2017 – Exploring downtown Brisbane in Black and White With Kodak T-Max Film (Jan 1)

Its been a couple of months since I’ve posted a blog, and I apologize for that. December and early-January are busy times of the year. For my first blog of 2017, thought I would post a story about using Kodak T-Max 100 film to capture in black and white a walk I took around downtown Brisbane while on vacation in Australia a few weeks ago. Hope you like the photos.

Over the Christmas and New Year holiday period my wife and I visited Australia to see family and friends, then went on vacation to New Zealand. For this trip I took digital and film cameras. In this case it was a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens and a Canon EOS-IV film camera with a 50mm f/1.2L lens (being EOS mount, the lenses were interchangeable between these cameras). This way I could get the best of both worlds, with digital for “vacation” photos and film for “artsy” photos. For film, I took Kodak T-Max 100 for black and white photos, since I’d be taking color photos with the digital camera. This way the photos from digital and film would complement each other (or at least that was the plan). Manual mode and spot metering were used with the film camera, so I could control exposure and meter the different “zones” of light and dark in the subject for determining the required exposure and for helping to pre-visualize what the photo would look like.

Why use a red filter?

For all the film photographs I used a B+W red filter 090 for making the photos look more “dramatic” by increasing the contrast between black and white. Theoretically, green to blue colored subjects will be darker, whilst yellow to red subjects will be lighter when reproduced on black and white film. Hence, I needed to keep this in mind when selecting subjects for photographing in black and white with the red filer (e.g. a blue sky with white clouds will become a very dark sky with extremely defined clouds). It should also be remembered a couple of stops of light will be lost, and of course, everything in the viewfinder will be red colored! The use of the red filter was inspired by reading books by Ansel Adams.

01_Brisbane (Cultural Center)Around 11 am, started my walk around Brisbane City at the Victoria Bridge which spans the Brisbane River and connects South Bank with the CBD. Here’s a view of the Queensland Performing Arts Center which is part of the Queensland Cultural Center and the Wheel of Brisbane. This photo shows you the unexpected nature of film photography with the black vertical banding near the center of the photo and the white watermarks across the top of the photo and at the lower right. But the unexpected and imperfect nature of film photography are some of the reasons why I like using this format.

02_Brisbane (South Bank Broadwalk)The Southbank Broadwalk is a great place for people to ride their bicycles or walk along the Brisbane River.

03_Brisbane RiverAs I was walking across the bridge, noticed a jet ski speeding towards me.

04_Cathedral of StephenCrossed the Victoria Bridge and headed down Queen Street and stopped by The Myer Center for some lunch and to get away from the hot mid-day sun. After lunch continued walking down Elizabeth Street and crossed Edward Street to the Cathedral of Stephen. A lot of construction was being done to the front of the church, so decided to do an abstract shot with the church in the foreground and the skyscrapers in the background.

05_BrisbaneWalked down to the corner of Edward and Creek Streets and looked up to see “skyscrapers in the sky”.

06_Panels of lightContinued down Creek Street to the corner with Queen Street and found some shade under a building awning. Looked up and saw “panels of light”. I guess its good to keep your eyes open since you never know where their is an interesting photo.

07_BrisbaneContrasting buildings along Queen Street near Post Office Square.

09_Anzac Square

10_Anzac Square

08_Anzac SquareThe ANZAC Memorial is located on the Ann Street side of ANZAC Square.  This war memorial is for the men and women who participated in overseas armed service and is named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).11_Afternoon lightWalked down Ann street to the corner of Albert Street and saw the beautiful Albert Street Uniting Church bathed in the afternoon light.

12_Brisbane City HallHeaded into King George Square where the Brisbane City Hall is located. By now it was about 2.30 pm and with the hot sun needed a place to rest, so went to a nearby cafe for an ice-cold Coke and water.

14_CBDAfter a brief rest, hit the pavement and walked down Albert Street, past the Queen Street Mall, and at the corner with Margaret street walked by a building under construction that looked like the lower stage of a “space rocket”.

15_Brisbane City Gardens

13_Fountain of lightWas good to get to the City Botanic Gardens at the end of Albert Street., which provided an oasis of shade to keep cool in a bamboo forest and a water fountain to relax the mind.

16_Brisbane RiverFinished my walk by heading through the City Botanic Gardens, past the Queensland University of Technology, and onto the Goodwill Bridge for a photograph of the city skyline and the Brisbane River. Really like the grain in this photo. Was great to spend the time to walk around the city that I grew up in. It really made me appreciate how I’ve seen Brisbane grow over the years to the vibrant city it is today.

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