Cold Saturday Walk with Duke

The Highland Bridge is the third of three pedestrian bridges to connect Downtown Denver with the Highland neighborhood. The bridge crosses the Valley Highway between Platte Street and Central Street as an extension of the 16th Street Mall. The bridge was opened on December 16, 2006.

Valley Highway is really I-25.  First time we took Duke for a walk away from the neighborhood.  He whined a little but seemed to have a good time.  I just wanted to get out to take pictures.  

My Wife’s Life is sparred

Because I found mini-Gojira today in the driveway.  He was dirty, cold and hungry so I cleaned him up and told him he can be an indoor only Gojira.  Currently he’s gnawing on my amaryllis.

私は妻にミニゴジラを1日使用させましたが、彼女は雪の中で彼を失いました。 今日私は彼を見つけた-彼は今、ただの屋内ゴジラになるだろう!

Mystery Film

So I have this film bulk loader that has some film in it.  What film?  Not sure and there’s no way to know unless I shoot some and develop it hoping that the film numbers come out of the wash.  I made the assumption that this was some old Kodak XX (5222).  I used HC110B for 5 minutes and the results are pretty good.  There were scratches on some of the negatives - the bulk loader, the canister or the camera - who knows?

Introduced in 1959 by Eastman Kodak, Double X is widely considered to be the quintessential black-and-white cinema film stock, one that can reliably deliver the moody intensity of Old Hollywood and film noir. Seeing as its resumé includes some of the all-time great films like Raging Bull and Schindler’s List, let’s all agree that it’s pretty good at what it does. In fact, Double X has proved to be so good that the film has never been reformulated and is still being produced by Eastman Kodak by the mile.

RetroChrome 320

RetroChrome is government surplus Eastman Ektachrome. Made for industrial and governmental applications, Kodak adds “it is color reversal camera film that is intended for photography under daylight illumination. Among its many applications are news photography, sporting events and industrial photography.” The film is cold-stored expired. The film performs excellent at it’s intended box speed which leads us to believe that this film has been stored in the “deep freeze” for the past decade.

From the FPP site.

Tokyo Story

What a great movie.  1953.  Some say it’s slow paced but the emotion and realism is amazing.  I read somewhere that the director’s movies were not brought to an international audience because his movies were too ‘Japanese’.  I would totally disagree with this as the plot line is really universal:

Elderly couple Shukishi and Tomi Hirayama live in the small coastal village of Onomichi, Japan with their youngest daughter, schoolteacher Kyoko Hirayama. Their other three surviving adult children, who they have not seen in quite some time, live either in Tokyo or Osaka. As such, Shukishi and Tomi make the unilateral decision to have an extended visit in Tokyo with their children, pediatrician Koichi Hirayama and beautician Shige Kaneko, and their respective families (which includes two grandchildren). In transit, they make an unexpected stop in Osaka and stay with their other son, Keiso Hirayama. All of their children treat the visit more as an obligation than a want, each trying to figure out what to do with their parents while they continue on with their own daily lives. At one point, they even decide to ship their parents off to an inexpensive resort at Atami Hot Springs rather than spend time with them. The only offspring who makes a concerted effort on this trip is Noriko

Noriko played by Setsuko Hara:

Setsuko Hara became one of Japan’s best-loved stars over her 30-year film career. Her signature character type, variations on a daughter devoted to her parents and home, inspired the nickname that stayed with her until retirement: the Eternal Virgin. To some extent, reality mirrored her roles in these films. In a society that considers marriage and parenting almost obligatory, she remained single and childless, something of a controversy in Japan in the 1950s. Fortunately she was popular enough to avoid criticism, but the 1950s were still a hard decade. She was plagued by ill health, missing out on several top roles as a result, and she witnessed the death of her camera-man brother in a freak train accident on set.

In 1963, shortly after the death of her mentor, director Yasujirô Ozu, she suddenly walked away from the film industry. At age 43, and at the height of her popularity, she bluntly refused to perform again, angering her fans, the industry, and the press. She implied acting had never been a pleasure and that she had only pursued a career in order to provide for her large family; this explanation is seen as the cause of her popularity backlash. She moved to a small house in picturesque Kamakura where she remained, living alone (though apparently sociable with friends), and refusing all roles offered.

She is undoubtedly known mostly for her work with Yasujiro Ozu, making six films with the great director, including the so-called Noriko trilogy, of which Tokyo Story (1953) is probably the best-known. She also worked with Akira KurosawaMikio NaruseHiroshi Inagaki, and many others.

