I was just getting the ball rolling at this stage, there weren’t too many things going on in January/February. The most important thing was to hit the ground running. I had to convince the class that my Cowboys & Jeeps project was worth it, but I did narrowly succeed.
The alternative was to revisit my personal project from the first time I took Adv.Photo, but I wanted something fun, and could shoot this project while working which was a big plus. I was shooting bulk rolls of Tri-X but it hadn’t come in yet so I pulled out my old bulk roll that expired 20 years ago.
Half these pictures are the result of my instructor suggesting that I make a series of pictures of coworkers off-duty, and that didn’t go over as well with the class so I promptly dropped the idea. Of the rest are a picture when my cousins came to visit as well as a few from Garden of the Gods’ annual bighorn sheep day. It took some time to really home in on what this project would become but there are a few seeds in one or two of the pictures.
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.
What I used during Advanced Photo. I pulled out my old bulk roll of Tri-X that expired two decades ago, last time I used it was 3 years ago, but it did come in handy allowing me to shoot ASAP while waiting for my new bulk roll to come in. It wasn’t the case until recently, but thankfully shooting 100ft bulk rolls of film is back to being an affordable price.
Boxes and cans, 20 years apart.
In fact, I ended up buying another 100ft roll which got used up the first week in June.
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.
…and in with the reliable. Just look at that old piece of crap: my mom bought me this officially-branded Chicago Blackhawks duffel bag when I was about ten years old, so I’ve had it more than two-thirds of my life. It carried my clothes to sleepovers way back when, to film festivals in Colorado, and housesitting jobs as recently as last month; it got a lot of love along the way. After 20+ years it’s finally getting retired in favor of a BAD Bags #3 duffel/backpack hybrid.
It’s a pretty important investment for me because I’m flying to Ohio towards the end of March and I’m sick of borrowing my mom’s luggage. I certainly couldn’t take the Blackhawks bag with holes everywhere and no working zipper…
I was helping my mom rearrange some things in her house and came across a roll of film that had been in a basket just lying around the house. I thought it might have been a roll that I shot when I first moved to Colorado, maybe a good 7-8 years old now, as I still have one roll unaccounted for. It turned out to be something much more precious:
This was our home in Ohio which we had to sell back in 2002 which means that these pics are at least 15 years old, and judging by the way my brother looks, are probably closer to 20. While mostly different angles of the front of our house, I also managed to capture our dog Pinto that my mom brought out to Colorado, and who sadly didn’t survive long after that. Also in the background is a straw barn that we spent many an afternoon playing in back in the day. These were taken by me, with my Kodak Cameo Focus Free point & shoot camera, picked up at a thrift store at some point and probably still in my top drawer in the chest at my dad’s.
I bumped up the contrast a bit but that was all, and am pretty impressed with how good the images held up, even if they do now look a bit vintage. Knowing from experience how reluctant people are to drop off old film at a camera store these days, I recently had a single-use camera processed for a friend of mine and they were at least this usable. If people you know have film lying around undeveloped, please encourage them to make a trip to their local camera store, or barring that, offer to do it for them: it’s a nice favor and can bring back some great memories.
The main event. A much more joyous occasion than two years ago, we met in Manassas, VA for my cousin’s wedding. He’s the last cousin to get married, which probably means my brother’s and my days are numbered…
At least we’ll be able to put them through a long plane flight like the ones I’ve had to endure the last few years!
The trial and error continues. Since last spring I’ve made it a point to shoot and get the hang of Ektar 100…it still hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight that skews the color temperature, or the fact that with a manual camera I’m not getting a proper exposure, or that I didn’t perform a whole lot of color correction in post. Whatever the reason, the unsatisfying results are just one more reason that I’ll shoot keep shooting the consumer-variety films.