Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

Posts from the ‘Expression’ category

Photography as personal expression

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, fifty-three

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

25 December 2012.

I look at this image with fondness and bittersweet ache.

I’m in Bielefeld for Christmas, and I’m at the family home of Dr. S with his wife and two daughters. There is warmth, laughter, and the low murmurs and snippets of chat about the best possible recipe or step forward at the stove. I have to hold onto this tiny spark in time, that’ll be lost forever if I don’t grab my camera. In truth, this is the kind of thing I’ve always yearned for and avoided at the same time. But, the flicker is strong in the moment, and this memory will remain true and long.

He passed away suddenly in July 2020. I miss our chats, especially about American football because he was a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Vikings.

I made the image on 25 Dec 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/20-sec, f/3.5, ISO800 and 18mm focal length (29mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-nfY.

My Vienna: 22 urban frames for 2022

Above/featured: “The first Sunday.” Karlsplatz, 1st district – 15 May 2022.

Earlier in the year, I spent four weeks in Vienna, soaking in late-spring and early-summer weather in Austria’s capital city. I highlighted 3 images and scenes which in addition to time spent left personal impressions. Below, I highlight in a “last chance effort” an additional 22 visual examples of the urbanity in Wien, folding in splashes of colour, lines of focus, and accessibility to good timing.

( Click here for images and more )

My Fuji X70 recipes: Fujichrome Slide & Kodak Platinum 200

Above/featured: 1st Narrows, from John Lawson Pier.

My Fujifilm X70 mirrorless fixed-lens prime camera has been a big plus for photography at domestic and international locations. The built-into-camera film-simulations (e.g., Provia, Velvia) work beautifully in standard settings, but as I’ve never had a film camera, the advent of “camera recipes” to produce additional film-like settings stimulated interest in different colour or pictorial representations.

So far, I’ve tested these Fujifilm film-simulation (“film-sim”) recipes:

•   Ektachrome 100SW (saturated warm), simulating images with the Kodak colour transparency or slide films produced 1996–2002;
•   Kodachrome 64, simulating images with the Kodak colour film produced between the mid-1970s and 2009;
•   Kodacolor, “producing classic Kodak analog aesthetic closest to early-1980s Kodacolor VR200 colour film that’s been overexposed.”


( Click here for images )

West Dyke Trail, West Dyke, Richmond, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

21 March 2022

Mum? Hi, Mum; it’s me.

Happy 91st birthday to you.

We’re not really marking your birthday this year.
And I didn’t get to celebrate your landmark 90th last year.

You fell, 7 weeks short.
And then, 5 months after you left, the rest of the family returned
from across the big western pond. They’d been away for over 25 years.

The haunting frequency is variable, but a clear certainty.
A shadow of a bony hand always reaches in, to squeeze.
A sound to the shatter seems the inevitable.
What’s not is the lucky guess of the strike:
the heart, often; lungs, maybe; at them eyes, sure.
Squeeze and stab become one and the same.

Gotta see, always see;
but that’s not the death wish of choice.
Not today, anyway.
The desperate cloak to hold on is my shield.
If I let go of you, maybe the rest of me will, too.

The year that’s gone, a faint stir in the empty house.
That maybe, finally, you & Dad are getting along.
That maybe, you’re keeping an eye on your granddaughters.
That maybe, you’re finally free.

Mum? Yeah, hi; it’s me.

Happy 91st birthday to you.

媽,
祝你生日快樂.
阿亮輝.

BVG, U2, Zoologischer Garten, U-Bahn, Berlin, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

21 for 21: Foto(ein)s for 2021

Above/featured: U2 train departing Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten station – 28 November 2021.

I look back at an eventful 2021 year with 21 images with personal questions about how impending- and actual-loss affect how life proceeds beyond death, and how feelings of real belonging are different from feelings of a proper home.


( Click here for images and more )

My Fuji X70: Kodacolor film-sim recipe

Above/featured: After Girard: Vancouver-Strathcona, 14 Oct 2021.

