Tuesday, September 30, 2014

mixing color

My fourth roll of DIY color was shot with my Mamiya C330.



russian olive

pink bucket

good fence, good neighbor

grey cat
I mixed in quite a few variables into this last effort.  So, it won't pass muster as a clinical trial, but it was fun and it worked out pretty well.  The film is Lomography 100, the cheapest color C-41 film I could find at $4 per roll.  I processed the film in one of my plastic Paterson tanks and agitated with the twiddler stick rather than with inversions.  The color looks pretty faithful to reality to me and similar to what I get from the Fuji 200, though maybe a bit more contrasty.

The addition of the handgrip and the poroprism to the C330 has made it somewhat easier to shoot with, but the size and weight of the big tlr is still something of a challenge.  The prism finder shows less than what gets on the film and forced some cropping for composition in the final images.  Carrying around the camera by the grip for a morning left me with a sore, swollen left wrist.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

so far so good

My second roll of home-processed color is from my Kodak Flash Bantam, shot on an over-cast day.

The color seems to match my recollection of the scenes pretty well.

A couple posts I found on the web about using the Unicolor kit implied that a final dip in photo-flo was not needed.  I tried it out and got a bunch of water spots.  Luckily, a quick re-dip in my usual dilute solution of photo-flo eliminated any spots.

The development time for Unicolor at 102F is just 3.5 minutes.  I would be more comfortable with more time which would be more forgiving of small timing errors.  So far, though, I can't see any real problem with the actual results.

Friday, September 12, 2014

a couple more

These are two more from the same roll of home-processed C-41 as the previous post.  The bike shot is a little different from what I intended in the composition because of some frame overlap.  Nothing wrong with the Mercury; I just need to remember to keep my fingers away from the rewind knob.

Albuquerque is a good place for bicycling; mostly flat and some good bike lanes and paths around the city.  As a commercial enterprise, however, bike rental is a tricky business.  This bike shop used to be located not far from me on Mountain which is a good place to ride, but doesn't get much tourist traffic.  The current Old Town location has plenty of tourists, but the surrounding streets have some intimidating traffic congestion.  I'm thinking they need to get more creative in regard to making the rentals available in hotels and similar places, and maybe provide some pick-up and delivery as well.

Albuquerque's car culture provides a lot of photo ops.  It seems to be waning a bit lately, though.  Not as many weekend car shows to go to as I recall from recent years.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIY Color

I finally got around to trying some color film processing at home.  I used the Unicolor C-41 kit in the smallest one liter size which I got from Freestyle.

There is only one place left in Albuquerque that processes color on site, and it is clear across town from me.  They charge six bucks for processing a roll of color.  The Unicolor kit is $24 including shipping and will do a dozen rolls.  Using Fuji 200, my total finished cost for a roll of color is about $4.50 each.

Color processing is not much different from b&w, though maintaining a high constant temperature and pouring the chemicals in and out of the containers requires a bit more care.  

While I did not have a lot of confidence while working through the process for the first time, I found the scan results to be very similar to what I was getting from the commercial processor in terms of color, grain and tonal values.

I decided to produce my first color results using my Mercury II camera.  It has a consistently reliable shutter, and gives me about 44 half-frame images on a roll of 24-frame Fuji.

La Crêpe Michel is the best place to eat in Old Town Albuquerque.  We stopped in there earlier in the week.  Started off with a good bottle of white and some escargot in a cream sauce.  It only got better from there.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A swim and a walk

Margaret said she wanted to swim in a lake for her birthday, so we drove to Santa Rosa and pitched our tent beside the big reservoir there.

There were a few other campers at the State Park, but she was the only one in the water.

Back home, I took my usual morning walk and finished off the strip of Tri-X in the Flash Bantam.  I'm exposing it at 200 ASA and developing in Tmax developer at 1:9 dilution.

The Mercedes is nearly always parked in the corner lot east of the Plaza Vieja.  I'm guessing there is a connection to the Rattlesnake Museum which is just around the corner.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day Ride

We enjoyed a morning ride on the motorcycle along Albuquerque's west side to the Double Eagle II airfield.  The terminal there has a great little restaurant on the second floor with a view of the field, the nearby volcanoes and, in the distance, the Sandia Mountains.

The Bombing Range Cafe, the airport and several thousand surrounding acres are located on the former site of a practice site for training bombardiers during WWII.  For me, the cafe evoked memories of a similar coffee shop on the lake end of Renton Field south of Seattle where my family often started float plane fishing expeditions in the '50s.

On the way back we stopped briefly to enjoy a flight experience on a smaller scale at the Maloof Air Park.  There were some great flying models on display and we got to watch some expertly flown, including a quiet and fast ducted fan electric model that was really impressive.

The camera of the day was my little Kodak Flash Bantam, loaded with a strip of 35mm Tri-X.