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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One Very Sophisticated Hybrid Technique

Large format aficionado and all-round raconteur Jim Galli never met a brassie he didn't like. Preparing to sell an ancient B&J Ajax ƒ/5 Petzval portrait lens (right) on eBay, he found he needed some quick samples of what the old lens could do. So, short on time and film, he did what any true photo-dog would do—improvised! Jim loaded an 8x10 camera with some 8x10 paper—yes, paper, Polycontrast RC—and made some quick still lifes. He developed and dried the paper, scanned the pics, reversed the tones digitally, and voilá! A quick pic of some old boots, among other things. Now how's that for a film-digital hybrid technique? If you look closely, you can see the Polycontrast filter Jim stuck into the old lens to lower the picture contrast.

That's Jim up top, in the driver's seat of his friend Glen's black 1940 Ford. That one was taken with a Kodak 2D and a 12 3/4" Cooke Portrellic Series IIb ƒ/4.5 diffusion control lens, wide open. (Click on the pictures to see them larger.)

If you're ever feeling put-upon by pixel-peeping, computer bugaboos, or digi-details, and you just want to be reminded of how photography can be fun, make a visit to Jim Galli's web site. The good-natured enthusiasm that spills off of every page will bring a smile.



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