Pictures of Auckland (where OSDC 2013 is!)

It’s getting close to time to head to Auckland for OSDC and a few days ago I blogged about how I’m speaking there). I’ll be speaking on MySQL In the Cloud, As A Service and all of the challenges that can entail as well as on The Agony and Ecstasy of Continuous Integration. Both of these talks draw heavily on the experience of Percona (my employer) and with experience from helping customers with all sorts of MySQL deployments and in our experience in producing our own high quality software.

I was in Auckland earlier this year, so thought I’d share some pictures of the wonderful city in which OSDC is being held.

Firstly, New Zealand has some pretty awesome wildlife. This is possibly not the best example of it ever as there are way more odd looking birds than this one:

Auckland

The waterfront is quite nice, and when we were there earlier in the year it was awfully nice weather for it:
Auckland

I’m pretty sure there isn’t going to be a triathlon in Auckland for OSDC, but I’m still hoping to get out for a run while there (anybody else up for one?). We left home at something like 3:30 in the morning and got some silly early flight (6am or before) and were totally walking around the city a little like zombies, realising that we simultaneously wanted to go for a run and sleep.

Auckland Triathlon

We were meeting friends from Seattle and managed to spot this coffee place down by the water. I didn’t try it myself, but I’ve certainly had good coffee at other places in New Zealand.

Seattle coffee in Auckland, New Zealand

Streets at night:

Auckland@dusk

And if I haven’t already convinced you that Auckland would be a great place to be, here’s a crappy cell-phone snapshot of a variety of New Zealand beers – a tiny, tiny fraction of beer you can get in New Zealand (the microbrewery scene is amazing)

A selection of NZ beer

Go register for OSDC 2013 right now: http://osdc.org.nz/tickets/

Adventures with Velvia 50

I’ve finally gotten around to uploading a bunch of photos I’ve had sitting around for quite a while now. Recently I finally got around to shooting some Velvia 50, after now several years of meaning to. This is all 35mm with a Nikon F80 and likely all with the 50mm lens. I’m quite pleased with some of the results, slightly more so for the ones not in full direct bright sunlight, but they were much better light for photos anyway. The downside of Velvia 50? Not a portrait film at all.

Manly Lizard

Rocks, waves, Manly

Coffee at the lighthouse

Cape Otway Lighthouse

They took my Kodachrome away

It’s done. It’s gone. You can still find rolls on eBay and the like, but you’re not going to get them developed as colour slides. Dwayne’s Photo stopped accepting Kodachrome on December 30th 2010. I have a set on flickr of my Kodachrome shots. The scans do not do them justice. They look way better projected. I will also talk about the demise of Kodachrome without mentioning the Paul Simon song. oh, wait. fuck.

I’ve now gotten all my Kodachrome back. The last package arrived while I was away at linux.conf.au 2011 in Brisbane.

It is certainly the end of an era, and the last of my shots will go up on flickr.

Stand Development

On advice from one of the guys at Vanbar (the “local” – meaning still a drive away, but at least in the same city – place for photographic chemicals) I tried stand development for the roll of Efke 25 I had shot at Burning Man.

Stand development differs from normal B&W film development in that a) it takes longer and b) you don’t agitate. You just leave the film sitting in the chemicals for a while…. in this case, one hour. I used Rodinal, which is a pretty nice, easy to use and versatile developer (incidentally, it’s also the oldest photographic chemical still sold and in use – patented in 1891).

Anyway, I got some good images out of it (I think). Here are some from a roll of Lucky 100SHD I shot:
Lebanese Doughnuts @ Oasis Bakery
going riding

and here’s some from the Efke 25 that I shot at Burning Man:
Jay and Suzanne washing up
Mel & Ellery
Yazz and Suzanne
constructing

Kodak Ektar 100 – fun with colour negative film

I’ve been writing a bit about my adventures with Black & White film and developing myself. I haven’t (yet) developed my own colour negative (C41 process) film. I do hope to do so at some point in the future – even though I can get the local lab to do it for $4 a roll, it’s nice to be able to do this yourself.

When I was young, I also took photos. I still use that camera sometimes too. Recently I’ve been scanning in the first ever slide film I shot – a roll of Kodachrome when I was 8 years old. I do like the look of Kodachrome, and am sad that it’s going away.

Last year, when I was in the US for Burning Man, I got introduced to Kodak Ektar 100. With the promise of colours that remind you of Kodachrome, I grabbed a bunch and headed to San Francisco and then Burning Man.

I liked the look of a bunch of stuff I shot. For example:

San Francisco beach at dusk

Golden Gate Bridge

Pier 39San Francisco in late afternoon

Barbie Death Camp

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Sun peeking under the man

Recently, on my trip to Hong Kong, I shot some too. The above was all shot with an old Ricoh SLR, when I was in Hong Kong I used my Nikon F80 and the 50mm f1.8 lens.

