Jenny’s barn

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goat, cat, barn, light

We went to Jenny’s farm for eggs and wandered into the barn to see the goats and I got sidetracked by the light coming in the open door where the goats (and the cat) wander in and out. This was also the day that we loved up the baby goat (a bottle baby–his mama died shortly after he was born) and he was sucking sweetly on my thumb until his little teeth started to grind in and I had to pluck him off, which I felt terrible about (and I apologized to him profusely). My thumb bled, a bit on my camera even, but I didn’t care one bit because that baby goat was the sweetest thing ever.

Film, 35mm Kodak Gold 200, and I think the camera was the Minolta X-700. But I can’t remember for sure, even though it was just a few weeks ago. Which is a great case right there for carrying (and then actually using) a photo notebook. Sounds good in theory, but I don’t think it’ll ever happen.

mead-soaked summer

I don’t think I can limit myself to a photographic style until I try everything. I soaked a roll of expired film for about half a day in some sparkling mead. Then I rinsed it, soaked it in water for about another half a day, and then let it sit around to dry for oh, I don’t know, maybe three weeks.

And then I loaded it into my Minolta X-700 and…

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milkweed flowers at the edge of a wheat field

Dreamy stuff. Soft colors, smeary lines.

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Bella, asparagus field

I asked the lab first if they could develop this–I know soaked films can mess with chemicals and I didn’t want to screw up anyone else’s film (or my other six rolls they were developing). I’m starting to really love my local lab.

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ghost sail in fog

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sailboat and fog

A fog rolled in this morning and blurred the line between the lake and the sky in such a lovely, muted way. There have been boats all day so far, coming in and out of the fog. Some I can only hear the low hum of their motors; others, the tips of their sails peek out from the fog, like this one. Some seem to emerge fully from the fog only to be enveloped again.

I ventured down to the beach this morning to try to photograph the fog with my new pinhole camera. Because of the high water levels on the Great Lakes, our beach is slim (and on rough days there is no beach to be had at all). The stairs go down the bluff from the house, and then there is a short path that is carved through the prolific dune grass. The kayaks lie to the left of the path just as it drops to the beach. I paused for a minute there, for no good reason, and that’s when I realized that something was blocking my way… a short, thick, just-barely-darker-than-sand-colored snake, with no discernible markings. I’m not afraid of snakes, but I don’t exactly feel comforted by the fact that this one was just a few feet in front of my feet, and that this one, or one like it, could just emerge from the thick grasses onto the narrow path at any time. Of course I talked to it, asking it gently to move along, and it did in its own sweet time, in no rush at all. It didn’t seem threatened at all and moved under the kayaks and then back into the grasses.

a quiet house again

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After many weeks with my kids being here, and then various guests in and out, and then a week of extended family renting a cottage just a few doors down, I am now the only one in our cottage.

Aside from the dog, who is snoring on the couch as I write this.

I really loved having so many people around and catching up with extended family that I don’t see often enough. But I am kind of a loner by nature–I couldn’t wait for the peace and quiet, and now, well… it feels way too peaceful and quiet. I especially miss my kids–their banter, rousing conversation, just having them in the house again. I am sure I’m not the only one who gets exhausted by social interaction but misses it when it’s not available. What’s the secret to that, anyway? How do you marry the two? I’d really like to know.

Anyway, it’s a Monday and it’s back to work for me, albeit from my dining room table overlooking Lake Michigan, where this beautiful catamaran motored by in the late morning light under a bold blue sky and wispy clouds, close enough where I could just overhear the sailor’s voices from where I stood on the cottage deck.

June’s end

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June ended last night in spectacular fashion over Lake Michigan. I don’t recall a month before with so many incredible cloud formations. Maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten luckier this month, being at the right place at the right time to see just the perfect cloud formation in just the right light. This luck isn’t lost on me.

I’ve also seen more animals this month than I ever remember. More deer, in fields and roadside and in our driveway. More rabbits, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, birds, foxes (three this month!). And more plant life, and more butterflies. More of everything. It’s a healthy ecosystem here, I suppose. I’m lucky to see it.

But the animals are harder to capture in images. The deer don’t wait for me to get my camera ready. The foxes are even less accommodating. I’m not so inclined to wait in the meadow with the ticks and mosquitoes for an opportunity to photograph the wildlife.

The lake and sky? Maybe easy targets, but so satisfying, and different every day.

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More Lomo purple

I spent some time with Lomography Lomochrome Purple film last fall and, well, we had a thing together. I loved the color shifts with the Midwest foliage and golden light. I tried it again this spring with 120 film in the Holga, and my results were decidedly pink (was it the different lab? the camera? who knows). It’s rated from 100-400 ISO, and in 35mm form I mostly shot it at 400 speed, which I thought resulted in some really gorgeous, deep, rich purples.

I decided to try shooting it at 100 speed this time.

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fern in forest, Lomography Lomochrome Purple, Minolta SRT 102

Hmmmm. I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, I like my results, but I missed the purple.

So much more subtle than my previous runs with this film.

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Yellows are a lovely pink, but the greens didn’t get as purple as I expected based on past rolls. The greens just stayed mostly green, really. And things that were not green got a greenish cast, like the wheat field and the wood on this shed and the fence posts.

