Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Twin Lens Camera

Rolleiflex, Planar 2.8 lens, TriX

Twin lens cameras make you shoot differently, twin lens cameras make you work. My twin lens camera forces me get images I would never otherwise get.
Yashica's and Mamiya C330's can be had for a song, Rolleiflex's a little more. A worthy investment either way.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Twin Lens Images

I've become somewhat numbed by the plethora of mediocrity (I'm being polite) within the wedding photography genre at large but every so often I get a glimmer of hope and sometimes I get to see genius, as in Kitty and Craig Fritz of Twin Lens Images. they have managed to do what many claim to do, namely the seamless blending of incredible documentary and fine art photography. As their name suggests they shoot with Twin Lens Reflex cameras, why are TLR cameras so amazing to work with, I don't know they just are. check out Kiity and Craig's work @ you'll be inspired.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

the simple pleasures of the point and shoot

I know many people rave about the Yashica T4, while rummaging around in a drawer the other week I found an old Olympus Stylus zoom 140 point and shoot, stuck a roll of film in, got it processed and was amazed at how beautiful and sharp the images were, I'm absolutely going to be carrying this around with me wherever I go and even take a few rolls with it at my next wedding.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is Elisabeth-Rose my wedding day partner and her new (Feb 6th 2010) husband Michael.
Shot with a Super Speed Graphic 4x5, 127mm lens on HP5 film

A thousand apologies for not having posted anything since September.
I've got a new blog and all of my recent stuff is there and it's all film. My friend Tanja Lippert has inspired me to to get on the stick again with this blog, so here we go...

The news around here is that I'm back up again shooting 4x5 portraits and recently purchased a Super Speed Graphic and I'm loving it, I'm going to try very hard to incorporate it into as many weddings as possible, as in the shot above, I'll be posting lots more of my large format portraits soon.
For the last several sessions I've pretty much been shooting exclusively with my beloved Rolleiflex, as Michael Sebastian said "From my cold dead hands"

I've also discovered an amazing lab, Photoworks in San Fransisco, they do fabulous work, very reasonably priced and brilliant customer service, I highly recommend you check them out.

Make sure you subscribe to Scott Sheppard's Inside Analog Photo Radio, Scott is a fantastic interviewer and so much information from a broad selection of film photographers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

first fall season wedding


Brilliant wedding in Hilton Head, shot lots of film, tried out Ektar 100, amazing stuff.

In fact I shot a smorgasbord of film, all natural light and the Mamiya 80 1.9, simply a killer lens.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Super 8

Wedding Film from Richard Israel on Vimeo.

Here is my second Super 8 film, the first was back in 1985, I shot a movie backdrop for a fashion show, beautiful models, shooting with a really old clockwork Kodak camera hanging off London buses and the Doors LA Woman soundtrack. I had a blast and never quite forgot the experience.

I recently became awed with Andy of Portal Films work so I thought I'd give it a shot.
A totally enjoyable experience, learning Final Cut Pro, a major challenge.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Calling oneself a cinematographer seems to be all the rage in the wedding industry these days. My friend Andy Jackson of Portal Films is truly a ridiculously talented man and is totally worthy of the title. I've yet to see better. Andy is also a very talented still photographer too. Take some time to check out his blog.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I love grain, we all hate noise. I especially love the randomness of films' grain.
It even sounds better :-)

Contax G2, Zeiss 40mm, 2.0, T Max 3200

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The beauty of natural light


I just love natural light, this was part of bridal lingerie story for Elegant Bride Magazine. Just gorgeous north light and lots of big reflectors and a fan.

Hasselblad 500cm, 150mm 4.0, Ektachrome 100 film

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Alternative Process

I'm getting geared up to start experimenting with alternative processes this summer with the plan to offer this to my portrait clients in the fall. I primarily want to specialize in Platinum / Palladium printing. I have a 4x5 camera I'm borrowing, (thanks John) and hope to get another Deardorff soon. I'll keep you posted.

