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Tinctures, on film

A friend in Black Mountain is experimenting with making tinctures. The alcohol is organic grape alcohol. The ingredients include all sorts of herbs and flowers. Also, below is the film version of the recent daffodils shot.

These are both film shots using Fuji Velvia 100 reversal film in the Mamiya RB67. The tinctures shot is with a 90mm K/L lens; the daffodils shot is a 250mm K/L lens. The tinctures shot is at f/32 with an exposure time of 45 seconds.


  1. Jo wrote:

    These photographs are awesome – can almost reach out and touch the contents.

    Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 12:40 am | Permalink
  2. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    I suppose I could take a “similar” picture using my Sony on a tripod (using manual settings?)…what surprised me is the 45 second exposure, very/extremely nice shot. Thank you for the lesson

    Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  3. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Henry… That’s right. Your camera would work just the same in manual mode, on a tripod. The light level was pretty low in the room where I was shooting, plus I wanted the smallest possible aperture (f/32) for maximum depth of field. Also, the film is slow, nominally 100 ASA, but I calculated for 50 ASA because the film was about two years past its expiration date. So it worked out to about 45 seconds.

    The camera is entirely mechanical, so of course I use light meters. I bought a “spotmeter” light meter, and I’m very impressed with how well it works. Instead of measuring the average level of light for more or less the whole scene, the spotmeter let me measure the light level reflected by, and optimize the exposure for, just the contents of the jars. Thus the shiny lids got pushed into the highlights and the dark background was nearly black. I am learning to use Ansel Adams’ “zone system,” which he explains in his book The Negative.

    I think of it as slow photography. These methods would be pretty useless for anything that’s in motion. Tripods are essential. I suppose one could shoot as slow as a quarter of a second or so for portraits.

    Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  4. DCS wrote:

    Wonderful. Both of my parent used to be good amateur photographers, and I’ve long wanted to take it up. But money.

    The Atlantic had a nice slide show of some of the finalists in this year’s Sony Photography Contest. Stunning images to linger over with your morning cup of coffee:



    Monday, March 12, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  5. daltoni wrote:

    Hi DCS. There are ways to greatly reduce the cost of good photography. For example, I have a fetish for high-end professional cameras. I can’t possibly afford such stuff when it’s new. But when cameras become “obsolete” because the money-making professionals have moved on to newer gear, the old gear becomes affordable on eBay, and it still works as well as ever. Some of the older gear is like new. We should talk sometime about what kind of photography you’d like to do, then figure out what kind of gear you need.

    Monday, March 12, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink
  6. frigast wrote:

    The color yellow is more to the orange side here, which one is closest to the original flowers ??
    Could I be right in spotting that the later version is a tiny bit more blurred than the first one ??

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

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