But still, full of fun surprises. The green frizzy stuff (I don’t have a clue what this is) in Barbara’s garden looked just plain old green when I shot it from one angle in full sun, but from the side–purple explosion. I’ve done no editing to these scans, which were done by the lab, so I don’t know. The light? The lab color corrected? It’ll remain a mystery (I like film mysteries anyway).

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And sunset colors are tinged a bit more purple, but plenty of greens and turquoise here as well…

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my kid, his girl, Lomography Lomochrome Purple, Minolta SRT 102

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I have one more roll in my stash, but of course I’ll buy more. I’m a little nuts about it. It’s pricey, but so worth it.

Lima, the final installment

I shot 8 rolls of film in and not too far outside of Lima, Peru, last month when I spent a week with my daughter there. Last week I sent away the roll of film I managed to muck up several ways to be developed by people who know what to do with mucked up rolls. I mucked this up by:

  • Forgetting to set the correct ISO on my camera when loading the film.
  • Completely forgetting what kind of film I had in my camera.
  • Forgetting that the roll had 24 exposures and not 36.
  • Thinking that my camera was stuck when it wouldn’t advance past 24, and so rewinding it a bit a ton (what was I thinking?) before I realized I was probably shooting over stuff.
  • Don’t judge me. I was on vacation. Again, I blame the pisco.

So with all that I wondered what I was going to get. The film is Fuji Superia 400, which I kind of like, but since I shot it at 200 I asked the lab to pull it one stop. The colors on the single-exposed shots are somewhat flat, but I like them. The multiple exposed stuff looks colorful but kind of washed out, too–but, you know, multiple exposures and all. I wish I could say I planned some of these images since I like how they turned out so much, but alas, no such thing. And, these are the lab’s scans. I look forward to scanning them in other ways and putting different frames together. And now I know I want to double-shoot a roll of film. Totally on purpose, though.

This roll was partly from a tour stop at the Hacienda San Jose in Chincha, which was a brief stop on our way to Paracas.

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yard at Hacienda San Jose in Chincha, Peru
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old garden wall, Hacienda San Jose
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flowers and porch arches
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flowers in hacienda yard
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hacienda garden wall in Chincha, plus boats and beach in Paracas
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hacienda chapel stairs and Paracas boat and beach
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hacienda chapel and Paracas boats
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Paracas beach and boats at sunset, town, and hibiscus flower
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Paracas wanderings
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Paracas boats and harbor
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Paracas, evening sunset and morning harbor

I love how some of the multiple exposed shots end up looking like I ran a roll through a half frame camera and then shot it again through a normal SLR (which gives me an idea…).

June filmy weirdness

Film just continues to amaze and surprise and confound me. Someday I’d like to develop all my film on my own. But until I can commit to the time/effort/hearbreak of that, I’m using two labs to process and scan my color film.

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poppy and collapsing farmhouse, Minolta SRT 102
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poppy sunset, Holga

I haven’t used black and white film since my class ended in early May, but when I do get back to that (and I’ve got some nice films to use up, but summer feels like color to me) I’m planning to get supplies and process that myself now that I feel comfortable with it.

But color film developing feels a little out of my wheelhouse at the moment.

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June rye in detail, Minolta SRT 102
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June rye field, Minolta SRT 102
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early season orchard, Minolta SRT 102

I sent four rolls to one lab and two to another this week. The four rolls got processed and scanned and I uploaded them yesterday, with some oddities and surprises, like that purple yumminess I wrote about yesterday. I know I had one roll of expired film so I expected some odd colors, but a lack of decent focus on almost half from this (only 12 exposure) roll makes me think a) I was drinking and shooting, or b) I really need to see my eye doc, or c) something is wrong with my Minolta X-700 (it did give me a bit of trouble in Peru, so there’s that).

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Lake Michigan, expired film, lousy focus, Minolta X-700
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Little Sable Point lighthouse, expired film, Minolta X-700

Aside from that, I noticed an odd dot pattern on some other scans, usually in blue sky or where there was a lack of other pattern in the image. This is in some of the images on both 35mm film and 120 film, from different cameras. The lab can’t account for this oddity. I don’t know what to make of it, but whatever. I mean, I’m horrible with film storage (hot, cold, lugged around in bags left in cars, etc.), so maybe I’ve done something to it. If I wanted perfection, I’ve probably picked up the wrong passion.

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Minolta SRT 102, patterned sky

It’s odd that it’s on some images but not others. Who knows? I’m okay with the mystery.

 

 

Otherworldly

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I can’t quite remember what I’ve done here. I do know this image is from an expired roll of film shot with my Minolta X-700. I know I took some digital images of the sunset one evening through a blue, plastic malt jug that got warped from the heat when I ran it through the dishwasher. I don’t remember holding that jug over the lens of any other cameras, but maybe I did? That doesn’t account for the double exposure effect, though–the X-700 can’t even be tricked into doing that.

I know from about half of the other images on this 12-exposure roll that something is not right with that camera. The focus is badly off on these images. Two of them are just terrible, and a few of the other unfocused ones just look, well, unfocused and dreamy (but not terrible, to me anyway). Maybe the film didn’t advance quite right here, among other things.

But I really like this outcome. Sometimes no explanation is just fine.