Happy Holidays, 2008!

Auer Christmas08 500

Brian Auer | 12/12/2008 | San Diego, CA | 75mm * f/5.6 * 1/400s * ASA50
[See the print scan at Flickr] [See the film scan at Flickr]

I just wanted to wish everybody a happy holiday this year! I hope you all get to take some time off, relax with friends and family, and do whatever it is you usually do over the winter holidays.

This is our family portrait for the 2008 holidays. I decided that I wanted to shoot it on medium format b/w film, so I loaded up the old Minolta Autocord TLR (vintage 1956) with some Ilford PanF Plus (ASA50). We decided to head up to the cliffs above Black’s Beach in order to get a nice backdrop. Rex freaked out the whole time because he was convinced that he would slide down the cliff at any moment.

One cool thing about this old camera is that it has a self-timer — about 15 seconds or so. I set it up on the tripod, focused on the wife and kids, set the exposure using the sunny 16 rule, and fired a few off. After developing the film myself, I went and bought a pack of 6″ x 4″ papers to print on.

Using my cheap-o Voss 75mm enlarger lens, I set it to f/8 and exposed the paper at 3 seconds with a #2 contrast filter. The photo you see above is a scan of the print. And I’m finding that my film scanner does a pretty good job at matching the darkroom prints.

So there you have it — in the height of the digital age, I managed to pull off a family portrait using completely analog techniques. Merry Christmas!