Arizona 2022

We’ve had a pretty rough winter in 2022 and we could hardly wait to get out of town on our way to Arizona for the Casa Grande, Region 11 rally.  It wasn’t as easy as driving south and then turning right.  We had to hook up in a snow storm in Santa Fe and had plenty of cold nites and mornings in  Alamogodo, NM.

Once we got to Alamogordo we dropped our rig and headed to White Sands National Park for stunning scenes at dusk and sunrise.

Special note about the picnic structures - they are not seen anywhere else except at this National Park.  They were commissioned by the Park Service and designed by Lyle E Bennett.  The image below was shot by Gary Winogrand a famous street photographer during one of his paying gigs.

Some more imagery from Alamogordo including the Air and Space Museum high on the hill overlooking the town

Then it was onto Casa Grande for the Region 11 Airstream Rally - it was being held at the Pinal County Fairgrounds which was your typical rural, dusty dirt campground.  I gave a lecture on Alternative Travel Photography which was well attended and people seemed to enjoy it.

While in Casa Grande we went north to Chandler, AZ to the Airstream dealer - They took over an abandoned Big Box store and turned it into what they are saying is the largest AS dealer in the US.  It was their soft opening - they fed us, showed us around.  VP of sales from Jackson Center, Ohio ( home of AS) came to greet us.

Back at the fairground there were several Vintage AS to see - this is a a sub club within the main Club.

Also while we were near Phoenix decided to visit the local art museum to see an exhibit of Japanese photographers hosted by Hitachi.  Some of my favorites were there: Daidō Moriyama Eikoh Hosoe Masahisa Fukase Yasuhiro Ishimoto

Casa Grande Ruins are being preserved and show the structures used by the Hohokum tribe.  They farmed the land using multiple water canals.

Last Leg - Tucson.

Tubac - an artist colony near the Mexican border - I was there 30 years ago when it was quaint.  It has exploded into a much more commercial enterprise.  Many stores selling the same kitsch crap. The only thing I found of interest was their cemetery and the Mission at Tumacacori just outside of Tubac.

Happy Hour at the KOA - Last nite it was hosted by John Holly who put on a great spread of vegetarian chili, corn bread made in a Bundt Cake pan, shots of margaritas, wine tasting from St. Francis vineyards and Woodford Bourbon.

We made a quick trip up into Tucson to the Center for Creative Photography on the University of Arizona campus.  It is one of the premiere centers for the study of photography.  Unfortunately there wasn’t much to see for the visitor - I think its really a research museum.  Their viewing galleries are contained on an online database.

Next in line to see was Mt. Lemon abut 40 miles from Tucson and 9,171 ft above sea level.  They get snow and have a small ski area there.  

What are HooDoos? A hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.

Sonoran Desert Museum is a must see.  Doesn’t sound all that interesting but they have really done a nice job of explaining the various animals and plants to be found  in the Sonoran Desert.  From here is on to Mt. Lemon which tops out at about 9200 ft asl.

Then all good things much come to an end - we left the KOA in Tucson and headed to the Tullarosa Winery and stayed there over nite for free - it was just a patch of dirt, no hook ups.  They generally like folks to patronize the establishment.  This is thru Harvest Host program.

Hold Whacha Got

Hold Watcha Got

   Hold whatcha got, I’m a-coming home baby
   Hold whatcha got, and I don’t mean maybe
   Been a-thinking about you and I’m on my way
   Don’t sell the house, and don’t wreck the car
   Stay there, honey, right where you are
   Hold whatcha got, I’m a coming home to stay

Well… in my mind I can see
That’s a pretty good sign that I need you
That’s why I can’t wait to get back home
So squeeze yourself real good and tight
I’ll be there before daylight
If you hold whatcha got, I’m a coming home to stay

Well… when I get back, honey, I ain’t leaving
I been too long, a little too much grieving
When I get back this time I’m going to stay
Well we won’t fuss and we won’t fight
This time things is gonna be all right
If you hold whatcha got, I’m a-coming home to stay

Monument Rock

Monument Rock in Western Kansas is an amazing rock formation.  It is a remnant of the Inland Sea that was Kansas millions of years ago.  

Kansas or Bust

Today was my travel day to go to Kansas for my two days of clinic.  There really is no time to look around when I’m actually in Goodland except the day before work.  I made as my goal to see the newly opened Little Jerusalem State Park ( LJSP).  It is South of Oakley, KS on 83 and actually past the entrance to Monument Rock which I also paid a visit to. LJSP is nicely set up with some easy trails to walk to the rock formation - I don’t think you can actually get that close like you can at Monument.  

Going back North for several miles on 83 gets you to the entrance to Monument Rock - It was my understanding that it was privately owned - seems like there are now signs and promotion by the town of Oakley.  When I went several years ago it was not easy to find.

Super Bowl Sunday

Didn’t do much on SBS except try to clean my office which was a partial success.  I did take some shots inside because I liked the light.  I was rooting for the Bengals - at least they didn’t embarrass themselves like the Broncos usually do.  

EZ400 = Fomapan 400

I purchased a few rolls of EZ400 which is brought to us by New Classic Films - classic BW film in a cardboard container instead of plastic.   Thought it was a great idea.  Shot the roll and was very impressed.  It is a classic film and so the grain is present in classic amounts.  Then I did some research and while everyone is raving about it someone on some forum mentions that it is just Fomapan 400 repackaged.  EZ 400 has the same development times as Fomapan over 5 different developers.  That repackaging will cost you about $2.00 more per roll.  [ EZ 400 at $9 and Fomapan at $6.99]. I also learned that 100 ft of Fomapan is very cheap at $69 - most other well known films are closer to $100.  Live and learn.

Good Time Charlies Got the Blues

I didn’t realize this song was so popular to cover by other artists.  First up is the original by Danny O’Keefe

Everybody’s gone away 

Said they’re movin’ to L.A. 

There’s not a soul I know around 

Everybody’s leavin’ town 

Some caught a freight, some caught a plane 

Found the sunshine leave the rain 

They said this town will waste your time
I guess they’re right, it’s wasting mine 

Some gotta win, some gotta lose 

Good time Charlie’s got the blues 

Good time Charlie’s got the blues 

You know my heart keeps tellin’ me 

You’re not a kid at thirty-three 

Play around you’ll lose your wife 

Play too long you’ll lose your life 

 Some gotta win, some gotta lose 

Good time Charlie’s got the blues

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

I’ve been visiting the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Preserve for about a year now.  It’s only 20 minutes from my home but worlds away from the Urban Corridor.  It’s the former site of a nasty place that used to store, test chemical weapons.  It is now the home of Deer, Bison, Prairie dogs, walking trails and several lakes.  I’ve been inspired by the photography of Kelley Dallas who has some amazing photos of this area.

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

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