Thursday, April 11, 2024

Historic Albuquerque

 I was at my usual place in front of the computer soon after sunrise when I noticed the nice light that illuminates our street this time of year.  I threw on some clothes and went out on the sidewalk with my No.1A Pocket Kodak and a tripod.  I made a couple shots on a roll of Fomapan 400 of the house across the street and a couple of our place as well.

The two story Henry Mann house was built in 1905.  When we first came to the neighborhood about fifteen years ago, the house was surrounded by about an acre of garden space.  About half of that area is now occupied by three concrete block houses that don't have nearly the character of their old neighbor.

Our little house on the opposite corner was originally a four-room bungalow with a screen porch in front.  It was built about one hundred years ago.  Sometime along the way the porch was incorporated to enlarge the living room, and another flat-roofed section was added to the back to provide a separate kitchen and another small bedroom.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Color for the Pen-FT

 I bought ten rolls of cheap Kodak color with the intent of shooting them mostly in my Olympus Pen-FT, five Kodak Gold 200 and five Ultramax 400.  Of these pictures on the Gold 200, the first four were shot at the zoo with the Olympus E. Zuiko 3.5/100mm.  The rest were from the Olympus F.Zuiko 1.8/38mm.


Coming off the scanner the colors looked a little muddy.  It may be that I let the Cinestill C-41 developer age a bit too much since I last used it.  I'll try an extra stop of exposure on the next roll to see it that gets better results.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Panoramic Mastery

 The closest I get to making photographs in panoramic format is when I shoot 120 rollfilm in one of my old Kodak folders designed to use the long-discontinued 116 format. I have long thought it would be fun to use one of the swing-lens Kodak Pano cameras from the same era, but the prices for them has always been a bit beyond my comfort level.

 The recent revival of interest in the panoramic format has stirred my interest in doing more with the wide view, and several members of our New Mexico Film Photographers group have ably shown the way.  Most recently Bob Eggers has been posting panoramic pinhole images that are notable for their surprising sharpness, as well as showing a good eye for the potential of compositions that are at least twice the width of their height.

A recently published biography by Melissa Harris of Magnum photographer, Josef Koudelka, appears to devote quite a bit of space to his panoramic work.  I have not read the book yet, but the Aperture review somewhat surprisingly makes no mention of the photographer's Czech predecessor, Josef Sudek, whose career had many parallels to Koudelka's.

Sudek has long been a favorite of mine, so I got out two of the books I have that focus on his work during the first half of the Twentieth Century in Prague. I then went on to search references to Sudek on the web and was surprised when, not far down the list, I came to a link to a post I had done on Sudek's panoramic work nearly twenty years ago.  That post sparked a nice conversation about Sudek's classic work, including a report from Prague by  poet Jorn Ake who,  just finishing a long visit to the city, provided some fine on-the-spot reporting on details of the great photographer's life, as well as a link to a good overview of a Kodak Pano model similar to that Sudek used.

I am looking forward now to an exhibition of historical panoramic prints from the Albuquerque Art Museum's photo archives which will run from March 30 to November 17, 2024.

Unknown Photographer, Bluher Farms, 1915, reproduction of a gelatin silver print, gift of unknown donor

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Old Town Shadows

 A brilliant Spring morning created some new perspectives on familiar subjects around the Plaza Vieja.

The Leica IIIa and the 3.5/50 Elmar performed well as expected, but the combination of Kentmere 100 and HC110b made me work a bit harder in Silverfast and Photoshop to get the middle gray tones I wanted.

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This post was provided courtesy of Windows XP.  I flipped my old Dell desktop on its head a couple times.  Once upright again it started up and performed normally.  I'm thinking the good outcome indicated a loose connection somewhere, but maybe it was just the threat of further violence.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Looking at Art in New Mexico

 Margaret and I spent a lot of time in galleries and museums in the last month.  The exhibition of Canadian Indigenous Art at the Albuquerque Art Museum was excellent.  A show of Black and White drawings and photographs at the New Mexico Art League was great fun.  

Margaret at Arts Thrive

Two exhibitions with great promise mostly brought disappointment.  The annual Arts Thrive benefit exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum had way too much art on the walls.  The Ways of Seeing exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe assembled classics from three private photography collections, but what might have been a great experience was ruined for me by abysmal lighting.  

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe

 At the Santa Fe exhibit there were prints from many of Photography's great pioneers including Alfred Steiglitz and Ruth Berhard.  Gertrude Kasebier's small photogravure, "Blessed are thou amongst women", was so poorly lit that I was left wishing I had brought a flashlight.  In fact, all the galleries in the great old Santa Fe building  were dim and dingy looking.  The big palladium prints by David Michael Kennedy at least showed that there is still good work being done today in the State.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Some Black & White from the Pentax ME

 I walked around the neighborhood with my Pentax ME loaded with a roll of Kentmere 400, and then revisited the current exhibition of Canadian Indigenous Art at the Art Museum.

I was pleased to get some usable images of the masks on film given the dim light in the Museum.

The black & white worked well for the shot of the visitors, but the masks really needed color.  Luckily, I had my little Canon digital in my pocket, so I made shots of the indigenous art collection with that camera, and they are posted on my other blog.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Resurrection? Maybe, Maybe Not

wtf ?    I thought this was supposed to be a blog about film photography.

 I tipped over my old Dell desktop computer on its side so I could take off the side panel.  I could not see any obvious reason why it would not boot up, so I replaced the panel, plugged it in and pressed the Start button.  The computer started up normally.  

 I moved the computer back to its place on my desk, hooked up monitor and keyboard and pressed the Start button again.  The cooling fans roared for about five seconds and then everything went quiet.   Another four or five tries produced the same result, leaving me again without access to Photoshop CS2 and the Silverfast scanning program which runs my old Epson flatbed.

Acquiring a copy of CS5 that would run on my IMAC provided a considerable improvement over GIMP for photo editing on the IMAC, but I was still left relying on VueScan, which I find to be much slower and unintuitive in use compared to Silverfast.  I was motivated to take one last stab at getting the old Dell to come back to life. 

I laid the computer over on its side again, plugged it in and pressed the Start button.  The fans and the hard drive came back to life along with the Windows XT splash screen.  I did a test scan with Silverfast and then did a software restart which worked fine.  At that point I was tempted to just leave the Dell running, but that just seems too wasteful.  So I am shutting it down and we'll see what tomorrow brings.

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  Thursday Morning:  I attached the power cord to the back of the Dell and then pressed the Start button on the front panel.The computer made a low moaning sound and went silent.  I'll probably try a few more times to get it going today  Looks like a nice day coming up.  The sun is out.  No wind.  I still have half a roll of Kentmere to shoot in the Pentax ME.
 Thursday Night (6 PM):
Back in business.  It seems to matter how I plug in the power cable and how I press the Start button.  This time I first connected the power cable to the back of the computer.  Then I plugged the cable into the power strip and immediately pressed the Start button briefly.  Not sure if this is evidence of some short circuit, or some other issue.