Deardorff 4x5 camera, Nikkor 150mm, Tri-x (why, oh why did I sell the bloody thing)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Love my 1.9

I love my 80mm 1.9, it's definitely the best 100.00 I've spent in a long, long time, shot wide open the depth of field or the lack of it is amazing.

Mamiya 645afd, 80mm 1.9, Kodak 400CN bw

Monday, May 18, 2009



I've been asked several times "does film still retain the film qualities once it's been scanned"

absolutely yes.


Check out my interview on the amazing
Tanja Lippert's Keep Film Alive blog. if you haven't seen her work go forth (here) immediately

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Inside Analog Photo Interveiw

Check out my interview with Scott Sheppard on Inside Analog Photo here, when you've finished make a point of listening to all the podcasts, Scott is brilliant. there are priceless nuggets in every show.

The pictures above are from Nina's, bridal shoot in Charlotte, check out her wedding here.

Mamiya 645 afd, 80mm 2.8, Kodak BWCN400

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

post processing

This is where and with whom I'm now spending what used to be my post processing time.
Rumor has it that a 5 pound bass was pulled out of here a few months back.

Mamiya 645, AFD, 80MM, 2.8, Kodak 400CN

Friday, April 10, 2009

Richard Loves Medium Format


completely fallen in love with Ilford Delta 3200 120, dreamy grain and texture combined with medium format's sharpness and tonality it's a match made in heaven for me.

I have to take this opportunity to thank one of my best, best friends Chris Timmons "who is a killer photogapher" for selling me his Mamiya 645 AFD + lenses + backs. for an amazing price," thanks 'bro".

Mamiya 645 AFD, 80mm (wide open), Ilford 3200 rated at 1600
Check our main blog for more shots from this wonderous wedding

Tanja Lippert

You must check out the amazing Tanja Lippert's blog Keep Film Alive. Tanja is a 100% film shooter and her work is truly beautiful, I've actually been a long time admirer of hers and it's great to discover we are kindred spirits.

Everything she says is x 10,000 by me.

Btw. Tanja is also very, very funny, be sure to watch her videos

Monday, March 23, 2009

If anyone is interested in an amazing deal on medium format gear, email me and I'll put you in touch my friend Rod Hunter who is selling his entire Pentax 645 system, for 1,000.00. It's had less than 50 rolls run through it. He'll also throw in 10 rolls of film just for good measure.

645N body auto focus
45mm f2.8
75mm f2.8
125mm LF f4
135mm macro f4
120 back
220 back
Dedicated CE Pentax flash for the 645N
Hard case that will hold everything but one lens.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Shout out

Thank you to Leah McCormick for my "I Shoot Film Buttons" I'm loving the reactions I'm getting, ranging from disbelief to joyful smiles. You need to check out her work and listen to her interview with Scott Sheppard on Inside Analog Photography.
Leah is not only an amazing photographer but also has such a wonderful attitude to life and in her business, so
refreshing in a world were many wedding photographers are taking themselves way to seriously.


I had almost forgotten about using consumer neg film to get a fabulous cross processed look. apparently consumer films are made much more contrasty than their professional counterparts. So, I shot a few rolls at these sessions using Fuji Superia 400 xtra, over exposed by 2 stops. The film can be purchased at most leading drugstores.

Monday, March 16, 2009


For some reason when I shoot digitally I feel I must do something to the image in addition to the things I have to do. Film, another story, these were shot with the Mamiya 645 AFD, 80mm lens, natural north light, Kodak Portra 160 NC, overexposed by one stop and that's it....

Monday, March 2, 2009

keep it simple

This one is for Scott Sheppard from Inside Analog Photo. Shot in open shade, Deardorff, 4x5 Ektachrome.

keep it simple

This was shot using only the natural light in my daylight studio, I wanted to keep everything as neutral and simple as possible allowing the viewer to concentrate on Whitney's beauty.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

keep it real

I love shooting portraits with the view camera, one is forced to think and consider what you want to say about your sitter and what your sitter is saying about themselves, the very deliberate and total lack of spontaneity will produce a very compelling portrait.

Deardorff 8X10 view camera, Ilford FP4 film, contact print

Thursday, February 19, 2009

be you

So many photographers are consumed with their branding and being unique etc. Here is a profound quote from Beth "Be content with your individuality, no one can copy that"
The Brand Called You.

Nikon F3, 105mm, 2.5 lens, Tri-X, Ilford multigrade, bleach bath after development.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Get in Close

I love getting in close for my beauty shots and portraits.

Nikon F3, 105, 2.5, Tri-X, Ilford Multigrade FB + bleach bath

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I love shooting medium format, especially for my more studied portraits, all the wonderful things I love about film are magnified with the larger negative.

The picture above was shot with my Rolleiflex twin lens camera, this camera, apart from having the legendary, Ziess Plannar 2.8 lens is very smooth and easy to operate, just like a rangefinder there is no mirror so it can be hand held at quite slow shutter speeds and is virtually silent in operation. Other great TLR alternatives to the Rolleiflex are Mamyia c220 and c330 and the Yashica's.
The Rolleiflex's can be a little pricey but the other can be had for a song.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sold all your film cameras, never owned a film camera? Check out KEH in Atlanta, they are 100%. Their rating system is extremely conservative and a fraction of the original cost, I recently bought a bargain graded Mamiya camera and lens that looked and operated like brand new.

This shot was taken with my awesome Deardorff 4x5 field camera with Nikkor lenses, which I traded several years ago, oh well. Film was 4X5 Ilford FP4, and printed on Agfa Portriga paper.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

keep playing...

Nikon F3, 105mm lens, Tri-x

Experiment with different types and makes of film, each film has it's own unique qualities, contrast, grain structure and color palette etc.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Nikon F100, 80-200 lens, Tri-x

When shooting advertising / editorial jobs I always get what the client wants and what they're expecting me to deliver. I then play, pushing the envelope a little, invariably the client chooses those shots.
Try the same thing at your next wedding or portrait session.

slow down

Rolleiflex, TLR lit by my van's headlights, Old Salem

Shooting film forces you to slow down and think about your shot, thoughtfully composing, seeing your light and nailing exposure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get free

I think it's so important to set aside at least one day a month to shoot for your self.
Set your self freeeeeee!!! Pick a pet project and just have fun, don't be afraid to make a mistake, rediscover the photographer you really are or used to be in the days before 85% of your time as a photographer was spent in front of the computer.
Shoot something that turns you on, gets you going...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


If you don't own a film camera a great place to start is KEH, you can get amazing deals on 35mm and medium format cameras, their quality ratings are very conservative, I just bought a Mamiya 645 1000s which is flawless for a fraction of it's original price. If your a Canon shooter then the
1n or the 1v are great buys and for Nikon you can pick up the amazing F5 or F100 for a song.

This year I'm getting my film from Freestyle and using Richard Photo Lab in Los Angeles for processsing and high-res scans whom by all accounts are the best film lab in the country and most of the best film wedding / portrait photographers in the country use them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

This next series was shot with my new favorite camera, Mamiya 645 with the awesome 85mm 1.9 lens, the depth of field is unbelievably shallow, almost a medium format Noctilux.

Here is a series I shot with my lovely and (sold) Deardorff 4x5, shot on Polaroid type 55 film (alas no more) contact printed. I think it was Ilford FB Multigrade
Nikon F100, 85mm 1.4 lens, Kodak Portra BW, scanned
Olympus OM1, 135mm lens, Tri-x, printed on Oriental Seagul
Nikon F3, 105mm lens Kodak infra-red film, printed on Kodak Ektalure.
Nikon F3, 105mm lens, Ektachrome 160 tungsten film overexposed by 2 stops, natural light.
Olympus OM1, 135mm lens, printed on Agfa Portriga