TMax I hardly knew ye

(C)2003 Kevin Bjorke Okay, forget anything bad I ever said about TMax 100 (except maybe the drying part, and the mysterious pink stuff). These last rolls (coupla nights back) have made me a believer again. Crisp, broad latitude, good stuff. The last batch had a number of frames from something I’m calling the “infinity project” though it may be a while before any of it starts to see the light of day here or elsewhere. Looking at them gives me more ideas to improve it, and reassures me on the validity of some of the ideas.

No surprise, no Salon win for me. Maybe in a couple of weeks I can come up with something funny for the next topic, “Traces” selected by Michal Daniel.

~1 min read

Family Values (Part 1, probably)

Monterey, Calif, home of Ansel Adams (C) 2003 Kevin Bjorke The … industrialization of camera technology only carried out a promise inherent in photography from its very beginning: to democratize all experiences by translating them into images.
- Susan Sontag, On Photography

Such democratization’s most-obvious expression, its adherents might say, is the photoblog. There’s no obvious shortage of them —a href=”http://www.photoblogs.org/”>photoblogs.org</a> currently lists over 1100, with new ones being added four or five each day.

1 min read

Acros

San Francisco (C) 2003 Kevin Bjorke One roll Acros, two rolls Tmax 100, Xtol 1::1 9.5mins. I forgot about the mystery red stain from the TMax (anti-halation layer?). One Neopan400 rated 800, Xtol 1::1 11.5 mins.

Acros has a unique snap, described well by one early reviewer as “metallic.” I’ve never run any charts on it, but suspect it’s just that it blocks-up in the highlights, similar to slide film. Anyone know?

I can say this much — dries faster than Kodak, probably due to the plastic film base. This is ready to scan and sleeve after 4-5 hours, while the Tmax is still a wee bit sticky and still hanging.

~1 min read

Old Ho’s Last Laugh

Back in the 1960’s, there was an episode when Lyndon Johnson suggested offering North Vietnam a large dose of western-style incentive, as a deal to secure the peace. Cash and know-how to build hydroelectic power reservoirs in Vietnam, thinking it would transform the region into Tennessee-on-the-Mekong.

“Ol’ Ho just can’t turn that down!” Johnson is reported to have gleefully proclaimed, before the plan was rejected by the Vietnamese.

I have thought often of this story whenever I hear current politicians talking about Iraqis’ supposed willingness to turn themselves into happily westernized “free” consumers as a result of the coming (now current, and stalled) invasion.

2 min read

More Delta

Golden Gate Park (C) 2003 Kevin Bjorke Feeling better about the Delta switchback — as contrasty as the Fuji maybe, but then again that just seems to be due to the Ilford’s better latitude. Scanning/printing to adjust makes all the difference.

Took me until tonight to even begin to look in detail at the first of the rolls from a couple of nights back. Previously I just grabbed a frame from the end of the roll and rushed it through. Been really slammed on schedule at work, and the process of reviewing scans has been slow. The slogging part, ironically, is the computer — takes time, even on a fast computer, to pick through photos in detail, and the little 200-px sized thumbnails are no replacement for a clean, hi-res viewing.

On the way back from errands Courtney & I stopped at Kamera Korner in SJ and bought some Dektol. Looks like the darkroom is poised to rise again, after a long hiatus…

~1 min read