Category Archives: The Story

November #CameraChallenge: Part II Shadows

Organizing my cameras again, I found two of my 35 mm cameras had been put away with partially exposed rolls of film.  So I took them out to finish the rolls for the #camerachallenge. : one Portra 400 and one HP5.  So I have both color and B&W to share:

Portra 400:

TheBell

My Arcosanti Bell

For me, Shadow often means Light!   To make a Shadow you need the Light

WallShadows2

View of Shadows in the same Window a few hours apart.  Shadows move and change with the Light.

WallShadows1

My Home has a lot of windows….so I have a lot of Shadows Indoors.

SatelliteDish

But there are Shadows outside as well.  Above: what would I do without my satellite television.  Below:  A tree and it’s shadow on a neighbor’s house.

TreeShadow

 

November #CameraChallenge: Part IA The Second Story

I ended up recording two stories with my Reality So Subtle 6X6F Pinhole.  So here is the second story: Watching the Snow Accumulate during one (of 3 ) October Snow Storms.

I’m still hoping to capture big fluffy snow flakes with the pinhole.  But so far only the fine dry snow…..

More Scenes from my Back Yard……..

SnowStory5

SnowStory6

November #CameraChallenge Part I: The Story of Waneka Lake

Still hanging out with Jason Avery and the @IlfordPhoto gang on Twitter, and during November another #camerachallenge.  For Part I we had a choice between telling a story and looking for patterns.  I chose to tell a story.  Actually two stories; this is the one that I posted for the Challenge.  Both stories were told using my Reality So Subtle 6X6F Pinhole Camera.

Waneka_Geese

So here we tell the Story of Waneka Lake.  Originally constructed in 1865 by impounding a Natural Spring.  The Waneka Family were ranchers that owned most of the land around the coal mining town of Lafayette, Colorado.  One Ranch Structure, the Granary, remains:

 

The property changed hands several times through 1900 eventually belonging to town founder and local mine owner, Mary Miller (then called Miller and Harmon Lake).  In the early 1900’s the Northern Colorado Power Company struck a deal with Mary Miller to split the cost of building an electrical power plant 50:50.  Opened in 1906 and enlarged in 1908, the Plant supplied 6000 kilowatts of power to the Boulder Area:

Waneka-Lake-1908-400x309

The Power Plant occupied the site of the current Boat House:

Boat_House

The only evidence that remains are some of the Clinkers, a stoney residue of coal burned in a furnace (husband for scale):

Donald_Clinkers

Here, a Frisbee Golf site has been placed in the Clinkers:

Frisbee_Golf

In the 1920’s this Power Plant was replaced by a larger one outside Boulder:

New_Power_Plant

The present day City Park is a 147 acre recreational area.  In addition to Frisbee Golf there are boat rentals during the summer months, a 1.2 mile walking/hiking trail, a migratory bird sanctuary and for a small town pretty spectacular 4th of July Fireworks.

Boat_Dock

 

So here ends my Story of Waneka lake.  For more details take a stroll through the Historical Society website.

Frugal Film Project 2020: The Plan

I’ve been an provisional participant in 2019; started in June.  My Camera was a Goodwill purchased Canonet QL and the film was Kodak Color Plus 200.  A fine film, but I found that I was tired of shooting color.  Up to this point I’ve been primarily a B&W photographer.  When I want color, I use my Portra 400.  Also the camera has limitations (i.e. only one lens), so I felt constricted.  Finally the light meter died and I needed to find a ‘new’ old camera.

By Project Definition I am supposed to use the cheapest camera and film.  I did see that one of the 2019 participants was using Ilford HP5.  It’s a film I have recently become ‘friends’ with.  AND I can develop it myself, so that brings the price down considerably.  And Currently it’s selling for $4.99 per roll.  So we’ve solved the 2020 film problem: Ilford HP5.

A new change is that we can switch cameras on a quarterly basis.  So of my options below the question is which do I start with?  And am I going to change up cameras during the process?

