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This is the Sea Grape Wines and Spirits storefront, early on a weekend morning last November. I really like this black and white cinestill film. It’s a limited run, so when my batch runs out that’s it (it’s possible they might make more but no guarantee).

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Minolta CLE
CineStill bwXX film

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Another pair following up on yesterday’s post displaying a bit of December holiday dressing in NYC, caught with a Contax T3 and its fixed Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens, using Kodak T-Max 400 film.  One is is a Rockefeller Center light angel, the other a window in the Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue.  Black and white 400 ISO film can do the job at night if you point it at something bright.

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I hope I don’t get in trouble with the Director of Research. The #WE35 project* (info here) is supposed to start this month, but with film there is a lag. You have to finish the roll and get it processed. So I hope it’s OK to include some December shots as part of my research. These were taken with a Contax T3 and its fixed Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens, using Kodak T-Max 400 film.

* We35 is basically a fun group project where you commit to shoot certain sessions exclusively with a 35mm fixed lens (or equivalent) and share the results.

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It seems the convention is for photobloggers to post our year end posts during the year they encapsulate. It is what I’ve akways done and most of my friends do. But this year my year end was busy, and involved travel (a late-planned trip to Disney World) that took up most of the Christmas break, when I usually get a lot of things done.

So I’m playing catch up, and the accompanying text will be briefer than usual.

Best of 2014

Still Life Reflections: Flowers Black and White

This is a first for me to repeat an image in a best of collection two years in a row. The color version of this made it into the 2013 collection. This year, as part of a black and white photo challenge, I decided to convert this image and love it as much, if not more, than the original.

Juniper Park In Snow

Last winter was very cold and snowy. It never seemed to end. But it did create some beauty.

On A Clear Day, You Can See Jersey

Last Spring I visited the campus of my alma mater Columbia University and grabbed this shot from a pedestrian overpass on Amsterdam/10th Avenue, looking south.

Rockaway Beach Red Cross Field Units

Last winter a friend asked me to participate in a project to document the rebuilding the Rockaway peninsula after Hurricane Sandy.  This is a favorite from that project. (NB: I believe these are Red Cross units based on the cross, but I’m not completely certain).

Manhattan Night Skyline From Randall’s Island

I spent a lot of time last year photographing the Manhattan skyline from various points around the city, and I need to finish up adding a few more locations to my portfolio this year. This came from an early April excursion to Randall’s Island on a cold Sunday evening. I love how it features all three highlights of the Manhattan skyline — Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.

The Disciples of Dawn

Possibly my favorite image of the year. Taken from J. Owen Grundy Park in Jersey City early on a Sunday morning in May, featuring the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building.  This park is known for its views of lower Manhattan. Getting this shot of midtown across the fishing pier was an unexpected bonus.

NYC Skyline Long Exposure From Riverwalk Place, West New York

Continuing my skyline series, this one also features something a dabbled with throughout the year: long exposure photography. For the record, West New York is in New Jersey.

Gantry Plaza Sunset

This has long been one of my favorite spots to shoot the NYC skyline.

View From Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park

This was the second year I met up with a group of my online photographer friends to spend an extended weekend together. This year we visited Acadia National Park in Maine. It is a glorious location, although I came away somewhat disappointed with my output.  It’s certainly not the fault of the location or the gang; I just did not connect. But that also does not mean I did not come away with a few gems. This is one of them.

WDW Yacht Club Early Spring Morning

This is a no-thought vacation shot I just love because of the light. Arguably I should have cropped or cloned out the small bit of the telescope on the left, but I just wanted to present this shot as it happened.

Hoboken Painted Buildings – Washington Street

Another focus of my photographic exploring this year was to shoot a substantial amount of film.  This is Velvia 100 35mm film, shot with a Contax G2 camera and Contax 21mm lens.  Hoboken has a surprisingly large number of painted row houses and I need to go back to shoot some more.

Thypin Steel Building, Hunters Point Avenue

Again with the Velvia 100 35mm film, shot with a Contax G2 camera and Contax 21mm lens.  This is in one of my favorite neighborhoods to shoot in NYC. I just kee going back and getting something different each time. I especially like how the lighting at this moment perfectly blended with the film type I had in camera.

Mystic River, Seaport Marine

Last one in the list, and continues the real film mini theme. I love Kodak Gold, which the company continues to manufacture and sell as an inexpensive consumer level film, even though that market must have completely dried up.

Looking back one last time at the list, I’m a bit surprised to see no shots featuring people. No street shots, nothing from the grey man series.  I try not to think about such things when I compile the images and make the cut, so this really only hit me just now.  Not really sure what to make of it, either.

Looking ahead, I’m also not sure yet what my obsessions or areas of focus might be in 2015. We’ll just have to find out.  Best wishes for the year to everyone.

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Ever since my buddy Justin first put his hands on a Fuji x100 series camera he has been a bit obsessed with its 35mm field of view.1  He wrote a book about it with his partner at The Photo Frontier, Armando Martinez. When I met up with them and several other photo friends a couple of months ago I remember Justin explaining why the 35mm field of view meant so much to him by saying that if we could spend some time inside his head we’d see how he tends to bounce or careen from one idea to another and that limiting himself to the 35mm field of view it helped to focus his creativity.4

So he recently decided to start a collaborative project he calls “WE35.” His official explanation of what it is can be found at the link, but my summary is that we are a group of photographers from around the world, all agreeing to spend a meaningful part of our time shooting in 2015 with a fixed 35mm equivalent lens. We should see how that affects our creativity and our vision. We’ll be taking notes, filing “reports,” acting all scientific-like,5 and having fun. And as usual, Justin is doing a bang-up job of bring lots of good people together.

I am quite familiar with the 35mm FOV, as I have been using x100 series cameras myself extensively for a few years now. In fact the 35mm project is sort of a cousin to my One Everything photo challenge, which, coincidentally was inspired by Justin and Armando. Because I’m currently fascinated by film right now, I’m going to do much of my WE35 work using film. Specifically, I’ll mostly be using a Contax T3  and its Carl Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f/2.8 lens. That camera is shown below with some of my other WE35 tools. The image above was taken with the T3 and Kodak T-Max 400 film.

Even if you’re not a part of the official WE35 team, you can play along by (1) taking your own 35mm or equivalent photos, posting them online, and using the #we35 hashtag on instagram, Twitter etc., and by looking for the #we35 hashtag for other reports. If you do post a we35 image to instagram, don’t just crop it to the square format which would destroy the 35mm field of view. Instead, please use an app like InstaSize or  InstaSquare to letterbox your images.

1The x000 series cameras have a 23mm lens, but  on their crop sensor that works out to a 34.5mm equivalent (do the math/round up) on a full-frame camera, which is the same size as 35mm film everyone uses as the standard, more or less.2

2That’s so even though using the 35mm film size as a standard photographic format is pretty random, as Zack Arias explains in this video.

Also, in case you were wondering, there’s really no connection between 35mm lenses and 35mm film. It’s just a coincidence.3

3 But I digress.

4 When Justin said this I imagined an experience similar to Being John Malkovich, except that instead of being “spit out into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike” you’re left next to a mountain bike trail in the Rockies. Wearing a cowboy hat.

5 All scientific reports need footnotes.

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