Camera Porn: Yashica Electro 35 G

I loved this heavyweight rangefinder. Note to self: don’t sell your old cameras! Spent a few months with this camera back in 2013 when I was exploring analog camera options. It was a bargain on eBay. Not even too sure why I got rid of it, probably so I could by another camera. But I do regret selling it.

Yashica was a Japanese camera manufacturer, active from 1949 until 2005 when they ceased production after their acquisition by electronics company Kyocera. They made so many beautiful and iconic cameras in their time. They tried to make a comeback with a digital camera which was an absolute disaster. (you inserted preset ‘cartridges’ of ‘film’ and there was even a digital film winder). Major flop and the most stupid design ever. Crowdfunded disaster.

Anyway, that was a few years ago. Back to the beautiful Electro 35G.

Here’s the spiel from the manufacturer:

The Electro 35 G was introduced in 1968 with largely cosmetic changes (from the Electro 35). The range of usable film speeds was extended a little up to 500 ASA. The lens was labelled a “Color Yashinon” to reassure the buying public that it was colour corrected at a time when the use of colour film was growing quickly. The Electro 35 GT was released in 1969 with a body painted black instead of the satin chrome finish.

Dudes. Newtown, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Dudes. Newtown, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Activist Danny Lim. Newtown, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Activist Danny Lim. Newtown, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76

A compact rangefinder film camera, the Yashica Electro 35 G lets you capture beautiful moments of your life, even when you’re on the go. Bright and sharp pictures are what you’ll get with this Yashica camera, thanks to its f/1.7 aperture and 45-mm focal length. (f/1.7!)

Yashica Electro 35 G
Yashica Electro 35 G

Moreover, this rangefinder film camera has a fully automatic exposure system that lets you capture pictures in various lighting conditions. And featuring a stepless automatic shutter with speeds from 30 seconds to 1/500s, this Yashica camera lets you capture moving subjects beautifully. The Yashica Electro 35 G has ISO/ASA range of 15 to 500, ensuring you get bright pictures even in low light environments.

The Bird Woman of Kings Cross. Kings Cross, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
The Bird Woman of Kings Cross. Kings Cross, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Bus Drivers. Newtown, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Bus Drivers. Newtown, Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76

This is one tough, brick sized camera. It has a very audible shutter. People would turn around in the street. So, not very good for more candid street work.

A real heavy duty workhorse. Focussing is a snap with a really bright viewfinder.

I have included a few images I took with this camera. At the time I was developing my own negs- which is fun, time consuming and also worthy of its own blog post.

Young Love. Newtown Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Young Love. Newtown Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Young Love. Newtown Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Young Love. Newtown Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
CBD. Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
CBD. Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Bruce. Stanmore Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G  Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76
Bruce. Stanmore Sydney 2013
Yashica Electro 35G Ilford HP5 400 Dev. Kodak D-76

Final Word: If you see one of these for sale, go for it. They are a lovely camera to hold and use. You can find out more about Yashica here: https://www.yashica.com/

Let me know if you have used one, or own one. I would love to hear from you!

Best wishes until next time.

Don

I’m Entering The Dog Photographer of the Year Award!

I have decided to enter The Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year Award. This is the first year of entering my work into competitions.

Boofy. Alexandria, Sydney. 2019.
Nikon D750 50mm. 1/60 sec at f/5.6 ISO 800
Unedited RAW file. Boofy. Alexandria, Sydney. 2019.
Nikon D750 50mm. 1/250 sec at f/5.6 ISO 800
Unedited RAW file. Boofy. Alexandria, Sydney. 2019.
Nikon D750 50mm. 1/60 sec at f/5.6 ISO 800

Here are some unedited and edited images I took yesterday of our sweet boy. Bruce, or as we call him, Boofy, is an American Staff X that we rescued 8 years ago. He is now 15 but acts like a puppy. He is such a beautiful dog. People stop in the street and say how gorgeous he is. My partner and I agree.