Bad Pictures

So today I tried several things new in the film lab ( otherwise known as the guest bathroom).  One was the Cinestill TCS 1000 temperature control device.  I’ve tended to use liquid developers because they had high dilution factors making it easier to get the temperature correct.  Just get the tap water at the right temperature and then add the small amount of developer to the mix.  But this limits what developer you can use ( for example I shy away from D-76 either straight or 1:1 because of this). The TCS 1000 agitates and temperature corrects and it all seems to work well. 

The second adventure didn’t turn out so well.  I tried the FilmPhotographyProject version of the mono bath ( Develop-Stop-Fix) all in one solution. I made the mistake of not having it in the ‘soup’ long enough so the negatives came out under fixed.  The grain was huge!  I was using Kentmere 400.  They do warn that ISO at or above 400 may not do well with the mono bath.  I will give it another try with correcting these deficiencies of mine.


Plutopia is a book about the parallel plutonium plants - one in the US ( Hanford Washington) and the other in the former USSR ( Ozersk in the Souther Urals).   

These plants were used to produce plutonium for the arms race during the Cold War.  They went about it differently in some respects, and in others they were very similar.   Hanford had segregated living quarter - only whites with professional skills were given gorgeous homes, good schools and health care.  If you were an ordinary laborer you had to live in a shanty town which maybe on contaminated ground.  In Russia the whole facility was like a prison regardless if you were actually a prisoner or part of the technical team. During much of it’s existence Maiak ( Mayak) was cordoned off from the rest of Russia.  Eventually they learned that they could keep valuable workers if they treated them to consumer goods ( capitalism in the USSR !)

Here are some quotes from the book:

“the practices of plutopia: partitioning territory into “nuclear” and “clean” zones, skimping on safety and waste management to prioritize production, repressing information about accidents, forging safety records, deploying temporary “jumpers” to do dirty work, and glossing over sick workers and radioactive territories, all while treating select citizens to generous government subsidies and soothing public relations programs.”

“four decades of operation, the Hanford plutonium plant near Richland and the Maiak plant next to Ozersk each issued at least 200 million curies of radioactivity—twice what Chernobyl emitted—into the surrounding environment. The plants left behind hundreds of square miles of uninhabitable territory, contaminated rivers, soiled fields and forests, and thousands of people claiming to be sick from the plants’ radioactive effluence.”

There is an excellent article from The Japan Times on the Mayak plant

No Comment

My new self published book of Japan Photos taken on film .  This was from our October Trip to Japan.  I wanted a book that just showed photos without my stupid comments.  Only the last page has some text.  This was in addition to a book that I just completed that was more of documentary of out travels which is fine.

Void Tokyo

VoidTokyo is a street photography journal published by a dozen or so enthusiasts.  I purchased Vol 3 and 6 .  I was very impressed with the quality of the magazine and it’s printing.  The street photography scene in Tokyo appears to be very vibrant.  Why shouldn’t it be?  We spent a scant 48 hours in Tokyo and I definitely would love to go back.

Finally I shot the Moon

Over the last several years when I’ve tried taking a picture of the moon, it’s been a total disaster.  First I thought it was because of a filter over the lens, then not enough light.  Turns out all I needed was ISO 200, 1/125 @ f/8.  Boom done.

The Good, the bad, and the Ugly

Ebay finally bit me in the Butt.  I had heard that the Ricoh GR10 was a great little film point and shoot and half the price of it’s big brother the GR1.  I went to EBAY and bought one from Japan.  Described as EX++++.  Below is what I got

I left negative feedback and the seller wanted to know why.  I explained and uploaded the pictures.  In the end I decided to keep the camera with the hope that the seller learns a lesson.  On the good side are some of the quick grab shots that I got

Atomic Things

Growing up at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs brought with it fear and paranoia.  This was the site of NORAD - North American Air Defense Command.  This is where they had “the big board” and could track all incoming and outgoing missiles.  Growing up during the Cold War we were acutely aware that this facility would be ground zero for an attack by the Russians.  During this time many kids would come to school with stories of their parents installing bomb shelters

My Dad with infinite wisdom said it wouldn’t help/matter and we could kiss our asses good bye if the attack ever came.  Not what an 8 year old wanted to hear.  Anyway ever since I’ve been interested in things nuclear.  Hence trips to Trinity Site, Hiroshima.  Below are a few books I’ve collected over the years to help with the anxiety

Which has led me to my new book project - a personal trip thru my anxiety and paranoia about things nuclear.

Photo Books

I decided that I should give away duplicates of the photo books I’ve done over the years.  I realized I made photo books at the drop of a hat - not a bad thing but I have a lot of them.  I have no idea if any of them are any good.  They are good enough for me.  Documenting events, trips, etc.  

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