Happy Anniversary to the Resurrected Camera. Inspired by the Intro to Photography class at my university, I decided to start a photo blog, dedicated to shooting film on the cheap. It all started on January 1, 2014 with a fake trailer I made using two 35mm cameras and three rolls of film.
Using still images is something that I’ve continued all the way to Overwhelming Majority very recently. As far as this blog goes, I still don’t quite know what direction to take it in this year, but I do have a few things I’m looking forward to announcing when the time is right.
For the hell of it, I’m releasing another film I made using still cameras, way back in early 2015, just as an assignment for Film Scoring class. Again, stylistically inspired by Chris Marker’s La Jetee. It’ll only be available for a limited, unspecified time:
I budgeted 5 rolls of Tri-X, utilizing the Pentax ESII and Spotmatic SPII, and was my first time editing using Final Cut Pro. Aside from all that, if anyone remembers this post at all, it’s a shot which I couldn’t find a use for in the film. Until next time, keep finding those deals in the film photography world!
Because for some reason Tri-X just isn’t enough for me. When I want something a bit different I go for the 5222, Eastman Double-X. Reasons to use Double-X? Though grainier, it’s sharper, and it gives a different look, lovely tonality. And cost, if you’re willing to invest in a 400ft roll of the stuff!
Tri-X is an everyday film, Double-X is for special occasions, and I used it for a few specific projects including my 2-semester-long (and just wrapping up) document of making Overwhelming Majority.
This current iteration was developed by Kodak in the late 1950s and then left alone, so it will give you a classic, mid-century look, especially if you use older lenses/cameras. And that is something I recommend! It requires fairly precise exposure and development can be tricky since it’s designed to be used with Kodak D-96, and anything else will boost the contrast quite a bit. Using older, low-contrast lenses will tame that somewhat. I tend to shoot it inside if the light is good enough, or outside on overcast days. I’ve seen some pretty good results from pushing, etc, though I’ve never had much luck myself.
It’s Thanksgiving, so what am I most thankful for? Tri-X, of course.
I suppose it’s all about the mood. There’s a lot of darkness in these photos, perhaps because I tend to use Tri-X where there isn’t a whole lot of light, and it always gets the image. You can push it, pull it, overexpose or underexpose it and still get results. It’s the most versatile film I know of, the best damn black and white film ever made.
You will notice that most of what I have here are people. I suppose that with larger formats it would work great for landscape photography (which I don’t do a whole lot of in black and white), and I was experimenting a bit with caffenol back in the day, pulling film a stop and using a semi-stand development to reduce grain. Fuji Acros 100 seems to be the king of black & white landscape photography these days, but I’ve always said it’s Kodak for black & white and Fuji for color (and I’ve always said that I’ve always said). One of these days I’ll mix it up.
I’m not the only person in the world to love Tri-X, it does happen to be the best-selling black and white film in the world. Because of its latitude and forgiving latitude in not only exposure but also development, it’s used in a lot of photography programs (including mine). It was used by newspaper photographers from the 1950s to the 1980s, used by combat photographers in Vietnam, and countless street photographers to this day. Think of a famous black and white photo and chances are it was shot on Tri-X. Classic Americana.
Well here’s some more good news: a company called Reflex is making an all-new manual SLR, which would make it the first since Cosina-Voigtlander made the Bessaflex (which was what, 13-14 years ago? Not quite as long as the article is claiming but whatever). Their Kickstarter campaign will be going live in about two weeks, the original story is here: http://www.film-traveler.com/reflex-1st-new-manual-slr-25-years/
Like the article mentions already, the shots on their Instagram are taken with a Super-Takumar lens, so I do really hope that like the Bessaflex this is an M42 mount camera! Of course, whether or not I can buy one, that will depend on the price. I did just get a full CLA for the Spotmatic which cost me $120, meaning that the entire amount of money I paid for that camera body (including the battery) is somewhere around $137. I doubt that a new manual camera would be less than $400, and also doubt that it will have the same build quality as a Spotmatic. Hope I’m wrong though!
The chapel at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, tends to draw quite a few visitors because of its interesting shape (you can search for pics online). But also due to its unique architecture it has always suffered problems with leaking, and will therefore close for renovation next year. If you’re planning on visiting Colorado Springs soon, you might want to check out the Academy chapel as your next opportunity could be at least 5 years from now.
While giving a tour of my city I took the opportunity of the bright sunlight to really let the stained glass do its thing inside the chapel, and the Ektar 100 really let the colors pop. Below is a view of some of the dormitory buildings. If you enjoy mid-century modernism the Academy is fantastic, and offers striking contrast with its surroundings.
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.