THE POWER OF EDITING RAW
Unedited file and Edited RAW version.
Boofy. Alexandria, Sydney. 2019.
Nikon D750 50mm. 1/60 sec at f/5.6 ISO 800
Exposed to the right to retain detail. Decreased brightness, increased contrast, desaturated, increased blacks, brought down brightness of grass and changed the green.

There are just the first round. I haven’t even looked at today’s shots! I’m not too sure which image I like the most.

Can you guess how many treats this took to get the shot?

Check out the exhibition here

https://www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk/

Let me know if you are entered, or going to. I’d love to see your work!

Best wishes,

Don

100 Images, 1 Subject: A Creative Photographic Exercise

Recently I shot one hundred images of the same subject: a lily. Why? I wanted to explore the lily as much as I could, to examine it closely.

I rotated the flower, changed backgrounds and lighting. Changed my exposure setting and aperture. The repetition of shooting the same thing over and over is a great exercise in truly seeing a subject.

I explain it more on this video. Enjoy.

Thanks for visiting, and best wishes until next time.

Don

Vegan Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Nothing warms the heart like a hot crumble with lashings of coconut ice cream. This rhubarb and apple crumble does the trick superbly. Perfect for those cold and wet days.

This is SO simple to make and can spawn multiple variations depending on what fruit you have laying around. Swap out the apples for pears, swap out the rhubarb for nectarines.

Vegan Rhubarb and Apple Crumble. Food Photography by Don Urban.
Nikon D750 w/Tamron SP 90mm Macro Lens. 1.3 sec at f/8 ISO 100. Natural light.

All the ingredients I use in this recipe (and everything I make) is locally-produced organic as much as possible. We live in a world surrounded by toxic paints, chemicals, fumes and pollution, so anything that goes into my body is free from chemical pesticides. Of course, organically grown produce is better for the farmers, and the planet.

Vegan Rhubarb and Apple Crumble. Food Photography by Don Urban.
Nikon D750 w/Tamron SP 90mm Macro Lens. 1/20 sec at f/4.5 ISO 100. Natural light.

Please note I cannot be held responsible for dietary issues, burns or unsatisfactory results arising from this recipe. I have tried to be as accurate as I can with measurements, but feel free to add more or less ingredients according to taste. 

Vegan Rhubarb and Apple Crumble. Food Photography by Don Urban.
Nikon D750 w/Tamron SP 90mm Macro Lens. 1/20 sec at f/4.5 ISO 100. Natural light.
Vegan Rhubarb and Apple Crumble. Food Photography by Don Urban.
Nikon D750 w/Tamron SP 90mm Macro Lens. 1/20 sec at f/4.5 ISO 100. Natural light.

Please let me know if you make this up and love it/hate it.

Enjoy!

Vegan Rhubarb and Apple Crumble. Food Photography by Don Urban.
Nikon D750 w/Tamron SP 90mm Macro Lens. 1/20 sec at f/4.5 ISO 100. Natural light.

RECIPE

FOR THE FILLING

  • 5 medium/large apples
  • 1 bunch of rhubarb***
  • 2 Tbsp or 30 ml lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup fresh apple juice (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger 
  • 1 pinch nutmeg 

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut or cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup muscovado or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted museli or mixed unsalted nuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or non-dairy spread

***Oxalic acid is found in rhubarb leaves. Do not eat the leaves as it will make you incredibly sick or cause death.  Only use the stems. 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).

2. Wash apples and rhubarb. Cut leaves of rhubarb and chop stems finely. (don’t use leaves!!)***

3. Quarter, core and cut apples thinly. Discard cores. (do i need to say that?!)

4. Put apples and remaining filling ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine. In another bowl, add all topping ingredients and mix well.

5. Place apples and Rhubarb mix in a glass baking dish. Top with the crumble topping.

6. Bake for Bake for 45 minutes. You should see the filling bubbling through the side if you are using a glass baking dish.

7. Allow to cool down a little before serving. Hard to do, I know!

8. Serve with coconut (vegan) ice cream- vanilla works best! This will be best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

Best wishes,

Don

Still life photography with plants around the home

Create The Space

I see decorating like a big Ikebana. Size, shape texture and colour to be balanced. Arrangements tell are story or are harmonious.

