Archive for the 'workshop' Category
Wednesday, December 20th, 2023
After moth of renovating my Darkroom, I am finally finished with it and can show you what I did to make my life easier.
One of the main things in a darkroom is the sink. I looked for age to get a fitting one, but couldn’t find any. But my good friend Lois knows somebody who knows somebody and with that I got a custom made sink that was a lifesaver. Thanks a lot for that!
Here are all the links to the tools I used, consider buying that stuff locally as well.
For easier user I use my Amazon affiliate links.
Darkroom automation video: https://youtu.be/odMC7_wjzPE
Darkroom Timer video: https://youtu.be/o2XN9FEeuNk
My Thingyverse: http://thingiverse.com/mhaustria
Darkroom Winch https://www.borutpeterlin.com/shop/hardware/darkroom-winch/
Stainless Steel cabinet: https://www.ggmgastro.com/de-de-eur/edelstahl-arbeitsschrank-eco-1200x600mm-mit-schiebetuer-asfk126
Curly hose with spray gun: International: https://amzn.to/3NvAdOD German: https://amzn.to/3Twi9b0
NFC cabinet lock International: https://amzn.to/3NBZBCC German: https://amzn.to/4771E8v
Squeege International: https://amzn.to/477krjW German: https://amzn.to/48qV4dY
Hue bridge (needed for the lights): International: https://amzn.to/41CGQEP German: https://amzn.to/3v7Loqz
Hue lightstrip International:https://amzn.to/47VXaTv German: https://amzn.to/41Lu9rz
Hue Bulb International:https://amzn.to/3GRa49m German: https://amzn.to/3GTwKpD
Hue dimmer switch International: https://amzn.to/4asbyV4 German: https://amzn.to/48p5PO9
Silvos Silver nitrate stain remover https://www.carlroth.com/de/de/sonstige-reinigungsmittel-spezialreiniger/reinigungsmittel-fleckenentferner-silvosol/p/0047.1
Thursday, August 3rd, 2023
This topic brings often lots of emotion up. And honestly I was struggling myself buying lenses with scratches for some time. I still do. Thats why I wanted to take a closer look into this topic . Gary https://www.instagram.com/garygeezerphotoart/ sent me a scratched lens some time ago and therefore made this video possible. Thanks a lot for that!
But this is not the first scratched lens that I got, I bought a used canon 24mm lens a while ago from a shop for very little money. I knew already that the little scratches will not affect the image, but I still had a bad feeling. After Some years I can assure you, that all images that I shot with it looked great
You still are not sure if you should get a scratched lens for a good price? Then have a look at my video, where I show how I shoot the plates with a scratched lens. I discuss this topic with a fellow wet plate artist who is also a specialist in renovation of historic photographic equipment: Denis of wetplatedreams.com Denis started recently a YouTube channel where he spreads his knowledge of historic lenses.
As promised I posted the hires scans of the plates underneath. One plate is shot with the old Ross projection lens and one is shot with this very new Zeiss Epic projection lens.
Can you guess which plate was shot with the scratched lens? Click on the highres crops to see them in full resolution. You can use the chapters of the video to chump to the part where I explain what plate was shot with the scratched lens.
Shooting wet plates with this projection lenses can be very tough, because the dof is very thin. I also think that one of the lenses had some chromatic aberration. That means, that the blue light is focusing on a different distance than the visible light. This is sometimes also called chemical blurring or chemical miss focus with the wet collodion process, because the wet collodion process sees only some parts of the UV light spectrum (about 420 to 490nm).
I can only focus on the light I can see with my eyes, but some lenses focus because of the chromatic aberration the limages for wet plates on a different spot. Thats how a miss focus can happen. But you can see how extremely sharp both lenses performed anyway. To judge the sharpness for image A, have a look at the top and the right side of the cropped scan.
Even I knew what was the plate that was shot with the scratched lens, and I still mixed them up and was convinced I was right when I showed it to my intern, shows how similar the plates are. This was another point that went to the scratched lens. Scratches and fungus mostly cover only a small percentage of the lens and thats the reason it won’t affect the image that much as you would think.
