Dec 21, 2020

Directions: 2020 Rewind

2020 was a strange year, as everyone knows. Some shooters were able to take advantage of the extended downtime (voluntarily or not) and actually increased their amount of film shooting over the year. 

I was thinking that my own shooting habits had not followed this pattern. But as I look back, I was surprised at how much I did get in. I'll follow up this list with examples from Flickr.

  1. At the beginning of the year, I started the Baker's Dozen series. I had envisioned completing more of those rolls, but they will get done in due time.
  2. Tried some Ilford Ortho Plus in 120 format.  It's the right film for the right situation.
  3. Accidental double exposure on Street Pan. Shot in 2019, but processed this year. I was sad in a way because there were a lot of great opportunities on this roll. That said, there were a few cool results, though.
  4. Kentmere 400 in a February snow dusting, before the pandemic started. Before everything hit the fan. I remember just being happy that spring was right around the corner.
  5. Participated in WPPD in April. Some years I miss that date, but I managed to make this one.
  6. Did a Document Your Life roll in the spring. DYL is going to be a focus for me in 2021.
  7. Ektachrome slide film on Memorial Day weekend. This was my second roll ever, and I got some good, but not great results. Not like my first roll, which had a lot of nice frames.
  8. Lomo Metropolis on the OSU campus at graduation time.  I might shoot this stuff again some day.
  9. Two rolls of Kodak Vision 3 500T in 35mm format ordered for holiday shooting in December. I probably won't get it shot and processed in time for this post, but it's on the way.

1. Baker's Dozen:

 Hatch Grade Road 


2. Ilford Ortho:



3. Accidental Double Exposure: 

JCH Double (36) 


4. February snow:

 Kentmere 400 


5. WPPD:

 WPPD 2020 


6. Document Your Life: 



7. Ektachrome:

 Ektachrome - Memorial Weekend 2020 


8. Lomo Metropolis at OSU: 

Lomo Metropolis at Oregon State University

Dec 15, 2020

Baker's Dozen #3: Ilford HP5+

Next up on our hit parade of b/w film stocks in medium format, none other than Ilford's super popular HP5+. I was roaming around the back roads where I live and hadn't anticipated the mid afternoon winter sun coming out the way it did on this particular December afternoon. Luckily, I had my C220 and my project film along with me for the ride. I swung by a familiar haunt (literally and figuratively) and spent a few minutes at the Finnish Cemetery. The sun was creating some cool, long shadows that I tried to take advantage of. 

I didn't have a meter with me, so I just Sunny 16'ed the entire roll. I think I underguessed the exposures (if that's a word), so I gave it about an extra half to two-thirds stop in development. Effectively, the roll was shot at ISO 640, but it probably didn't make that much of a difference in the end.

It felt good to get one more Baker's Dozen roll in before the end of the year. I don't really have an end date for this particular project, just whenever I can get them done. Most of the rolls are either expiring or have long expired.  

This location has a lot of potential, and I believe there are some more photographs here to be had. I'm happy to revisit under different circumstances to see what else I can get.

Even though this cemetery seldom gets used for its original purpose, there are frequent visitors to the gravesites. Many of these people are held in high esteem of their families.

The Visitor. Long shadows were the theme of the day with this roll.

This tree always intrigues me whenever I visit this cemetery. It's an old locust tree and sits at a 45 degree angle. That must have been a crazy wind to lean it over like that.

Historical cemeteries tell stories about the community they serve. Sometimes those stories are quite sad.


Dec 7, 2020

HP5+ in November

I recently shot and processed some Ilford HP5+ in 35mm format, something I hadn't done in several months. In fact, this was the first film I'd shot and processed myself in that span of time. Between Covid and our extensive house remodel, the opportunities just haven't been there. At least, that's been my excuse. These were mostly shot in the county, within 20 miles or so of my home. And with a Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 that I picked up last spring, but am just now starting to use. I like that focal length and can well imagine some good uses for it.

I'd like to not make this the last roll for 2020. In fact, I have another roll of HP5+ that I just loaded earlier today.

The first chance I've really taken to shoot the Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 that I picked up this last year.

Gratuitous film selfie.

Anytown, USA

HP5+ doesn't play well with red filters. However, on a sunny day with some clouds, a yellow #8 filter will serve you just fine.

Dec 1, 2020

Directions: 2020 Pause

It's amazing what this year has done for my sense of time. Late last summer I started saying, "I really should do a mid-year update to the blog," and then I look at the calendar and it's December 1. Really, where did this year go? I'll explore that further in my annual year end post.

