Here you have stumbled upon the photographic gallery postings of an amateur practitioner of the art, as well as my occasional and random comments regarding events, personalities, gear, the history of photography, and notable work in the field.
A Yashica Electro 35 GSN rangefinder, a Christmas gift from my parents, introduced me to 35mm photography in my late 1970’s high school days, when I also had that ubiquitous bathroom darkroom, developed my own black & white film, and printed with a Durst enlarger. I graduated to an Olympus OM-1 SLR in my college years. An USAF flying career and normal life events took priority shortly thereafter, and my photographic experience took a decidedly pedestrian turn. This period was marked by many years of simply recording family and career events and milestones with a series of point and shoot cameras, gradually easing from 35mm film into the digital world.
My interest in “real” photography was rekindled when my son entered college studying digital cinematography, and I have since both upgraded my digital equipment, and revived an interest in film. I will always regret giving up my original Electro 35 somewhere along the way, but I recently replaced it with an identical one gleaned from the infamous online auction site, and I still have my old OM-1, recently CLA’d. I have since added a Canon P rangefinder, built between 1958 and 1961, an Olympus OM-3, a 1949 Leica iiic and a Leica M4 to my 35mm collection.
I have jumped into medium format film via a vintage Yashica D twin lens reflex, a Fuji GW690III rangefinder, a Hasselblad 500CM SLR, a Fuji G617 panoramic camera, and a Pentax 645N. I have also forayed into large-format film photography, with the purchase of a Calumet CC-400 4×5 monorail view camera, a Graflex Super Graphic, and a Chamonix 045F1, which I enjoy but about which I have much to yet learn. On the instant film side I have a Polaroid 800 instant roll film camera converted by Steve Icanberry of Alpenhause to use Polaroid pack film, and a Polaroid 110a instant roll film camera, along with a Polaroid 150, both of which I converted myself to pack film use, and a Polaroid SX-70 using Impossible Project film.
My digital equipment includes a Panasonic Lumix LX-3, a Fuji X-Pro-1, XT-1 and X-100F, a Ricoh GR, a Leica M8.2 and a Leica M10.
I am home processing my black & white and color film in 35mm , 120 roll, and 4×5 sheet formats, with the use of various processing tank systems and a Jobo CEP 2+ rotary film processor, and built a basic wet darkroom in the basement employing a Saunders/LPL 4500 II enlarger. I use an Epson V700, a Plustek OpticFilm 120, and digiscanning with the Fuji XT-1 to scan my film negatives, and use Capture One Pro, Lightroom, Photoshop, and various plug-ins to manage and digitally process my images.
I hope you find some measure of merit in the images and assorted musings posted here, and I appreciate your interest and comments.
Mike Kukulski – “I am what I am, and that’s all what I am…”
Grayslake, Illinois, USA
6 thoughts on “About”
Thank you very much for sharing your work and your expertise.
I am starting to read your “A Brief History” and am finding it very refreshing to this old brain of mine.
Of course I’m enjoying the images you’ve posted.
Like yourself I am self taught, starting out in B+W and using a Durst enlarger, adding on a 4×5 Omega for the larger negatives. I went from a Minolta (SRT-101), to Leicas (M-3, M-6, R-6), added a Bronica S2A with 3 fantastic Nikon lenses that I kick myself for trading up to Hasselblad, and finally a 4×5 with a Wista View Camera. Other than 3 Leicas all else are gone, and I’m currently using a Pentax 20D for digital.
My darkroom equipment collects spiders and dust in my basement.
My negatives and slides are slowly being digitized and post processed … soon to be printed (someone once said.)
I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts.
By the way … love your “haircut” … think of all the money one saves from the barber to spend on film, etc. 😀
Cheers from the environs of Northwestern New Jersey!
Thanks for the words. I’m currently building up a darkroom with a Beseler 23C enlarger, will look for a 4×5 after I get back in the swing of things. Hope to get another History article out this week, it has been a while!
Your history is fantastic, highly engaging and very well written.
Thx for making it available.
I’m working on hand coloured photography in NZ, and wanted to get a better grip in photographic developments that hand colouring sat in and around. The topic of hcp, I’m finding, is pretty sparsely researched and written on – so if by chance this is an interest, I’d love to engage some more.
Thank you for your kind comments.
How did you light seal the door to the room and what type of ventilation did you use?
I use a Panasonic FV-15VQ5 exhaust fan for ventilation, ducted outdoors via a dryer-type louvered vent. I use a normal home construction intake vent grill in the wall for inlet air to the darkroom, with baffling inside the wall to make the inlet light-tight; I also have a furnace-type air filter in the inlet grill to ward off dust from my workshop which sits outside my darkroom.
My approach to light sealing the door was a belt and suspenders one, plus! I first replaced the door stops on the jambs with thicker strips to accommodate some add-on weatherstrips. While the links below may not be the exact materials I used, they are representative of the types that I employ in combination on my door to make it light-tight. I also painted the door jambs flat black to reduce light reflection. I also still throw a towel across the door bottom after closing it just to ensure no light sneaks in under the door. I also installed a curtain rod inside the darkroom above the door for a black-out curtain to draw across the door opening, but my light checks have shown this is not required, at least so far. The materials used are:
This metal-flange-attached door weatherstripping:
This adhesive rubber weatherstripping:
This door bottom floor sweep: