Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

201406029 | Kodak Tri-X 400 (132).jpg


Nitro Nite

Bill McCarroll

Nitro Nite is the finale for the Cruising Grand season.  Cruising Grand is a weekly event that attracts classic car owners from across Southern California who come to share their amazing cars and to meet their fellow petrol heads.

Nitro Nite has an entirely different feel than any other Cruising Grand Friday night.  Nitro Nite sees vintage dragsters being pushed down Grand Avenue with their acohol fueled engines in high decibel glory.  

Capturing Cruising Grand has been a project of mine for the past few years but I've never had any images of Nitro Nite.  First of all, its hard to get a good view.  Crowds line Grand Avenue two to three deep.  So getting there early to grab a decent spot is key.  Once you're in place there aren't many opportunities to move around.

I was really tempted to take my Fuji X100s for its low light advantages.  I can shoot at ISO 3200 on the X100s with little or no noise.  But digital is not where my project is.  I have been shooting most of my best images on film. So, Nitro Nite needed to be on Ilford HP5+.  The Leica M2, recently CLA'd was my choice with the 50mm Summicron.   Lighting was tricky. Check out the lighting conditions on the embedded video later in the post shot with my iPhone 5s.  It goes to show how good film can be in low light if handled properly.  I shot most frames wide open at f/2 with either a 1/15 or 1/30 of a second shutter speed.  ISO with HP5+ was at 1600.  I processed the film in development at 3200 using the Massive Dev Chart recommend times, i.e., Ilfosol 3 for 24:30 minutes.  I cut down on the agitation to try and reduce grain.

Here are my images and short video to give you a sense of the sounds from the short night.  Some images may show some blur due to movement with longer shutter speeds but for me, that just adds to the beauty of film.

A few cars on display at Cruising Grand.  The last night however belongs to Nitro Nite, top fuel dragsters.

Lots of other photographers at Cruising Grand

Some funny cars on an engine runup

As always, thanks for reading.

Leica M2 CLA

Bill McCarroll

I just got my Leica M2 back from a clean, lubricate and adjust (CLA) plus a few other enhancements and repairs.  No big deal you say and normally I’d agree.  However, here’s the end result.

What if I told you that this jewel of a camera left my hands here in San Diego last Monday night (9/21/2015); went all across the United States to Youxin Ye on the east coast and was back in my hands today (9/30/2015).  That’s only nine days for a CLA including seven in the hands of UPS and the post office.  That’s an absolutely incredible level of service and I couldn’t be happier to have it back.  Please don't expect Youxin to deliver all his work in a matter of days, it's a physical impossibility.

I bought this M2 about six months ago from eBay.  It was a pretty good deal, around $600 if I remember correctly.  The camera at that price had some issues. 

The rangefinder focus was off both in the vertical and horizontal.  The leather covering was in fair shape but it did have a tear around the rangefinder window, not bad but definitely something I wanted to fix.  The viewfinder was definitely not in great shape, it was dim and had a few pieces of dirt or dust that were very apparent when taking a shot.   The mechanism was decent, no huge issues but compared to my MP I could tell there was room for improvement.  

So I asked Youxin, who came recommended by my friend Ray Larose to work on it for me.  Here’s what I wanted him to do.

1.       Perform a complete CLA

2.       Replace the brass lugs with new steel lugs as recommended by Leica

3.       Add multi coated windows

4.       Replace the body cover with an Aki-Asahi cover

Youxin cleaned and lubricated all the mechanical parts of the camera and adjusted the shutter speeds and brake.  He cleaned the finder and adjusted the rangefinder focus which was definitely off when I sent it to him.  There was a large dirt spot on the rangefinder patch which he cleaned.  Youxin replaced the leather cover and the strap lugs to the new Leica steel lugs. Finally he replaced the windows with new multi-coated windows.

According to Youxin the camera had recently been worked on (before I bought it) but the work wasn’t done very well.  It looks like the old lubricant wasn’t fully cleaned off before applying new and the mask wasn’t touched which left the dirt spots.

It’s still a “user” camera according to Youxin but an above average “user.”  For me that’s perfect.  It will continue to be a user camera. I plan to use it as a daily driver and when I’m out on a planned photo shoot, it will hold either black and white or color film depending on what I put in my MP which I’ll carry along too.

