Into the Pits for Repairs

Now that I’m reading all about Vivian Maier I decided it was time to clean and upgrade my Rolleiflex Automat - I purchased this years ago when I lived in Syracuse.  It’s laid dormant for several years which is never a good thing for things mechanical.  So it is off with Harry Fleenor in California.  Est. time in the shop is 4 months - not that it takes that long to do the repair but just I’m sure he has a huge backlog of cameras to fix.  The longest I ever waited for a repair was 1 year for a Leica IIIc from Sherry Krauter - her dad got sick in the middle so there was a delay

Shooting Outdated Film

…is not for the faint of heart.  I shot a roll of Velvia 50 that was REALLY outdated.  All the colors were off , red tinged.  In short a real disaster.  You have a couple of options.  1] do the best you can to color correct and label it a heavy Instagram filtered shot.   2] take the image into black and white.  Here are some samples

Visit your City

Spent Friday nite and Saturday morning in Denver.  We live in Denver but sometimes it takes actually being downtown to see it.

Stayed at the Oxford Hotel which is Denver’s oldest hotel.  Just up the street for Union Station.They did a nice job of remodeling.  They had a bourbon tasting in the lobby featuring Colorado distilled bourbons.

Union Station is now a destination - no longer a grubby inner city train station but now a hub for all sorts of fun things.  They have branch of Snooze - what we refer to as the hipster doofus breakfast place - sorry no pictures of a hipster doofus but there was one there when we walked in.  See below

Kentucky for the Holidays

Spent the Thanksgiving weekend with our friend Greg Reynolds. He’s from Lexington but probably has spent most of his life outside of Kentucky.    Recently for the last several years he’s been back home to help his parents - mostly his father who passed this year.  Anyway we have been saying for months that we were going to visit but it finally happened!

Greg with Lucky

Greg with Lucky

Vicki and Greg

Moi and Vicki

Just something on the street

THE hike

just sitting there was a child’s shoe

Vicki, Mrs. R and Greg


Vivian Maier is without a doubt one of the most enigmatic photographer/personalities of the 20th century.  Pamela Bannos book seems to be the most helpful in sorting out who she was and how she went about being one of the most accomplished and yet unknown street photographer.  She lived her early life in France but then came to America and lived in both Chicago and NYC.  She was a nanny by trade.  Her works were private until she forgot to pay the company storing her belongings.  Her portfolio contained pictures, negatives and many rolls of undeveloped film.  It was sold at auction and has been spread to the wind to many different individuals.  

I often wondered how her talent went unnoticed?  Did she develop her own works?  Bannos seems to answer that question at least for her work done in Chicago:

“that Vivian Maier frequented downtown’s century-old Central Camera photo supply shop. His sleuthing had brought him to the doorstep of Vivian Maier’s sanctum. The shop was celebrated as “Chicago’s Most Complete Photographic Store” and its oldest. The building’s 1930s-era green-and-yellow sign remained intact, its red neon stripes flickering underneath”

“the Wabash Street elevated train tracks. Inside, the long narrow shop presented a corridor of glass cases and counters loaded with new and old cameras of all types, along with a plethora of film, paper, and darkroom supplies. The camera store had been owned by the Flesch family for three generations and had maintained the same dedicated employees for decades. Unlike her Rogers Park neighbors who knew nothing about the nameless eccentric in their midst, Maier had from time to time in the past shared select personal information—and her passion—with these fellow camera and photography enthusiasts, who remembered her well but hadn’t known about her death until Sekula told them of it. These old-timers recalled Vivian Maier from as far back as the 1970s. They knew her name from the envelopes that they sent off for developing her film, and she had been a steady customer. She was tall, wore hats and big coats, and always carried a Rolleiflex. As Sekula told Stein, they said that “she baby sat for a living, which explains the various children in her photos. She always overdressed, which sounds like the habit of a refugee, wearing all her clothes at once. She was a tough customer, it turns out, but did indeed love going to the movies, as long as they weren’t American. Did not have a lot of money to make prints or even develop film, or perhaps preferred sitting in the dark theater to standing in the dark room over stinky trays of fixer. The countermen also remarked that Maier was very particular about the work they did for her. However, they didn’t specifically recall Maier’s photographs; everyone who came into the store was a photographer on some level, and she seldom shared her work. Vivian Maier mostly stood out because of the way she looked, her personality, and her consistent presence over the years. Still, they hadn’t seen Maier for quite some time.” 

