Cerro de la Muerte

El Cerro de la Muerte (The Death’s Mountain) is the second highest mountain in Costa Rica (about 3490 meters above sea level). It’s located between the province of San José and Cartago. The average temperatures goes from 1 C and 15 C, but the temperatures can drop to a few degrees below 0 Celsius at night. A national roadway goes through this mountain as high as 3345 meters above sea level, so, during it’s construction (decades ago), several workers perished by the cold temperatures of the mountain and the altitude. Tha’s why it’s called “Death’s Mountain” today. If you’re a reader from a colder climate country, you have to keep in mind that Costa Rica it’s a “tropical” country, in consequence, former workers of the roadway, weren’t prepared to withstand such a cold enviroment, because they came from lower lands with warm and mild climates.

I was invited by a group of talented photographers called “The Costa Rican Collective” to join to their journey for a weekend in february of 2017.  I invite you to follow their work on Instagram.
The next photos were taken with my Nikon F100, using (the always trusted) Fuji Superia 400.

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte008

The Costa Rican Collective team 

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte013

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte007

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte009

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte014

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte011

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte010

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte015

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte016

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte012

Fuji Cerro de la Muerte019

When the sun went down, I wasn’t able to keep shooting photos. I live in a warmer part of the country at 600 meters above sea level. The colder temperatures at 3490 meters above the sea, were to much for me to handle. The next time, I’ll be better prepared to face the cold. 🙂

 

Thank you for reading this! 

Advertisements

05.Febrero.2017

My apologies to the native english language readers. This post will be in spanish. A complex, but beautiful language that I invite you to learn.)

Actualización.

Saludos!

No he tenido la oportunidad de realizar publicaciones desde hace ya algún tiempo. Mi pasión por la fotografía ciertamente no ha dejado de existir como tal. No obstante, si bien he logrado adquirir algunas cámaras analógicas para experimentar (incluído ahora el formato de 120 mm); he tenido dificultades en revelar mis recuerdos del 2016 contenidos en películas. Debido a la obtusa burocracia y obsoletos parámetros de mi país (en relación con el libre comercio) siendo que no he podido importar químicos C-41, mismos que son necesarios para tangibilizar el poder compartir las imágenes que dichos negativos protegen como secretos.

(27.Agosto.2017: Actualización: Algunas fotos analógicas ya han sido reveladas, las cuales las compartí al documentar mi viaje al Cerro de la Muerte, utilizando la Nikon F100. )

Si bien, tal situación no me ha sesgado la voluntad de seguir utilizando película analógica, lo cierto del caso es que he tenido que recurrir a mi vieja y confiable Nikon D7000 en aras de poder seguir documentando la vida con mis amigos. De hecho, el retomar la fotografía digital, a su vez la influencia de mi buena amiga y prima Paula, han logrado despertar en mí (nuevamente) el interés de experimentar con cámaras Canon.

15-enero-2017-01-1

Paula y su Canon 6D

15-enero-2017-02-1

Yennarow

15-enero-2017-03-1

pau-yenarrow2-1

San Vicente de Ciudad Quesada, SC, Costa Rica.

Es en la noche cuando se dan la gran mayoría de momentos en los que comparto con mis amigos. Es por ello, que he llegado a adquirir una profunda pasión por la fotografía nocturna. Utilizar diafragmas abiertos, velocidades de obturación lentas y el hecho de llevar el ISO de las cámaras al límite; se ha convertido para mí una segunda naturaleza.

Bajo esas condiciones se debe leer la luz de manera distinta, de manera aplicada en razón de la disponibilidad de la misma. Ante el reto que dicho tipo de fotografía puede representar  y ante la infinita curiosidad (propia de los Acuarianos), constantemente me avoco a investigar sobre modelos de cámaras de diferentes fabricantes; siendo para mi persona la principal prioridad, el desempeño de la cámara en situaciones de poca luz (cuando los valores de ISO deben forzarse a sus más altas escalas).

Recientemente, en un ensayo de la banda Entre Árboles, mi prima Paula me permitió utilizar su Canon 6D. Dicho modelo, cuenta con un sensor digital que es equivalente (en tamaño) a un cuadro de película de 35mm. Tal característica, conlleva como consecuencia, mejor desempeño en altos valores de ISO, mejor degradación de tonalidades y otros aspectos técnicos con los cuales no los quiero aburrir. El punto es que dichas cámaras pueden ver de noche, dando como resultado imágenes muy limpias que en los inicios de la fotografía digital, no hubiesen sido posibles (al menos no, sin sacrificar la calidad de la imagen).