Now, I have four inexpensive camera options.  What could be cheaper than a camera (or in this case two) that were given to me by a neighbor.  My freebie choices: the Fujica ST-705 with a normal and zoom lens; and the Yashica Electro 25 GSN, a rangefinder that has telephoto and wide angle lens add-ons (i.e. they screw on over the attached lens).

Fujica_ST_705

Yashica1_Posted_Sm

Both cameras work and are in good condition.  Which would you choose?  But hold on, another camera has entered the Mix.  I was rearranging the storage of my 35mm cameras and found that my Minolta SRT-202 had a partially exposed roll.  So I decided to finish that roll and add the SRT-202 into the Frugal Film Mix.  Shown here with my Fisheye Lens.  And that’s the factor weighing heavily in it’s favor.  I would have the versatility of all my Minolta lens options. The actual value of the camera is borderline for the project.  But we’ll see.

Minolta_SRT_202_Posted

For October,and November I have posted examples from the Yashica and Minolta.   I had decided to give the Fujica away, but my husband said that he would like to try it out.  It’s a lovely camera camera, and seems like it’s going to stay in the Family.  So it may make an appearance for one quarter of Frugal Film.

Now a forth option appeared when I made a film purchase from the Film Photography Project.  There was a ‘new’ plastic camera, the Debonair, for $19.99.  At that price I had to buy it:

 

I had thought to post a survey on Twitter in November for my followers to vote on which camera to use.  But after signing on officially for 2020 and corresponding with the Frugal Film Founder Sherry,  I learned that the rules will be changing slightly.  So I would have more flexibility. I’ll post the new rules in January…….

Grosvenor Arch: Grand Staircase-Escalante

On a recent road trip back from Phoenix we stopped by the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Capitol Reef National Parks.  Both are currently under threat for oil, gas and mining exploration.  So they would be greatly reduced in size or eliminated by the current Administration.  So see it while you can…….

Here is a really spectacular triple Arch:  The Grosvenor Arch:

GrosvenorArch2

Main view point from the parking lot only shows two of the Arches……

GrosvenorArch3

You have to drive further up the road and Look Back to see the last Arch:

GrosvenorArch1

Cedar Breaks and No Snow……

September was my third attempt to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah.  The previous two times I was snowed out (in the summer time mind you!).  Finally made it this past September…..

CedarBreaks1

 

And a little photo Merge Fun!

Cedar_Breaks1

 

Wishing You a Happy Holiday weekend……..I’ve been cooking since 7:00 AM!

Holiday Travel Alert: Airport CT-Scanners will Destroy Your Unprocessed Film

Airport_CT_Scanners

I first became aware of these new CT Scanners through a Popular Science Article.  Of course, they loved it!  But having spent a lot of time recently in CT Scanners for medical reasons, and knowing the radiation risks, I had some concerns.  So I contacted TSA:

TSA2

 

Eventually TSA referred me to their website information regarding Computed Tomography (CT).   The information provided in the email response was less than useless.  And their email response only contained the information for the OLD X-ray scanners:

TSA_Response

A recent Petapixel article provides the best source for relevant information regarding the CT Scanners and Your Film. Basically IT WILL DESTROY YOUR FILM!  So this is my Holiday Travel Warning.  You are permitted to ask for a hand search.  Do So!  Here is the current list of US airports with CT Scanners, with 300 expected by the end of 2020:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

 

In addition to the safety of Our Film.  I am also concerned about the calibration of the machines, regular maintenance and the safety of the TSA operators.  What do they know and what are they being told about the radiation risks?  Lets give that some thought too!

 

Minolta XD-11: The Best Camera That Nobody Wanted

I came across an article on-line regarding “High Water Marks” for various camera brands. It seems to support my statement that the XD-11 was the BEST camera that nobody wanted. Making its appearance in 1977, the XD-11 was part of the late 70’s technology boom in lens development and film quality.

