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.

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…

Finals

After a year of sitting on it, Warners has finally released Final Flight of the Osiris, the final production of the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within studio, Square USA. Though it gets this release in theatres, latched-onto Dreamcatcher as a standalone short, it will also appear as part of the upcoming AniMatrix DVD.

What a difference a year makes! After Final Flight I shifted my attention from production on a massive scale to doing it all on your PC (and every scale in between). I've been hammering furiously at the latest release of the CgFX plugins for Maya and 3ds Max. I hate to sound like an ad but for me, this stuff is hecka great — lets you work-out ideas about light, shading, and texture really quickly and fluidly. I'm really keen to get one of the upcoming GeForce FX Go laptops — studio!

(Now if I can just find a way to wedge 150 artists into that same suitcase....)