Las siguientes fotografías fueron tomadas en 4000, 5000 & 6400 ISO con un lente de 50mm de F/1.8. La iluminación disponible era solo una leve luz artificial y luces de velas.

28ene17-07-1

Rubén cantante, fotógrafo, dibujante… una mente creativa!

28ene17-05-1

Mi amiga Natalia

28ene17-04-1

6400 ISO

28ene17-08-1

Maylen

Debido a la rivalidad y competencia entre las distintas marcas de cámaras fotográficas, al existir modelos más recientes con especificaciones técnicas más avanzadas; hoy en día se pueden conseguir de segunda mano cámaras por unos cientos de dólares. A manera de ejemplo cito la Canon 5D MK II, Nikon D700 y Nikon D610, modelos que se vendían por miles de dólares cuando llegaron al mercado, pero al día de hoy sus precios varían entre $650 a $850 en Ebay.

25.Agosto.2017. Actualización: La Nikon D800, la cual en el año 2012 se vendía por más de $3000, al día de hoy se puede comprar por $1200 o menos (Ebay). Al día de hoy, espero con ansias que arribe mi Nikon D800, de la cual hablaré en una publicación posterior.

Las cámaras arriba mencionadas, mantienen una relación de calidad de imagen/precio/durabilidad, que las convierte en excelentes candidatas, si se busca buen equipo fotográfico por bajo precio. Costo que debe verse como una inversión (aún cuando sea un pasatiempo, como en mi caso)  y no como un gasto. Ya que con ellas se podrá documentar la vida por muchos años venideros. Inmortalizar las memorias en imágenes, justifica la inversión.

En cuanto a la fotografía analógica, por supuesto que seguiré utilizando película! En cuanto tenga la oportunidad de revelar los negativos que tengo como pendientes, compartiré las pocas imágenes que mi obstinado perfeccionismo dicte que sean dignas de mostrar.

Gracias por tomar de su tiempo para leer esta publicación!

Atte: Rodolfo Bolaños 

PENTAX K1000 – Simplicity and reliability in your hands.

Simplicity and reliability in your hands. That’s the Pentax K1000. A mechanical camera produced from 1976 to 1997 by Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. (Japan). This camera requires a single battery (LR44 or equivalent) to activate the light meter. If you get a Pentax K1000 with a broken light meter, you can always use it calculating the correct exposure with the “Sunny 16 rule” or some “Light Meter app” from your cellphone.

Pentax 01

My Pentax K1000 is a SE version, with brown leather.

Previous cameras from Pentax (like the Spotmatic) used the M42 lens mount, invented by the Germans in the late 1930’s. The Pentax K1000 and other models of the same era (1975/1976), starts using the K lens mount, the Pentax’s own design that can be found in their modern cameras. Pentax lenses are legendary for their excellent optics. Especially the SMC lenses.
Note: I’m not an expert in K mount lenses. You should check the K lenses compatibility before using any modern Pentax lens in a Pentax K1000 or any other Pentax film slr.

Since the K1000 is a straightforward design, this is what you have to know:Pentax controls-3

  1. Shutter button.
  2. Shutter speed dial. (it has the ASA/ISO dial, too)
  3. Film advance lever (and the film frame counter)
  4. Film rewind crank.**
  5. Hot shoe for the flash unit.

** Note: Remember to press down the silver button on the base of the camera prior to attempt to rewind the film!

The shutter speed dial goes from “Bulb” to a 1/1000 of a second. (The flash unit will sync at 1/60 of a second.)  And you can set the ASA (Iso) dial from 20 ISO all the way to 3200 ISO.

The K1000 doesn’t have a “self timer lever” or exposure compensation functions.
There is nothing you can do about the lack of “self timer” feature. If We talk about the “exposure compensation”, well, you can always trust your eye to determine if there is necessary to over or underexpose the scene, before firing the shutter.

Don’t you hate when you forgot if the shutter is ready to fire or not??  The K1000 has a clever feature to solve this. When you cock the shutter mechanism, an orange dot can be seen next to the shutter button. That’s your “ready to fire” reminder and film saver!

