A photo on film, “scanned” with a new method

Zuleikha and her class have been to Eastern Germany lately, to Weimar and Erfurt. And before she went she asked if she could use my film camera for the trip, and I said yes of course, and also bought her some additional rolls of film (that Kodak Gold 200 is less than 8€ for 3 rolls, so really not that expensive).

When giving her films back for development, Zuleikha opted for the cheaper of two available papers which was ok – the prints look really nice. But what she couldn’t opt for with this method were CDs with scans, so she got back just the negatives together with the prints (including an index print). So I “scanned” some of her negatives with taking pictures of them again. Can’t show you the ones with people in them, so let me show you one of the music school in Weimar instead:

Musikschule Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Weimar 2019

About my new method: I used the Google Nexus 5 mobile phone as a background light, first placing the negatives right onto it. But that made the structure of the LED light grid show as a result, so the negatives had to get a bit of distance to that surface. For that distance I used (borrowed) 2 pencils on which I laid the film stripes. To get them flat I put a small glass plate on top. My camera was mounted on my tripod reversed (with its center column pointing down instead of up), and I had my macro lens mounted on my Olympus E-M10 Mark 2 digital camera. I took a custom white balance of the background light, set the lens to f/4 to not get that background light grid sharp again, and used a timer to get rid of any camera shake through my touching it.

And that’s about it. I made a template in RawTherapee for the conversion to positives and for a bit of level adjustments, and now I can make a batch of these conversions quite fast. So tomorrow I’ll ask her which ones she’ll need for further distribution, or for making more (most probably postcard-sized) prints to give them to some friends or so.

Oh, and she did a really good job. Her photos are stunningly beautiful, and once more I’m very proud of our “small one” (who is taller than her mum since a while) 🙂 And I’ll also take some more film photos next time. It’s really quite different, and I like the results a lot, this time even in colour.

As always, thanks for reading.

Some good and bad (music software) news

While I read (and wrote about) some bad news for users of music software on Macs lately, here are some much better news for users of Debian 10 “Buster” (like me for instance), or Ubuntu 18.04+ (like Zuleikha for instance).

I’ll have to work now, and I still have a track or three in my DAW to play on, but after that I’ll try the (falkTX’s) new repo, and report about it all. Stay tuned, as they say.

Ok; off to the treadmill now…

P.S.: wrote about this for my friends in the ‘loops as well…

After the meal and before the fight

Just heard her outside with what was probably the black & white cat which I saw the other day. Tuna is always fighting, probably protecting her territory. In the photo she was cleaning herself after eating, and I took this hand-held with ISO 6400 and 1/10th of a second at f/1.4 (my lens wide open):

After the meal and before the fight, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

Midtoned as usual, and cropped 3:2 like from a film camera. Oh, and I haven’t used any noise reduction whatsoever, so this is *much* better than film IMHO. And with 1/10th of a second hand-held, what saved me here is the wonderful IBIS (in-body image stabilisation) from my camera. So I couldn’t have done the same with film anyway.

As always, thanks for viewing, and for reading.

Some more videos from my watching history

Here is some stuff that I found useful and/or interesting and/or inspiring. First, when Zuleikha came back from her recent trip with her class, she talked about having seen a large format camera – so I thought I’d show her how to use these, and what results to expect:

Steve scans his 8×10 negatives with an Epson flatbed scanner set to 2000dpi – which means that he’s getting an image of about 320 Megapixels. Almost overkill even for good computers, and enlargements of 60 inches on the long side shouldn’t be a problem either.

The interesting thing about Steve is that he’s also using smaller formats (like his Bronica 6×6 film camera) and even Micro Four Thirds – with almost identical results for his purposes. See here:

Yes, he puts a bit of “grain” into the images, and that makes them almost look like film. It’s not so much the camera, it’s how to use one.

Oh, and I’ve seen – and heard – iamNEETA unplugged in a Malaysian TV3 show. And yes, the girl can really sing (and the boys play). Listen to ‘Ilusi’ again, and also to ‘Sakit’ – both from the ‘Sweet Dreams’ series:

Awesome, aren’t they? No wonder that their music is used for the movies… and I wish them luck for their future careers, just like I wish for the actors and actresses of ‘Sweet Dreams’ as well.

As a last tip for now, one of our own. Martin, a friend from Wikiloops offers a new Youtube channel with tips on how to play the drums. And he also does an awesome job. Here’s his introduction, look at his channel for further lessons:

Always a pleasure and an honour to play with Martin. Enjoy.

And as always, thanks for reading / watching / listening.

Esok belum tiba

Also from the Malaysian drama “Sweet Dreams” – this one starts as a calm 3/4 and develops into something like Malay (-sian waltz?) with Celtic influences… really cool, even if you have to use Google Translate for the lyrics:



iamNEETA (Band)

In my last post I wrote about the recently produced and released Malaysian drama “Sweet Dreams” – which gets so many things just right. And one of the important things in movies, films, and videos is always music, and that’s right as well. Amongst others, there’s a singer called Neeta Manishaa and her band iamNEETA who produced several songs for the mini series, and instead of showing you parts of that series again, here are three original videos (by nartvnetwork which I think is owned by Warner Malaysia, so these young people do have record contracts already). Neeta is following Jasmine Thompson, and her voice at times also reminds me a bit of Ana Torroja of Mecano – a band which featured an unknown young actress called PenĂ©lope Cruz in one of their videos (which made her famous later on).

So here are iamNEETA:

iamNEETA – iLusi (Official Music Video – with cc)
iamNEETA – Jatuh Cinta (Official Music Video)
iamNEETA- Marry Me (Official Music Video)

Awesome, aren’t they? And yes, they were on the “Big Stage” already, featured by Siti Nurhaliza. So it’s good to know that the Malaysian music business is alive and well…

Hope you enjoyed it – and as always, thanks for watching / reading / listening.

Sweet Dreams

Saw the sweetest drama ever, and terima kasih to my wife for translating most of it for me:

[EPISOD PENUH] Sweet Dreams – EP1 (Mira Filzah,Ben Amir,Sean Lee,PU Azman)

This is the first full episode of 20 (well 19 and 20 are identical until the last 5 minutes or so, where they split into a sad / a happy ending).

This was produced in 2019, and broadcasted from August 5th until September 5th on Malaysian Pay TV (Astro Ria). Sadly, no subtitles, but after watching just a few minutes you’ll realize that this is something special.

Loved that show, and I’m so glad that I could see it. Really recommended stuff, even if you – like me – don’t understand most of it.

Me on film, August 2019

Got my first film back from the lab, together with some prints (10x15cm), and scans on CD which aren’t very good or high-res (but we knew that already, doesn’t matter since these are cheap).

I’m not too convinced with the colours from their Kodak Gold colour negative film (200ASA), so I tried a black & white conversion using RawTherapee, and added a white border in Darkroom with the last image from that film. Looks like this:

Me, on film

Not too bad, my “full frame” camera from ca. 1972 or so, hm? Scaled down to your usual image height for screens like here (1080 pixels high), or even printed on 10x15cm paper, the results are very nice. And I’m sure that they’d be even better if I would scan the images myself (and maybe I’ll do that with a few prettier ones).

Edit: just converted another one to black & white, same method as above:

Zuleikha, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2019

As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.