More from the B&J Ajax #2 Portrait… And an almost smile.

Been trying to get a smile out of the boy this week. I think this is as close an almost 13-year-old will go.


Star Camera Manufacturing 10″x12″, B&J Ajax #2 Portrait Petzval, Adox NP27 in HC-110 dil H.


Burke and James Ajax Portrait Petzval, Continued…

I’ve had some more chances to use the new #2 Ajax and I must say, it’s working out to be a wonderful close portrait lens on 10×12. Would I like a #4 with longer focal length and greater coverage? Sure. But until that happens, which t’ain’t likely anytime soon, this #2 will do nicely.

A few recent shots with this lens on 10×12 FP4+:




Shameless plug…

I never liked shooting portraits. When my wife bought me a Canon Rebel XS years ago, I fancied myself a nature photographer. I spent hours and hours trudging through East Texas swamps, making photographs of backwoods sloughs. I developed an interest in macro photography and shot rolls and rolls on flowers and insects. I found I could write somewhat coherently, so I started freelancing for some regional garden magazines, selling images to go along with the text. I studied John Shaw books, dreaming of the day I could become a full-time natural history photographer.

I’m not sure how the evolution to portraiture happened. One day I noticed I’d shot an exoribitant amount of film on my son. It started out as snapshots, basic grab shots on film, but as I got more into large format photography, it became more of an obsession. My son is a great sport about it, and almost never complains about sitting for me. He can sit stock still, and (in my opinion) is as great a poser as I could ever hope to find. His mother doesn’t generally care for the images, prefering something more smiley. But we have great fun, and it’s become a bonding thing for us.

My daughter is generally far to giggly for large format, though I have managed to make some wonderful images of her with the big guns. I’ve found, though, that TLRs and digital are more spontaneous and easier to catch a quickly moving young lady with.

Anyway, this is all prelude to posting a link: I was leafing through my Flickr shots recently and gathered what I think are decent (not spectacular, but decent) portraits into a set. There’s a clear progression in technique and quality through the years, but I think all the images have merit one way or another. You can see them here. If you’re bored, or delayed at the airport, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. Admittedly, it’s a limited selection of subjects. I haven’t quite gotten up the nerve to go rogue yet…

A couple recent shots, just as a teaser:


As always, thank you for looking.