Sunday, February 28, 2010

Technical Stuff

Just to let you know, this post is going to have a lot of info about processing techniques, accidents, discoveries, and all those sorts of things that only might be of passing interest to someone who's really into photography.

Consider yourself warned.

So I developed this roll of film last night. It had been sitting in a vintage film developing tank in my fridge for a while. I was under the impression it was this undeveloped 127 roll that came with one of my cameras. Now I had been developing all of my vintage-exposed film in Ilfosol 3, yet according to the bit photo machers on the internet, they recommend any number of other developers for such tasks, most notably Kodak HC-110.

So last week I picked up some HC-110, mixed up the stock solution, and last night made myself 600ml of Dilution B. I developed at 15 degrees celsius for a little over 15 minutes, agitating every 30 seconds or so. After I fixed, I took off the top of the tank, and to my surprise, there wasn't a 127 roll in there, but a 120 roll. Apparently I had forgotten that in that particular tank I didn't put the 127, but one of my circa 1950s rolls of Verichrome that I had shot several months ago in my Kodak Jiffy Six-20. Oh dear!

Now up to this point, I had been developing those rolls in the Ilfosol 3, for about 7 minutes at 20 degrees celsius, and was getting seriously fogged, yet really cool images. If you scroll down, you'll see them. I know I could put in a link, but I figure that's too easy, so if you're reading this for the first time, you'll have to see all the other stuff I've posted inbetween.

How would this film fare with a process I was expecting to use on a completely different film? You tell me:

This is a straight color scan of the black and white negative without any post-processing. I swear. Not bad, eh? That's the Grace Memorial House on Fourth Avenue, in case you're wondering. Aside from the "SAFETY" outside of the frame on top, and the very light impression on the top right half of the image of the backing paper, this looks like I could have taken it on modern day film.

So here's the question. Do I use the Ilfosol 3 and get clouded yet way cool images, or do I use the HC-110 and get something a bit more pristine?

Well, here's another shot from the batch. It's post processed from the color scan. In the original, the sky behind the Flatiron was way brigher, with the rest darker. Yet somehow I like this. The flatiron and the street actually look like it was taken in another time. And in a way it sort of goes with the differently-hued sky (being color-blind, I have no idea what color it is).

I think it looks like one of those old NYC postcards from the early early 1900s. All that's missing is the glitter outline (If you've seen these you'll know what I'm talking about).

I think I just might print this out and have the glitter and Elmer's at the ready. Maybe some macaroni too.

The film isn't Kodak Verichrome. It's not even Kodak! I don't even remember what it was! I think it was some kind of weird foreign film that just said "Panchromatic" on it. So maybe that's why the images came out...because I wasn't dealing with 55+ year old film!

Though I'll still try the same developing method with the HC-110 when I use my next Verichrome roll to see what happens.

Forgetting which film is in which tank, forgetting which film I put in which camera which went in which tank...maybe I should start writing this stuff down...

I just developed that 127 roll. I got nothing.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Citi Field, Citi Field

In honor of pitchers and catchers (but not really), I present some intentional (how about that) double exposures taken from the Pepsi Porch at Citi Field last semester. Semester? I think I meant season. Lately the Mets have been calling me. I get tempted to pick up the phone whenever I see it on my caller ID, yet somehow I don't think they're going to be offering me $3 million a year to be in the fifth rotation spot, especially when I'm clearly a righty specialist. Yet somehow I doubt that's not the reason either.

For some reason, Fuji Superia never wound tightly in the Diana F+. I almost always got those light leaks. Sometimes they were cool, yet sometimes they were just annoying. I think the next shot has more artistic "merit," for what it's worth:

Last season I went to three games and they won each time. As much as I'd like to think I had something to do with that, it might have been more the case that Santana was pitching each time I went.

