My first shot shooting and developing 4×5 film was disastrous in just about every way. But there was one reasonable success:
My classmate Caleb
Everything else looks pretty terrible and I’m embarrassed to show it to you, but that’s never stopped me yet. So here’s an example of what most of the shots looked like.
Peak construction going strong with the Cog Railway torn up
I anticipated that the other 3 students would go the route of the cheapest film they could buy and they didn’t disappoint me, it was Arista and Fomapan until te very end. Looking around, I saw that 50-sheet boxes of Bergger Pancro 400 were nearly as affordable, I wanted to try something different, and I knew that our photo instructor Stacy is a big fan of Bergger paper. I’m sure this film is great once you know how to work with it and from my research a lot of people were recommending to shoot it at ASA200, that coupled with the outdated times for BRF200 being the only information to build off, helped with some funky results, but also I can’t say I’m a big fan of the Yankee Agitank and shooting large format on top of Pike’s Peak has plagued me with problems every time I’ve gone up.
Cast of characters from the Cowboys & Jeeps days, early on in my career as a rough and ready tour guide. Some of these jokers are still with us, others have moved on or are currently convalescing.
Again these are cropped to a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, Nicholas Coyle Film & Video scanned the film for me in 5K. These are right out of the box HDR scans with a one-light pass. Next step will be to get into DaVinci Resolve and color grade everything, though I still have 11 rolls of Super 8 from 2018 that I have yet to get processed and scanned. There are still many interviews yet to conduct, and everything was shot silent so I need to get a lot of sound effects also. This documentary is taking a lot longer than my last film; I suppose I want it to be a worthy successor.
Pike’s Peak is working on a new donut shop that was supposed to be finished around the same time as the new Cog Railway. It looks that the new summit house will be finished first, though who knows. Here are a selection of shots that I took Summer 2019 as a documentation of the ongoing work. (And yes I know I have some shutter problems)
40 rolls, to be exact, all Tri-X. It was an incredibly productive Summer last year, and half the reason I took the 4×5 class in the Fall was so I could develop all that film for free in the university darkroom! And then of course I have to scan it and thank God for the Pakon: it paid for itself twice over in money and time with just that one batch of negatives.
So as far as photo projects go I’m reminded of something our photo instructor Stacy had us read: The Helsinki Bus Station Theory which I’m sure I’ve posted before. Hopefully I’ve stayed on the bus long enough to start making something unique, and this is where all my best shots are; I was ramping up quite a bit the second half of Spring ’19 and as you can see my output was steady for months there, as it has been this Summer as well.
As far as all the pictures that I took over last Summer, I usually digitally process every one of them and show them to my photo instructor Stacy, but getting involved with 4×5 for the subsequent semester and now COVID-19 has kept me from doing that (also I procrastinated). I don’t consider myself the best editor of my own work and there have been many times in the past that I’ve had a shot that the class has liked, I’ve overlooked, and it then waits until the end of the project to be seen. That’s why I have an entire collection of shots that didn’t get used for one critique; sometimes they end up being favorites of the class.
Between last Summer and this one I think I’m at 75 rolls of Tri-X total, with 35 of them awaiting development, as well as processing and editing. The work continues…
Bugs, birds, sheep, hotshots, and old vehicles. These are some of my favorite shots of the Super 8 footage I took 3 years ago now. As much as I talk about film photography being affordable, I have to admit that motion picture film expenses can pile up quickly, even when shopping around for the best price. In 2017 I shot 15 rolls of super 8, but never set aside money to get everything developed and scanned, so it’s been sitting in my mom’s freezer for the last 3 years. What else was I spending my money on back then? Film festivals, I suppose. I still have 11 rolls from 2018 that I haven’t sent off for processing yet; I was planning on making a documentary but put that all on hold to concentrate on photo project stuff instead. Now I’m taking the time to get all my footage in shape so I can decide how to proceed on the documentary front.
Shout out to Nicholas Coyle Film & Video for the incredible 5K scans, I’m using up all the campaign contributions I made with this documentary project. I cropped to a 1.66:1 ratio, but nothing has been color/contrast graded yet. that will take considerably more time I’m sure. Nick told me the film was a bit fogged, understandable considering how long it’s been in my mom’s freezer.