I’m going to talk about some Minolta gear next week, so to whet your appetite I’m posting this photo I took a few years ago.

Chihiro, taken with Minolta XD 11 and Rokkor 58mm 1:1.2 lens

Chihiro, taken with Minolta XD 11 and Rokkor 58mm 1:1.2 lens with red filter, on Tri-X, developed in Diafine

What’s happening

I took this while waiting with our dog, Chihiro, outside a health food store while my sweetheart was inside getting a smoothie. I had scored a nice set of original Minolta filters, all 55mm, recently.

How I did it

On this day, I had mounted the red filter on the venerable Minolta Rokkor-PG 58mm 1:1.2 lens. While sitting on the bench outside the shop, I asked Chihiro to pose and took this shot. Chihiro is quite red, so the effect of using the red filter, which is traditionally used to darken blue skies, is quite dramatic. Look at the photo below to see the difference. The extremely shallow depth of field afforded by this lens when shot wide open allowed me to focus on Chihiro’s eyes and let the rest of her features fall out of focus. The out-of-focus blur is accentuated by my choice of film and developer: Tri-X 400 and Diafine. Diafine gives Tri-X a natural “push” to anywhere between 1000 and 1600ISO. I shoot it at about 1250ISO when I’m going to use Diafine. I love the grain that results from this combination. It’s not obnoxiously large like you get with TMAX3200 or Delta 3200, but is still pronounced.

Chihiro, Minolta X570, Kodachrome

Chihiro in color (for reference), taken with a Minolta X570 on Kodachrome


I’ll be writing more about Minolta gear next week, focusing on the XD 11 body and various lenses. If you have a special request, let me know in the comments!