TBD

To be developed: ~40+ rolls of Tri-X (shot starting May 2020), 16 sheets 4×5 film (shot March 2020 or so), a couple rolls of E6 (shot October 2020), some random stuff I haven’t sent out yet like Rerapan (shot sometime in 2020), plus about 16 rolls of Super 8, which I did in fact send off recently (shot back in Summer 2018).

Much to get to.  The black & white will take the longest because it’s pretty expensive unless I do it myself and I need to wait to get back into the school darkroom…

All this equipment…Tri-X edition

Shooting a couple rolls of Super 8 film back in April 2020 during lockdown.  So here is the time delay between the immediacy of the digital camera on my phone and getting film developed, getting around to scanning it, and finally getting to the order in the queue.  But hopefully it was worth the wait!

It was more to test out my cameras than anything, but if I put my mind to it I might be able to turn it all into an “experimental” short.

Well, we’re saved after all.

Alright it looks like things are back to normal…a bit.  It looks like I have to go through pretty much every page though and modify things.  So I’ll start doing that.  It might take a while but it looks like the site will still have the functionality it had.  I hate the new WP editor and do everything in the Classic Editor.  If that wasn’t around I would have abandoned WordPress long ago.  But basically I just have to go into every published (and non-published) post and change one setting:

Any more work and I don’t know if I would have kept the site, I would have started over and gone to a different platform, most likely.  As it is, it would appear that instead of having 4GB for images like when I signed up, I now have only 3GB, and I’m at 80% of that.  What happens afterward, I’m not sure…I might try monetization to see if there is enough income to pay for the site’s maintenance.  But it all reminds me of a famous quote by our favorite villain:

That’s right, Uncle Sam, keep on pushing the American People…

Standby…

It would seem that this old WordPress Theme (Twenty Eleven) might have finally become unusable…I suppose it was old when I started the blog back in 2014 so there’s no surprise there.  All my pages links are still there though they only show up when you move a cursor over them, this was annoying but still workable, but now it seems that clicking on a picture no longer brings up a slideshow which is difficult to deal with.  So enjoy the old look while it lasts, this could be the end of it:

I’ll go on a hunt for a new theme now…

edit: and my other question is…is the theme the problem or do slideshows now not work?  Either way I’m a bit frustrated!

Workflow adjustments and Fall colors

It’s a time of change for me: I’m examining workflow which has been stilted since COVID started; I haven’t even edited any photos in almost a year now but there’s been such a backlog it hasn’t been a problem.  My old way was to scan everything on the Pakon, export to TIFF and stick it on a flash drive, then take it down to school the next time I was there and use their computers and copy of Adobe Photoshop CS6 to adjust contrast/exposure until I got what I wanted.  Now with color negative there wasn’t a whole lot to do, the Pakon’s color profiles are fantastic, so I’d generally accept the JPG output, resize it, watermark it, and call it a day.

With the lockdown and finishing up of all photo classes I haven’t been down there, and the only option I had was to use Photoshop 7 that was installed on my WinXP machine I use hooked up to the Pakon.  I have a Win7 laptop but its display is a bit off as is the monitor on the WinXP machine; I have a few rolls of black & white that I’ve had developed and didn’t want to do anything with them until I had a chance to really set everything correctly, but I finally scanned 3 rolls of color negative and would have just posted them straight from the Pakon.  It would have been fine and they would have looked like this:

(that’s the old original watermark which is the only one I happened to have on my WinXP machine at the time)

However, thanks to being blessed with a new (to me) laptop, I feel comfortable with editing photos at home; this is a big change for me! It’s more powerful and seems to be pretty well calibrated in the screen department so I’m planning to dedicate this machine primarily to photo editing purposes.  I’m not about to pay money on a monthly basis to Adobe for a program that I can’t own so I’ve been exploring Photoshop alternatives.  Currently I’m using a free trial version of Affinity Photo which seems to be not too dissimilar.  It’s allowed me to tweak the levels, etc, while still keeping a very similar workflow.  Here are the results so far:

So a bit more contrast, somewhat darker, and I’m playing around with a few different watermarks: I think this is the new look of The Resurrected Camera.