The Fujifilm X70 mirrorless fixed-lens prime camera has been a real boon to my approach to photography for personal projects both domestically and internationally. To satisfy my curiosity, I’ve provided examples of X70 images made with two Fujifilm analog-film simulation (film-sim) recipes:

•   Ektachrome 100SW (saturated warm), simulating images with the Kodak colour transparency or slide films produced between 1996 to 2002;
•   Kodachrome 64, simulating images with the Kodak colour film produced between the mid-1970s and 2009.

In this post, I examine the Kodacolor film-simulation, a reproduction of which Fuji X Weekly’s Ritchie Roesch describes as “producing a classic Kodak analog aesthetic.” According to Roesch, the digital film-simulation is closest to Kodacolor VR analog color film from the early-1980s, whose ISO200 version is still available for purchase as “ColorPlus 200” (Kodacolor 200).

The following film-simulation recipe creates images similar to the look of “Kodacolor VR 200 (film) that’s been overexposed.” My X70 settings are:

  • ‘Classic Chrome’ built-in film-sim
  • Dynamic Range: DR400
  • Highlight: +1 (Medium-High)
  • Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
  • Color: -2 (Low)
  • Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
  • Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
  • White Balance: 6300K; -3 Red, -2 Blue
  • ISO: Auto, up to 6400 for “grainy” appearance (or fixed to 1000)

The recipe above is for the X-Trans II sensor; the corresponding recipe for an updated or more recent sensor is found here. All other recipes sorted by specific sensor are found here.

The following images were made at locations throughout metropolitan Vancouver. Minor adjustments to brightness level, rotation, and geometric distortion have been applied from straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) to posting.


( Click here for images )

My Fuji X70: Ektachrome 100SW film-sim recipe

Above/featured:False Creek east, from Cambie Bridge – 12 Jul 2021.

A variety of film simulations in the form of recipes with different settings are applicable to Fujifilm cameras to create uniquely historical and/or vintage look to images. Fortunately, a number of recipes are available to apply onto Fuji cameras with X-Trans II sensors.

That’s where my Fuji X70 has entered the fun fray. Previously, I showed examples of images made with the Kodachrome 64 recipe, simulating images made with the Kodak analog colour film produced from the mid-1970s to its final run in 2009.

I wanted to try another film-simulation recipe: the Ektachrome 100SW (SW for ‘saturated warm’) described by Ritchie Roesch in Fuji X Weekly. Historically, the Kodak company produced the ‘Ektachrome’ line of colour transparency or slide films. From its introduction in 1996 to its termination in 2002, the ‘Ektachrome 100SW’ film with increased ISO sensitivity produced images with deeper colours and warmer colour balance.

At locations throughout metropolitan Vancouver over a period of four weeks in July and August 2021, here are images below straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) with the following settings:

  • ‘Velvia’ built-in film-sim
  • Dynamic Range: DR200
  • Highlight: +2 (High)
  • Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
  • Color: -1 (Medium-Low)
  • Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
  • Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
  • White Balance: Auto; +1 Red, -2 Blue
  • ISO: Auto up to 3200 (or fixed to 1000)

All recipes sorted by specific sensor are found here.


( Click here for images )

My Fuji X70: Kodachrome64 film-sim recipe

Above/featured: South portal, Lions Gate Bridge – 25 Jun 2021.

I wrote about how the Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime has been great for my photography. Fujifim prides itself on good to faithful reproductions of film simulations (film-sims). For the most part, I’ve used the default or “Standard” setting, equivalent to the “Provia” film-sim which is one of 11 film-sims built into the X70.

I learned about other film-sims, particularly those applicable to the older X-Trans II sensor that’s in my X70 camera. I’ve been interested in digital reproductions of “old” colour slide film, and seeing how images over a variety of subject matter appear with a film-sim that looks a little more like “old school film”. Ritchie Roesch describes in Fuji X Weekly the differences between the Kodachrome II and Kodachrome 64 film-sims; the former resembling the look of Kodak film from the 1960s to the mid-1970s and the latter echoing the final version of the film-type from the mid-1970s to 2009. Roesch provides additional historical context to the development of Kodachrome film here.