I think my mission for this season is to somehow get a picture of Gary, Keith, and Ron together. Yes, you read it here first. Gary, Keith, and Ron or bust!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Cable Runs Through It

This picture is an attempt to recreate another picture I took kind of like this one with a YashMat. This was taken with the Bantam F-8 with that circa 1964 Kodacolor film. This is from a part where the backing paper was stuck to the film, and it's a straight color scan of the negative with no post-processing.

I like it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Night Shot of the Park

Okay, so maybe the pictures I've been uploading lately haven't been so dynamic. I know, I know. At least I'd like to think I've made up for it with the words recently, whether it's been about my own crises of conscience, or adventures in film school or at Show World Plaza. It's not that I haven't been taking pictures, I take them almost every day. It's just developing them. It's not enough just to point your camera at things and hope for the best.

I'm beat. I've been keeping myself up since I started to scan this image just so I could put it up and then go to bed. No extra processing on this one either. It's straight from the scanner and into your heart.

It's been one of those days. Hell, it's been one of those weeks. It's been one of those fortnights (That's two weeks, right?). But I think I see a route ahead now.

But I really do like this picture. Is it what one would consider a "good" picture, one that's well composed, trying to say something, and some such nonsense? I don't know. But there is something about it that I like, and I guess that's what's important. What I like. What makes me happy.

Actually, sleep would make me very happy. I'm going to see to that right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Diptych

Oh, me and my vintage film in my vintage cameras (in this case, the Kodak bantam F-8). I do like this, all damaged, with the backing paper bleed-through (thru?) the rip, the fold...It's all good:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Looking up 5th Avenue

This is another one of those photos that I just like for some reason. The arch stanchions (can I call them "stanchions," or is there some other term?) aren't centered, I'm not quite sure what's going on with the composition, but all I know is that I likes what I likes. Maybe it's because I also developed this one, and am happy with the say it turned out. Who knows, I might get this developing thing down yet. You tell me:

But now, a bit of self-discovery.

Well, maybe not so much self-discovery, but today I had a realization. I can't say it was an epiphany, it wasn't that strong...maybe it was more like a "moment of clarity" as the 12-step crowd calls it. And it also relates to the long entry I made two posts down, the one about going to school, going through the motions with school, not quite sure where I'm headed, et cetera. But the simple thing I realized is this.

I create.

At my very heart, I'm a creator. I express myself through whatever means I can, be it with words, music, and maybe even photography (I see that as a work in progress). I've always created. I've always made things. I used to get such a high from creating. But somewhere along the way I forgot that high, that feeling, that rush of enthusiasm that comes with nurturing an idea. Every so often it would rear its head, only to go hiding somewhere so I'd forget.

It's too easy to get so wrapped up in yourself that you don't even realize what brings you joy in the first place. It's not just my own creations, but the creations of others. It's me at the opera last night hearing Juan Diego Florez hit those 9 high Cs in a row, the same ones that made Pavarotti an international superstar. It's me watching virtually anything by Kurosawa, but especially Ikiru. I first saw the movie when I was 19 or 20, in a film class. I only liked half of it. I really didn't have the perspective or an open enough mind to see it any other way. I saw the movie again a few years ago and it really struck me. I got it. I understood. Though maybe not entirely. Maybe today was the last step in that understanding.

I like learning. No, I love learning. I don't know where I'd be today if I hadn't decided to go back to school. I'm privy to so much that has enriched my life that I'd never have known if I hadn't been in school for the past four years. Though there's an emptiness to school too. You're only as good as your last achievement, and those are fleeting. Last semester I took two classes. I got an A and an A-. When I got my grades, I can't say I was happy. I mean, I was glad I did well, but it didn't really mean anything. All I knew was that in a few weeks I'd be back in school and would have to do it all over again. I can't screw off on an assignment under the aegis of, "it's okay, I've gotten As before."

Even though I did well last semester (and well mostly over all over the past few years), I'm still trying to figure out that formula of how can I do well without driving myself totally insane? It's like the reward (such as it is) isn't worth all the mental hassle. It's like, "I worried myself sick over that?" I told myself during the winter break that I would try to do well this semester but somehow spare myself the attendant stress. I'm not sure how that's been going. Actually, the past two weeks I've wrestled quite a bit with getting schoolwork done. I guess that was some of the background noise that was filtering through in that earlier post.

