Monday, August 30, 2010

fujifilm 100b instant film (for Polaroid Pack Cameras) discontinued

Fujifilm FP-100b Instant Film for Polaroid Cameras discontinued
Image © by FPP Podcast listener John LaPierre

Film Photography Podcast listener and friend Tony Kwong delivered this sad news to me via e-mail.

Hey Mr Raso

Just to let you know that Fujifilm's FP-100b has indeed stopped
production in June 2010 and is discontinued in both sizes (regular and
4x5). Stock still remains in the distribution channels, so they will
still be available in some stores. This discontinuation was announced
by Fujifilm Japan in September of 2009. There were previous denials
printed in the Britsh Journal of Photography of the discontinuation by
Fujifilm, UK at the end of 2009. I was able to confirm with the a
production head of Fujifilm Japan on that, and it is indeed a
production stop. That means it wont be available anywhere as that's
the only place that manufactures this film. These denials prove
incorrect when US, Japanese and UK Fujifilm distributors were unable
to get more film as the last batches of 100b film have been produced
and shipped.

The only instant pan packfilm in production is Fuji's FP-3000b series.
while the regular size is widely available; the 4x5 version of this
film is not "officially" available in too many countries outside
Japan. I was speaking to a variety of Fujifilm, USA sources for a few
weeks on this matter and they stated to me a few days ago their
intention to start importing FP-3000b in a 4x5 format. Recent contacts
with Fujifilm, UK reps stated they are also interested in importing
the FP-3000b film in 4x5 size. Black and white instant packfilm is not
dead, but ISO 100 FP-100b definitely is.

Tony Kwong

Sadly, this information was confirmed by Dirk from on the Fujifilm Instant Flickr Group

Additional images shot on Fujifilm FP-100b by Film Photography Podcast listeners:

kristen polaroid
Kristen Polaroid by © Neal Carpenter

Polaroid © by mghzino

IDA image © by Lambis Stratoudakis

Now is the time...stock up!

Unique Photo, New Jersey - Eastern United States

Japan Exposures, Japan

Friday, August 27, 2010


The Olympus Stylus Epic (also known as the Mju-II) is my “point and shoot” camera of choice that I never leave home without!

Olympus Stylus Epic

Photographer Jim Tardio summed it up best:
Most serious photographers like to carry a small pocket camera with them at all times. For those of us raised on 35mm film, the Olympus Stylus Epic (called the Mju-II outside the USA) is our camera of choice. For those of you who don't know what this camera is, it is an inexpensive point & shoot. It just happens to have a sharp-as-a-tack 35/2.8 lens permanently attached, a provision for spot metering (which I never use), and it fits in your pocket without leaving a bulge.

Radio City NYC -  Agfa Chrome (Cross-Processed Image)

above: Radio City Music Hall, NYC / Agfa Chrome 100RS and cross-processed the film in C-41 chemistry giving the image its unusual color cast.

55th & 8th

The Stylus Epic has a great “night flash” feature that keeps the shutter open after the flash fires, which makes for some unusual night shots. Above: Winter night in NYC. Below: Pink Delicates “ham it up” on Hofbrau night.

Pink Delicates

The Impossible Project - Press Conference 3/22/10

The Impossible Project - Press Conference 3/22/10

The perfect camera to always have in your pocket! The Stylus Epic came in handy to document The Impossible Project press conference (above) this past March in NYC.

William "Orville" Hellfire

Above: Perfect as a “behind-the-scenes” camera during a photo shoot since the internal flash can be turned off. During my “Girls and Corpses” magazine shoot above, this “Crossed Processed” Stylus Epic shot was better than my 120 shot of the same subject.

Woodland Lake - Winter 2010

Ektachrome Xpro - Distant Skyline

Woodland Lake, Pequannock NJ USA

The Impossible Project - Press Conference 3/22/10

Exteriors with the Olympus Stylus Epic are...epic!

Olympus Stylus Epic links

Jim Tardio Photography Olympus Stylus Epic page

Olympus Stylus Epic on Wikipedia

Olympus Stylus Epic review by Patrick Hudepohl (on

Olympus Stylus Epic on Antique & Classic Cameras

All images shot on the Olympus Stylus Epic
© 2010 Michael Raso

Analog in a digital age...I host The Film Photography Internet Radio Show
on iTunes.

e-mail me at

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Funny Méla - Polaroid Portraits

Mela Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portrait

Méla Nichols is a 24 year old stand-up comic, actress and writer living in New York City. She's currently appearing on the ShowTime series “I can't believe I'm still single.” She enjoys all things off-beat and vehemently marches against the grain on a daily basis.