This is Kodak Gold 200 exposed at ASA100 in 3 different Nikon bodies I picked up last year, I wanted to check out the 1/1000 shutter speeds to make sure that the shutter curtains were in sync.  I used an expired roll of film I bought years ago and color negative is the cheapest to develop; around $4.00 at my local camera store.  This also happened to coincide with the leaves changing in Fall so I ended up shooting several rolls of color around the end of September/beginning of October.  I generally don’t do much on the post-side of things, just adjust the curves to get proper contrast and light levels; I gave a general idea of this here.

Milestone reached: 400 followers

According to WordPress at least, which is keeping track of these things.  I was looking back through my followers list because I’m sure a lot of those followers are fake…the thing is, if they are I didn’t pay for them!  But there are some strange fake-sounding websites following me (and apologies if you are one of those, I appreciate it, it’s just bizarre).  A few recent followers have already deleted their profiles.  One girl has followed me with at least 4 different profiles; I can’t judge as I follow myself from my music website.  So thank you, everyone.  And I don’t know about all the people that used to blog and don’t anymore: so many dead links or abandoned sites.  Do these people really count as followers?  It’s not like I get 400 likes every time I post something, it’s more like 5-10 most of the time, but thank you to those people who at least let me know they read it!

Also thank you to Chuck the Writer for linking to my latest post every Saturday without fail.  I don’t know who you are and we’ve never communicated but I appreciate you!  Knowing that Chuck will want something new to link to keeps me making at least one post a week and I’ll tell you all that without his silent acceptance things here would probably a bit more haphazard.  Thanks to Jim Grey who likes my stuff too and whatever he might think is pretty influential.  We’ve had some great conversations online and I’d like to think that you’re a friend, even if we’ve never met.

So let’s get truthful for a moment: I don’t make this blog for any of you.  I make it for myself.  And that’s the only way I know how to do it.  I make it because after I took Intro to Photography I felt the need to share my output beyond my immediate circle of friends on Facebook.  I feel a lot of the time like I’m in a vacuum and I’m just speaking to myself; I suppose that’s the way I want it but at the same time I couldn’t say that I don’t crave acceptance.  But thanks to all those out there who read even if they never comment or like, thanks for checking out my little corner here.  I recently conversed with someone on a Facebook group who had heard of my blog and liked my writing style.  Granted we have the same interests but I’m still happy it’s reaching people.

So keep reading and I’ll keep musing.  I do think that eventually I will run out of steam and I wouldn’t say that The Resurrected Camera has an infinite lifespan, but I don’t plan on erasing all that I’ve built here.  I hope that after my current photo project is wrapped up that I can take everything in a new direction but no promises that I will be nearly as prolific.

Scanning a whole summer’s worth of film

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…

Happy to have been selected

Last week I was browsing my Facebook feed and saw that Kodak Professional shared a collection of images, among them one of mine:
https://www.facebook.com/kodakprofessional/posts/3510806662270982
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=3510806662270982&id=203851912966490


(Specifically this one, from “It’s growing on me”)

It’s always nice to see my name acknowledged in Kodak’s social media!  Especially since it’s the first time it’s happened.  This is my official entry for the banner competition in the Kodak Film Photographers group.  Small-time I suppose, but I’m grateful for the acknowledgment.

(I’m gonna be showing this off like a proud mom)

I suppose this is a good example of “Your camera doesn’t matter.”  I tried to have this conversation with a high school photography student a couple days ago too, when she was talking about her equipment, but this says it so much better.  Here’s a photo I took on a $3 roll of consumer film I picked up at my local grocery store, shot through a Pentax body that I paid $5 for at a garage sale, mounting a $25 lens from ebay.  So never mind not having the top-of-the-line equipment, use what you have and stop making excuses.  There will be plenty of time down the road for you to grow into something else, if you tell yourself you can’t do anything now because you don’t have the right equipment you’ll never even get started.

A shout out to Nicholas Coyle Film and Video

When I was originally compiling my list of best prices for buying/processing/scanning super 8 film, Nicholas Coyle reached out to me on Facebook and let me know about his scanning house prices which are still the best I’ve found for a 2K scan, and I just used him myself for the first time.  He’s about to be the best price for a 4K scan.

