I have something really special in my group of college friends from Ohio State (excuse me, THE Ohio State University). A few years back we started getting together on a semi-annual basis and it’s like we’ve never been separated, even though a lot of us live outside Ohio now. Unfortunately this time the gathering came about because one of our number has fallen. The last time I saw him was nearly a year previous, the last time we got together (I flew in from Colorado) and not long after that he told us all that he was diagnosed with cancer. All I knew from then were the Facebook updates posted by him or his family. He leaves behind a son and a wife who is 8 months pregnant.
It wasn’t the best occasion ever, but it was good to hang out with old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade. For this trip all I took was a roll of Tri-X loaded in the Olympus Trip 35. I didn’t even worry about the x-ray machine, I figured that I’d test out the assumption that the film would survive just 2 airplane trips, and it seems to be alright. I haven’t looked too hard at the negatives yet, but for my purposes it came out alright (except that with my scanner in storage I couldn’t really work with them as much as I’d have liked). Though my focusing could have been better, the Trip 35 performed well inside and out (and fit in my suit jacket pocket), especially shooting the astoundingly versatile Tri-X.
April 22, 2017. After Wales, Overwhelming Majority got one more chance to screen in the Springs, at a brand new iteration of the Indie Spirit Film Festival. Colorado Short Circuit showcases the work of Colorado filmmakers working in short films. I think for this version most of the featured films were made by people living on the front range, primarily Denver and Colorado Springs.
As always, a great time was had, and I certainly knew lots of people already. As a bonus, I shot a few rolls of super 8 for my experimental/avant-garde cinema class. I will be finalizing that project sometime in the Fall and then it’s back to submitting to festivals.
Home Movie Day, October 2016 at the Southern Colorado Film Festival. I saw Kodachrome projected for the first time and have to say that I was totally blown away with the colors. The more I see the more I understand how big a hole it left, which the new Ektachrome will probably not be able to fill.
Filmmaker Eric Stewart was our projectionist and film enthusiast extraordinaire. I also included a picture of some of his optical film printers that he’s working on restoring in his garage.
I found this at one of the stores in the Springs a few months back, and originally thought it might be something new, but it seems it’s something mainly for the overseas market. I have no idea why the cartridge says Kodacolor and the box says ColorPlus. I think Kodacolor was something that was sold back in the ’90s, had no idea it had come back. Or has it?
As an all-around consumer film it does alright, especially with the blues. It doesn’t seem to pull detail out of the shadows as well as some of the others, and I really hope this isn’t being brought in as a substitute for Gold 200, because I think Gold beats this by a significant margin. Like with Gold 200, I shot it at ASA100.
Now the bad stuff: the first few shots were of wind generators in Eastern Colorado. I don’t know what was up with the film, but there was some strange mottling that’s most apparent during those frames, plus reduced contrast, almost looks like it’s expired. I suppose it has its uses as an effect, but I would have expected better from Kodak.
Unfortunately it wasn’t just that roll either. I took my second roll to Durango with me and had the same problem with that one.
Some brick and stone work around South Wales. Some of it is old, some of it is newer but made to look old.
Talking to Britons, one of the things that came up is architecture and how they feel so tired of everything being made to match Victorian architecture, and wished for more modern-looking buildings. And of course, being American, I’m sick to death of modern architecture and love seeing buildings, houses, churches, that might only be 200 years old (or younger), but look like they’ve been there for a millennium.
Cardiff Castle stands in the middle of the city of Cardiff, just North of the city centre (I’ll use British spelling), quite easy to get to if you’re out on the town, just remember that they close at 6 and stop letting people in at 5. Definitely go see it if you’re traveling in the area.
From what I remember from watching Secrets of Great British Castles, Cardiff Castle stands on the ruins of an old Roman fort, and was originally constructed during the reign of Edward I. Talking with an Englishman at the bar one night, evidently castles of this sort are called “war castles,” built during either the Norman Invasion or the English conquest of Wales under Edward Longshanks. As you can see, it’s a motte-and-bailey style, but of course the original structure would have been made of wood.
Cardiff Castle is sort of looked down upon by locals specifically because it isn’t all original, though I don’t know why, if they were already building it in stone by the 1200s. The main problem is that the Marquesses of Bute started their own “restorations” in the 1800s cashing in on the gothic revival fad of the time (many wealthy noblemen of the time tore down castles built in the 14th and 15th centuries to make something more in keeping with what was considered a castle at the time). I believe there was rather a large stink raised about the demolition of the medieval inner bailey wall along with other buildings dating from at least the 1300s. The grounds of the bailey would have held extensive gardens, but now are just lawn.
There was a rather impressive collection of buildings on the outer bailey wall built (or restored) during the 1800s and containing rather impressive living quarters, said to be kept as close as possible to medieval dwelling conditions. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to take the tour, preferring to wander the castle grounds by myself and only leaving right when they closed. I’m still impressed with what I saw, and coming from a country where something built in the 1850s is considered old, Cardiff Castle is still properly ancient.