Scout

I just found out one of our drivers died recently.  He was a new guy, started back in 2019.

I don’t know that I have many pictures of him, though there is a 4×5 shot that I took right before we were closing down for COVID-19.  I got it developed but never had a chance to get it scanned.  The pic above was taken in May or June 2020 right after we opened back up after shutdown, the pic below is from Territory Days in 2019, I don’t even know that he had hired on with us yet but he certainly looked the part.


Tri-X in the Spotmatic, but you’ve seen it before so I wasn’t going to tag it again.

RIP, Scout.

Territory Days in Old Colorado City

From 2019.  Colorado Ave, the old main drag and original US Hwy 24, is shut down for a few days for the local version of the county fair.  Working in the area all I’d experienced before had been using detours to get around it, but living in the area that summer I decided I should walk down and check it out, shooting I think 2.5 rolls of film.

Can you tell I have problems editing?  I actually broke this up into two parts because I like all these, and am also too busy right now to go through and make deep cuts.  Several of my coworkers made it into this series.

Customized American car decorations

People from Europe tell me that they love seeing all the different license plates and other modifications that Americans do to their vehicles.  This post is for all of you!  Not necessarily license plates only, but these are cars that have been decorated a bit more substantially.  Sure, one could get a lift kit or special off-road tires fitted, but I’m looking at a more personalized approach: decals.  Simultaneously more varied and also a cheaper option.

I thought I had a lot more shots in my negatives but I’m not sure now.  Either way I can post a sequel post someday but it’s all about having a camera at the right time and finding the right vehicle.

The endless accessorizing…

Man, do I love the look of the Nikon F with a prism finder, especially a black body with a lot of wear!  I’m now of the opinion that it’s the most beautiful camera in the world, or at least the most beautiful 35mm SLR.  And since my F Apollo’s Photomic finder was:
1) chrome, so not the original finder for a black body
2) far too early to be paired with a post-1972 Apollo body anyway
3) non-functional
4) ugly
I decided it was time to get something much sleeker, lighter, and better-looking, hence:


(I actually bought one in mint condition first but it just looked too new for the rest of the camera)

Now all the beautiful brassing can be appreciated more!  This camera as it looks above is what I’ve been shooting nearly all of 2020 for my photo project.  This thing has already taken a beating over the last half a century so I’m less careful about where I take it and how gently I treat it; every ding is a story and if this camera could talk I’d buy it drinks all night to hear its history.  I’ve never been one to buy camera equipment purely on aesthetics alone but I confess it’s happening more now that I’ve been delving into the Nikon system.  This finder came with the chrome-bodied F in the picture below:


(and the system has continued to grow with more lenses as well)

Not pictured: my original F2A which is taking the picture sporting the 55mm AI-s Micro-Nikkor. I suppose that using one camera means it can’t be in the picture so I’ve yet to get a complete family portrait but since I shot about 5 rolls of color film around September/October, I would keep Black&White in the F and color in the F2.


(I’m not going to add any more tags, but this one’s Fuji Superia 200, for completeness’ sake)

I was also generously given a chrome DE-1 prism finder recently, which has now gone on my chrome F2 (the DP-1 finder wasn’t working; it seems to be a common failing). The chrome F prism finder came off a parts body I bought cheap. I suppose Nikon should be commended for the foresight to have removable finders as it allowed for continuous upgrades of the F from 1959 to 1968.  And of course over the course of the last 50+ years the electronics on those old finders have a pretty high failure rate, so the people who bought the prism finder now appear far-sighted as well as more ballsy.  Now that people are catching on though, their prices keep going up.  But besides the lens, the right finder is an accessory that I’ll go out of my way to find.  I’ve also acquired film doors, soft-shutter releases, focusing screens, finder eyepieces, finder covers, filters, a speedlight setup, the possibilities and combinations seem endless for creating just what I need to shoot on any given day.  For the photographer with a bad case of GAS, a job, and money to “invest” in new equipment, Nikon’s F system always had something else he didn’t have yet.

In fact from talking to people online it would appear that the common definition of a “professional camera” is one with removable/interchangeable finders.  I’m definitely a fan of the non-metered prism finders, as they’re lighter and just look better.  I shoot primarily Tri-X and know it well enough that Sunny-16 doesn’t bother me, though I should probably get a good handheld meter at some point.  Hmmmm, something else to buy…

Peak construction, Pt.III (in color)

I heard recently that the old summit house on Pike’s Peak has been closed “indefinitely,” though I think they mean permanently because they’ve been working on tearing it down.  The new summit house has is supposed to be finished by the end of Spring.  I knew this was coming so I was taking as many pictures of the old place whenever I got the chance.

Part I is here; you didn’t miss Part II, it is all black & white and has yet to be developed; chronologically though I shot all that stuff before this, which was in part to retest my F Apollo’s shutter after leaving it cocked overnight, plus putting nearly a whole roll through the chrome F2 that I picked up around the same time.

I hope that the pictures are useful someday and I already miss what the place used to be.  As more and more people come to the 2nd most-visited mountain in the world the more sanitized and Disneyfied it’s become, to be more palatable to the lowest common denominator of consumers.  Now I’m seeing a lot of railings and walkways, pavement, fences, guardrails: things demanded by poor drivers and idiots to make them feel safer.  By the time the construction is finished I fear there will be nothing left of the natural mountain.

Mule deer procession

This is the road my mom’s house is on; I was just getting off work for the day and had been testing out (in order): my black F Apollo, a chrome F, and a chrome F2 Photomic (I’ve been building up the system).  I had moved on to my black F2A for the last few shots, and found an aspen tree on my mom’s road that had turned a dark red (rather rare, though I saw more this year than ever before); the sun was setting and I just happened to be there at the perfect time for the sun to light up the leaves.  I also happened to be there at the perfect time to see a family of mule deer cross the road:

Perhaps you remember from an earlier post just how friendly the deer can be around here?  Well they didn’t come right up to me and say hello but they certainly didn’t give me a second thought even though I was probably 6-8 feet away from them when I shot this series.

One for the peepers

I think I saw more red-colored aspen trees this year than previously and I believe it’s something to do with the amount of rain if I’m not mistaken.  Before this I shot two rolls of slide film in my new F2A, which I will get around to developing eventually.  So this color is a little bit past its top level but still pretty good.  I shot maybe 40 rolls of black & white in 2020 (plus 4×5 sheets as well) and maybe 5 rolls of color, all around September/October.

(that last one is currently my desktop background)

This is my first roll of Ektar 100 in nearly 4 years; for some reason I’ve just never really clicked with this film but I’m still willing to give it a chance every once in a while.  I hope that I’ll get it eventually but as far as Kodak color film goes I think I’m going to like Ektachrome 100 more and even Gold 200 has done better for me in the past.  I suppose that Ektar will really shine in medium format and as I am in the process of moving that direction I will be giving Ektar 100 even more chances…