Starr Kempf

I don’t have the full story on Starr Kempf, but he was a sculptor who lived in Colorado Springs.  I think I was told that he was a professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), where I currently go.  He made a number of kinetic sculptures (they move with the wind) and originally they were all displayed in his front yard.  The story I heard is that the neighbors weren’t too happy about them or the publicity that they were getting (Kempf’s house is very close to the Broadmoor Hotel), and many of them were removed, either to New Mexico, downtown Colorado Springs, or as depicted below, to a newer section of the university.  I shot them with the pinhole lens on my dedicated pinhole Spotmatic.

Here’s one that I shot with the Trip 35 on Acros.  This was Spring of 2018, the first semester in the brand new “Ent Center for the Arts.”


Acros 100 in the Trip 35

And here are the remaining few on Kempf’s front lawn.


Velvia 100 on the Canon AE-1

.

Tri-X and Caffenol is not a good idea – Alternative Processes

At least not the Caffenol-Delta recipe!  I jumped in headfirst on this, and should have done a bit more research before I tried it out.  Live and learn, I suppose, but I knew going into it that I was taking a risk, I just wish I had tried it with another roll of film, because I had some beautiful shots on this one, and this roll ended up looking like a reel of super-8 film using a super-grainy stock.  These were all with the pinhole lens, but compare them to what I was able to do in regular D-76.

We had a day of extremely heavy fog, so heavy that after making it 15 miles out of the 40+ down to school and narrowly avoiding 2 accidents in that time, I decided it was a safer bet to pull off CO-24, hang around Woodland Park, and take some pictures instead trying to tempt Fate once again (also, I had Jim Grey’s words rolling around in my head, I’m sure that influenced me).  It really was beautiful, and I love foggy mornings; sadly it’s something that doesn’t happen too much in Colorado, but I’ve been fortunate this year.

The last two shots were fulfilling the requirements of our pinhole assignment in Alt.Process class, which was to construct a pinhole camera and take some pictures of objects that relate to what object the camera was in its previous life (before being turned into a camera).  Since mine is a lens rather than a whole camera, I took pictures of my current film stockpile and collection of Takumar lenses.

This has a good chance of turning into my final in this class, plus I think I can combine it with my current film scoring class assignment, so I’m soldiering on.  I bought some T-Max 400 to try in the delta recipe, and signed up to the caffenol facebook group.  In fact, I’ve learned one rather important thing there just this morning: Tri-X works quite well in the Caffenol-CL recipe, which would really make my life easier, easier than trying caffenol and learning a new film at the same time…

M42 pinhole lens – Alternative Processes

As part of our pinhole assignment in class, we were to construct our own cameras.  After not being all that impressed with the results from the coffee can (or having to return to the darkroom after each picture), I decided to construct mine from a body cap.  Not only can I take quite a few pinhole pictures in a short period of time, but I can use a device I already know well, with whatever speed film I feel like (instead of ~ASA10 photo paper), black and white or color.

I don’t know if that means I took the easy way out or not, but it allows me to work the way I’m already familiar with, and not having a darkroom, I don’t know that I’d have much use for a coffee can pinhole camera or shooting photo paper outside of this class.  The body cap, on the other hand, is now a fun weapon to add to my arsenal, and compact enough that it’s always in my camera bag.

I first tried shooting Tri-X with the Pentax ES (middle image), hoping that I would get something with aperture priority, but sadly it didn’t work, so I was relegated to the bulb setting.  The second time I used T-Max 100 in the regular Spotmatic.  One thing I noticed was that the pinhole I made is too big, and the lens isn’t quite as sharp as I could wish (I am planning on making another), the result being that the difference in grain between Tri-X and T-Max 100 isn’t very great at all.  This pinhole lens has an f/-stop somewhere between 176 and 256.  What I ended up doing in later rolls (I’ve shot four so far!) is to treat it as f/176 outside (underexposing slightly) and f/256 inside to compensate for reciprocity failure.  Anyway, using the Sunny-16 rule (or Sunny-256 I guess), I’m shooting 1/4sec with ASA400 film or 1sec with 100 film in full sunlight.  Obviously there are more images, but framing issues came into play a few times, and honestly I just didn’t take as much time as I needed to to ensure that my images were as interesting as possible, plus I was doing a lot of bracketing.

I just got done printing roll 3 (Tri-X in caffenol, not a good idea for future reference), and roll 4 (Fuji Velvia 100) will be picked up from the camera store in 10 minutes, as soon as I finish this post and hop into the car….