XD-11

Winning Features:

  • Auto Exposure with both Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority options
  • Programmable override for Shutter Speed Priority
  • Excellent viewing screen (very bright)
  • Great ergonomics
  • Leaf Shutter

Leaf_Shutter

The quality of Minolta MD Rokker lenses is also vastly under-rated. This may have been due to mass marketing to amateurs with little attention to attracting the professional photographer. In turn, lack of professional exposure discouraged amateurs, etc, eventually killing the Brand, although their recent technology was purchased by Sony.

I experienced this ‘disdain’ when I returned to college after my Christmas break freshman year with a Minolta SRT-SCII, marked down to discount prices because of the new XD- models. One of my wealthier friends returned with a Canon AE-1, but since my photos were often much better than hers I didn’t let it phase me.

I had already upgraded to the X-700 in the late 1980’s.  Then I heard about this wonderful camera:  The XD-11. I have three XD-Series. My first XD-11 (Shown above) has been sent to the ‘parts’ box due an unfixable film advance problem.  The second one that I acquired is a Japan Market model that is labelled XD, but not Minolta. Number 3 & 4 are both XD-11’s with black bodies.

DSC_8846

Regarding the XD-model, I wondered if I had been scammed, but I took it to my local repair shop and he immediately recognized it.  Told me that for a while the Minolta Cameras left off the Japanese manufacturer’s name in hopes of improving market share.  Mine had probably been brought back to the U.S. by an American Serviceman.

Check out my recent Article in 35mmc featuring the XD-11.

Frugal Film Project Roll #6: The Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Here are some example images from my second Frugal Film camera option for 2020. The Yashica Electro 35: also has two lenses that attach to the 45 mm Normal lens:  a wide angle lens (37.7 mm) and a telephoto lens (58.4 mm).  These extend or decrease the focal length of the Normal lens to the given focal lengths.

Yashica1_Posted_Sm

So I tested all three lens set-ups.  First my Castor Bean Plant, left to right: wide angle, normal and telephoto lenses.

 

And views from Cache la Poudre, same lens arrangement as above:

Poudre_Wide
Wide Angle
Poudre_Normal
Normal
Poudre_Telephoto
Telephoto

I need to work on the focus a bit.  I still say that Mamiya has the best rangefinder focussing viewfinders.  Very large and bright.  This one, maybe second best.

So now I am waiting on the final rules and schedule for the 2020 campaign, when I become an official member………

Armistice 1918-2018: What Have We Learned?

I am Reposting this for Veteran’s Day 2019.  Didn’t quite get the response I had hoped for last year……

Over the past 4 years of the 100th Anniversary of World War I (The War to end all Wars, except that it didn’t).  I had hoped for some thoughtful reflection on the Root Cause of Conflict.  I am aware that some of this occurred Across Europe.  But nothing here in the USA.

WWI History is barely touched upon here.  I know much more than the average America due to an excellent AP European History class I took in High School.  It was taught by one of my most memorable teachers, Mr. Knab, from the perspective of the root cause of conflict and how it directly led to WWII.

An opportunity lost……..

Memorial_Day

So I am Honoring My Father’s WWII Service in a Segregated Army, in Italy.  1st Lt Vernon Johnson.  An Army He later helped to Integrate under orders from President Truman.  He worked in the Army Reserve, ‘helping’ white soldiers get used to taking orders from African America Officers. At the out break of The Korean War, he was like other WWII veterans, exempted from further service because he had a wife and child.  At least back them they did not want to make more Widows and Orphans.

Notably my Father was also a Buffalo Soldier…..And he loved the Bob Marley song.  He felt Appreciated and Respected.

 

 

My Father always talked about the Children he met in Italy………

 

 

And Training at Ft Huachuca, Arizona…….

 

 

 

We’ll end with a Photograph of my Mother.  The one that my Father carried with him through the War. I found it in his old foot locker along with many of the images above:

College_Mom3049.jpg

Mom is still with us at a Feisty 95……