We’ve been in touch for about a year and a half so I knew this was coming: he’s finally upgrading to a Lasergraphics 6.5K Scanstation and is running a special crowdfunding campaign to help with expenses.  So if you were waiting for the right time to get some film scanned, there will never be a better one.  $50 for 3 rolls of super 8, or $100 for 6, or $200 for 12, or $400 for 24: that comes out to $16.67 per roll for a 4K/6.5K flat scan; if you just want to scan 1 roll it’s $15:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-preserve-super8-8mm-16mm-and-35mm-at-6-5k#/

Once he’s up and running the price goes up slightly but I like how it’s tiered: $15 for 2K/3K flat scan (the larger file if you’re want an overscan instead of cropped), $20 for 4K/6.5K, and then $5 more for a one-light transfer, $10 more for a best-light transfer.  Simple and still incredibly affordable compared to the competition: FPP comes close with 4K scans for $35 but there is no information on what the scans will look like, if they’re flat or color-corrected, things of that sort.  At least Coyle’s information is all out in the open and also shipping from him to me is incredibly cheap; he’s only 2 hours away from me.

I already chatted with him so the scanner is coming one way or another in the next couple months, the campaign is to help him pay off some of his initial expenses.  So please consider supporting him, as the price will be hard to beat.  I plan on using Coyle to scan all my film from now on.  Here are a few recent scans:

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I don’t dance but I learned the Nikon Shuffle

Because I just happened to find a camera that requires it, at a thrift store, for 1/8 the price that the F2 had cost me.  Had I waited another day I might have gotten it for half off, but then again someone might have snatched it up before me.  A bird in the hand, right?

The Nikon F Apollo (the meter doesn’t work but hey, the shutter speeds are “surprisingly accurate” according to my guy at Cameraworks when he checked it out).  So a camera that can at least do Sunny-16, this will make a good backup/secondary body for the time being.  And once again, I’m not doing the Nikon Shuffle.  As a bonus it came with a (very dirty and scratched) pre-AI 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor-SC lens.  I suppose that if I wanted to put the money into it, I could buy a working Photomic finder (it’ll cost me nearly twice as much as I’m into it for right now) and send the whole thing out for a CLA.  I’ll definitely do a CLA at some point, I hear that Cameraquest is the go-to for the Nikon F.

I found this camera about two weeks after I put my F2A on layaway so I was already committed to the Nikon system, but this is officially the first fully professional camera that I’ve ever shot.  Ironically (or maybe not), I used it as a hammer before I ever put a roll of film through it.  Not too different from the Uzi as it’s a bit “loose” in some of its parts but the manufacturing tolerances are such that it just works.  I felt the same thing about this Nikon F: there’s quite a bit of play in the finder, winding lever, and film door, so I shot a few tests to confirm that it is in fact still light-tight.  And considering that the shutter speeds are still accurate after God knows how long since its last CLA, I have to say that I’m pretty damn impressed.

So now that I’ve handled both for months and shot rolls through them what do I think?  As you might imagine there’s not a whole lot of difference between them, they’re both solidly built fine pieces of machinery, and just look at the picture to see how similar they are.  But I will say: everything that the F did the F2 does better.  It’s a refined design in every way, from the placement of the shutter release, the improved mirror lockup, the faster shutter speed, the swing-out film door, the light meter switch, light meter sensitivity.  I’ve seen a bit of discussion online about the F vs. the F2 and really there’s no reason to choose the original F…unless you happen to find a screaming deal on one like I did.

The one advantage that this camera has for me over my F2 is its look. It might be more evident if these were color photos but this F has some beautiful brassing on nearly every corner.  These two Nikons aren’t the first black cameras I’ve had but this is the first where I’ve paid attention to the patina, evidently it’s something very much desired.  I don’t think much of people who pay to get a camera looking like this (and I’ve seen it done a few times) but I’m happy to inherit its bumps and bruises.  While the F2 looks nearly pristine it’s very obvious that this F has seen some history and if it could talk I’d buy it several drinks to hear what it’s seen.