Sometime last year, The Minneapolis Photo Center (www.mplsphotocenter.com) came across my radar. I learned that if I became a member I could gain access to their medium format film scanners. This is a big deal because I am sitting on a lot of medium format slides that I would like converted to digital format so I can have access to them on my computer. If you've ever needed a slide scanned, you might be aware of the cost to do this. The higher resolution you want, the more it costs. I wish that I would have bought the old Nikon 9000 ED scanner when it was still for sale, but even now a used one will set you back at least $3,000. New it was retailing for around $7,000. So thank goodness that I am able to get access to this piece of equipment at the MPC and the only cost to me is a minimum 6 month membership. With membership running at $25 a month, $150 for unlimited slide scanning is a great deal.
If you live in the Twin Cities area and are a photographer, I highly recommend coming over to check it out. Besides having film scanning capabilities, they have fully loaded iMacs with all the latest photo processing software, a variety of studios to shoot in, and a darkroom that I haven't yet ventured into.*
This is a very nice place with lovely ambiance. The loft-like studios and spaces are beautiful and have oversized windows which the sunlight pours into while also offering interior areas away from exterior lighting sources. There is usually music playing, candles burning, and coffee, water and snacks available. It kind of feels like hanging out at a cool friend's apartment.
In addition to these facilities, they offer a number of beginner and advanced classes for the photo pro or enthusiast and they also host a number of photography related group meetings and events. I recently decided to give studio lighting another swing. I have to admit being pretty shy about photographing people but they made it great fun. I'm not sure how much credit I can take for these images. Someone else set up the lighting and the models a/k/a teachers and assistants were very willing to do anything you asked them. It goes to show how a good support team can make a person look great whether you are a photographer or a CEO.
I'd like to say a big thank you to these models for letting me post images of them here. They are Rich Ryan, Katherine Tolene, Luis Rodriguez, and Jonathan Pavlica. Also a shout-out to the founders/owners of the MPC, Abby and Orin Rutchick, who I am pretty sure are the poster models for Minnesota Nice.
If you have few moments, please stop by the teacher/assistants' photography websites to check out their work:
Rich Ryan, www.richryan.com
Katherine Tolene, Katherinetolene.com
Luis Rodriguez, www.luisrodriguezphoto.com
Jonathan Pavlica, www.pavlicaphotography.com
* The last darkroom I was in (not here) had a resident T-Rex centipede that scared me out for good. Ok, maybe he was only 5 inches long but his running along the darkroom sink and disappearing into some crevice in the wall burned a video image in my mind that can replay at the push of a button even today. I pretty much swore off darkroom work after that, but I might give it another go if someone goes in before me to make sure the coast is clear.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.