Visit to Colorado Springs

I went to Colorado Springs to visit some old and new spots.  It was a way to get out, take pictures and relive some memories.  This series was of the Fine Arts Center which since 2018 has been a part of Colorado College.  They have a pretty strict COVID policy - ID, Proof of Vaccination and N95 preferred.  One of the CC students that was working there said that they ARE in a bit of bubble there in Colorado Springs.  

The exhibits that caught my attention were the Brett Weston Abstract Photos and the collection of Eugene Atget photos that were saved for posterity by Bernice Abbott who had studied under him.  She went to Paris and retrieved some of his glass negatives and printed then herself.  Very nice grouping and it’s part of the permanent collection.

Frankenstein Film Part II

I was not very happy with the first run of this film - I shot a 2nd roll but this time I developed it in D76 straight for 6 min. This time it came out much better.  Not sure whey there would be so much difference between D76 and HC110 - yes they are completely different developers but generally this shouldn’t matter that much.

Get Off the Damn Highway Son

A recent trip to Kansas for work I decided to get there by old Highway 36 thru north eastern Colorado.   Byers, Last Chance, Anton, Cope, St Francis

Once in Goodland, KS there were other sites to be seen such as there largest easel

Technical Note:  Shot on my very used Olympus Stylus Zoom with Film Photography Project Frankenstein 200 film.  Processed at home in HC110 1:47 for 6:30.  Was surprised by the look of the scanned images (i.e. it’s an acquired taste).  There was a lot of debris on the negatives which I don’t know why.

Film Experiment - please use Eye Protection

Conventional wisdom is that when doing an experiment you should  only have one variable - this has never stopped me from having multiple variables.  In this case I was trying Ilford XP2 which is a Black and White C41 film ( think color film) developed in B and W chemicals.  I used my Leica SL film camera - herein is the problem.  The Leica CL takes the 1.35 v Mercury laden 625 battery which is no longer manufactured.  So the workarounds include: using a Wein cell which is activated by exposure to the air, using the MR9 adapter which takes a 386 battery that you put into the adapter and then the whole thing goes into the CL, and finally there is the option of having a technician change the circuitry of the CL to take a 1.5 v battery.

I went with the Wein cell and that did not work very well - not sure why.  I had exposures all over the place.  The CL would occasionally get the correct exposure.  The problem with the CL is the battery is installed inside the camera was you are loading the film so if mid-roll you need to change the battery you are out of luck.  I also learned that certain Lens Hoods make the split image focusing not as crisp as it should be.

Now onto the XP2 in BW chemical.  It does work.  My negatives were either too light or too dense because of the battery issue and so I don’t think what I got is a fair estimate.  I’m gonna try it again.  Using XP2 in either C41 or Hc110 offers a lot of flexibility when shooting BW.  You can send it off to be developed ( C41) or develop it yourself.

Vivian Maier - Forget what you Think you Know

Forget what you think you know about the ‘nanny photography’, Vivian Maier.  This new book is well researched and sets asides all the myths and untruths about this amazing photographer.  

- She was a hoarder which only came out later in life

- Hoarding included her photography - she was a complete unknown because she hoarded her photography

- Because she collected all sorts of things she had huge storage bills which she neglected to pay and that’s why her stuff was seen by the outside world

- She was Phil Donahue’s nanny for awhile

- Rarely did she print her own pictures - many rolls were left undeveloped

- Retrospective psychological analysis ( always a bit of a reach) suggests she also had a personality disorder

Worst Wildfire in Colorado History

Described as the worst wildfire in the history of Colorado.  Over 600 homes and apartments destroyed and thousands evacuated.  Yesterday afternoon residents of the front range were being bombarded by warnings of a severe winter storm approaching.  Then high winds hit the area around Boulder.  This is not unusual but the  ferocity of the winds ( 105-110 mph),  bone dry landscape and one downed power line was all it took to set things into motion.  24 hours later we have several inches of snow on the ground ! I have posted here some photos and video.  Please consider helping those who have been devastated by this fire

Robert Adams and Wheat Ridge, CO

Robert Adams is an internationally recognized photographer that I’ve had an interest in for several years.  When first introduced to him I was not at all impressed with his photography.  It was only looking at more of his portfolio that I fell in love with his offerings.  This is what one website says about him:

Robert Adams has photographed the landscape of the American West for more than forty years, particularly in California, Colorado and Oregon. His vision is inspired by his joy in nature’s inherent beauty, yet tempered by his dismay at its exploitation and degradation. Adams uses photography to express his love for the landscape and to understand how urban and industrial growth have changed it, all the while insisting that beauty in the world has not been entirely eclipsed. 

Adams was born in New Jersey in 1937 and raised in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. He moved to Southern California in 1956 to attend the University of Redlands. He chose to major in English literature and went on to earn a Ph.D. in that subject at the University of Southern California in 1965.

When Adams returned to Colorado to begin what he anticipated would be a career in teaching, he was dismayed by the changes he saw in the landscape. He bought a 35-mm camera, taught himself the fundamentals of photography, and began making pictures infused with a love for the geography of his home state. 

Adams’s visual education came in part through the work of photographers who had preceded him in the West a century before, especially those of Timothy O’Sullivan, William Henry Jackson, and Carleton Watkins. Their work, together with that of Lewis Hine, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams–who often merged their social concerns with aesthetic ones–helped inspire Adams’s style: a spare formalism coupled with emotional depth. 

It was this image above in particular that got me interested in Adams - it was shot in Colorado Springs where I grew up.  When I saw that it immediately resonated with me.  This suburban image is so typical of the Colorado Springs that I grew up in. I the discovered that Adams grew up in Wheat Ridge where I live and in fact one of his photos that is now in the Yale University Art Collection is of a house just up the street

Other photos taken in and around Wheat Ridge are displayed here.  Some are going for $18,000+ in galleries

No place is Boring, if you have had a goods nite sleep and a pocket full of undeveloped film - Robert Adams

Bronica ETRSi

Finally broke down and got a Medium Format SLR camera - As much as I would like to have a Hassleblad - they are still too expensive.  I got this unit with lens, back and AE finder for quite a bit less than $1000.  It’s a 645 format so there’s 16 images per roll.  This camera’s native layout is Horizontal whereas my Bronica 645 RF is Vertical so it’s nice to have a choice.  Additionally with the ETRSi I can load a 2nd film into a 2nd back and interchange mid roll which you can’t do with many cameras.  

67 years old and still going Strong

NO I’m not talking about me although I am 67 years old - so is Godzilla as of this month ( November 1954 the first Gojira movie was released). I’m talking about the venerable Leica IIIf that I just bought and refurbished

Here’s a recent article from Petapixel about the camera.  I’ve had several of these cameras in my photography life.  For some reason I keep selling them - not sure why.  They are small, pocketable and can still be used with some rather new lenses made by Cosina.  I have purchased a few Russian lenses for like $30 that do ok if you’re into cheap.  Here are some pictures made with this camera

Avants Tour of Black Mountain Motorworks

Another Saturday , another AVANTS get together.  This time at Black Mountain Motorworks.  They offer secure air conditioned storage for high end vehicles.  They have a kitchen , sitting area and small conference room on the 2nd floor so it’s like a shared ‘man-cave’.  The VW featured is a resto-mod from ICON.  The exterior and interior have been for the most part left stock.  Engine , running gear and electrics have all been upgraded.  Look at this YouTube video to see what was done to it.

Using Format