If you want to support me and get deeper into topics like that, you always can book a workshop or join our Patreon team. Or just book a portrait session . Check also my Instagram channel for latest news: https://www.instagram.com/mhaustria/
So what does that mean, should you buy scratched lenses? From our perspective, you definitely can buy scratched lenses. You will save money and still get the same results. It only affects the value. As always, it depends how big the damage of the lens is. More about that in my video. If you buy lenses as an investment, you probably will look for a mint lens, but here you have to put lots more money on the table.
At the end, it all depends on your needs.
Monday, January 9th, 2023
How to load Analog FIlm into a Sony A7 – An Analog Portrait Photographers view of the upcoming year 2023 and why AI is not the End
My own prediction about what will photography be in the future and what I will do about it
I am not doing a rewind or recap this year. I think there are too many of these out there and I have mostly the feeling it’s only a fill-in. You can watch my “end of 2022 studio tour” video or my recent scanner renovation video if you want to watch something instead of reading this article.
The pink elephant in the room
It’s there, and everybody is seeing it (Also non photographers). Some people are scared, some are angry and others ignore it. What I am talking about? AI, like Midjourney, Dall-E or the text focused chatGPT. This will not change our world, it changed it already. The ai integration in our lives started a little sneaky, with some cool filters for example, google recaptcha, or enhancements for our phone cameras. Text-wise, we had chat bots that were mostly bad and voice assistants that were somewhere inbetween. Close your eyes and paint your own picture about how you felt about ai at the beginning of 2022. And now face reality and think how much it has improved in the last 5 Months and how much it improves now on a daily bases. For me it’s crazy how great these generated images/portraits look like and how they get better by the hour. It gets harder and harder for me to identify these generated images. I think these “calculated” pictures can be very useful sometimes and many of them look great.
I wrote a German article for c’t Fotografie (online pay or paper magazine) about this topic, you can read it here: https://www.heise.de/select/ct-foto/2023/1/2219314550220514230 This includes also an interview with an portrait artist that uses ai: Klaudia Ratzinger
But I also think that all these generated images should have a digital watermark, so social media and websites can tag them as generated. People need to know if that image they are looking at is real or generated. I know that there is Photoshop as well, but these ai tools can be operated form a 5 year old and the results will fool you. Ai affects already so many business, not only photography, but also writers, lawyers, translators, book authors and many many more. I recently saw an article that a guy used chatGPT to create a children’s book. He also asked chatGPT to write down descriptions for pictures, so other ai picture generators can create imagery for the book from this description. He is selling the finished product now on Amazon. I also read a reddit thread where there was the need for a letter from a lawyer. Somebody asked chatGPT to write a letter and the user asking for a lawyer letter had success with it. You don’t have any programming skills? just ask chatGPT to write a script/program for you.
“Words can be powerful” gets a totally new meaning these days.
Talking with chatGPT can also be hilarious – more at the end of this posting
Does that mean we need to be scared as a photographer? I don’t think so. Let me explain:
- At the beginning of photography, painters were upset because photographers had no idea about posing and light. Of course it was much easier to get a portrait from one day to another. That changed crime scene documentation totally.
- Later black and white film photographers were upset about color film photography.
- At the beginning of 2000, film photographers were upset about digital photography
- And later digital photographers were upset about phone cameras
- And now the same discussion starts with ai generated images. Even we use ai already for many years in our phones (or how do you think it was possible to capture a detailed moon photo with your phone?)
And today all these mentioned techniques are still coexisting. That’s why I think they will also coexist in the future. I think good photographers must be “stage managers” these days. They need to sell an experience. Something the customer will remember for a very long time. For example, when somebody gets their wet plate portrait taken in my studio, they for sure will remember that forever.
This kind of photography is so different in our fast moving world. Sure, people could use a tintype filter. But that is like seeing a great dinner on a photograph instead of going there and enjoying it. Or think of a wet plate workshop, or any other kind of photography workshop. Creating something by yourself is always exciting and fun.
This works also for digital. I just had a business shooting for two days and this can be a great experience as well. People were excited and happy.
I think that may be a different story for non portrait photographers, like food, architecture or product photographers. But a lot of companies are working already with generated (3D renderings) images for their catalogs. And as far as I know, these generated images are directed by photographers.