I am so happy to have the M2 back in such a short time and with such quality work applied to it, thanks Youxin.  I think I got some special treatment by dropping Ray’s name on Youxin.  Thanks Ray.  You can see some images of Youxin and his workshop on Ray’s blog post when he had his M3 worked on.

As always, thanks for reading.

Happy Accidents

Bill McCarroll

I really, really struggled with developing a roll of 120 Kodak Tri-x this past weekend.  I just couldn't get the film to roll onto my developing spool.  

I am not kidding when I say that I actually tried for two hours to get that film loaded onto the spool in the black bag.  I was close to giving up thinking that all the man-handling of the film had to have ruined any chance of decent images.  I even pulled one end of the film out of the hand holes to see if I was loading it elmulsion side down.  That did ruin one end of the film. I thought it would be the leader end but unfortunately it was the very end of the film so a few images were exposed to light.

But...I did get a few images and one image that I really like.  This one is a definite favorite.  I love the old film look.  It could have been sitting in a shoe box for the last fifty years. 

Just a happy accident.

Thanks for reading.

A Taste of Delta at the Embarcadero

Bill McCarroll

After watching the San Diego Padres lose to the Dodgers yesterday, Diana and I walked along San Diego Bay late on a Sunday afternoon.

I had my Leica MP with the 50mm Zeiss Sonnar 1.5 attached loaded with Delta 100.  I wanted to try Delta 100 to see what it could do.  I wasn't disappointed.  I'm going to pick up a few more rolls of Delta 100 and also Delta 400.  I processed the film in Ilfosol 3 for 5 minutes.  All of these were scanned on my Epson V850 scanner.

Trolley tracks looking through some fencing

The embarcadero is visited by Dole pineapple

One of the many super yachts along the boardwalk

Seaport Village, a local attraction for shopping

Local fishing boats dock along the embarcadero offloading their catch.  Many of these boats fish just off the coast of San Diego to capture bait fish;  anchovies and sardines.

Yellowfin tuna being offloaded.

As always, thanks for reading.

So You Like Grain!

Bill McCarroll

Generally when I go out to shoot I like to keep it consistent.  One camera, one lens and most important, one film type.  Keeping things under control helps make the pieces fit together especially if you want to write a blog post with images that look like they belong with one another.

It's also easier to hand develop film when you're shooting the same type at the same ISO.  But there are always exceptions to the rule and this is one.  Each of these rolls had to be individually processed, no shortcuts here.

I'm now an Ilford user and a fan.  Ilford makes a great range of black and white film and they're dedicated to providing a great range of black and white film for a very reasonable cost.  I'm buying my 35mm Ilford film in 100 foot rolls.  I'm going to experiment with my favorite HP5+ to other film types like the Delta range, Pan F Plus, FP4 Plus, and XP2 to see if there are a few I want to pick as daily favorites.  While I like HP5, I've been looking for something that suits me a bit more.  I've been anxious to shoot Pan F Plus and some of the lower ISO Delta films.  Pan F Plus is an ISO 50 film that seems slow but might be really perfect for the harsh sun and shadows here in Southern California.  I want to try more of Delta 100, 400 and 3200 too.  

For last Friday night's walk at Cruising Grand I took a few rolls of Pan F Plus, HP5 Plus and Ilford Delta 3200 for the night shots.  I shot with both the Leica M2 fitted with the 50mm Summicron and the MP with the Zeiss Sonnar 1.5.

Here are some early shots from the evening with Pan F Plus:

This next series is with HP5 Plus and my Leica MP:

And finally as it began to get dark, Ilford Delta 3200 pulled one stop to ISO 1600 and my Leica MP.  You do like grain, don't you?

Bottom line, while I really like the night shots, I think I'd be more inclined to push HP5 a few stops to ISO 1600 than use Delta 3200.  But it does shoot well in the dark.  I'm definitely drawn to the cleaner images in Pan F Plus and will be giving Delta 100 and 400 a try in the coming weeks. 

I hope you got something from these and perhaps will find a grain you'd be happy with.

As always, thanks for reading.