Eddy Pula

20 04 2012

© Eddy Pula

So today the worlds best photo blog chose Eddy Pula for it’s occasional ‘random excellence’ posts. I’d never heard of Eddy Pula, but it’s the worlds best photo blog, so I always click through and take a look at what Mike’s noticed and brought to our attention. Sometimes the random excellence grabs me, other times it doesn’t. Anyway, I liked todays recommendation.

Eddy is shooting film square on old Rolleicords, Mamiyas and Crown Reflexes. Developing and printing in his basement. Kinda stuff we like here at eyesoup. The portraits he’s making are pretty cool. And his blog writing is entertaining too.

Actually, to counteract my previous Instagram post, he has a very funny take on the whole hipstamatic thing that made me think of pulling my previous post (I mean really, can I ever be taken seriously as a photographer, if I put the word out that I’m looking for a replacement for a phone app instead of making fabulous portraits on my RB67?!!!). This was Eddy’s take on the whole thing –

“… Posen (Sic) man, that’s the bullshit I hate. Hipstamatic, Instagram, whatever the kids these days are doing to make their stupid photo’s worse. Step 1, spend half a grand on a miracle of modern technology, step 2 take a picture of a palm tree/graffiti/tattoo/etc, step 3 apply canned curve masks to make it look like you shot it with a disposable/flea market camera that has been sitting on the dashboard of your car for most of August with a roll of CVS brand color film that expired before the tragic events of 9/11. Step 4 revel in your creativity. …”

Put me in my place!

I dunno if it will annoy him that I’ve posted a photo of his without permission though**. In another post he says “Half the stupid blogs I read just take others people’s posts, videos and pictures and paste them up every couple of hours.”. Except that I only write a blog post every couple of weeks (unless I’m feeling inspired), and a lot of the time I do post about interesting stuff I find on the net. More original content required?

Speaking of original content, keep an eye on The Dark Room at Camden Palace – dark room classes starting on April 26th! If you’ve never experienced the magical alchemy of seeing a photo appear in a tray of chemicals under a red light, then this class is a must! Pure original content – you take the picture, you develop the film, you make the print. No computer required! No internet! Just dark and chemicals and some focussed light … Click here for more

– Rory

** I’ll email Eddy and let him know


Kodak files for chapter 11

20 01 2012


Kodak filed chapter 11 today. Writing has been on the wall for a while, but still a shock and sad to see it, particularly for those in the US.

It’s been all around the web today, but as usual Mike Johnston puts it very well on The Online Photographer.

– Rory


10 11 2011

(c) Andreas Gursky

Read more on the worlds 2nd best photo website here.

– Rory



Steve McCurry: A Retrospective (by Leica)

7 09 2011

There isn’t much I can say to add to the content of this video. So make yourself a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy (thanks to TOP for the tip)

– Rory

HCB on photography

1 06 2011

This is a lovely short film, well slideshow really. Henry Cartier Bresson talks about photography and his photographs, in a short film made by Cornell Capa in 1973. Boil the kettle, take a break, get comfy, and enjoy.

I came across this via TOP – isn’t the internet great!

– Rory

** Edit July 6th.  Looks like this video got pulled. Hope ya caught it before it came down. It can be purchased on DVD here

Mike Johnston’s recipe for “The Glow”

2 05 2011

I’ve long been a fan of Mike Johnston’s writing at The Online Photographer, and previously on Black & White Photography magazine, where I first began reading him. I have also been aware that he wrote for the Luminous Landscape website, but wasn’t aware of that site when he was writing for it.

Anyway, the Luminous Landscape is an excellent website / resource, and well worth a trawl through for interesting old article on photography and cameras. I was trawling recently, and came across a wonderful old article (yes 2002 is becoming pretty old now!) that Mike wrote on b+w printing and achieving “the glow” – ie that ethereal quality that master printers seemed to be able to achieve easily, but hobbyists struggled to get anywhere near. “That rich, soft, pearly look that some master prints have. As if a soft light were coming from deep within the paper.”, to quote the article.

Mike goes on to give a recipe of sorts that could be used to try to achieve the same quality. And this struck a cord, because it described things I have struggled with in the darkroom.

Most photographers I know (myself included) who still photograph with b+w film will talk about it’s latitude (ie the degree to which the film can be underexposed and overexposed and still achieve useable results, or details in the negative).

We will also talk about times that we have ‘pushed’ our film, say to photograph concerts at night in low light. To do this you expose the film at a higher ISO rating than what the film is rated for – say use 1600 ISO on a 400 ISO rated film, and then develop accordingly. This effectively is underexposing the film. You will get acceptable results. And grain the size of golfballs.

What Mike advocates resolutely in his recipe for “the Glow”, is to never push film**. You need to pull, as he advises in step 7 of the recipe –

“… Don’t develop too much. Say, 10% or 20% less than the manufacturer recommends for outdoor scenes, no more than the manufacturer recommends for flat indoor scenes. Giving generous exposure and not developing too much is called “pulling,” and it was common in the days before reliable light meters… and before the pernicious disease of “pushing” became an epidemic spread by hobby magazines and photojournalists. I’ll give you a hint that will set you well on the way to being a better printer: never push. …”

I don’t want to quote any more without permission, but if you are still using b+w film and printing in the dark, or even scanning for digital prints, read the article here. It’s a quick, entertaining read. It’s not full of science and figures, but is a great stepped description to how you might, with practise, achieve a print that glows!

The Luminous Landscape

The Online Photographer

– Rory

** I suspect this is good advise when you are shooting digitally too. Digital doesn’t have nearly as much exposure latitude as traditional b+w film, and you have to be very careful not to over expose to much, to avoid clipped highlights – ie very bright parts of the image with absolutely no detail in them. But underexposure in digital,  particularly in the shadows, will induce noise if you try to bring out the detail in those shadow areas. And noise ain’t pretty – even grain the size of golf balls is preferable!

The Forgotten Ones … RIP Milton Rogovin

20 01 2011


Milton Rogovin (c) Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Via my favourite photo blog, The Online Photographer, I learnt today that the great socialist photographer, Milton Rogovin, has died. He was 101.

Rogovin took up photography after being persecuted during the McCarthy era. Says the New York Times,

Mr. Rogovin was an optometrist whose business was decimated and his children shunned after he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1958. An article published that year in The New York Times reported that friendly witnesses described him as “the chief Communist in the area.” He turned to photography because his “voice was essentially silenced,” as he once said. What followed was more than 40 years of powerfully straightforward pictures of others without voices: the poor and working class of Buffalo’s East Side and Lower West Side, Appalachia, Mexico, Chile and other countries.

A wonderful photographer, his last book was The Forgotten Ones, published in 2003.

A short film worth watching is available on youtube.

– Rory