Found objects and vase of poppies
Found objects and vase of poppies
Succulents in pots and old timber board
Succulents in pots and old timber board

I’m going to show you how I decorate and photograph flowers and plants.

Poppies in vintage bottles with linen and birds nest
Poppies in vintage bottles with linen and birds nest
Succulent collection
Succulent collection

Since I started taking more more photos of flowers, I have discovered the true value of having them around the house. Not only bringing beauty inside, but colour and scent too. 

Pot plants, succulents in jars, bonsais, a few flowers picked, from the garden or a bunch from the markets. Everything comes in.

Our house is very neutral-toned, so it’s a perfect canvas for the explosion of colour a vase of pink lilies or poppies bring. Even just foliage brings warmth and charm to the house. 

Succulents wrapped in Japanese news paper on old stool
Succulents wrapped in Japanese news paper on old stool
Simple arrangement
Simple arrangement

It’s so nice to bring nature indoors, especially in winter, when you don’t get to sit in the garden. I’ll just drag plants indoors for a week and rotate them around the house. Instead of planting, I’m moving towards more potted plants just for the convenience of bringing them inside.

As an added bonus is, when plants are in pots, my dog can’t dig them up. Bruce!

I love collecting old bottles and props (although I have to move something out of the house if something comes in– it’s our minimalist rule!) so I put everything in old pots and bottles now. If something is just in a plastic pot, I stick the whole pot in a old paper bag, or wrap Japanese newspaper around the pot and tie it with some string. Super simple and effective.

Lilies in a simple glass vase
Lilies in a simple glass vase

Photographing Plants Indoors

  1. All photos here were taken in natural light. Find the best part of the day to shoot in each room of your house. For me, it is morning in the lounge room, lunchtime in the kitchen and late afternoon for the bathroom.
  2. Take your time to arrange all your items, pots and vases
  3. By deciding on the time of day, you can then know if you are going to shoot dark and moody or bright and fresh.
  4. Use a slower shutter speed or just ramp up the ISO. Most cameras will not introduce noticeable noise until you get to ISO 8000.
  5. Use a cable release and a longer shutter speed. It is also handy when you are arranging items and don’t have to move behind the camera for every shot.
  6. Think like an home/ lifestyle magazine photographer or a set decorator.

I hope you have enjoyed having a look at our cute home and given you some ideas for decorating and photographing flowers and plants. 

Get those plants inside!

Thanks for joining me and best wishes until next time.

Don

Just Make The (Photographic) Effort!

My partner and I are on holidays on the South Coast- three hours south of Sydney in the sleepy town of Culburra Beach. It has become a twice-yearly ritual to get away from the city and relax.

Bruce gets to bark at the birds, we get to make a roaring open fire and eat hot chips and drink champagne. 

It is also a wonderful opportunity to photograph the beautiful landscape and spectacular sunsets. Even more amazingly, I videoed the process too- please check out the video. This  is my first video. 

In the video I touch on making the effort to just go out and shoot. But really, that principle could apply to one hundred different things. I have a list (on Asana-a great app) and the thing at the top of the list that I don’t do is usually the most important thing to do. 

Moving To WordPress

Thanks for joining me!

Moving to WordPress from Format for several reasons. WordPress has better templates (even this free one is better than the Format one), WordPress is 1/4 of the price, I have more control over the layout with WordPress, the widgets and embedding tools are way better and WordPress has better SEO integration. Another reason, and this is important, is my partner uses WordPress. We can now share knowledge. If you want to know what a cake-eating Clairvoyant does, check out her page here: Denise Litchfield.

Here is what to expect: Bi-monthly photography blog posts with tips and budget-pinching techniques, inspiration and motivation stories and ideas, creativity tips and a few good rants thrown in.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Don

Welcome to my new blog! Why I moved away from Format web-builder.
Kings Cross, Sydney.