Friday, July 21, 2017

Cemetery Series: Craige Cemetery in Lomography Purple

Please see my first post for details on my Cemetery Series.

I spent a day traveling to and shooting Craige Cemetery in rural Southeastern Washington, just a few miles from the borders of both Oregon and Idaho. Although I shot a few different films, Lomography Purple (the newer stuff) seemed to be a good choice due to how green this place was. I had Blue Moon Camera and Machine develop the film, but I scanned it on my Epson v500.  I'm not sure if I got 100% of what the film is supposed to look like, but hopefully it got close. This is obviously a film with a different color pallet, so I wouldn't use it all the time, but in certain situations it makes for a nice effect. I do have a couple more rolls of it I'm going to shoot this summer.

Located in a higher elevation in SE Washington, near the Blue Mountains, this cemetery was quite green and even had some wildflowers when I was here in early July. 

Lomo Purple is supposed to turn green vegetation to purple and blue skies to a turquoise. 

I tried to coax her out of the shadows, but she just stood there for about 10 minutes before heading down the hill toward a little ravine behind her. 

I don't know how much maintenance is done here, but there are occasional visitors who pay their respects.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cemetery Series: Finland Cemetery

Rural cemeteries often tell intriguing stories about the past. For many, their final resting place just reflects who they were and what they did in life. For instance, the small, ordinary headstone at the far edge of the graveyard, the one you have to be looking for to see. Or the prominent, patriarchal dual site of a husband and wife who spent their entire lives together, obviously prosperous and well loved, and surrounded by their offspring. Or a single date etched on a featureless marker, nearly eroded now after perhaps a century. I am embarking on a project to visit these memorials and document their condition on film.

My first location is the Finland Cemetery located just up a gravel road from the Greasewood Finnish Apostolic Church in rural NE Oregon. It is surrounded by wheat fields and is enclosed by a fence. Although overgrown with weeds, an attempt has been made to maintain a map of the headstones at the gate. I may revisit this location at a future date and capture it in the morning with the light hitting the front of the cemetery.

These photos were taken on 35mm Ilford PanF+ and developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 11 minutes.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Troubleshooting Mamiya C330: Part 2

I previously described my efforts to troubleshoot some vertical lines showing up on the negatives taken from my C330. Suspecting problems with the reel, I shot a second roll of Tri-x, all frames of the same scene. When I loaded the film for developing this time, I reversed the direction of the roll so that it loaded frame #1 first.  You can see the results here:

Frame #1, loaded onto reel first.

Frame #12, loaded onto reel last.

This time, there was no difference in the frames; the vertical lines showed up equally in both.  Back to the drawing board, although I still suspect reel issues. The next time I load onto the reel, I'm actually going to do so upside down and see if that makes a difference. If it does, I will have solved my problem. If not, then it really is back to the drawing board.

Which brings me to my last point: Even though I've narrowed it down to a developing issue, there's still the nagging feeling that's not it. I don't get this problem with my Zero Image pinhole, although it's been several weeks since I've used that camera. In Part 3 I'll show the results from upside-down reel loading and discuss some next steps from there.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Troubleshooting Mamiya C330: Part 1

A couple of years ago, a problem began showing up on the negatives from my C330. A vertical line (and sometimes two) would appear at the edge of the frame, inside the exposed area.  You can clearly see the issue in this image (look immediately to the left of the words "Ilford 100 Delta"):
I sent a test roll out for developing to see if the problem originated from the camera or the actual developing process.  Those negatives came back just fine, so the problem must be in my processing. Still, though, this problem never crept up when using my Zero Image pinhole, so that really had me confused.

I kept trying to work out the problem, but couldn't locate the source, so my C330 sat on the shelf for awhile, only being used occasionally until now.  Thing is, this is a really nice camera that takes otherwise exceptionally sharp images, so recently I began trying to troubleshoot again.