Please comment how you think other photography business will be affected by ai.
That is something I am not very good of. I have so much in my mind and want to do everything at once. But I try to go for walks every day to relax. Instead of my camera, I bring my new binoculars with me. I got myself some cool ones for Christmas (US click here – German click here for the ones I bought). So why I am telling you this? Because I felt the need sometimes to bring my camera to my walks, to capture deers, swans and other wildlife scenes. The binoculars are a great substitute for that. They will calm you down, because you can not use them to take pictures. I use them to watch wildlife and enjoy it a lot.
My new year resolutions for 2023
Don’t seek for perfect wet plate portraits all the time, accept the one you did and appreciate it. Look for more assignments that you enjoy and less that you don’t. Work more on your own projects you love.
How to load analog film into a Sony A7 digital camera?
Let’s end this post with something fun. I asked chatGPT some questions about wet plate and analog photography. And at the end, chatGPT ended up explaining me how to load film into a Sony A7 camera and why medium format film would not fit in. And no worries, the sensor cleaning and the ibis of the Sony A7 will not destroy your film either. And if you ever looked for a film rewind button on your digital camera, chat GPT got you covered. In that case chatGPT acts like a little child that made a mistake and makes up more facts to cover it. Please be aware that all other answers about the wet plate process and so on contains also false information (I won’t explain everything, but for insiders it’s fun to read). As always, if you are interested in that process, take a workshop or read a book (chatGPT tells you the same). Enjoy the answers guys (You need to open some screenshots in a new browser tab to be able to read them):
How does a digital camera that loads analog film look like?
I asked that question Midjourney and got these results 🙂
Wednesday, December 21st, 2022
Maybe you missed my exhibition, or you want to come for a portrait or a workshop. Then you have now a chance to walk with me in a brief overview through my studio.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
At an external event I had once the issue, that I could not get rid of the dust on the varnish. So I worked out this solution with Stefan Schubert. You can find the links to all tools here: list.mhaustria.com
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022
My todays vlog is about the wet plate workshop in Germany. This time I take you with me behind the scenes. For upcoming wet plate / Nassplatten workshops (German and English) visit http://ws.mhaustria.com
Wednesday, January 26th, 2022
This year private wet plate workshops are popular. That’s the reason I show you the first one of 2022. It was great to work with Ronald https://www.instagram.com/mrronho/ the cool thing is, I got some great portraits as well. Thanks so much for coming to my studio!
List to all tools I use: list.mhaustria.com
Wednesday, November 10th, 2021
In todays video I travel to Germany to prepare my Silvergrain Academy MasterClass wet plate workshop (click here for the workshop). I did also an Interview for the Silvergrain Classics, visited the Leica Headquarters and documented development of my Portra 400 film in the Silvergrain Classics lab.
Thursday, July 15th, 2021
This was such a great experience! It was not only great to meet people again at the Camera Obscura Festival, but it was also awesome to meet artists that are interested in an analog workflow. Another great thing is, that this festival is not an exclusive “wet plate event” it is also for people who work with the analog medium in any way. That was so cool, with this option you will experience things you may not have seen before. Like Large Format Cameras build from Legos. It was so nice to meet all of you guys finally in person another big thanks to Stefan, Christian and Denis for organising this great event! If you want to be notified for the next Camera Obscura Festival, register here: http://cof.mhaustria.com
Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com
Get cool analog shirts here shirts.mhaustria.com
For online wet plate workshops, visit this http://online.mhaustria.com
For private wetplate workshops contact me here: http://www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/kontakt/
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
Hope I see you guys in Germany at the Camera Obscura Festival
My Virus Wet Plates are part of the 35mmc Pandemic book
More and more people are attending my online wet plate workshops (online Nassplattenworkshop) http://online.mhaustria.com
get cool analog shirts here shirts.mhaustria.com
for online wet plate workshops, visit this http://online.mhaustria.com
For private wetplate workshops contact me here: http://www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/kontakt/
Or book other ones here http://www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/workshops/
Don’t forget to subscribe to my Newsletter: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/Newsletter/