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.

Dip-and-dunk E6 processing in Colorado

On the first day back in the darkroom, our instructor mentioned that one of the last places doing dip-and-dunk processing was based in Denver.  Evidently dip-and-dunk is gentler on your film and causes less scratches/wear and tear on your film; especially important if an image is going to a gallery, you’d not want scratches on your negatives/positives from the development.  I guess this is also more of a thing for E6 processing, from my research.  And speaking of research…as far as the state of photochemical imaging in Colorado, it turns out that we’re doing alright, because I found three places here that have dip-and-dunk processing!

-Digigraphics (Fort Collins)
-Mike’s Camera (Boulder)
-Digital Imaging Center (Denver)

I’ve always sent my slide film to Mike’s, because they have several stores around the state, one in Colorado Springs, and I’m able to drop off film there and take advantage of their courier service to have my slide film developed at their Boulder store.  Much easier than mailing it out.

Blue Frame in Garden of the Gods

For all the idiots that needed to be told where the view was, the City of Colorado Springs installed a big blue frame in Garden of the Gods, and thank God it didn’t last long.  This happened December 2017, here are a few news stories from back then:

https://gazette.com/garden-of-the-gods-framed-sparking-controversy/article_be1a55a7-11d7-596f-b009-a3a43b3ed1af.html

https://www.fox21news.com/news/local/people-respond-to-garden-of-the-gods-picture-frame-with-online-petition-mock-sign/882508118

https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/all-you-need-to-frame-our-city-is-a-camera/Content?oid=9377689

This happened at High Point where I take people for pictures if there is time and space.  I remember for weeks before there being some construction going on, they had cones and the area roped off.  This particular rock and parking lot are popular for wedding ceremonies, though I saw a few that were forced to go other places because of the construction.  Then the hideous monstrosity appeared one day much to my and everyone else’s horror.  Tourists of course, don’t care about such things because they don’t have to live with it, but to the people of Colorado Springs it was a slap in the face and collectively they had one reaction:

I’m happy to say that it was only there for a week or two and I just had to deal with it a few times.  I always made sure to step as close to the frame as I could when taking pictures so the damn thing wasn’t in it.

Whiskey tasting

My friend Cam had his 40th birthday party at our local Black Bear Distillery, in Green Mountain Falls, being about halfway between our town and Colorado Springs.  I’ve been keeping track of these guys since about the time that they had a website and Facebook page (before they started producing spirit), and though they’ve been open for business and open for tours for a while, the timing was never right to visit myself, until now.  As an aside, most of the people in these pictures go to my church; the owner of the distillery goes to a church just down the street from us.

The Black Bear Restaurant dates back to the late ’30s (was called Pike’s Pub & Grill for a long time) and the current owner was operating the restaurant until a few years back, I don’t know exactly why the restaurant closed but I’m happy to have a distillery now.  The manager took us through the history of the building (including ghost stories) as well as giving us the low-down on modern “moonshine,” and why theirs is better/more authentic.  And considering it’s owned by a 4th generation North Carolina moonshiner I’ll take their word for it.  I think the first bottle I ever bought from them was their Craft Shine Reserve (no longer offered) but the only one I would (and have) actively looked for is their Irish-style whiskey.  It has a quite salient corn flavor compared to Irish whiskey, though evidently it’s about 80% barley.  I asked about the possibility of a single malt, and evidently they’ve been trying but they haven’t found a way to age it properly in the Colorado climate.  A Straight Boubon is in the works though!  I’m pretty excited for that.  They get their grain from the Colorado Malting Co. in Alamosa, and do the rest of the process in-house, which is always great to hear.  I remember reading their original plans where they were going to soak the barley in the stream, grind it with two reclaimed millstones run by a pack of donkeys…sadly the residents of GMF weren’t too thrilled about that part of the operation.

I shot a roll of Tri-X pushing two stops but it was pretty dark in there, and I could have benefited from either more light or a faster film.  Not feeling quite confident to push Tri-X to 3200 or beyond I decided to shoot at 1/30 second throughout.  The Yellow 50 made it possible, though at f/1.4 its depth of field isn’t the largest.  I keep thinking about one of the Tomioka f/1.2 lenses except they cost about a grand…that’s a lot of money for an extra half-stop.  Since I’m retaking Advanced Photo I’m developing my own black & white film again, using the Sprint chemistry and I think this is the first time pushing film with Sprint (at 75F as I thought the fewer agitations would keep the grain under control).  I’m pretty happy with the results, though I intend to experiment with pushing Tri-X to 3200 and beyond, probably with Caffenol.

Color negative film in the Trip 35

I’ve shot color film in the Trip before, but it was always slide film.  I was a bit afraid that the lens wouldn’t be contrasty enough for color negative film, remembering my experiment with the Leitz Summarit.  But I went ahead and risked a $3 roll of Gold 200, and I’m glad I did, because I think these pictures look pretty nice.

So main point to take away?  You won’t know what works until you try.  And now I know that the Olympus Trip 35 is a more versatile camera than I had originally imagined.  I can shoot damn near anything in it and be happy with the results.