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 and a XT-1, a Ricoh GR, and a Fuji X-100F.
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 and a Plustek OpticFilm 120 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