24 Frames In May II, 2015 Edition

We had an assignment on Lighting Essentials that was fairly easy to be involved with… sort of. The assignment was to load one roll of 24 exposure film into the camera of your choice and shoot each shot as though it were the ONLY shot you had. No ‘bangin’ off a motor drive, more like treating each frame as a singular image with the importance of a view camera.

Below are the amazing shots the photographers did in contact sheet form. Damn I miss contact sheets.

First up, Rudy Giron, Guatamala.


Rudy Giron's Comments on his 24 Frames

Rudy Giron
• Canon EOS Rebel XS [EOS 500] from 1993 with 28mm 2.8 lens
• Lens: 50mm F1.4 AIS, 105mm F1.8 AIS
• Film: Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 color film from 2001.
• Scanned at Kodak mini lab, Antigua Guatemala

Rudy Giron Photography
• Antigua Guatemala, Central America
• Tel: +502 4569 4419
• Email: photos@rudygiron.com
• Website: www.rudygiron.com

24 frames of film for May 2015.

I used an expired roll of Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 color film from 2001 on a Canon EOS Rebel XS [EOS 500] from 1993 with 28mm 2.8 lens. Some frames exposed more or less well, while others were under/over exposed. I don’t know if this is camera error or simply the film was too old. Most frames were shot at f2.8 while others at f5.6 if enough light.

My theme is entitled “Come in” [“Pase adelante” in Spanish] which is what vendors would say as you enter their business. I tried to show all kinds of business as seen from the doorway. About half the roll is from tiny business found in villages around Antigua Guatemala while the rest of the roll was captured on the more affluent shops in downtown Antigua Guatemala.

My cost for this film project was $3.75 for film developing and scanning of the 24 frames at 6 megapixels [8″x10″] plus an index print at my local Kodak mini lab. I had the roll of film and I provided an SD card to the lab so I didn’t have to pay for a disc. The turn around for developing and scanning the 24 frames was 1 hour. They still sell a roll a 24-frame of film at this Kodak lab for $5.

Next, I will get some black and white C41 film as this is the easiest and least expensive way to have black and white film developed, scanned and printed in Antigua Guatemala. I have a few more themes in mind, for instance, portraits of the vendors inside the local market.

Alfred Kypta has a write-up on his blog about the 24 Frames in May assignment.


Steve Gray did last year’s 24 Frames project as well.


Steve Gray's description for his 24 Frames submission.

As with last year, I used my trusty Minolta X-370, using a 50mm f/1.7 lens. This time I opted for Ilford Delta 100 black and white film. Apparently the light streaking I saw last year was indeed caused by the old film, and not by the camera. Yay!

I sent the film off to The Darkroom (www.thedarkroom.com), which did an okay job. I did see a little bit of oddness in one or two frames (probably from handling the wet film). I corrected what I could with Photoshop, and I tweaked the cropping and contrast a little…so these are not genuinely straight out of the camera shots. Still, I’m okay with what I got. I bought a second roll of the same film, and now I need to plan an activity to shoot with it. If I keep this up, I’m going to have to splurge on a developing tank, chemicals, and a scanner. Heh.

The images can be viewed individually on my website @ http://photos.gray-imagery.com/p171174507

My base website is www.gray-imagery.com.

From Catherine Vibert:

Hi Don, here is the contact sheet, and the link is here: http://catherinevibert.com/film-for-a-change/. This was fun!


Melissa Hanson‘s entry.

Melissa Hanson, Utah
Pentax K1000, 35mm
Sigma 28-70 zoom f:2.8
Sears 70-210 macro-zoom f:4
Kodak High Definition ISO 400
Lab:  Atelier A.F.A.
Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk9U6KyW


Chris Dean:


Chris Dean's Info

Camera: Hasselblad 500 C/M with 80mm Zeiss 2.8 Lens
Film: Kodak Portra 160
Developed and scanned by a local lab (www.photorgaphique.co.uk)
No cropping or editing

Chris Dean: www.chrisdeanphoto.co.uk
Email: chris@chrisdeanphoto.co.uk
Twitter: @chrisdeanphoto
Instagram: @chrisdeanphoto

Full size pictures available at: chrisdeanphoto.co.uk/blog/2015/6/8/24-frames-in-may-2015

Last year’s 24 Frames in May was my first (serious) attempt at shooting film. This year I thought I’d make things even more interesting (difficult) for myself by getting to grips with a medium format camera. There’s a lot to learn!
It has a 6cm x 6cm negative, so everything is short in square format (a 1:1 format rather than the 3:2 of my DSLR).
It has a waist level viewfinder which means you look down into the camera, and left-right is reversed, which is a little confusing!

