog photographer at heart, I've never been able to remember all the technical details - though I'm do have interest in those things.)

The process of picking a lens for the place. The process of finding a flow to your week, remembering to pause and take it all in, searching through the mystery before you. The process of really looking, both in the moment of taking the photo and in the editing. It is the stuff of life!

And ah, editing. I miss printing photos. Really printing photos. Which part should be held back, which brought out. Does the contrast help or hinder the image? And when in a shared darkroom space, sharing my thoughts with others to get feedback and perspective. We can still do those things in the digital realm, but I find many simply have their one look that they want to achieve and don't consider other options in that much detail.
(I try and promote converstions around contrast etc when I comment on people's photos here on ipernity. I have found a few who will enjoy my thoughts, but none who seem to want to get into the darkroom with me. But that's okay. I still enjoy thinking about them myself and enjoy the reminder to dig in deep with my own photos.)

The magic of looking west. It has a universal feel to it. Yet, I live in the west, so where should I look for my yearning? Ha! But really, the feeling of being drawn away from where one is. It's intoxicating. A wonderful idea for your series. I am probabably drawn most to this one:
There's a feeling of motion from right to left along the horizon. Like the trees are heading away from the dark into the light, or are they travelers.

Your flower photos are intriging. All taken in color? I wouldn't shy away from that, with the exception of this one:
The black and white here brings out details in the petals that become lost when in color, and that image is all about those details.

We have a lot of bridges in our city. And many of them lift up to let the boats pass. So it's not unusual to be rushing through one's day only to be stopped cold by a passing boat. At first one feels frustration, but the inability to do anything about it starts to take hold and one remembers that all those things one has to do can wait. It's a breath of fresh air, a pause. You have found a way to pause without the boat. That is a good thing.
And on a completely different topic - you are a musician! (My husband is a musician/poet/lyricist, I only dabble in playing flute, piano and guitar.) What calm delightful music you created. Goes so well with the photos!

[And now my IMA team advisor hat is put on: Would you consider letting people on ipernity use your music to go with youtube videos of their photos? Or would you consider making a video of your photos with your music for us to put up on the ipernity channel on youtube?]
3 years ago

Graham Hughes replied to raingirl:

Thanks for your thoughts, and the time taken to write. And the life stuff....we all get to have passions in the midst of a real life............I am more than happy for people to use music from my Soundcloud......just acknowledging the creator with a link is all I would like out of it......I tend to create epic soundscape kind of stuff......and would love it to be used if people wanted with images.......when I write I have images in my head and write for such. Love colour.....love mono......i love lots. Cheers Raingirl.
3 years ago

raingirl replied to :

I have come back to enjoy this again - and to view and subscribe to your Gallery259 Analoque Resistance magazine (though maybe you are done making those?).

I always bite off more than I can chew. Ideas flow, follow through gets blocked at the window. But now that I've re-found your music, I hoep to move forward with using it for a video for youtube. I will connect with you if I can pull that off.

How are you feeling about your digital life these days? I am starting to be pulled back to analogue. I am doing more polaroid at the moment (though not posting here) and struggling to figure out how to make them digital successfully.
3 years ago

The Limbo Connection said:

Digital photography has helped me learn; the cost of film and processing inhibited experimentation, and the time lag between pressing the shutter and seeing the result ruined the learning experience. Nevertheless I do like using legacy lenses, and the web has made them not only more widely available but also resulted in more competitive prices. I read recently an opinion that some old lenses which never enjoyed a good reputation when used with film have been found to be really quite good when teamed with a digital camera.
I certainly agree that photographing the same scene repeatedly at different times of day, in varying weather conditions, and in seasonal variations, is exciting and instructive, particularly when different lenses, focal lengths, and even cameras are introduced to the exercise.
3 years ago

Graham Hughes replied to The Limbo Connection:

Thank you for taking the time to read and connect. Yes I have some old Minolta lenses that are quite famous for how they handle colour. At the very least I get a kick out of flying in the face of the belief that everything new is 'better', and that the lense gets a new life with me.....and one with meaning and appreciation. Photography is a partnership between technology and the human user.....and I know I am guilty and not wrongly so of attributing personality to inanimate objects.
3 years ago