Ape Hug

Death Cab

When I first started this journal, I did a fair amount of searching for blogs and photoblogs that were involved with wet-darkroom photography, using searches on google amd photoblogs.org for matches to things like darkroom or film rangefinder. But while there were lots of matches for search terms, as often as not the first post on the found blog would said something like “I’ve sold off my film-based rangerfinders and darkroom equipment to pay for a D100 so I can post blog pictures every single day…”

So there were very few analog sites (and mostly of the nostalgic variety), though with some high-profile exceptions like Todd Gross’s Quarlo. In the past couple of years they’ve multiplied, though still not in great numbers. Here are a few found this week, owned by APUG members (what’s wrong with this picture?), a list based on this thread:

~1 min read

Ad Libris, X-tol

Seoul, 2004. (C) 2004 K. Bjorke

Stopped by the city library to quickly look for a book (Wright Morris’s Time Pieces, for the sake of a single reference for an article on PhotoPermit), stepped into the “Friends of the Library” store and walked out with a spotlessly mint copy of the Lustrum/Ralph Gibson SX-70 Art, hard to find and currently listing used on Amazon at $75. Heh. My expense: one crumpled U.S. dollar.

Tonight I’m brewing up a five-liter batch of Xtol for a couple of rolls shot a few nights back while watching Death Cab for Cutie at the Warfield. The exposure was all guesstimated so something with a longer curve than Rodinal is in order.

I have to admit that in general, I’m deeply disinterested in concert photography. Not only does it seem completely inappropriate for the core material — a musical performance — to be locked down into a motionless silent rectangle, but the creative options feel near-nil, you’re stuck with the light the designer gives you, the constrained persectives. During the DCFC show there was a fellow lurking just offstage and between the Marshall stacks, snapping and winding his Leica. Looked like he was using a 50mm or 35mm, never closer than ten feet from anyone in the band. No doubt his shots would be technically polished but ultimately impersonal. As I expect mine will be.

1 min read


Los Angeles, August 2004 (C) K. Bjorke

On a busy day, it’s not uncommon for me to shoot two or three hundred photos. I used to gauge this as a “six roll day” and now think of it usually as a “half gig day” for the amount of space used by digi-cam JPEGs.

Unless I shoot RAW, or use the high-quality JPEG settings. A six-roll day of RAW files is a “gig and a half day,” though to tell the truth I’ve never had one — for all their dynamic-range merits, RAW files are significantly slower to use on my camera, so most of the time I stick to JPEGs. As a bonus, a half-gig’s worth of pics will all fit onto a single CD.

4 min read

The horse whip unfolds the human

epSite Beijing, sept 2004

A good way to rate locations is to gauge how likely it is that something randomly wonderful will occur on any given day. Downstairs from the Grand Hyatt in Beijing is a very westernized mall, the Oriental Plaza. While cutting through it for an air-conditioned shortcut, I found in a clutch a Sony store, and Apple store, and an Epson store, adjoining one of Epson’s epSite galleries (try using http://www.worldlingo.com/wl/translate to translate from Simplified Chinese). I’d embarrassingly failed to find the epSite in Tokyo a few days before (though supposedly it was next door to my hotel), and hadn’t even tried to find the one in Shanghai — and now here was their newest, so handy I almost tripped over it.

Inside the gallery, almost empty save for the staff, was a collection of magnificent Jiang Jian prints.

3 min read

Simple Happy

(C) 2004 K. Bjorke


Two new PDF books from Cosmin Bumbut (you know, the 7 days guy who also cropped-up later on in Lenswork): Tilted Land and Dimineti

Multiple hand-picked drip and espresso selections at Barefoot Coffee with Courtney, under the supervision of BF’s Andy.

The ongoing household purge, emptying another massive bag of trash from the shelves and closets (including the last five yours or so of PDN magazine — I tore an article out of most every issue, more or less, but the rest got chucked: reduced the stack by over 90%. A good rag, but one that has a hard time acknowledging that artwork has any purpose other than sales).

A phonecall from one of my heroes, Robert Bergman, in response to an APUG post. When Bergman’s book A Kind of Rapture appeared back in ‘98, it caught many (me, at least) offguard, as if it had dropped from a comet — his call was just as surprising and full of its own light — a very welcome message from the outer cosmic reaches of Minnesota.