Astrum 100

I somehow found this Ukrainian film to buy and wanted to share my initial response.  I was expecting it to suck actually.  When I first poured out the developer ( HC110B for 9.5 min.) the water was orange!  I’m thinking this was gonna be a cluster!  Boy was I wrong.  The negatives are easy to scan and the results are quite good.  Might be even as good as the recently re-released Acros II for a lot less money ($11.99 vs. $4.99 a roll).  Take a look:

Toshio Shibata - Photographer

Since my trip to Japan I’ve become interested in all things Japanese.  I recently bought a book by Toshio Shibata called Gas Stations 1983 & 1986. It’s a limited edition (500) of some very nice photos of gas stations at nite.  

I love this book because it’s small and so the photographer/editor/publisher have to make their statement with less ‘real estate’.  When I’m traveling and shopping for photo books it’s a real help if I can find something enticing in a small package - this certainly fills the bill.

Here’s what the publisher had to say

In the early 1980s, returning to Japan from a few years of traveling and living in Europe, Toshio Shibata began photographing night scenes of roadside Japan. Shibata has said of the experience of the road at night: “While driving on a highway at night in Europe I often experienced an imperceptible momentary sensation of transcending place, yet not knowing where I was. It seemed as if I could have been in Japan, or even in the United States. I felt that the scene was non-specific, but rather a kind of generic or archetypal common scene, universal image and part of a global world-view.”

Gas stations – especially in the dead of night – look more or less the same everywhere they are to be found. Yet their generic look can also provoke feelings of melancholy, even romance. 

Well known for his large-scale photographs of large-scale civil engineering in rural places, both in Japan and in the West, Toshio Shibata here presents the view with a book of seven jewel-like images of Japanese gas stations at night, beautifully reproduced and accompanied by a silver gelatin photograph, hand printed by the artist himself. 

“Toshio Shibata occupies a distinct place in landscape photography: His pictures don’t idealize pristine wilderness nor do they moralize about the damaging imprint humans leave upon the natural world. Shibata studies places of contact — where we have altered the earth — and finds reflection, wonder, awe.

Beauty, in his work, is inclusive, and purity is a matter of compositional elegance rather than rarefied subject matter.” — Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times

Gas Stations: 1982 & 1986 is limited to 500 numbered copies, each including a 5x7 inch original print that has been signed by the artist.

Photographing Gas Stations is not new. 

 Ed Ruscha had his Twenty Six Gas Stations which was not a success when it first came out.  It is now almost impossible to obtain a copy

Twentysix Gasoline Stations is the first artist’s book by the American pop artist Ed Ruscha. Published in April 1963 on his own imprint National Excelsior Press, it is often considered to be the first modern artist’s book, and has become famous as a precursor and a major influence on the emerging artist’s book culture, especially in America. The book delivers exactly what its title promises, reproducing 26 photographs of gasoline stations next to captions indicating their brand and location. From the first service station, ‘Bob’s Service’ in Los Angeles where Ruscha lived, the book follows a journey back to Oklahoma City where he had grown up and where his mother still lived. The last image is of a Fina gasoline station in Groom, Texas, which Ruscha has suggested should be seen as the beginning of the return journey, ‘like a coda’. Originally printed in a numbered edition of 400, a second edition of 500 was published in 1967 and a third of 3000 in 1969. Neither of these later editions was numbered. It has been suggested that these reprints were a deliberate attempt to flood the market in order to maintain the book’s status as a cheap, mass-produced commodity. The book originally sold for $3.50.

LomoChrome Metropolis and Rollei Cross Bird

For this last camping trip for awhile I shot with different film - color print, color slide, BW.  One of the rolls was LomoChrome’s new Metropolis film.  It’s look changes depending on whether it’s shot at ISO 100 to 400.  Can be done mid roll.  I just got the results and they are interesting.  Here they are without any manipulation .

I’m not sure what I think about this new film.  Certainly gives a new look without any post processing.  The next film is Rollei CrossBird which is E6 slide film cross processed in C41 chemistry.  I don’t really like the look all that much but you wouldn’t know this until you tried it right?

First Try @ IR

Purchased an IR corrected point and shoot and am trying to figure out my workflow.  Needless to say my pics look nothing like what is advertised by the company.  I gladly accept that this is due to operator error ….