That’s the bio that appears on my Flicker page featuring all of the portraits-to-date that I’ve shot of this amazing new talent.

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portraits

I met Méla for the very first time the very same day I shot her portraits. It can be tough to shoot a portrait of someone you don’t know or never have met. Méla's laid-back attitude and awesome nature made the session feel like I 've known her forever.

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portrait

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portraits PX 70 (3)

Méla has been acting in low-budget indie films and recently started doing stand-up comedy.

Upon meeting, I was impressed with her tenacity and energy. I love the Mark Twain quote Méla recently posted on her FaceBook page:

”Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
-Mark Twain

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portrait

Méla is featured in Season 2 of the ShowTime series “I Can’t Believe That I’m Still Single” (trailer below)

You can see Méla Nichols perform her stand up act on the following dates:

Thursday, August 26th 9:30pm
COMIX New Talent Show
353 W 14th Street New York, NY
212 524-2500 (box office)

Tickets are $10. reserved ($15. at door) - Two drink minimum.

The Love Show at Concrete Bar NYC
Saturday, August 28th 9pm
320 W 37th Street, New York, NY

Mela says:
“This show is gonna be awesome because it's a one hour interactive improv show about dating, love and relationships, and specifically for this one the theme is the keys to chemistry, how to tell if someone likes you or not. After the show there is a party and an opportunity to register into a weekend seminar about love and relationships where participants learn different dating habits and what gets in the way of them finding love and sustaining it, etc Also there will be tons of very valuable relationship and love coaching.”

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portraits PX 70 (1)

And that’s not all!

September 22, 9pm
New York Comedy Club
241 East 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd
New York, NY

Tickets are $10. Two drink minimum.

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portraits

Méla's blog

All images shot on Polaroid cameras and film.
© 2010 Michael Raso

Analog in a digital age...I host The Film Photography Internet Radio Show
on iTunes

Polaroid Corp
Polaroid and Impossible Film: The Impossible Project
Polaroid Film: Unique Photo

Monday, August 23, 2010

Technique, Style and Esthetic

A letter from Flickr member Philip sparked this blog on technique and esthetic.

Monday Night Bear Claw

Philip wrote (about the above image)

“How did you get the vignetting? Is that intentional i.e. by lighting technique?”

The image of New Jersey band Monday Night Bear Claw was shot in my studio using the Holga 120N camera with a Polaroid back. I used “hot lights” combined with a Holga on-camera flash.

There is a 650w "spotted" light (w/ barn doors) aimed onto white seamless paper behind the talent. This causes the circular "hot spot" directly behind them. Most of the vignetting occurs due to characteristics of the Holga camera.

Most of my photography is a combination of technique, esthetic and personal style. Here are some examples of recent images with a few notes on how the images were accomplished.

Ashley - Monday Night Bear Claw

Above: This dreamy portrait of Ashley from Monday Night Bear Claw was lit using the same techniques as the Holga portrait above. In most situations, a mood can be accomplished by your choice of camera, lens and film stock. In the above shot, I used my 1972 Polaroid Alpha camera with the brand new Impossible Project PX 70 Color Shade instant film.

Below: I continued to shoot Comedian Méla Nichols between set-ups at my studio. Many times, my best images are those shot “in-between” poses. For this reason, I always have some type of point-and-shoot camera handy before, during and after a studio shoot. The image was captured using my 1969 Polaroid Colorpack II camera, Polaroid B&W instant film and an on-camera flashcube.

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portrait

Flip Side Records, Pompton Lakes, NJ USA

Above: Flip Side Records in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. “Atom Heart Mother” album shot with the Olympus Trip 35 camera. The slightly spotted lighting effect is due to using a flash with the Trip’s slightly-wide fixed 40mm lens.

Below: Want a shot to look like it was shot in the 1970s? Easy enough…shoot with film that expired in the 1970s! This shot of Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey was shot using Kodak Kodachrome film that expired in March of 1979. Years of poor storage caused the dyes in the film to shift towards magenta, giving the shot the off-beat faded look.

Willowbrook Mall / Kodachrome 25 (film expired March 1979)

Desiree Saetia / Kodachrome 40

Above: Day for Night can be achieved by shooting with Tungsten balanced film. Tungsten film is meant to be shot with studio lights. Studio lights are much “Warmer” than daylight, so any images exposed using daylight will render your shots blue. In order to make sure that model Desiree Saetia wasn’t blue, I used an off-camera flash with a tungsten gel.