Pentax 03

Pentax cover

In the 35mm film slr history, the K1000 has a lot of significance. Since it’s introduction in the mid 1970’s, this Pentax model was the camera that initiate a lot of people into photography. And even today, it’s a reliable camera! Just get some great Pentax  lenses, and you’ll have a solid contender against any modern Dslr (and for a fraction of the cost).

What are you waiting to get yours??!

Thanks for reading!

When you wonder: Why?

We are not in this world by chance. We all have a purpose. I’m still trying to find my own reason to be here. And yes! Sometimes, when I look up at the night sky I ask for wisdom to answer to myself “why?”.

06marzo2016 02

But even when I haven’t answered my inner doubts yet, I know that you can always make a difference in other people’s life. Being part of a bigger plan than ourselves, could be our whole reason to be here.

06marzo2016 03

Without even knowing, I was part of a great invisible plan. A secret scheme that one day brought this two wonderful souls together.

06marzo2016 04

Meet Pau & Yennarow. My cousin and my best friend. Today, I’m proud to say they are together because they knew me, before they knew each other.

Yen-&-Pau

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself “Why?”

Thanks for reading!

Film/Digital

Ok. Different as you may think right from the title of this post, this is not about the “meaningless war between Film and Digital”. This is about the positive things that each “medium” has to offer. As I said, in the end, you’re just creating images. Using Film or a digital sensor, it’s just the way that you choose to capture moments. All this next photos were shot on 24th february 2016. Some of them with film (Nikon FE) and others with a digital camera (Nikon D610).
I won’t make this a long reading. If you want technical data about film or Digital, I’m sure you could find more precise information out there on Google or whispered in your ear by Alien’s wisdom (weird black humour of mine).
But I will tell you, I love the colors of film, and not just that! If you learn how to develop your own rolls (it’s very easy, actually), you’ll feel more involved in the whole photographic process. Ladies and gentlemen, THAT’S QUITE REWARDING!
Nevertheless, you have to try a few different brands and types of film manufacturers before you can find your favorite emulsions. But that’s ok! Just follow your inner voice and be as curious as a cat.
In the other side of the moon, we have Digital! And digital is great. It’s versatile, you can see (as a preview, at least) the photo as soon as you take it. Many of you, probably are digital photographers, so it’s almost pointless to write down the obvious.

I confess! Most of the time (always) I do the editing of my digital photos with “film presets” (Adobe Lightroom + VSCO are a perfect match)… So, I end up with “real film” and “digital film”! But that’s the beauty and versatility of digital files!

The next photos were shot with Fuji Superia 400. Developed at home @1 stop with C41 process.

24feb2016 01

Fuji Superia 400 – A personal favorite

24feb2016 02

She is my cousin Paula. The most creative person that I know! (Superia 400)

24feb2016 07

more Fuji Superia 400

24feb2016 12

Yes! Sometimes I shot the photos underexposed against the bright sky. I like the way the clouds and the silhouettes complement each other. — Fuji Superia 400.

The next photos were shot with a Nikon D610 which my friend Fabian gave me that night to play around for a while.

24feb2016 27

Fabian’s Nikon D610 — ISO 6400 – F/1.6 @ 1/5 sec

The latest digital cameras with their high ISO capacity, literally “can see at night”.
All those photos were shot at ISO 6400 with a F/1.4 50mm Nikkor lens. Sometimes I used it at f/1.6 or f/1.8. I was able to hand hold the camera at shutter speeds of 1/5 of a second, only with moonlight and occasional spotlights of artificial light. Focus the lens it’s a challenge when your eyes can’t see in near darkness. But that’s the only way to put modern technology to the test!

24feb2016 34

Nikon D610 — ISO 6400 – F/1.6 – 1/5 sec

24feb2016 28

(same settings of the previous photo)

24feb2016 32

Nikon D610 — ISO 6400 – F/2 – 1/4 Sec

24feb2016 31

Fuji Superia 800 — Shot at ISO 1600 — F/1.8 — 30 seconds exposure

In the end, no matter if you choose digital or if you want to try film (for a change).
Just make every photo in your Canister/ SD memory count! Capture life. Create.

Thanks for reading!

You can see Paula’s work at www.behance.net/bluesoulofsky