Raccoons Rip my Flesh

This morning started with both dogs barking furiously at something.  Vicki went out and spotted a racoon up one of our trees.  It spent several hours n the tree.  We went for a walk with the dogs and when we returned it was smack dab in the middle of our yard!  That’s when we called animal control.  He didn’t think it was rabid and snared it but didn’t actually take it out of our yard- I guess they have rules preventing them from catching them .  I would have preferred him to be taken out of our neighborhood and released into a park somewhere.  All this while staying 6 feet from the Animal Control Officer!

Living on Straight Street

Straight Street

Ry Cooder

Well I used to live on Broadway 

Right next to the liar’s house

My number was self-righteousness 

And a very little guide of mouth

So I moved, I moved 

And I’m living on straight street now

I moved, I had moved

I’m living on straight street now

Before I moved over

Let me tell you how it was with me

Old Satan had me bound in chains 

And I had no liberty

One day my heart got troubled 

All about my dwelling place

I heard the Lord when He spoke to me 

And he told me to leave that place

So I moved, I moved 

And I’m living on straight street now

Yes, I moved, I moved

Well, I’m living on straight street now

Since I moved, I’m really living

I’ve got peace within

I thank the Lord for everything

So glad I found new friends

Since I moved, I moved 

And I’m living on straight…

Hunkering @ Home

In the age of COVID19 we are all having to find ways to stay busy without leaving our abodes.  As an introvert this is a little easier for me compared to my mate who loves to leave the house for hours at a time to shop.  She’ll go grocery shopping at three different stores.  If I were to do the shopping it would one place only.  But I digress…. so far I’ve taken to:

1] clean out my inbox on three email accounts

2] bug the hell out of my two dogs, taking pictures of them

3]Scanned about 5 rolls of film with 5 more coming in the mail

4]gotten back into yoga and some exercise 

5] limited my meals to 2 in order to loose weight - down 2.5 lbs!

6] Try to avoid buying more cameras on the internets - so far successful

Last Trip before Quarantine

Little did we know or expect that this would be our last trip for awhile because of COVID19 Hunkering at Home.  We took the Airstream out for a trip to Lake Havasu.  This was to join the Arizona Unit and many others for Bluegrass on the Beach festival.  From there we went to Boulder City, Nevada for a mini-Rally with some other Airstreamers.

While not a big Bluegrass aficionado I found myself really liking the music.  Favorite phrase during the concerts was “Standing in the need of Prayer”

Can’t have Lake Havasu without a little boat action.  We rented a 20 foot boat and had Gene Blanchard pilot it as I know next to nothing about running a boat.

Next we headed up to Boulder City which is a cute historical town - was the base of operations for the construction of the Hoover Dam. Here we met out friends, Tom and Natalie Balchak and we brought Gene and Kathy Blanchard with.  This was our mini-rally

Lucky Dragon 5

A little article on the NHK - Japanese TV feed come on while I was working out and it’s work a mention.

One of the last remaining fisherman from the Lucky Dragon 5 died at age 87:

A former crew member of a Japanese fishing boat exposed to the nuclear fallout from a 1954 US nuclear test in the Pacific has died.

Masaho Ikeda died of stomach cancer in a hospital in Fujieda City in Shizuoka Prefecture on Thursday. He was 87 years old. His relatives say he had also suffered esophagus and liver cancer.

Ikeda was an engine driver of the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru, meaning “Number 5 Lucky Dragon.” The boat carrying a 23-member crew was operating when the US carried out the hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on March 1, 1954.

Ikeda kept silent about his experience initially, but nearly 60 years later, he began sharing his story with younger generations.

He and other former crew members gave accounts of their experiences in a documentary by a US film director released last year.

Last February, Ikeda attended a funeral of another former crew member, Susumu Misaki, who died at the age of 92. Ikeda had said Misaki was like a brother to him.

More from Wikipedia:

The Daigo Fukuryū Maru ( translated is Lucky Dragon 5 ) encountered the fallout from the U.S. Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini

Atoll, near the Marshall Islands, on March 1, 1954.   (This was a 15 Megaton bomb) When the test was held, the Daigo Fukuryū Maru was catching fish outside the danger zone that the U.S. government had declared in advance.

However, the test was more than twice as powerful as predicted, and changes in weather patterns

blew nuclear fallout, in the form of a fine ash, outside the danger zone. On that day, the sky in

the west lit up like a sunset. Seven minutes later, the sound of the explosion arrived, with fallout

reaching the ship two hours later. The fishermen attempted to escape from the area, but they

took time to retrieve fishing gear from the sea, exposing themselves to radioactive fallout for several hours.

