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:
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:
We had a pop-up show for one night, this was what I had printed and installed. It’s hard to sequence them exactly linearly but the last picture gives you an idea what I had in mind. Final sequence can be glimpsed among my exhibition photos here.
Yee-haw State – Joseph Irvin
Coming from Ohio, all I originally knew about Colorado were the stereotypes: mountains, skiing, Coors, and cowboys (this was pre-marijuana). I was initially forced to embrace the Western aesthetic when taking a job as a Jeep tour guide around Colorado Springs, but I’ve gotten into the spirit over time, to the point where it is now a lifestyle. Every time I go to a thrift store I’m looking for more western shirts and cowboy hats to wear on tours. I’m paid to present a certain aspect of Colorado culture/history to visitors and new arrivals, and the boss’s mantra is “Make it like Disneyland!” While it might not have happened quite like that in real life, we live in a postmodern settler society, where the cowboys have traded in their horses for 4x4s. We’re driving them on old wagon trails and railroads. A lot of my time is spent in Garden of the Gods, now the #1 visited park in the country (and it’s being loved to death). In a state that is experiencing massive population increase and a rapidly growing tourism industry, what is it that makes Colorado unique, and what about that are we selling? A lot of people say that they hope I never take this landscape for granted, and I didn’t…back when I moved here. But one does get used to it over time: now it has the familiarity of Home.
Everything was printed on Ilford fiber paper at a custom size of 15×10. I’d got my usual box of Oriental 8×10 but my photo instructor insisted I go bigger which was frustrating because I’d bought this paper months ago in preparation and now had to find something last minute. Thankfully Cameraworks came to my rescue cutting me a deal with some 16×20 Ilford they’d had for a while. I had less than 2 weeks before the show and had to print like mad all day everyday and still didn’t get everything finished, but enough to display at least. I suppose that printing on 11×14 paper would have been easier to frame (I just hung everything with putty) but I had to come up with a plan fast to print as much as possible and use the entire frame. So I cut my 16×20 paper in half, trimmed an extra inch, and made a custom taped-off template. I had a negative holder which showed the edges of the frame so I tried as much as possible to give every print a black border, a nice differentiation to the usual white. I think I’ve ranted before about cropping the side of a 35mm film frame when printing to a 5:4 aspect ratio, something else my photo instructor insisted on was seeing my entire frame. Thankfully everything worked out.
Right when the tourist season would be gearing up I’m sitting inside doing not much. So you’d think this would be the perfect time to film something, test out a few cameras I haven’t used yet, send it in to a lab that’s still open which would have the benefit of helping with their economic struggles. But I have no ideas right now. So until something sparks in my head I’m spending a lot of time online, doing a lot of reading, and rewatching my favorite sci-fi series, Babylon 5 (and here’s a great piece of recent scholarship about this wonderful show).
We had an online critique and then for the exhibition I had to decide which images to print from this series as well as the other three critiques. This is 11 rolls of film here, I asked my instructor to look through what I had and pick out the strongest images, so these are all the ones that work best (she said my hit ratio’s getting better). No particular order besides chronological, except that there are several images that go together as a sequence.
The first four rolls were developed at the same time as this roll, and as the darkroom tech left out paper developer instead of film developer, they’re extremely high-contrast and difficult to print or get right in Photoshop. Once I was on a roll I kept going and by the time the semester was over I’d shot about 150ft of Tri-X, around 30 rolls of film. Then I shot another 20-25 rolls of film over the Summer during the height of the tourist season, and about 75 sheets of 4×5 in the Fall ’19 semester through February in the semester that technically is still in session. By the time I get everything compiled I hope to have enough for an exhibition and a book but current events have put that on hold a bit.
I was looking at the prices of film, hoping to stock up for Summer in the next month or two, and was happy to see Tri-X selling for $6.50 a roll, down from the current MSRP of $7. I really should have recorded the price it was going for earlier in the year because I can’t remember how much more expensive it was, maybe $7, or was it $7.50? Anyway all the stores like Adorama, B&H, Freestyle, etc, sold at MSRP for a while and now the price is going down a bit. The T-Max films are about $0.50 above Ilford Delta, Tri-X is about $1 over HP5.
As mentioned previously, it wasn’t the end of the world. With the Dollar continuing to inflate and the price of silver still going up I doubt the price of film will be cheaper than December 2019 prices but the increase isn’t as drastic as people have been fearing. I just priced out what it would cost to buy last year’s film order right now and the best price was only about $12 more, so not the end of the world when considering that it was a 23-roll order: about $0.50 more per roll, buying from FPP instead of Freestyle. Right now I don’t know if I want to buy 35mm, super 8, or a combination, but with the whole Pandemic there’s not much going on in the tourism industry right now and my large format class is effectively dissolved…
This is when things really started to come together. After meeting with my instructor for a one-on-one critique we were able to separate most of the pictures into three categories:
Cast of Characters
Shots from the Road
Gawkers as Spectacle
What also helped is that by this time tours had picked up a lot. I was working more and had more opportunities for great photos. One of the suggestions from last student critique was that I needed to ride along on other drivers’ tours and that accounted for four of the shots, in all three categories.