On the ground at Garden of the Gods

I spend so much time on the road but wanted to get some shots from inside with a bunch of tourists.  Most of this was just a regular Thursday in the Summer, I missed out on getting 4th of July because it rained a lot of the afternoon.  I’ve been back a few times now but the crowds haven’t been there.

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Jeep tours 2017, Super 8 edition, Part I

Bugs, birds, sheep, hotshots, and old vehicles.  These are some of my favorite shots of the Super 8 footage I took 3 years ago now.  As much as I talk about  film photography being affordable, I have to admit that motion picture film expenses can pile up quickly, even when shopping around for the best price.  In 2017 I shot 15 rolls of super 8, but never set aside money to get everything developed and scanned, so it’s been sitting in my mom’s freezer for the last 3 years.  What else was I spending my money on back then?  Film festivals, I suppose.  I still have 11 rolls from 2018 that I haven’t sent off for processing yet; I was planning on making a documentary but put that all on hold to concentrate on photo project stuff instead.  Now I’m taking the time to get all my footage in shape so I can decide how to proceed on the documentary front.

Shout out to Nicholas Coyle Film & Video for the incredible 5K scans, I’m using up all the campaign contributions I made with this documentary project.  I cropped to a 1.66:1 ratio, but nothing has been color/contrast graded yet. that will take considerably more time I’m sure.  Nick told me the film was a bit fogged, understandable considering how long it’s been in my mom’s freezer.

Snow in Garden of the Gods

It’s been a hot week in Colorado, I hiked through the Garden just yesterday at about 80F; that reminded me of the last time I hiked through the Garden in February back when the weather was much colder.

I was scheduled for a tour that day but it got cancelled last minute due to weather.  As I was already on my way down to Colorado Springs, I took the opportunity to do something that I almost never do, take a hike through Garden of the Gods.  I usually see the park only from the road going around the outside.  Also while I was down there I took the opportunity to pick up a certain camera I’d had on layaway at Cameraworks.

As Colorado Springs has around 300 days of sunshine per year I like being able to see the park when it has something different to offer, like fog or snow.

These were taken on Ferrania P30 alpha shot at ASA50 developed in Sprint Standard for 7min at 70F (M) and I experimented with a single agitation every 15 seconds, though I don’t know what that accomplished.  I also shot a few still lifes (like cameras) and I am blown away with how little grain there is in this film, and how sharp it can be when used with my lovely Takumar lenses.  I suppose I could have used the Macro lens for these as well but shooting at ASA50 I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t need to keep the aperture open past f/4.

I also made sure to run a focus test with my Pakon scanner using this film as the template.  My theory is that it’s slightly thicker than other films and the scanner needs to be refocused or else the film won’t be sharp; that and I think the grain being so fine it’s hard to focus on it anyway.

Ferrania P30 in the Trip 35

Shot at ASA50, developed in Sprint at 70F for ~7min (M).  I can’t even remember how far back I shot this roll, maybe late 2017?  It sat in my freezer because I wanted to be able to give it a little more attention with hand-developing.  I still have 2 rolls left over from the Ferrania alpha run a few years ago now (maybe I should have ordered more when they were available but I missed that window).

With more film I’d want to try some of the D-96 Monobath as I have a feeling the film wouldn’t be as contrasty.  That said, there’s an incredible amount of detail there if the film is exposed properly.  There are several images in here where I burned in the sky quite heavily to get more cloud definition: not that I’m a master at dodging/burning but I have to say that they look relatively believable.

I shot this roll with the Olympus Trip 35, with the incredibly sharp 40mm f/2.8 lens.  Go ahead and find some grain in these shots.  In fact this was the last roll I shot in the Trip 35, the shutter seems to have seized up and I’m bummed about that.  The 1/40 second shutter speed caused some blurry shots on the ASA50 film, I suppose that was to be expected.  So does the Pakon have problems focusing for this film?  I think it does indeed have a thicker base and the grain is so small.  But I calibrated my Pakon when I took it out of storage (as I write this I just put it back in storage while I move) and I think there’s decent sharpness there, my own focusing errors notwithstanding.

In fact for a film that dates back to the late ’50s I couldn’t believe how little grain there is!  According to Ferrania they’re all caught up on repairs and making P30 again so I think I’ll buy another 5 rolls of this film when they start selling it.  It certainly isn’t going to replace Tri-X in being my everyday use film, but at ASA80 I wasn’t expecting it to, especially with the feeling-out that has been going on with developing.  Until then, I have 2 rolls left and I want to shoot those in the Spotmatic with the 50mm f/4 SMC Macro-Takumar.  If I ever needed to blow up a 35mm image to 20×24 or larger that’s the combination I’d use.

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.

Fog in Garden of the Gods

Colorado gets about 300 days of sunshine and is very dry, so something that is quite rare for us is foggy days.  It happened once before when I was driving tours through but I didn’t have my camera that day, this one I did; it was early October (last year) and this cloud was thick, heavy and hovered over Colorado Springs all day.

People that day weren’t very enthusiastic about tours, which gave me plenty of time to drive around the park myself and take pictures.

Post-CLA roll in the SPII

I used a roll of the AGFAPhoto-branded Fuji Provia, it seems to be what it’s for these days. The Spotmatic is metering well, for the most part!  I noticed that for some reason when I focused the lens one way, it metered one way and when I focused the other direction the meter read overexposed by a stop.  I had Cameraworks tighten a few things up and now it’s not doing this.  These are some of my favorite shots off that roll of film, that are well-exposed (and I feel better now that the lens works properly).

 

…At least the lens did work properly when I originally wrote this…it’s back to its old tricks now, so I guess the 1.8/55 could use a CLA too.

Trip 35 and color slides

Some of these go back to last fall, when I thought I’d try doing the tourist thing in my own town, but really just by snapping pics when I was supposed to be giving the tour.

I used an expired roll of AGFAPhoto Precisa CT 100 (aka Fuji Provia 100F) giving the Trip 35 the ultimate exposure test and I’m quite pleased that the selenium-powered autoexposure works perfectly fine, even after a period of 40-50 years.  I’m now starting to see that the Trip 35’s lens isn’t the most contrasty ever, especially when the sun sneaks behind the clouds, so I’m happy that I’ll be able to shoot slide film in here.

Armed with that knowledge I took the Trip 35 to Wales with me to shoot a few rolls of Velvia 100 and am very happy with the results (I’ve been posting them for the last few weeks).  The more I use this camera the more I love it.  At $8.00 from a thrift store it was a real bargain too, and one that I’m happy I sprung for.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised that it did so well with slide film since that’s what people were shooting back when the camera was being made, but it’s nice to know that after such a period of time it still has what it takes.