The fallout – fine white flaky dust of calcinated Bikini Island coral, which absorbed highly radioactive fission products and

neutron activated isotopes – fell on the ship for three hours. The fishermen scooped the highly radioactive dust into bags

with their bare hands. One fisherman, Matashichi Oishi, reported that he “took a lick” of the dust that fell on his ship,

describing it as gritty but with no taste.[10] The dust stuck to surfaces, bodies and hair; after the radiation sickness

symptoms appeared, the fishermen called it shi no hai ( 死の灰, death ash).

This true story was the basis of the kaiju story Godzilla otherwise known as Gojia that was released November 1954

It’s been said that the US government did little to help the Japanese authorities figure out how to treat these victims.  Another black mark on the US!

From This Place

Pat Metheny’s new album is more like his old stuff I would opine.  Maybe this is good it’s just different.  Comes on the heels of the sad news of Lyle Mays death.  Keyboardist and major inspiration for the Pat Metheny Group in it’s founding days.  I think Lyle would have approved of this album I’m sure

Fatal case of G.A.S.

G.A.S. is Gear Acquisition Syndrome - for many like me it ain’t a syndrome but a dang disease!  I made the acquaintance of someone on Instagram who goes by the name “girlwithtoomanycameras” with 40.  I happened to do camera inventory yesterday because it was cold and snowy out.  To my surprise I had 31 last nite but then found two more.  So I am now I am “guywithtoomanycamerasbutnotasmanyasdanielle”

Prairie Madness is Published

Prairie Madness is now out for publication by

Without trying, I have slowly been doing a project about prairie photography.  I am generally not a ‘project’ photographer being distracted all the time.  But if you take enough subject based photos you end up with a project.  I have been taking prairie photographs for awhile and it went into high gear when my job took me to Western Kansas.  I would typically drive and weather permitting would take the back roads into Kansas.  I loved being able to pull to the side of the road and snap photos.  I had some wild adventures such as driving 106 mph to avoid a hail storm in my new car!

My goal for this new book is to get more people to look and buy it.  In it’s current form its a bit on the expensive side but this is the nature of self-publishing in one and two quantities.  I decided that I would in the very near future reach out to several prairie preservation organizations to see if they can ‘boost my signal’ as it were for promise of monetary support coming from the sale of the book.  Here are a few more pictures from the book

Photo Equipment Nirvana

The promise of cheap film equipment has been illusory at best.  I think it was true maybe 5-10 years ago when people were dumping their film equipment on the market.  Then as the used film market started to mature things have sky-rocketed.  Certain models more so than others based on what the hipsters are doing.  Case in point is the Leica M6.  Several years ago I purchased a pristine example for $1500.  I chided myself for spending this amount when there were other ones for $1200.  Like a fool I sold it some time later.  Now if I wanted that same camera I’d have to pay $2500.  An increase in $1000 in just 4 or 5 years!!  A similar M7 goes for about the same and it’s a better camera in my opinion.

Well I finally purchased the Nirvana camera pictured above.  Canon EOS 55QD for $48 from Used Photo Pro. They have a bunch just sitting there to be purchased.  Yes they’re made of hardened plastic but they have about every bell and whistle there is.  I bought one along with a 40/2.8 pancake lens all for about $110.  So instead of pining for a used M6 that you can’t afford, go for something that’s a real bargain. 

PhotoVOX 2/2020

CPAC is the Colorado Photographic Arts Center located in downtown Denver.  It’s a gallery space, wet and digital darkroom all in one location.  They offer classes and once a month they host PhotoVox which is talks, discussion and display members works.  Last nite was a very nice, informal show your work nite for 6 fearless photographers.

New old Stock…….

or is it Old new stock?  What it means is that the product has never been opened but it’s from a previous era.  The Konica Centuria 80e is not available anymore.  Are there ANY film point and shoots of any ability still for sale?  Not really.  But Safelight Berlin advertised them for less than 100euros so I was in.  I shot the film that was included which was out of date 2006.  Color film does not age well like wine so there were color shifts that had to be dealt with.  

Hell to da Naw Naw Naw


Mmm (C’mon, Bishop)

Mmm-mm-mmm, yeah (Yeah)

Mmm-mm-mmm (Listen)

(Let it go, let it go)

[Verse 1]

My name Bishop Bullwinkle

I got the First Church of Nothing but the Truth (What you say?)

