Saturday, January 5, 2019

Cemetery Series: Sixprong

I started off the new year - Jan 2, to be precise - with a trip to a few cemeteries in SE Washington that I hadn't been to before. One of those was Sixprong Cemetery in Klickitat County. Although located in a remote area of the state, it is situated at the end of a dirt lane, just a half mile or so from a modern ranch house. In fact, no sooner had I arrived when a pickup drove up, presumably to see what I was doing. The presence of my TLR probably clued them in to me not making any mischief that day.


And although this was Jan 2, the temps were fairly mild with clouds and intermittent sunshine throughout the day. Perfect for what I wanted to accomplish. I brought along my Mamiya C220 TLR and loaded it with a roll of Ilford fp4+ film. I took advantage of the atmospheric conditions with the clouds and the sun and screwed a red #25 filter onto the 80mm f/2.8 lens.


Grass has grown up within the rectangular bounds of the cemetery, with patches of thorny weeds here and there. The place is by no means abandoned and unkempt, though. In fact, I was surprised that several of the headstones - some dating back to the late 1800's, were adorned with newer monuments. They appear to have been installed in the last decade or so, many of them on either on top top of or alongside their older, existing memorial. Some artificial flowers lay quietly next to a few of the markers. With so few residents in the area, maintaining the cemetery is obviously a labor of love for somebody.


Coming home, I developed the roll in Ilfotec DD-x 1:4, at 20℃ (68℉) for 10 minutes. I've used this combination once or twice before. But not often enough, though; the negatives came out great.  Ilford fp4+ always looks a little on the thin side to my eyes, but it scans beautifully.  I had also considered using a roll of Ilford Delta 100 that I had brought along, but I'm glad I went with the fp4+. We'll break out the Delta next time.


We got 2019 off to a great start with this trip. I've been bookmarking some other locations in the area, so I should be able to get more Cemetery Series posts up this year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Directions

Once again, it's hard to believe that we're at the start of a new year. My film habits were tempered somewhat in 2018 with the acquisition of a Fuji X-T20 mirrorless digital camera.  The Fuji's have been referred to as a film guy's digi, and I can see why. Still, I'm not abandoning film altogether. Rather, I'm still shooting it but with some evolving practices. Those will carry forth into 2019.



I had more film printed last year than any other time in my life, and I plan on continuing that in the upcoming year. In fact, that is the one point that I made from last year's Directions post that has had the most influence on my work. This year, I plan on using the Mamiya TLR with more color film and getting it all printed.



My 400 speed b/w film choice will continue to be Ilford hp5+. I have a 100' roll to bulk load, plus 6 rolls of 36 exposure in 35mm format, so that should take care of those needs in 2019. Additionally, I have some rolls of the stuff in 120 format to shoot in the Mamiya TLR.



I also plan on participating in online projects throughout the year. Namely, the fp4+ party coming up later this month, as well as the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day in April come to mind. Here's my 2018 WPPD submission. I'm going to keep my ear to the ground for other film projects to keep up with as well.



And similarly, I need to continue my own personal projects. My Cemetery Series has been neglected for awhile, so I'm scouring Google Earth to see where I can head to next. As the days slowly get longer, I'll be able to take advantage of time after school to fire off a few frames. Even if that's just in the backyard or doing a little macro work.



2019 is going to be a great year for film. I can feel it already. I don't have need of any gear right now (save for an R72 filter; mind did a belly flop onto the sidewalk last year).  I just need to get out and shoot it.

Happy New Year, everybody. Here's to a fantastic 2019.