Thanks for checking out my blog. I host The Film Photography Podcast on iTunes.

You can write me at

Additional links:

Holga cameras and photographic supplies – Freestyle Photographic

Impossible PX films for Polaroid Cameras – The Impossible Project

Méla Eloise Nichols gallery on Flickr

Desiree Saetia gallery on Flickr

Friday, August 20, 2010

Polaroid 500 FAIL! (or My Continuing Polaroid Experiments)

I recently picked up the Polaroid Captiva SLR and Polaroid Joy cameras from Both were released and available from Polaroid 1993 - 1997.

Polaroid Captiva SLR, Closed
The Polaroid Captiva / image © Christy Bassman /

The Polaroid JOY / Image © celluloid czarina

Polaroid 500 Film / Image © Chris B

The Captiva and Joy use the no-longer-manufactured Polaroid 500 Instant film.

Polaroid Type 500 film (produced from 1993-2005) has an image size of 73x54mm ( 2.874 x 2.126 inches), is ISO 600 and has 10 pictures to a pack.

Polaroid 500 fail

Polaroid 500 fail

My initial experience is that most existing packs available today have been improperly stored, causing the internal chemicals to dry out. The result causes film packs to leak caustic chemicals upon firing the shutter, malfunction or failure to eject any image at all.

analog edit

One of the packs exposed through the Captiva camera yielded some decent images (above).

Existing, expired film packs are scarce. When available these film packs can fetch upwards of $20. - $50. each on ebay.

Further testing and experimentation as soon as I can locate more film packs.

- Michael Raso

I host The Film Photography Podcast (Internet Radio Show) on iTunes
Drop me a line via e-mail:

All Images © 2010 Michael Raso unless otherwise noted.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Polaroid 300 - A Letter of Recommendation

A fellow FLICKR member sent me FlickrMail today regarding the new Polaroid 300 camera. Below is his correspondance and my response.

Hi Michael

How do you like your 300? I've been a Polaroid fan for a while and normally use an SX-70. After seeing your shots with the new 300, I decided to get one of my own. How's your experience been when shooting in bright sun? I've wasted over a pack just testing out the fine vs clear settings, most are coming out very over exposed (and the sun is at my back). Any tips?



Hi Bob,

Polaroid 300 in direct sun is a bit tricky. Many times I forget to switch the filter to sun!

Here's a few shots that are a little overexposed but still pleasing:

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - NYC

Butler Center, Butler NJ USA

My favorite shots with the 300 camera are studio shots where I mix the on-camera flash with a strong backlight.

Méla Eloise Nichols / Polaroid Portraits
Studio shots of comedian Méla Eloise Nichols with the Polaroid 300 camera

All in all, I really love the camera.

I also picked up a used Polaroid Mio on e-bay. They use the same film.

Although I tend to use the Polaroid 300 film (Purchased on-line at J&R Electronics), you can also use the Fujifilm Intax Mini film.

There is no getting around that the Polaroid 300 is a consumer camera with the minimum of features. More than half the fun is using the camera in situations that it wasn't designed for. I've never had an issue with shots turning out unusable. Best of luck with your new 300.

Keep in touch,
Michael Raso

"GET CLOSE" with the Polaroid 300

My POLAROID 300 shots on FLICKR

I host The Film Photography Podcast (Internet Radio Show) on iTunes

Images © 2010 Michael Raso

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Film Photography Podcast – Episode 13 / "The Pink Delicates Summer Vacation Episode"


Cult Status - OlympusTrip 35

“Summer Vacation” features the live music of the Pink Delicates. Photo chat includes the Olympus Trip 35, Polaroid Mio, listener letters and much more.


The Podcast for those who love shooting film!

The Pink Delicates on Myspace.

Live from Johns basement!

"When the Captain Comes Home" live at Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ

FPP assignments are brewing - a traveling camera?, a film photography magazine?
E-mail us:

We'll be talking about forgotten film formats in future episodes.

We've had a lot of requests to talk about our work-flow, and back to basics subjects.


Podcast listener Ian Cook sent us an email about The Olympus Trip 35.

Ken Rockwell's awesome Trip 35 page

Olympus Trip TV ad with David Bailey.

The FPP discussion on

The Polaroid 300 Instant Camera.

The History of the Polaroid Corporation.

Popular US Polaroid commercial starring James Garner & Mariette Hartley

Lady Ga Ga At Polaroid.

Various listeners share their new-found love of Polaroid and Instant Photography via letters to the show.

The Impossible Project.

