Eastman House

I honestly didn’t shoot that much, I was so busy just looking around.  This was one of the places I’d been wanting to check out since I found out the next Blackburn Reunion would be near Rochester.  Just standing in the same rooms that the Great Man stood, walking where he walked, it was special.

Compared to the McMansions that are made today and some of the places I’ve seen Eastman’s house seems modest, even austere in a way.  But one thing that I was aware of is that everything is of top quality.  There were some very nice grounds with flowers and at least one pond, but I enjoyed the grape vines more, at least they’re something useful.  I tasted one too, they’re way too sour.  Besides that the only souvenir I took was an acorn that fell from one of the oak trees in his front yard.  Everything else has a bit of significance too: a long exposure in the camera obscura, a mirror selfie in Eastman’s study, the nitrate archive, and Eastman’s love of music (wouldn’t let me get close enough to the pipe organ).  Probably these pictures aren’t very interesting to anyone but me, that’s ok.  If you’re in Rochester and you love shooting on film, go make your own pictures there.  Just don’t buy a roll of film in their gift shop, it’s outrageously expensive.

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Canandaigua Lake

Putting the Weathermatic through its paces once again.  So far all our college reunion trips have included water, so it’s in my camera bag on the majority of my trips.  Actually the first three shots were Cinestill 800T from the SPII but I thought they kept closely enough to the nautical theme.

When I visited the Eastman House, I bought a roll of T-Max 400 at the gift shop just I could shoot it in New York.  It cost me $12 (for a 24 exposure roll), and I won’t be doing that again.

Blackburn Reunion 2018, Pt.II

Part II: with the Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35, which I had along ostensibly to use on the water, but which also came handy for other snapshots when occasioned.  Starting with a roll of Kodak Gold 200, then a roll of T-Max 400.

That roll of T-Max cost me $12.00 or so at the Eastman House gift shop (for a 24exp roll).  I’ll never let myself get ripped of like that again, but I felt I wanted to at least buy one roll from there while I was in Upstate New York.  One day we were visiting different wineries around the Finger Lakes

Blackburn Reunion 2018, Pt.I

Every couple of years my college buddies get together around Labor Day Weekend to hang out.  This year we stayed at the house of one of our uncles, on Canandaigua Lake in Upstate New York.  I miss this area quite a lot, we spent some time here when I was a boy and it was great to make it back to such a beautiful spot.  There was some hanging around as you can see, board games, lots of meals, generally stuff that we did together when we all lived in Columbus.  Flying into Rochester, NY and staying around the Finger Lakes I of course left all my Fujifilm stocks at home.

The roll of Cinestill 800T was downright ancient, I think I’d had it in my fridge for almost four years and it looks rather grainy.  It’s also the first roll I’d shot in a while and I did shoot it outside now and again, with my orange filter.  That worked better than the first time I tried.  Strangely, I had to work with the indoor shots much more to find an acceptable color temperature (not my strong suit).  I was anticipating some late nights in near-darkness and the T-Max 3200 definitely came through for me there, this is the second roll of the stuff that I’ve shot.  One of my goals was to take a good portrait of each of my friends, though there was some resistance to that.  I got a pretty good shot of most everybody (and they even turned the camera on me once or twice too).  I also tried a cigar for the first time ever and puked my guts out about half an hour later (then it became a true college party); ironic that one of my buddies had mentioned earlier that he never took whisky and cigars together for just that reason, and I had to learn the hard way too…power of suggestion?

The T-Max 3200 was bought last year (in an order from Cinestill).  I think I’m acquiring a bit of a taste for this film: the grain is certainly pronounced (in fact compare it to the last time I pushed Tri-X to 1600), but I love the moodiness that it gives the pictures.  In fact next time we get together I might just keep it all black & white because I’m a bigger fan of that roll of 3200 than anything else I shot.  Then I could roll out the f/1.4 Yellow 50; this time I knew I wanted to shoot some Cinestill 800T so I brought out the 1.8/55 SMC Takumar.

So is the 3200 really any better than pushing Tri-X to 3200?  I honestly don’t know, I’ve only pushed Tri-X to 1600.  I have heard that the results can be a bit unpredictable to go beyond 1600, but then perhaps I should put that to the test myself.  Or maybe look at T-Max 3200 shot at 1600, to compare the grain.  It does look very grainy, more than I would have thought.  Where does the T-grain have its limitations?  The outside night shots here were T-Max 400 shot at 3200; it might not be the most scientific comparison, but I don’t see much difference.

Dinosaur bones

The Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, CO is one of the top 3 paleontology research centers in the country, and I’m glad to have it so close to me.  It actually took my cousin’s family coming to visit for me to check it out myself.  Being on the Front Range where there was so much uplift, it’s been a good place to find so many fossils.  As far as they’re telling us, there used to be many sites in Colorado that paleontologists were digging them up, but at the moment it’s only in Colorado Springs.

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Lineworkers’ Rodeo

The 2019 APPA Lineworkers’ Rodeo was held in Colorado Springs at Rock Ledge Ranch  just outside of Garden of the Gods.  When Colorado Springs Utilities was erecting all these telephone poles I had no idea what was going on so when people would ask I’d tell them they were building a UFO observation platform to compete with Alamosa’s.  Despite the attire of the people, it really wasn’t that cold out…

I shot this for my Adv.Photo project but ultimately it was decided that it wasn’t thematically in keeping with what I’d already done.  Still, there were seven or eight images that my instructor liked a lot; I’ve included a few more.

Field trip to Denver

Denver’s Month of Photography is March of every odd-numbered year, so of course it took us until April to get up there.  Lots of galleries and exhibitions, as well as a side-trip to a bookstore, and the Rockmount Ranch Wear storefront.

 

Something happened when developing this film, and I’m not exactly sure what.  Either I got the ratio of the developer wrong, or the temperature/time was over what I thought (or both).  Either way the highlights are waaaay overdeveloped and the negatives are extremely contrasty.  edit: it turns out that some idiot had set out a box of print developer, not film developer.  I didn’t catch it until after it was too late but also didn’t remember if the Sprint chemistry was different between print and film developers.  Now I’ll always look before pouring some out just in case the darkroom tech has another idiot moment.

I suppose using TLX Client Demo and some inversion software I could have gotten better scans; PSI’s contrast adjustment maxes out at -40 it would seem, and I regularly use -30 contrast for well-exposed and developed black & white film.  I did what I could but I’m not a Photoshop miracle worker.  Worse still, I developed 5 rolls total, all in the big tank and while they’re not ruined, none of them look ideal.  I’ll be wet printing for the final/exhibition and hopefully a 00 or 0 filter will tame the contrast enough!  I suppose this is my punishment for digitally printing all my workprints, sacrilege I’m sure…