It is still amazing that no one from the developer to the counter guys made note of the quality of work being turned out by this shy and unassuming person.

On a personal note my Father grew up in Rogers Park section of North Chicago where Vivian lived.  He too frequented Central Camera for his supplies.  I know this because he taught me the elements of photography and his supplies proudly displayed the Central Camera logo.  I do like to make a pilgrimage to CC when I am in town just to soak in all this nostalgia.

Thousand Instagram Followers

I love Instagram but for reasons that are personal. For me it’s a way to connect to a few people.  I actually avoid following folks with tens of thousands of followers unless it’s really a very interesting IG.  I DON’T aspire to have thousands of followers ( as if that was even possible).  I’ve stopped following about 20 Russian IG accounts when I read that you can go to a Kiosk in the big cities of Russia and buy followers.  I do follow 1 or 2 who’s IG is personal as it offers me a glimpse into a different world.  I just read a post about getting a free e-book on how to grow your fan base.  This is in response to that.  So you folks would be doing me a big favor by NOT following me.    @enitka

Natura 1600

Natura 1600 by Fuji is a true ISO 1600 film with fine grain for this speed.  I did some google-ing and found that some folks shoot it at 1250 but for my first two rolls I shot it at 1600.  It is only available in Japan so to get it here makes the film a little pricey.  And of course like you’re not supposed to, I shot it first time for my nephew’s wedding - mind you I was not the principle photographer , just a guest. 

Outside shots in full sun came out amazing.  These photos were taken at the USS Grayling ( SS 209) memorial at the Sloan’s Lake Park

Porsche of Colorado Springs

Porsche of Colorado Springs is like no other dealership I’ve ever seen!.  Yes they are there to sell you a car but it’s also like a museum. You can’t find a 911 R!  They had 2.  Several 911 GT3 RS just sitting there.  A Porsche tractor for God’s sake. Pictured is my friend and driving instructor, Joe Rothman who now gigs at the dealership.  

Foma 320 Soft Film

This is what the manufacturer states:” is a panchromatically sensitized special negative black and white film with fine grain, good resolution and contour sharpness. ”   They recommend development in THEIR chemical developer which is where my photos went off the track - have it on order now.  

Needless to say this stuff was anything but fine grained.  I haven’t seen this large of grain anywhere.  Was developed in HC110 B.  Will show the next roll shot as per their recommendations.

Lewis Hamilton - 4th Championship !!

2012 was the first time I’d watched F1 - at the inaugural race in Austin, TX.  We all had no idea who we liked but sitting on turn 11 I decided I’d follow Lewis Hamilton because he seemed to get out of the hairpin sooner than the competition.  He won that race and now has won his 4th world championship.  He deserves everything he’s gotten.  I think , as do many others, the next one to watch for is Max Verstappen

Guanella Pass

Started off as a simple drive from Georgetown up Guanella pass to Highway 285.  Blue sky…..but it’s Colorado so of course there was snow!

Santa Fe

A quick trip to Santa Fe - a fan favorite.  Side trips to Madrid, Galesteo and Tent Rock.  Wonderful dinners in town.  It’s a spiritual place for me.

Kansas in BW

Returned to Monument Rocks this time with BW film.  Not just any film but the recently released Ferrania Film from Italy.  Pretty happy about how the film performed.  It’s an ISO 80 film so not real speedy but it’s worth it to have such nice negatives to work with.  While in Kansas I stopped by the Finney County Courthouse which is where Smith and Hickock were tried and found guilty of murdering the Klutter family

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