What Has Made The Guys Better Photographers? Watching Stanley Kubrick Films. Looking at other Artist's work. Criticism at College classes. Practice, shooting lots of Film. Having fun!

Only 4 months left to shoot Kodachrome and send it out for developing at Dwaynes Photo!

Take a look at the re-vamped Film Photography Podcast Website.

Julie Spalding will be doing a "Film Changing Bag" guest blog soon. Visit Julie's How To Develop Film site.

Michael Raso's Polaroid Blog, including information about the Mio.

The Film Photography Podcast - Donate film, Donate a camera, Donate cold-hard cash.

Freestyle Photographic are kindly going to be donating a Holga camera for us to give-away!

Write us a real, honest-to-goodness letter!
FPP's physical address:
Film Photography Podcast
c/o Pop Cinema
PO Box 152
Butler, NJ 07405


Michael and the guys discuss the idea of doing a live call-in show in the future.

John Link's B Movie Podcast.

FPP's Flickr group - come and join, it's free!

Camera Give-Aways!!! Listen to the episode.

Erin Russ - Kodachrome Tomb
Model Erin Russ potographed by Michael Raso

Erin Russ on Myspace.

The Guys talk about how The Pink Delicates got together, and we hear some more great tracks.

Pink Delicates - Film Photography Podcast episode 13

Vin Scelsa's Radio Show.

FPP Listener Dan Domme was on Podcast Episode 10.

Light Leaks Magazine.

The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film.

Do you need Music and Relationship advice? Emails to: (Direct letters to Kevin Neblung)

The guys discuss the latest trend for apps for the iPhone, where you can add Film effects to photos taken with the phone.

The boys discuss John Cale

John Cale - Paris 1919

Love for The Beach Boys LOVE YOU

The Beach Boys - "Hey Little Tomboy"

The Beach Boys' BRIAN WILSON

The Beach Boys LOVE YOU

Thanks to everyone for tuning in, we'll be back in two weeks with our regular Podcast!

Additional Links:

Join the Film Photography Podcast Flickr Group / Forum

Find Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter!

Michael Raso's Photography Blog

Michael Raso on Flickr!

Duane Polcou on Model Mayhem!

Show notes compiled by Rob Nunn

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Street Inspiration

Guest blog by Dan Domme

Street photography. An entire genre dedicated to photographs taken on the street. How did it come about, what is it all about, and perhaps most importantly, how do I get in on it?


Rather than try to define the genre specifically, I think it's best to define by example characteristics. For instance, it's not photos of bridges and road signs. A form of photojournalism, street photographs are taken out in public - usually, as the name implies, on the street - and usually having other human beings as the subject. They are not portraits, but rather candid shots - often, the subject will not be aware of being photographed, or will realize it only after the fact. A majority of photos are a bit grainy, taken on medium-speed (400 ISO) black-and-white 35mm film, with a standard or wide-angle focal length. The camera often captures a very specific moment on the film, and the end effect conveys some emotion or theme, such as irony. In all, the genre is about photographs that are a "slice of life."

The Masters

Photography started out large. Press cameras, like the more modern Speed Graphic, took 4x5 sheet film. While they were arguably portable, were hardly inconspicuous. As 120 roll film became popular, so did smaller cameras such as the classic twin lens reflex architecture. But it wasn't until 35mm film came out that you could take a photo without getting noticed.

[Henri Cartier-Bresson, Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Paris. Image from Wikipedia]

Most people would agree that the great-grandfather of the genre, the all-knowing master, was a French man named Henri Cartier-Bresson (pronounced on-Ree Car-tee-AY breh-SAWN) (b.1908 - d.2004). Cartier-Bresson pretty much founded the idea of trying to capture a "decisive moment" on film. Furthermore, he knew that to observe the moment, you must not interfere. His camera always acted as an imaginary window to a particular point in space and time and was rarely acknowledged, possibly assisted by the fact that the shiny chrome parts of his camera were painted black.

[Garry Winogrand, Central Park Zoo, 1964. Image from Masters of Photography]

If Cartier-Bresson was Socrates, then the role of his student Plato was played by Garry Winogrand. Well, he wasn't actually a student, but he was a natural successor. People shoot photographs for a variety of reasons, but Winogrand did it because that was the only way he could live. He died leaving behind nearly 300,000 unedited images, and more than 2,500 undeveloped rolls of film. His published photos documented the mid-20th Century, particularly the 60's and 70's, and they typically exhibit some sort of wit or irony.

