The third and final day that I drove the trolley last year.
I didn’t have to drive it at all this year…so far…
This film was on sale at my local camera store, expired between 2006 and 2008. I decided to give it a try, I mean why not? So this is about the last week in November and first week and a half or so in December.
It’s not bad stuff. I shot it sometimes at ASA200 and sometimes ASA100, and think it works well outside: shadow detail can be a bit lacking otherwise. Also for some reason the film scans always came back really dirty, lots of stuff like dust, etc, on the negatives. I shot a lot of Ilford XP2 last year and I will say that it’s nice having at least that chromogenic film stock available but I wish that Kodak would bring this back at some point…and also Plus-X. Shooting the expired stuff is fine for a bit of a change but all my reflexes at this point are for shooting ASA400 film and I don’t really want to change that up too much. I think I had 6 rolls total and they’re all gone; I don’t plan on getting more.
This was how I found my mom’s house when I arrived the day after she died; she’d been in the hospital for about a week and a half at that point.
It still gets me how differently people can be affected by the virus. I currently have it myself and am almost back to normal already after just a week. But because of that there will definitely be a Part 3…
The final series of images where I was trying out Ilford XP2 for the first time.
Not that there aren’t more but I’ve been shooting a few different emulsions since the start of the year, some new and some old friends.
Another of our drivers has passed unexpectedly, a new guy that started last year who went by the handle Rosco. He’s been in a couple of photos that I published already but I recently went through all the shots I’d taken to see if I could find more.
There were no real portraits, I’m sorry to say. We never really got the chance to talk or do too many tours together though I did get to hear him talk to people once or twice and seemed to be very knowledgeable. RIP Rosco.
2021 was the year that I started dressing better thanks to working a construction job: I would wear the same clothes every day without washing for a week, and they would get so grimy with concrete dust, that I just felt disgusting all the time, plus it was all kind of samey. In my initial search for a good pair of steel toe work boots I started watching a lot of videos online, and mostly they were oriented toward fashion boots rather than work boots, but that gave me plenty of ideas for nice clothes that I could enjoy when I wasn’t wearing my construction gear. That carried over into going back to the job I actually enjoy. I have to thank Carl Murawski, Stridewise, Rose Anvil, and maybe one or two other channels on the youtube, plus facebook groups like the Alden Shoes Enthusiasts and Selvedge & Quality Supply. A lot of the pictures that follow were ones that I took to post on one of those two groups; a few were mimicking the standard shots that get posted there but I do try to give them my own personal flair, and I’m sure I’m the only one shooting on film.
Most of all I was concerned with buying new items that were not made in China, but also staying away from companies that don’t offshore their production, and prioritized American-made wherever possible. By October I could put together an outfit that was 100% Made in USA and I wear that most days. Brands featured in these photos include: Stetson hats, Brave Star Selvage, Alden Boots, Schaefer Outfitters, Ruddock Shirts/Flying R Ranchwear, Sugar Cane jeans, Nama Denim, Legacy 92. And this year there is another new pair of jeans from Brave Star plus a pair of White’s cowboy boots.
And since I was adding a lot of color to my look (thanks to the shirts) I started shooting more color film, also handy considering it was Fall. It seemed to be at the start of the film shortage and I was going around to Wal-Marts and Walgreens in the area and buying up whatever stock they had of Fuji Superia and Kodak Ultramax. I’m glad I did because it might be the last time I get to use Superia 400 since Fuji shut down their factory in 2020 and we still don’t know right now if they are reopening it or having other companies manufacture film for them from now on.
Not only did I probably shoot more color film last year than I ever had before, I shot more C-41 in general, in fact nearly exclusively. These are all Ilford XP2. I think that for the photo project itself black & white works better and I’ve experimented with turning my color film grayscale as well.
Most of these guys are coworkers of mine, one or two might be passengers and even more of an authentic cowboy than any of us.
One of the aspects my peers criticized in my photo project was that there were hardly any pictures with me in them. I’ve kept that in mind ever more frequently this year and either taken more selfies or had someone else hold the camera for me. Hopefully I was successful in my attempt to add a bit of my own personal je ne sais quoi to these.
Film, in order: Fuji Superia 400, Kodak Ultramax 400, Ilford XP2 Super, Kodak BW400CN (exp.2008).
Yesterday was the first Mother’s Day that my brother and I didn’t have our mother. Looking back on it, even though we butted heads a lot, I was able to spend a lot of time with her in the last few years and I’m grateful for that now. This would be the companion piece to my other tribute which was posted back in December. Honestly I completely forgot about Mother’s Day but I’ve never been a big fan of holidays that promote obligatory consumerism and people punish you for forgetting; I suppose I’ll never have to feel bad for not remembering from now on.
While developing all the rolls I shot in 2020 I came across a few that I’d taken of my mom, usually holding her first grandson. Thanks to my old photo instructor Stacy for letting me get all that done in the school darkroom, or I don’t know when I would have gotten around to seeing these. The entire Summer I was shooting nothing but Kodak Tri-X.