Wednesday, August 29, 2018


I took a drive over on Albuquerque's west side on Saturday with no particular destination in mind.  Passing the Double Eagle airfield I noticed that there were a lot of cars parked near the entrance.  It turned out I had stumbled on a fly-in airshow.

I had a couple frames left on a roll of Kentmere 100 in my Retina IIa, so I shot those and then loaded a roll of Fuji 200 color.  If I had known where I would end up from the beginning, I might have chosen to bring along an slr and a couple lenses, and maybe a medium-format camera.  However, I can't complain about the performance of the Kodak rangefinder and its fine Xenon lens.

The half-dozen sleek little planes that were lined up beside the runway put on a nice aerobatic show, complete with smoke trails.

I think this is the third light plane show I have seen at the west side field.  The previous show featured rides in a Ford Trimotor, which I believe is due back in Albuquerque in November.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

An Argus Day

Saturday was proclaimed to be a day to celebrate the Argus cameras.

I used my Argoflex Forty to honor the day along with one of the last rolls of Fuji Acros that I'm likely to shoot.  I'm not sure how 8/18/18 figures into the equation, but it seems as good a day as any to recognize the often-underrated line of American industry.

I chose to develop the Acros in Rodinal which has always been my favorite combination.  The negatives seemed a little thin, possibly due to the fact that the bottle has probably spent about five years in the refrigerator.

The Argoflex Forty has been a very reliable performer for me over the years, producing images that look as good to me as those coming from much more sophisticated and expensive cameras.

I've also been happy with the pictures I've gotten from my other Argus cameras, including the C-3 and the Argus A cameras.  I'll try to get back to doing something with them again too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

what's up

I've spent the last week making cyanotype contact prints from old medium format negatives.

I'm using pre-coated cyanotype paper from a couple little packets I picked up in museum gift shops that are usually promoted as a craft project for children.  The paper is kind of flimsy, but it makes pretty good images with a couple of minutes exposure on a sunny day.  The paper is only sensitive to ultraviolet light, so the sandwich of cardboard backing, paper, negative and plastic cover sheet can be assembled in subdued room light.

I like the small prints, and they don't take up much room in a small house with limited wall and shelf space.  I've also enjoyed the process of finding small frames for the prints at local thrift stores.  I have tried toning a few prints with green tea to yield a brownish image, but need to work at that a bit more to get the proper contrast.

I last made cyanotypes about twelve years ago.  I coated watercolor paper using a two-component cyanotype kit.  I was able to make large prints through the use of digital inter-negatives printed on Pictorico overhead transparency material.  That whole process gave me a lot of control in making prints, but it requires a good digital printer which I no longer have.  Contact printing requires relatively little space and equipment, and I'll probably pursue it further, possibly with other alternative media.