Peak construction, Pt.III (in color)

I heard recently that the old summit house on Pike’s Peak has been closed “indefinitely,” though I think they mean permanently because they’ve been working on tearing it down.  The new summit house has is supposed to be finished by the end of Spring.  I knew this was coming so I was taking as many pictures of the old place whenever I got the chance.

Part I is here; you didn’t miss Part II, it is all black & white and has yet to be developed; chronologically though I shot all that stuff before this, which was in part to retest my F Apollo’s shutter after leaving it cocked overnight, plus putting nearly a whole roll through the chrome F2 that I picked up around the same time.

I hope that the pictures are useful someday and I already miss what the place used to be.  As more and more people come to the 2nd most-visited mountain in the world the more sanitized and Disneyfied it’s become, to be more palatable to the lowest common denominator of consumers.  Now I’m seeing a lot of railings and walkways, pavement, fences, guardrails: things demanded by poor drivers and idiots to make them feel safer.  By the time the construction is finished I fear there will be nothing left of the natural mountain.

Road to the Peak

Well actually this is the road from Pike’s Peak, but whatever.  This is the last view of the summit before reaching the toll gate in Cascade and Ute Pass.

2020 was an exceptionally dry and hazy Summer/Fall with quite a lot of forest fires, you can see that here with the amount of smoke in the air.

Dogs I have lived with

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Pinto and his brother Malachi were puppies we got from our friends the Beards, I think back in 1995 or so.  Malachi died rather young being hit by a car, but we had Pinto for a long time.  Pinto was supposed be named Mordechai (see the Biblical references there?) but due to my brother’s speech impediment and the fact that he was his dog, we went for something more obvious, either a pinto pony or pinto bean.  Personally I think he had more in common with the bean.  My mom took him with her when she moved out to Colorado in 2006 and he died about a year later.


ca. 2006 with my mom’s digital camera

My mom’s next dog she named Mr. Snerdly, however I refused to call him that.  He was The Snerd. I wouldn’t say I don’t have any bad memories of him, but he’s the least annoying dog I’ve ever known.  My mom had to put him to sleep just last year, and it was hard on her.


ca. 2017, Fujicolor 200 in the SPII

Scarlett was one of my mom’s best friend’s dogs.  They keep getting more dogs and Scarlett was old and cranky about it, so my mom took her.  She was a real escape artist, couldn’t be kept behind a fence no matter how tall it was.  They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but I got her to sit and shake my hand pretty easily: she couldn’t eat until she gave me her paw.  I was up there for a few weeks but didn’t ever take any pictures of her there; I thought about it right before I traveled to SW Colorado for a film festival, and decided to do it when I got back, by which time the dog was dead.  I took this pic at my mom’s friend’s house, the only one I have.


ca. 2016, Superia 400 in the SPII

When I lived in Colorado Springs back in 2017 Jake was my roommate’s dog.  Very old, and never that much trouble…if you could see him.  It turns out he had a very bad vice: he loved to eat books.  And not ratty old paperbacks, he’d go after the fine expensive hardcovers.  He got into my room several times to raid my bookshelves through no fault of mine, though thankfully my roommate replaced everything Jake destroyed.  Which included a photo book, one or two nice coffee table books, and a blu-ray set from the Criterion Collection.


ca. 2017, Double-X in the AE-1

Lucy is a dog belonging to friends of mine, I’ve known her for several years now, because I’ve housesat for my friends for a few years now.  She would bark at something late at night or early in the morning, waking me up so that I’d have to go yell at her.  Point of interest: it takes me quite a long time to get back to sleep once I’ve woken up.  I seemed to have broken her of that, but she plays up to her fanbase by barking when her owners are home and of course they don’t seem to care as much as they should.  I rented their downstairs for over a year but that ended when they moved to Nebraska; I can’t say I’ll miss all the barking.


ca. 2018, Kodak Gold 200 in the SPII

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Why I love Fuji Superia

This is my favorite product coming out of Japan, over even Nintendo or Studio Ghibli.  It may just be a cheap consumer film to a lot of people, but the colors it gives me are just fantastic.  That affordability really is an asset to me, especially when I was just starting to shoot film.  I had no job, no money, and I really took my time with my shots.  It was a great way to learn, but I’m glad I was paying $2-3 a roll instead of $10.  One of the bargain marts down in Colorado Springs used to get expired Superia in from time to time so that really helped me out, and it’s readily available at Wal-Mart as well, in 4-packs that might have gone up in price a bit, but still don’t break the bank.

Using this film almost exclusively for my first 3 years as a photographer, in a lot of ways I grew up with it.  I certainly cut my teeth on it, I learned more about film using Superia than I did in my photography class with Tri-X.  I’ve used it indoors, outdoors, in all different kinds of weather, overexposed, underexposed.  The results I’ve got just make me so pleased.  In saying why I love Superia so much it could almost be why I love the Takumar lens so much as well.  I counted: there are exactly 3 shots down below that are taken on a non-Pentax camera and lens.  I’ve read on other sites about alchemy as pertaining to film, and I can say without a doubt that I believe every word, because I found it here with the combination of Pentax’s SMC lenses and this film.  It’s how I create gold.

A few months back I came across this post from Cinestill regarding a comparison test between 800T, Fuji Pro400H, Portra 800, and Fuji Superia 800.  I was a bit surprised to see Superia on that list, it didn’t strike me as a film that pros would fall back on (maybe they used it after Fuji discontinued Pro800Z).  Looking at the results, it’s obvious that Cinestill 800T comes in first, but what came in second?  That’s right, according to their test, Superia 800 comes out looking better than either Pro400H or Portra 800.  i was so proud to see my beloved Superia perform so well compared to films that cost 2-3 times as much.

Superia 400 (as well as Reala) was originally available in 120 size as well, a fact I only found out after Fujifilm discontinued it, sadly.  I’ll bet it looked wonderful in medium format, but there doesn’t seem to be many examples posted on the net.  Other products in the Superia line that have recently been axed are a 1600 speed film and Reala 100.  Back in the day there was also a line called Fujicolor Press that was really just Superia that had been cold-stored since its manufacture, and they say it gave some really vivid colors.  It’s really sad to see the line dwindling, and sometimes I wonder just how long Fuji’s going to keep making film at all.  The only new film Fuji’s come out with lately has been Natura 1600 which I have yet to try.  Hopefully Fuji’s stabilized enough that they’ll start adding new films now, not taking away the classics.

I’ve used all four variants of Fuji’s consumer film line, Fujicolor 200, and Superia 200, 400, and 800.  Below are examples of all of them in no particular order.  They’re all great, so enjoy this collection of my favorite shots taken with this wonderful line of films:

Well done, Fujfilm.  Long may this film be made.