Here I’ve used the Kodachrome 64 film-sim recipe with the following settings:

  • ‘Classic Chrome’ built-in film-sim
  • Dynamic Range: DR400
  • Highlight: +2 (High)
  • Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
  • Color: 0 (Medium)
  • Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
  • Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
  • White Balance: Daylight; 0 Red, -3 Blue
  • ISO: Auto up to 3200 (or fixed to 1000)

All recipes sorted by specific sensor are found here.

( Click here for images )

This is the place where I died again

The mind’s eye slowly emerges, hanging over my shoulder for hours after the official declaration at 850pm.

With the nurses’ gentle request, I comply without a word, and I sign the paperwork.

I walk back into the hospital room where she lies. The only sounds are from her neighbour, another patient in another bed, their laboured breathing as sign of life.

I gaze out the window to the nighttime lights of the city. From a great height, I cannot see individuals, but I see them in motion on the streets, and alive in the lights of their houses.

At her bedside, I hold her hand, cool to the touch. I place my other hand on her forehead: there’s a little warmth as I smooth her skin with my thumb. Her eyes are closed, but there’s no breath or acknowledgement. When I close my eyes, the dream doesn’t go away, and ashes begin to fall. I lean down next to her ear, and whisper quiet words at the close.

I palm her cheek one final time, as I’ve done over the last days and weeks.

At the doorway, I turn around and look at her still body one last time. I will not see my mother again until the funeral.

I thank the nurses, and make my way out of the Palliative Care Unit. To the elevators. To the lobby. Out into the cold night. Inside the car, my hands are locked frozen onto the wheel, and I begin to shake with tremors. I let the jolt and shock pass through, and with the recall of past experience, I glide over giant waves of grief.

For the first time, I enter the family house without either parent. It’s surreal and unsettling.

From 1976, this house has been a busy noisy compact home for us; I remember us as kids racing to the top of the stairs to claim our very own bedroom.

A family of us: once at 4, now at 2.

Alone now, the walls echo with sounds from the floors, wood frame, and the pipes. I ascend the stairs in the dark, navigating the upper curve from memory. I shuffle to the parents’ bedroom. With a flick of the switch, the unmade bed is in the same final state, when the paramedics moved her into the waiting ambulance earlier that day.

In less than 12 hours from house to hospital, she slipped away, peacefully and quietly into the aether.

With my parents’ passing, I fulfilled my promise to them. There’d been new beginnings, layered with new understanding and sprinkles of forgiveness along the way. I was granted an extra-time bonus in years: a son to his parents, and a parent for his Mom and Dad.

And it is here, I died twice, in the city of Vancouver.

( Click here for more )

Singular moments: family snapshots over 44 years

In February, a short interval mid-month included Chinese New Year’s Day (12th), Valentine’s Day (14th), and Canada Family Day (15th). Surrounding this auspicious interval on both sides were: my mother succumbing to cancer (3rd), and her funeral and burial (17th). She missed her 90th birthday by a mere 6 weeks.

In the weeks following that massive tremor, a heavy cloak of sadness clings on, interrupted occasionally by aftershocks in snippets of truth containing memory and regret. I get to relive the entire process of a parent’s death all over again; with Dad in 2014 and Mom in 2021, the double is anguish with complete finality.

For a long time, I’ve often questioned how much value there was in a family unit, given our inability to verbalize or communicate forms of positive emotional feedback. This post is a short examination of that question in a selection of images. I have to give Mom and Dad credit: they loved pictures of the family, in clear physical evidence by the scatter of photobooks and piles throughout the house. Few will ask whether a photograph at any given time can effectively capture the idea or mood of the moment. The true irony is the future value of that photograph as a means of time travel, back and forth, over and through giant waves of grief.

( Click here for images and more )

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