As I look at my FilmTrackr data, I shot and processed some film late last spring. That was mostly some color film I had printed. For whatever reason, it hasn't found its way to this blog.

The better news is that I recently shot a single roll of HP5+ and it's sitting ready to be developed. That might be a good weekend project. In the meantime, I'll leave with some shots from the archives. These are linked directly from Flickr. 

More to come later.

Autumn's Demise {Explored, thank you}Pendleton SnowMore film

May 19, 2020

Baker's Dozen #2: Ilford fp4+

If the first iteration of my Baker's Dozen series kept me at home, the second has me venturing out a little further on a familiar road. I spent a Friday afternoon after school along the Columbia River, crossing the Oregon/Washington border and traveling on through the Wallula Gap and its neighboring overlook.

Port Kelley, Washington
Port Kelley, Washington. The first frame on this roll and my first stop on the trip.

This route is a great standby for me. A familiar friend that I join when I can't take a longer trip. Or don't have that option or the time. It hasn't gotten boring to me yet, even after dozens of trips over the last 12 years or so. And every time I go through there with a camera, I see something new. Or something old in a new way.

Twin Sisters, Washington
Twin Sisters, Washington is just around the bend from Port Kelley.

This particular mid-May afternoon had some beautiful, puffy clouds against a blue sky, with just a hint of a wind coming from the west. I chose fp4+ for this trip because of its familiarity and predictability with a red #25 filter. This is a contrast to my first post in this series, which involved a film that I was shooting for the very first time. Bringing along a film stock that I've shot dozens of times before in that scenario gives me the confidence to fully consider my compositions and what I want to accomplish with a photograph.

Overlooking Wallula Gap
Hatch Grade Road provides some spectacular views of the Columbia River at Wallula.

Film photography being, well, film photography, we're subject to the mechanical limitations and inevitable failures of our equipment. As successful as this roll was on this trip, I did come back home with a casualty. About halfway through the roll, I discovered that the aperture blades weren't moving smoothly through each setting. I set the timer to bulb and gently tested each one. Sure enough, the blades weren't meshing from f/8 to all the way open at f/2.8.  I still had a few frames to shoot to finish the roll, so I left the aperture at f/22 and hoped it would do its job until I got home. We came in on a wing and a prayer, as I've heard a few WWII vets say in my younger years.

So, I'm sending the 80mm f/2.8 off to be serviced.  I'm told they'll have it 4-6 weeks, which doesn't sound unreasonable during this age of Covid. In the meantime, I do have a 180mm f/4.5 that I don't use nearly often enough. I keep wondering if I should do this same trip using that lens, and then see the difference.

Abandoned thresher above Wallula
An abandoned thresher sits along Hatch Grade Road in Eastern Washington. It deserves a little more of my attention when I go through there again.
Because, after all, the same route next time could bring completely different results. Here are a few more images from this roll:

Columbia River Clouds
Hatch Grade Road
Wind turbes spin above Wallula, Washington
Clouds over the Wallula Gap

Edit: As I look a little more critically at a few of these photos, I'm seeing a little light leak creep in at that top left hand corner. It's slight, and barely perceptible in most cases, but it's come up before. I need to be mindful of sunlight hitting that corner of the camera. When I shoot some higher speed film at 1600, I wonder how much of a problem it will be given the increased sensitivity to light? Looks like I need to do a test to find out. 

May 12, 2020

Baker's Dozen #1: Ilford Ortho Plus

I did two things six months ago that I'm just now getting around to: I bought some Ilford Ortho Plus film and announced my Baker's Dozen project for 2020. In both cases I had the intention of addressing much earlier in the year. In February/March I had an illness and surgery to deal with, and then we had this whole Covid-19 thing that has dampened a lot of travel plans. It's May now, so travel plans or no, I need to do some shooting. 

The light here was hazy sunlight, about f/11 or so.

To be sure, I bought this film knowing it was going to have a different tone palette. I wasn't just going to slap on a red #25 filter and get some big, contrasty clouds against jet black skies. In fact, I wasn't going to be able to use a red filter at all. As I have seen others posting online over the last few months, it certainly has some best-use cases. 

This rock fountain is the centerpiece of our landscaping project.

Not wanting to do traditional landscape shooting with it, I looked around for an alternate subject that might take advantage of its characteristics. Instead of mountains and sky, I wanted to look for some wood, metal and vegetation. Our recent landscaping project included all of that with our wood fence, metal windmill and spring plants. The basalt rock slab with a continuous flow of water flowing over it was just icing on the cake. As I am working much from home these days, it's been a pleasant place to park next to with my Chromebook and coffee on these really nice mornings. 