Deacon Kyle, Deacon George, Deacon Clay

Open up the door and try to move

First I want to thank God

For the blood running warm in my veins (Yeah)

I thank God for my life, health and strength

I got a sound mind, I’m not insane (Come on)

I ain’t gonna preach too long

Ain’t gonna take this service too far

My sermon’s in the morning

Hell to the naw, naw, naw

Come on, come on


Hell naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Hell to the naw)

Hell to the naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Listen)

[Verse 2]

Sister Ella, Sister Ruth, make sure that everybody get a seat

(C’mon, y’all)

Sister Lilly may go back in the kitchen

‘Cause she when it get through, I need to eat (I mustn’t)

Fix me collard greens and cornbread and rice

Chicken breast, ox tails on the side

(That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout)

Deacon Underwood, get my Bentley ready

‘Cause when it get through, I need a ride

Doctor West, count the money, count the money

Come back and tell us what ya raised

(Well, had to find another, did you?)

I got the people, they looking for some blessings

First God gotta get the praise (C’mon, y’all)

See, there’s an old saying

When the praises go up, you get the blessing coming down

I got some peoples in the church

God almighty look at ‘em, they messing around


Hell naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Hell to the naw)

Hell to the naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Listen)

[Verse 3]

I got peoples in the church smokin’ weed, drinkin’ whiskey

They drinkin’ a lot of gin (What you say?)

I got the preacher with the night prayer leading

Talking about, “Can I get a amen?” (C’mon)

Early Sunday morning

‘Bout a quarter and a half past the ten (Yeah)

I got some people, they comin’ off the street

God almighty look at ‘em, they strollin’ in (They need help)

They layin’ at the altar

They confessin’ their sins, yeah (Come my way)

Time you see ‘em Monday morning

Doing the same thing again (Hypocrite, hypocrite)


Hell naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Hell to the naw)

Hell to the naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Listen)

[Verse 4]

Got kids dropping out of school

Talking about they don’t want to learn

Yet they’re standing on the corner rolling blunts

Talking about, come on let’s burn

(Y’all better get back to school)

I got kids walking up and down the street

Pants hanging down around their knees

(Pull them pants up)

Talking about that they’re looking for a job

When I see ‘em jitter bug, I say please

See all they ever talk about, brag about

Who got the biggest and the baddest gun

Time they see the copper with the bubble top

They drop the gun, they want to run (Put them guns down)

And now the sheriff got ‘em locked up, hah

They sitting in the county jail (It’s a shame)

I heard their mama, she was crying all night

She can’t get no money for the bail

And now they’re mad with the home boys

‘Cause they didn’t put no money in the commissary

(Free to go, naw)

Be glad you’re in the jail, brother man

You were sure headed for the cemetery (C’mon, wait)

There’s an old saying

That a hard head make a soft behind (Yeah)

Well, since you did the crime, go on and do the time

Stop the baby crying, come on, come on


Hell naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Hell to the naw)

Hell to the naw, to the naw, naw, naw (Listen)

[Verse 5]

When people talk about ya

All you gotta do is let ‘em talk much as they please

(That what they gon’ do, y’all)

‘Cause all you gotta do is get down on your knees

(Tell the Lord about it)

You tell God about it and I guarantee

He will never leave you alone (Yeah)

All you gotta do is tell the Devil

“Hell naw, won’t you leave me ‘lone?” (Devil, leave)


Hell naw (Come on, wait)

To the naw, naw, naw (Come on, come on)

Hell to the naw, to the naw, naw, naw

Hell naw-naw, to the naw-naw, to the naw-naw, naw-naw

To the naw-naw, to the naw-naw, hell to the naw-naw, hah

To the naw-naw, naw, naw, hell to the naw

Naw, naw, naw, naw, hell to the naw-naw

Ralph Bull Photographer of Central NY

You know how some photographers are immediately identified with a city or region.  Like  W. Euegene Smith is with Pittsburgh well I seemed to have stumbled upon the Central NY equivalent in Ralph Bull.  Having lived in this area for many years the images all ring true.  The photo above shows a sunny day but in the winter this is a rarity so I had to use it.  While we’re at it here are some other examples:

Ralph Eugene Meatyard for Lexington , Kentucky

Milton Rogovin for Buffalo, NY

Richard Nickels - Golden Era Architecture of Chicago

Using Format