About

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, and an Olympus OM-3 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, and a Fuji G617 panoramic camera.  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, a Polaroid 110a instant roll film camera that 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 and a XT-1, and a Ricoh GR.

I am home processing my black & white film in 35mm , 120 roll, and 4×5 sheet formats, and having stumbled upon a Beseler 23C enlarger have built a basic darkroom in the basement. I also use an Epson V700 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.

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Mike Kukulski – “I am what I am, and that’s all what I am…”

Grayslake, Illinois, USA

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Mike,

    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!

    1. Dr:

      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!

      Good shooting!

  2. Mike
    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.
    Thx again.
    Peter

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