There’s no built-in light meter so you have to take light readings separately (or rely on the sunny 16 rule).
The negatives are a lot bigger than the 36mm x 24mm of a “standard” (35mm) film camera, which means the depth of field is very shallow, and you need a very steady hand (or a tripod) to avoid blurry shots. Focusing is critical and hard!
Unlike a digital camera where you can take hundreds of shots, you’re limited to 12 shots per roll of film. So you need to make sure you’ve got that shot, especially when you’re trying to treat each frame like gold dust.

May was especially hectic this year, so I didn’t ending up spacing out my shots to the extent that I would have liked, and the medium format camera slowed me down even more than the film 35mm did. So I rounded off the roll by taking a portrait of everybody attending a fancy birthday dinner I was having.

I had great fun. I’m looking forward to shooting more film, and have booked myself into a black and white darkroom developing course – can’t wait!

Bret Doss shot in and around Seattle.


Bret's Info

Participating in Don Giannatti’s Project 52 has a lot of fringe benefits in addition to the exceptional training; for example, a challenge to get out a film camera and shoot 24 Frames In May.  I was happy to be able to participate this year, and also to find a clean Pentacon Six medium format camera (and some really clean lenses) on eBay.

The official challenge is to shoot 24 frames, one a day, and with a medium format camera that would mean two twelve-exposure rolls.  I had to follow a different path to my 24 Frames.  Since the camera was new to me, as were the lenses, I shot some tests as well to make sure everything was working.  As I was using some extension tubes for some of the calla lily images, I was estimating the compensation factor, and so did some bracketing.  The nature of my life and of the calla lilies I acquired for the project did not permit making only one frame a day.  In the end, I exposed six rolls of 120 film over two separate days, and selected 24 from amongst the test &bracketed images, ignoring the failed test images.  I used Portra 160 for the color images, and mostly Ilford HP5 (ASA 400) for the black and white (the last two you see are Ilford Pan-F — ASA 50).  Lenses were mostly the 80 and 65 mm, though I also shot with a 120, 180, and 300 as well.

I went to some of my favorite subject matter: the marina area and some calla lilies in the studio.  I used open sky window light for the callas.  I think next up will be some portraits with the Pentacon!

The film was sent to The Find Lab, using their Fatboy scanner option. Great service and quality scans.

The only post I did was some slight levels/curves for those images where neither bracket was ‘just right’ and I needed to be somewhere in the middle.  I retouched a very few hot pixels that appeared in very few of the scans, and applied a light sharpen to the images.

all images © Bret Doss, All Rights Reserved

Jorge Rodriguez Santos shoots in Cambodia.

Camera: Seagull 4A-107 TLR
Film: Ilford Delta 100 120mm
Scanned in color setting to give the sepia tone.
Jorge Rodríguez Santos
Jorge Rodríguez Santos Photography
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Tomas Jansson


Tammy Bogestrand

Olympus OM2n
24mm Olympus lens
Tri-X 400 black and white film.

I limited myself to the 24mm for the entire 24 frames.


Reed Waters:

1960 Yashica Mat
Kodak Porta 400 120 film.
These are out of the camera, no post processing.

Michele Cushman
Camera: Nikon N65
Film: Ilford Delta 100 Professional Black & White film
Developed & Scanned by The FIND Lab
no editing of the photos
This was my second time participating in the 24 Frames in May project. Last year I also used black and white film and documented a trip back home to NYS for my nephew’s first communion. This year, I photographed my youngest son’s first flight lesson up in Frederick, MD.  Another P52 photographer, Bob Knill, set up the flight lesson for him on what turned out to be a beautiful day.  I captured the essence of the day with my favorite photograph being the one where my son is out of focus standing outside the hangar while I focused on the nose cone of the plane. That shot turned out exactly how I had envisioned it in my head before taking it.  There are a couple of shots where they are identical because of a happy trigger finger.  Overall I am happy how these turned out.

Darla Hueske had a film mishap and only 15 of her shots came out unscathed. A shame because so many of her images are really good.

Time to Put the 8 Week Portrait Class Away for A While

Time to Put the 8 Week Portrait Class Away for A While

Winding up one of the Portrait Classes:

I have loved teaching these mini classes and studying some of the great modern portrait photographers. I believe much can be learned when one immerses themselves into the work and looks deeply into the work and styles of those masters of the medium.

The students have raved about the classes all year, and it is kinda sad to retire them for a while. Of course if you were a student, you still have access to the course materials and all of the videos we created (over 72 hours of video classes and reviews).

I have no plans on when I will do this class again, but I will have a self guided class for those who want to learn on their own. If you are interested let me know by email.

To all of the photographers who have taken this class a big THANK YOU. Your work was an inspiration to each other and me as well.

Exceptional effort will realize exceptional results.

— Don

(NOTE: The last Portrait 102 class will be winding up in two weeks. I will be putting it away as well.)

Portraits: June 2015


Image © Catherine Vibert

Student Work:

A few of the amazing portraits students in the Portrait Workshops have turned in. There are dozens of truly great portraits. I am choosing only 16 for this post.

Sometimes the Nonsense We Tell Ourselves Can Make Us Crazy

Anybody seen a forest around here... I can't see it  with all those trees.

Anybody seen a forest around here… I can’t see it with all those trees.

Sometimes the Nonsense We Tell Ourselves Can Make Us Crazy.

Today, I have a challenge for you all. Not one that I make lightly. And one that comes from a deep and abiding point of wanting you to be successful. Really successful.

It has to do with barriers. Barriers to better imagery. Barriers to better clients. Barrier to a more lucrative and exciting business.

Barriers that we set our selves because we are very comfortable in where we are. And that includes being comfortable when where we are sucks. That is how we humans are wired. Staying in the status quo is far easier, and far more comfortable than breaking out of the bubble an confronting change.

We work hard to not change anything. Even if we want to change, there is a fear that holds us in a stable place without challenging the edges because fear says we will meet great harm if we do.

And in most cases this is pure bullhonky… (yeah, I heard that somewhere…)

We have built those barriers with our belief systems, and those belief systems are so often built on a base of fear instead of a base of knowledge.

For instance:

Have you ever heard a photographer say “I can’t charge that much, my clients can’t afford it”? I have. Nearly everyday it is sputtered out on some forum somewhere on the net.

It is such a self defeating thing to say. And it will make success for that photographer come much slower.

Let’s take this statement apart like an old Chevy motor and find out why the sucker don’t run good.

  1. If you are trying to sell something to someone who cannot afford it, that makes you kind of a smarmy kind of saleswacko, right? I mean, what kind of evil SOB tries to sell stuff to people they KNOW cannot afford it. Now this may not run in the front part of your conscious brain, but believe me it is in the subconscious.So you are already setting up failure because to succeed in selling something to someone who cannot afford it makes you a slimeball.
  2. The assumption that you know what they can afford is also sort of a silly idea. You don’t know what they can afford or not afford. Just because you cannot afford it, doesn’t make it unaffordable to your neighbor or client. You may THINK they cannot afford it, but really you are saying “I don’t think my stuff is worth what I am asking for it – and no one else does either.”Maybe it isn’t – but that is for another discussion.
  3. Pre-disqualification is simply fear stopping you from finding out what other people think of the value of your work. Perhaps you are right, and they do not value your work at a rate that you want to charge. OK… fine. We would at least know that, and could work toward a specific challenge to fix it and raise the value in your customers view.
  4. This sort of negative talk has no upside. It has no value other than to further convince you that there is no reason for you to expect to be successful because you make stuff no one wants to pay for.

Now ask yourself if that sounds like a business that is going to succeed?

I don’t think so either.

Fact is, there are people who can afford your work. There are clients that WANT to afford your work. There are clients that would work with you if you doubled your rates before they would work with you now, because they want the BEST photography and they know that is not cheap or free.

How about the excuses/reasons we have for not marketing our work? From the feeling that it doesn’t matter anyway (see above), to ‘why bother, the business is dying anyway”, to a fear that if you do market, you will have to deliver something and that would mean moving from your comfort zone of doing nothing and bitching about it.

These are fear walls that keep us focused inward – unable to move to the next place and feeling that it is both a blessing and a curse. After all, if you never get a gig, you will never screw up a gig, and that makes you feel safe.

Success will put you in the spotlight and you will have to perform… to spec. That can be scary, but we know what to do to never be in that position, right?

We keep on doing what doesn’t work. And we keep on filling our heads with non-truth, fear based excuses and reasons why we can’t.

Man that word sucks the suck out of suck… “can’t”.

It is a word that means “throwing in the towel.” It is quitting before you even try, and admitting to the world that you are incapable of doing something you may very well have never tried.

It is also a lie. In many cases you surely CAN do what you need to do… you have chosen NOT to do it. A choice, not a disability.

Look… change is hard. Really hard.

But it is necessary. It is life. It is the very fabric of our world. Change brings innovation, new ways of seeing things, and possibilities that may seem endless… unless you ‘can’t’.

I think you can. I think you can be successful. I think we can all be successful. Damn the economy. Damn the restrictive governmental regulations. Damn what our parents and siblings and the people we work with say.

They may be right when they say they ‘can’t’ but we have to stop letting them make us think WE can’t.

We just have to change things up. Make new ways our ways. Develop strong ties to growing in ways we have not thought about before.

We do things differently than we have been doing them. We CAN make changes, of course we can. We CAN find clients who want our work – hell, other photographers find people who want their work. We can too.

We stop saying we can’t. We stop not marketing (our current method) and begin marketing. We stop telling ourselves that they cannot afford us, and look for clients that can appreciate the value. We stop sitting on our asses and playing on Facebook and get out there and make more pictures…. OK, that last one was for me… but you get the picture.

And here is the challenge.

What negative lines are you repeating to yourself that may not actually be true?

  • Is it that you are not ready?
  • Could it be that you are not good enough, and don’t want anyone else to find out?
  • Is it that no one would like your work, so why bother trying to show it to anyone?
  • Is it because your gear is not as good as that guy with the really awesome blog says it should be?
  • Is it because someone on Flickr said you were terrible with composition (although eleventyhundred others think you do just fine)?

I know there is a negative phrase you are repeating time and time again. Tell us what it is… and tell us how you will fix it.


If you are interested in the “No Fear” last edition of Project 52, visit this page for more information. We will fill this group very quickly.


Why I Have Decided to do Project 52 One More Time

This will be year 5 of Project 52. It has matured and seen many alumni start businesses going from weekend warrior to full time shooter. P52 has helped many more photographers find their creative voice and look at the world in a different way. It has formed lifelong bonds of friendship between photographers for whom geography is simply a challenge, but not a barrier.

To tell you the truth, I was happy as hell how it had turned out and five years is a while. I thought that the class that ends in August would be the last one and I would move on to other things.

But it kept calling me back. I knew it was good, and I wanted to make it better. I wanted to make it THE best place for emerging commercial photographers online. And I wanted to make it into a class that people could take on their own time. So a little over a month ago I sat with my wife and discussed it… the time commitment, the evenings at the computer… and we decided that since I love doing it so much – and felt it needed one last go – I decided to do it again.

One last time. (My wife thinks that I will do it again because I do love doing it, but that is definitely not the plan at this point.)

This time I am using a member management tool (www.memberful.com) and Stripe to take the payments. Really looking slick and very happy with the way it is going.

Look…if you are thinking about becoming a professional commercial photographer, or adding commercial work to your consumer business, this class is for YOU. You can see how it works at  www.2015Project52Pros.com and find out a lot more about how it can work for you.

There is a lot of chatter on the interwebs designed to take your dreams away from you and stuff them in a dufflebag with bricks, but that is horse doo. There are professional photographers working out there. Building businesses in areas that you would normally think too small for the “guru super-stars” and you may be right. But then I never wanted to be a guru superstar, do you?

I want to work in photography, making images for clients that love me and pay me and provide a good life with time to pursue my other photographic interests. Shooting a garage opener catalog pays enough to spend a week in Alaska AND pay my bills… hey, that works for me!

If that sounds like it may work for you too, and you are ready to do something that could easily be the hardest thing you have ever done, then take a look at this course. At this writing there are only 22 spots left and they will be gone soon. Ii was over half filled on pre-register alone.


Member’s Sites

Go to this page to get links to current and former Project 52 alums.


We can answer a lot of questions on this FAQ page.

How it Works

This page has some examples of real world assignments.

Want More Info?

If you want to contact me with any P52 questions, use this form. Thanks.

Oh… and if you want to just get out there and register for the most intensive, real world based photographic training available on the internet, go here and make the commitment. To your photography and your future.