One of my favourites was of this little statue:
Statues in walkways

In Hong Kong a lot of buildings are interconnected so you can walk between them without having to go outside (where it’s hot and humid). There are bits of sculpture in the buildings around the Rackspace office. This is one near the hotel I was staying with. During the morning and afternoons, these walkways are filled with people, exactly like streets…. but a floor above and indoors.

I’m adding more shots from Hong Kong to my Flickr Photstream as the days go on.

I really like this film. I even don’t mind it for people… the first was the test shot (have I loaded correctly, things winding, wonder if this shot will work) in the hotel lobby in San Francisco. Leah:

Leah

I should learn to scan better (I have since, this was probably the first image I scanned using my scanner, certainly the first Ektar frame). Another two people images I like on Ektar are:

Amy in WhiteChristine with spoon!

Dare I say that I always seem to find the Ektar colours to be relaxed? I like it. The blues really shine through. Reds are also really nice (heck, I even love the yellow), and I plan to go and investigate how I can combine these colours in interesting ways on film.

Reciprocity failure

As the light level decreases out of the reciprocity range, the increase in duration, and hence of total exposure, required to produce an equivalent response becomes higher than the formula states” (see Wikipedia entry).

Those of us coming from having shot a lot of digital, especially when you’re experience of low light photography is entirely with digital are going to get a bit of a shock at some point. Why didn’t this image work exactly as I wanted it to? Why isn’t there as much.. well.. image!

You’ll probably read things like “you don’t need to worry about it until you’re into really long exposures” or maybe you’ll start reading the manufacturers documents on the properties of the film and just go “whatever”.

Ilford Delta 3200 Professional is one of the films where you have to start caring about it pretty quickly. Basically, you need to overexpose once you start getting exposures greater than ~1second.

In decent light, handheld with a pretty quick exposure, things look great:

leah

But whack things on a Tripod and have a bit of a longer exposure you’re going to start failing a bit. Even though I like this shot, I find that it’s just not quite got everything I would have liked to capture. Just exposing a bit more I think would have done it. I had to do too much in scanning and the GIMP…

under the bridge

So I learnt something with this roll, which is always good.

Developing my own film

dedicated bench, originally uploaded by macplusg3.

This is from the first film I’ve ever developed myself. I know a lot of people who’ve done this in school or something, but I never did.. so it’s just me, teaching myself (and playing with chemicals).

This was shot one day when I went out riding down in Black Rock (not too far from home). There’s something about benches dedicated to people that just twinges something in my brain… How do you get to the point where you think a great way to remember someone is to have a plaque on a bench? Carrying a camera while bike riding is quite useful sometimes.

Shot on Lucky B&W SHD100 film on at early 1970s Canon rangefinder.

First roll through the Nikon F80

A little while ago I bit the bullet and bought a Nikon film body – a F80. May as well have a film body that’s a bit automatic and takes the same lens mount as my digital.

So, I got it and thought “hrrm… I better run a roll of film through it to make sure it works”. Off to the fridge i went to find the cheapest, shittiest roll of film possible… I found “Walgreens” brand film. Manufactured by one of many, bought for cheap, and run through the F80.

Some shots turned out pretty good. I have the full set (most of the roll) up on flickr. A few choice ones are:

Which due to some nice accident of lighting, turned out pretty good. IIRC this was pretty late at night and I was editing photos as Michael came over (bringing much needed beer).

Slides and beer, do you need anything else? I just like this because it’s a snapshot of what I was working on (well, kinda, I was mostly just manipulating digital images).

Leah and I went bushwalking… so had to snap a shot of her. I do like the Nikon 50mm as a portrait lens. The film… well… it was cheap, but not too bad actually.

A shallow depth of field can be a lot of fun. Although not entirely sure how I feel about the bokeh….

Which has some odd colours. Nice, but odd.

I like my “new” body. It’ll be fun.

Experimenting with Ilford Delta ASA 3200 B&W Film

So it has been a long time since I’ve shot film… and it pretty much was always colour. Part of this was in prep for Burning Man. i.e. how to take a photo in the dark (and part was “hey, what cool tricks can I do”).

Reading up on film, I found Ilford Delta 3200 Professional as something that could be interesting to shoot with. I’d read a bit about it, checked out the flickr group and decided what the heck, it’s only money.

I grabbed my dad’s old Ricoh SLR and took some photos – trying to learn how this film responds, what I can and can’t do with it along with developing my own skills.

I got Michaels to develop and scan (hey, they do B&W processing in Melbourne in a reasonable time frame)… ignoring the advice of some that doing it yourself gets you best results (anyone for a Laundry/Brewery/Darkroom?)

While at Rrose, I took this shot which I quite like:

Rrose drink
If you look at full size you see the wonderful graininess that is this film:

F1000023_crop1

But a simple GIMP Despeckle gets you:

F1000023_crop1_despeckle

(and a much smaller JPEG file size). But I do kinda like the speckle.

The amazing thing to note is that this was shot handheld with a not particularly fast lens and without any artificial light beyond what was at rrose at 9 or 10pm in August.