The power of the latent image

I was helping my mom rearrange some things in her house and came across a roll of film that had been in a basket just lying around the house.  I thought it might have been a roll that I shot when I first moved to Colorado, maybe a good 7-8 years old now, as I still have one roll unaccounted for.  It turned out to be something much more precious:

This was our home in Ohio which we had to sell back in 2002 which means that these pics are at least 15 years old, and judging by the way my brother looks, are probably closer to 20.  While mostly different angles of the front of our house, I also managed to capture our dog Pinto that my mom brought out to Colorado, and who sadly didn’t survive long after that.  Also in the background is a straw barn that we spent many an afternoon playing in back in the day.  These were taken by me, with my Kodak Cameo Focus Free point & shoot camera, picked up at a thrift store at some point and probably still in my top drawer in the chest at my dad’s.

I bumped up the contrast a bit but that was all, and am pretty impressed with how good the images held up, even if they do now look a bit vintage.  Knowing from experience how reluctant people are to drop off old film at a camera store these days, I recently had a single-use camera processed for a friend of mine and they were at least this usable.  If people you know have film lying around undeveloped, please encourage them to make a trip to their local camera store, or barring that, offer to do it for them: it’s a nice favor and can bring back some great memories.

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Chapel interior

The chapel at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, tends to draw quite a few visitors because of its interesting shape (you can search for pics online).  But also due to its unique architecture it has always suffered problems with leaking, and will therefore close for renovation next year.  If you’re planning on visiting Colorado Springs soon, you might want to check out the Academy chapel as your next opportunity could be at least 5 years from now.

While giving a tour of my city I took the opportunity of the bright sunlight to really let the stained glass do its thing inside the chapel, and the Ektar 100 really let the colors pop.  Below is a view of some of the dormitory buildings.  If you enjoy mid-century modernism the Academy is fantastic, and offers striking contrast with its surroundings.

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DIG’s last party

I have something really special in my group of college friends from Ohio State (excuse me, THE Ohio State University).  A few years back we started getting together on a semi-annual basis and it’s like we’ve never been separated, even though a lot of us live outside Ohio now.  Unfortunately this time the gathering came about because one of our number has fallen.  The last time I saw him was nearly a year previous, the last time we got together (I flew in from Colorado) and not long after that he told us all that he was diagnosed with cancer.  All I knew from then were the Facebook updates posted by him or his family.  He leaves behind a son and a wife who is 8 months pregnant.

It wasn’t the best occasion ever, but it was good to hang out with old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade.  For this trip all I took was a roll of Tri-X loaded in the Olympus Trip 35.  I didn’t even worry about the x-ray machine, I figured that I’d test out the assumption that the film would survive just 2 airplane trips, and it seems to be alright.  I haven’t looked too hard at the negatives yet, but for my purposes it came out alright (except that with my scanner in storage I couldn’t really work with them as much as I’d have liked).  Though my focusing could have been better, the Trip 35 performed well inside and out (and fit in my suit jacket pocket), especially shooting the astoundingly versatile Tri-X.

It’s been hard finding a time that works for all of us, but I think that after this we’ll all make time, because the future is promised to no man, and each get-together could be someone’s last.
2016, Cincinnati, OH (Pt.II)
2016, Cincinnati, OH (Pt.I)
2014, Lake Cumberland, KY

RIP Dave DiSilvestro, 1984-2017.

P30alpha has (finally) arrived!

If you’ll forgive the phone pic, just wanted to post this ASAP.  I don’t know how many people that are still waiting for their film will read this, but Ferrania does follow through on their promises.  Here is the proof that you will get your film…eventually.

Now, I have no idea how far back in the queue I was: I was a Kickstarter backer so I think I’m at least before everyone that cold-ordered.  Still, I didn’t get my order in until at least a good 10 hours after the shop officially came online (some days you gotta hate work).

But there it is!  Now I have to find time to shoot it…

On the festival circuit: Colorado Short Circuit

April 22, 2017.  After Wales, Overwhelming Majority got one more chance to screen in the Springs, at a brand new iteration of the Indie Spirit Film Festival.  Colorado Short Circuit showcases the work of Colorado filmmakers working in short films.  I think for this version most of the featured films were made by people living on the front range, primarily Denver and Colorado Springs.

As always, a great time was had, and I certainly knew lots of people already.  As a bonus, I shot a few rolls of super 8 for my experimental/avant-garde cinema class.  I will be finalizing that project sometime in the Fall and then it’s back to submitting to festivals.

Why I love Fuji slide film

I might shoot a whole lot of Double-X and Tri-X, but when it comes to color, Fuji still has my heart.  If you need a reason to shoot a roll of slide film, look below.  I mean, what’s not to love?

The price, I suppose, so I usually save this film for special occasions.  And it’s the processing costs that really can drain one’s bank account fast, around $20 for developing and scanning (plus $10-15 for the roll of film itself).  Yikes.  But then I look at a slide on a light table or scanned, and all misgivings go by the wayside:

I don’t shoot a whole lot of slide film, but that’s changing the more I get good results.  While I will shoot Ektachrome when it returns (and with Ferrania not too far away either), Fuji is still my first love for color film.  As I look through these pictures, I notice that a lot of them have very striking shades of blue, a favorite color of mine.  To be honest, Velvia 50 and I didn’t get on very well, but then I’ve only shot one roll and I probably need a bit more practice with it.

The modern slide films are remarkable.  Compared to Velvia 50, which is a bit of an older emulsion from the early-’90s, the more modern Provia 100F and Velvia 100 are pretty remarkable in their latitude, being able to survive one stop of over- or underexposure with only slightly noticeable differences in color.  Color, in fact, that is supposed to have an archival life of 300 years.  Color negative film doesn’t come anywhere close.

It’s a bit sad the direction that Fujifilm as a company has gone, and I don’t doubt that at some point in the next decade we will be holding the last-ever Fuji slide film.  I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to continue supporting their business when they have obviously abandoned film photographers.  Perhaps it would be better to not get attached to anything Fuji makes, because I know that whatever it is, its days are numbered.  But then I look back to the point when I knew Plus-X was discontinued, and only bought one roll to shoot, or when I passed up the opportunity to buy a few rolls of Provia 400X, or Superia 400 in 120 size.  Or the fact that I never got a chance to shoot Kodachrome (or Ektachrome, Astia, Sensia, Fortia, or Velvia 100F); I regret those things.  And so, like marrying a person with a terminal condition, all I can do is enjoy the time that is left, knowing that at some point all good things must come to an end.

Home movies

Home Movie Day, October 2016 at the Southern Colorado Film Festival.  I saw Kodachrome projected for the first time and have to say that I was totally blown away with the colors.  The more I see the more I understand how big a hole it left, which the new Ektachrome will probably not be able to fill.

Filmmaker Eric Stewart was our projectionist and film enthusiast extraordinaire.  I also included a picture of some of his optical film printers that he’s working on restoring in his garage.