Watch Winogrand at work here (sorry, but it's overdubbed):

Nowadays, color film and digital have sort of taken the edge off street photography, and you'd struggle to mention modern masters of the genre. Yet, there are certain people I admire, such as Gary Gumanow (Flickr) and some of the work of Chris Weeks (who has a number of sites, but I prefer his Flickr site.

The Equipment

First off, you should know that every name I've mentioned so far has used one brand of camera - Leica. Cartier-Bresson used a Leica III and an M3. Winogrand used an M4. Gumanow uses an M6-TTL, among other cameras, and Weeks uses an MP (also a digital M9, but we won't go there...) The Leica camera, a bayonet-lens-mount "rangefinder" camera, was introduced in 1930, and underwent a few iterations before the Leica M3 - arguably the quinessential Leica - came out in 1954. They were used heavily in combat photography, because they are durable and reliable. I've had the pleasure of handling a Leica M3 - though it is small, it's built like a tank.

Konica Auto S2

The Konica Auto S2. Photo by Flickr user sparkrobot

Now if you're like me, then a Leica has too much of a rabid cult following to be affordable anymore. However, there are solutions if you want to go about getting into street photography more cheaply! What you must shop for is a combination of speedy operation and inconspicuousness. The answer lies in the architecture of the 35mm rangefinder. First, the rangefinder is quick to focus, because you line up two identical images in the viewfinder to focus on a particular object. It is generally a bit quicker than dealing with a split-image prism or other manual-focus SLR focusing screen. As far as stealth is concerned, the rangefinder does not have a rising mirror as can be found in SLR cameras - in which you compose through the lens - so there is no mirror snap sound produced when you take a picture. The shutter just fires, and that's it. Leicas are renowned for their quiet focal plane shutters, but leaf shutters are also especially quiet. Therefore, I would recommend any 35mm rangefinder with a 50mm lens, preferably with a leaf shutter. I now use a Konica Auto S2, which has all these features, except that the lens focal length is actually 45mm. Don't worry about whether the lens is removable. You'll want something close to 50mm about 95% of the time. If not, then something wider will suffice to get up close and personal. You might want to carry around a Superheadz Ultra Wide and Slim knockoff for backup.

If you're using 35mm film, your best bet would be to load up on a 400-speed film such as Kodak Tri-X or my personal favorite, Ilford HP5+. They've got the perfect amount of grain to give you that "edgy" photojournalism look, without being too distracting. For developers, I'd recommend either Kodak HC-110 or Agfa Rodinal, but that's really more of a personal preference once you find one you like. If you're printing the old-fashioned way, try printing the full frame of the negative with some black border, the way Cartier-Bresson did.

Of course, who's to say you can't shoot color, or even a roll of Kodachrome before the end of the year? A few of my shots below feature Kodachrome. Street photography is what you make it and is more about the craft than the tools you use.

The Craft

Before you even attempt your first street shot, I can tell you that your biggest problem you're not close enough. Most of my street shots are taken from too far away. You need to get right up in the faces of your subjects, which may or may not be so easy depending on where you are. I'd imagine the attitudes of passersby in India are much different than those in Manhattan.

One thing that may help your sneakiness is taking the photograph without looking through the viewfinder - a true "point and shoot" technique. Simply set the camera's focus to what you think is right, aim to where you think the subject will be in frame, and shoot it. It's not like you've got anything to lose, especially if you're shooting black and white, which is relatively inexpensive. The downside is that the closer you are, the less latitude you have with respect to your focus setting. Wider apertures help.

(Note: I'm not a lawyer, so don't hold me responsible for the legality of this next paragraph...)

Generally speaking, you're perfectly within your rights to photograph people in public, because people in public have no expectation of privacy. The legal question becomes more muddy once you try using your photos commercially, though, since you need permission to use someone's likeness for financial gain. So while you're practicing your art, you can shoot away in public places and no one can really do anything about it - but it's also common sense to try to be as personable as possible if and when you get "caught." Remember, it's not like they're Michael Phelps, and it's not like they're smoking pot.

Shameless Self-Promotion

I've got a long way to go, but I thought I'd close with a handful of shots that I've taken, which you can find on my Flickr page.

169.365: Arts Fest

147.365: Bad to the Bone

140.365: Scott

121.365: Horse

107.365: Dockside

In Pink

061.365: Protesting

Dan Domme is a film photography enthusiast and PhD student in the Acoustics department of Penn State. He's been a serious photographer for the last two years, and now shoots nearly exclusively on film. (He even owns a sweet Hasselblad.)
You can view his Flickr stream at or his photography blog at