Some nice tones can be had on vegetation with this film.

Now, about the film. It's nice enough, and I can certainly see myself using it on architecture or other human-made artifacts. At ISO 80, though, it's probably too slow to be an effective street film, especially when hand holding. On the other hand, I do like the water motion I was able to get with the slower speeds. I've seen a few photos of waterfalls (sans sky) taken with this film and it's quite a compelling look. These particular photos were all taken with a somewhat filtered, hazy sunlight. Probably f/11 or so. It should be able to handle direct, f/16 sunlight just fine. I have a few rolls of it left, and one in 35mm format, so it will be good to try it in different light settings. After it's gone, though, it will really have to be a special occasion for me to pick it up again. Unless, of course, I can find a subject I like to shoot that really works well with it.

May 10, 2020

Document Your Life/Roll in a Day

I decided to combine a roll-in-a-day project with a #documentyourlife theme. Like many others, I work mainly from home these days, and am lucky enough to have a back porch and some nice, sunny spring days to spend it with. I shot these with Ilford Delta 400 at ISO 1600 and pushed two stops in Ilfotec DD-x. I haven't shot this film nearly enough, but I was reminded how well it pushes that far with unobtrusive grain. It might very well be my next bulk loaded b/w film.

Coffee is a huge part of my morning.

Alstroemeria on our kitchen table with direct window light.

I work from our back porch table on many of these nice spring days.

A view of our rock garden.

Our school hallways are supposed to look like this in July, not May.

I see things in our backyard in the right light a lot more than I used to.


Here's the whole set on Flickr: 

Roll in a day May 7 2020

Apr 24, 2020

Three Images

I started a roll of Ilford HP5+ at ISO 1600 last November. I meant to get it finished up some time over the winter, but things happened and it was last Sunday before I got it done. It's amazing how much the world has changed in those five months.

Utility truck, somewhere in Northeastern Oregon. Shot with fisheye adapter. 

Empty swimming pool in Corvallis, Oregon.

My wife's Thanksgiving table setting. This really needs to be shot in color, so next year it will be Ektachrome and a tripod. 

Apr 19, 2020

JCH Streetpan Double Exposure

The Coronavirus and some non-life threatening medical issues over the past few months have prevented me from shooting or processing much film. So, I managed to finish up a roll of JCH Streetpan and get it developed the other night. Turns out I had shot right on top of a roll that was exposed a year or so ago. I'm not sure how that roll got mixed in with my fresh film stash, but here we are. It's a good thing I've got several rolls left of this film, because otherwise I would be REALLY disappointed. As it is, I lost some good frames.

On the  other hand, a few of the images are pretty cool. Here are a few that stand out to me.

You can see the entire, 36-frame roll on my Flickr album here:

JCH Streetpan Double Exposure

Jan 3, 2020

2020 Directions

It's always difficult to know what to put into my annual Directions post to keep it fresh and up-to-date. I just don't want to rehash what's been brought up before. To be sure, I will continue some practices that I've previously established. Optical prints of my color work is one that comes to mind. But I do have a project in mind as well. Here are some of my current thoughts that will guide my film work in 2020.
  • I previously announced my Baker's Dozen project. My first roll is in the Mamiya right now.
  • I've got two kinds of 400 speed b/w film bulk rolled and in the freezer right now: HP5+ and Kentmere 400.  When they're gone, I'm going to have to (once again) decide what my next roll will be. For everyday shooting, I'm going to lean toward the K400 strictly for economical reasons. The Ilford keeps creeping up in price to where I have to really think about it now. This will likely become a blog post of its own at some point this year. 
  • The recent addition of a Canon F-1 will keep me shooting 35mm. It makes a nice partner for my Canon A-1 and AE-1 Program.
  • I've put myself on a kind of film moratorium, so I'm not purchasing any for the time being. My lone exception has been picking up some Ilford Ortho Plus right after it was made available. It's in the freezer ready to be shot this year. I'll see if I can resist the urge to purchase more of what I've already got in 2020.
  • Will I shoot more Kodak Ektachrome E100 this year? I dunno. I loved the colors I got last year, but it might have to be a special occasion to do so. Also, I'd have to break the above bullet point if I do, as I'm sort of out of that film right now.
  • I have two trips planned for this year, both in June. One to Central Oregon and the other to Seattle, Washington. You can be sure I'll bring along a film camera or two. We'll see where I wind up otherwise, but I do need to continue my Cemetery Series as well as get some local shooting done. 
Well, that wraps up my thoughts about the upcoming year.  Things can always change, of course, but I don't see myself moving very far off of these in 2020.