Zeb took a look and showed his folks at Blue Moon Camera and Machine. They reinforced the idea that this is indeed a processing issue, and that they had seen the problem themselves occasionally with Paterson reels. Other suggestions from the internet involved inversion method and the amount of tightness on the reels.  Armed with all of that knowledge, I ran a roll of Tri-x through it again, but this time made an important discovery: The lines showed up in the first few frames of the roll, but not the last. They were somewhat visible in the middle.  If what I'm seeing is correct, that means that, for this roll anyway, the end loaded first didn't have the problem, and the end loaded last displayed those lines.

First frame on this roll, last one loaded on the reel.

Last frame on this roll, first one loaded on the reel
Now, I can further narrow down what is actually happening.  Two scenarios come to mind.  In one, there is something rubbing the emulsion off toward the outer edge of the reel. While this makes sense, I've tried using different reels (four, in all) without seeing much of a change.  The second scenario, which seems more likely, is that fixer isn't getting all the way to the outer edge of the reel and is being blocked up. The second one is a simple test: Go grab those frames, re-fix for a few minutes, and see how they come out.  I'll try both of these out and report back in Part 2 of this series.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Forgotten Roll

I bulk load almost all of my 35mm film these days, so I'm occasionally at risk of holding a blank, unmarked cassette of exposed film and wondering where it came from. Such was the case the other day.  Is it Delta 100?  Is it PanF+?  Who knows! Good thing I had some Rodinal on hand to help me out. Turns out it was indeed the Delta 100.

Forgotten Fall

I had forgotten the story of this roll, but began to put the pieces together as I looked at each scan. This was last autumn, well after the colors had come and gone, but well before the first of those snow storms hit our region.

One for the Road

It was a random trip out to the Columbia River and the McNary Dam, just about a ten minute drive from where I live. This might have even been two or three trips, as I seem to remember wanting to get some shooting in before the weather turned for the worse. The light was hitting the atmosphere just right after I got off work.

Forgotten Fall #2

I think what attracts me to film is that the memories of that story are embedded in that strip of emulsive material, just waiting to be unlocked when I give the word. I can't erase them. I can choose to not scan and share a frame here and there, but they're there just the same. They're a part of whatever was in view of my eyes and my heart at that time.

The Dry Season
I've never felt the need to give justification for shooting film, but there it is. My upcoming summer is going to consist of mostly black and white film, some 35mm and some 120 pinhole. And perhaps a few frames from a TLR if I can get it operating correctly again.

County Line
Here's to summer.

Development details on FilmDev

Sunday, April 30, 2017

More pinhole

It's Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, so I'm posting this right before I head out with my Zero Image. These are some images from my last outing. Zero Image 618 pinhole camera with Tri-x in d-76 1:1.  Red #25 filter used.

Waitsburg, Washington. Sun flares can add interesting elements to pinhole images.

Holdman Cemetery

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pinhole in the City

I took my Zero Image to Portland over spring break and shot around Powell's Books on Burnside one afternoon. Each of these are ~5 second exposures.

Must turn left.



City of Books.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pinhole: Cable Bridge

I wasn't sure about using Fuji Acros 100 for pinhole work, but I like how these images of the Cable Bridge in Kennewick, Washington turned out. Developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 6:45 minutes at 68° F.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

B&W Pinhole: Seattle

Sometimes I don't learn from my own lessons in pinhole photography. Take rule #1 for example:
Your foreground will be front and center, dominating the scene between your camera and your subject. 
Moreover, I ignore rule #2 that is necessitated by the first one:
Pinhole photography is mostly a near-field experience. Normal-sized objects that are more than a few feet away from you will look exaggeratedly far away when you view your final image.
Yet here I go, ignoring both rules by not minding my foreground and trying to capture people and things 30-40+ feet away. Maybe next time I'll get it right.

Still, I was happy with the motion blur I got in a few of them. Tri-x remains a favorite to shoot in this thing. It's got a nice range of latitude and you really can't hurt it. Take a look:

I couldn't wait for the light to turn green. Luckily it did, just at the right time. 

Foreground. Lots and lots of foreground. 

Blue skies in Seattle. But do you think I remembered my #25 red filter?
I think I dodged a bullet when developing this earlier today. The lid on my Paterson tank had gone loose right after the development stage but before the fixer. It must have let some light in for those few seconds, but I wasn't able to tell based on the negatives.