But today changed things, I think. I hope. I'm still wrestling with my willpower, I think I can ease up on myself a bit with school, now knowing, re-getting in touch with this side of me that needs to create and express itself. What's more important, good grades or my own sanity? Good grades or my own happiness? Am I going to go on that track and graduate and then go to grad school and maybe get a masters and phd so I can then be a starving academic with mountains of debt, tolerating my job and wishing I was doing something else? If that's the case, I might as well go back to driving limousines. Or will I embrace this learning experience, do the best I can without breaking my brain so much, and never forget that at my very heart, I am a creator.

I'm not the best creator, and I'm certainly not the worst, but I am a creator, and I'll never let myself forget that again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Day/Kodaks

These two are also from that roll I was talking about, the exposed roll that came with the Kodak Pony 828. There's still no indication of when these might have been taken. But look at this shot of a boy and his dog (or maybe a girl, you can't tell with those winter clothes on):

Here's the general store, featuring drugs and "Kodaks":

Where could this be? Anybody out there go to their local Koplin drugstore when they were a kid?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Want to be Like Jesus

I wonder if this guy walks into a motel and gives the guy three nails and says, "Put me up for the night."

Oh, but I couldn't resist...

And a closer look:

If you're wondering why I didn't get a picture from the front...well...Do you want to be the guy to get in the face of the guy who carries around a cross saying that he wants to be like Jesus?

But maybe I figured this guy all wrong back when I took this picture in somewhere between 1999 and 2001. Maybe I never considered that he was just following a path that he set out for himself. Maybe he was truly happy with his life, and I never bothered to get to know him — to approach him person to person, human to human, instead of as "photographer trying to sneak a few pictures of the freak by Union Square." It seems almost rare to me that I know people who truly like what they do for a living. I know a lot of people who can tolerate their jobs, but how many people are really thankful for whatever vocation they're in. This question alone has fueled the whole self-help industry. I'm now all of a sudden thinking about a party I was at a few years ago where I met a self-proclaimed "life coach." Go team.

I mean, how much of our lives can we dedicate to figuring out what the hell to do before it's all over? I'm always thinking about the line from Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle says:

I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention.
I believe that someone should become a person like other people.

Though Travis didn't become like "other" people, but I'll save that for some other reflection.

I'm finding myself at somewhat of a crossroads right now (cliche? "crossroads?" whatever), that I really wasn't expecting to come to. I'm beginning to think I'm really just going through the motions at school. Now this may sound odd coming from someone who mostly gets As and Bs, but I'm talking on a deeper level. Something more emotional.

I feel like when I graduate, no matter what my degree is in (either History or Evolutionary Biology), I'll be no closer to really knowing what I'll want to do with my life. Of course, with either of those degrees, I'll have no choice but to go back to school, hopefully to get a PhD, and then strike out for a life in academia. That is an idea that I've come to like somewhat, to hide behind papers and research and teach and not have to be out there in the "real" world." But the idea of being a professor just isn't what gets me going. I mean, I think I could tolerate it, but I'm not sure it would be "fit and fibre" for my blood (Thanks Walt).

School has done a lot for me. It's brought my mind back to life. Though it's only a means to an end. Why is anybody in school? So they can get jobs and be solvent someday (loans notwithstanding). We get rushed through the system cramming information in our heads and remember it just long enough to pass and then shove it out as quickly as possible, with just a little residue remaining behind. I look at my notebooks from not even a year ago and I wonder who is this person that can write in my exact same handwriting because I sure don't remember writing that stuff, let alone actually learning about it.

This entry is dangerously bordering on self-pity, and I'm determined not to go there. I am thankful to be where I am, doing what I'm doing. I know I'm lucky, and can say that I do have people in my life that I care about and love, that love and care about me, and that I can always reach out to them. I just sometimes forget that I actually can.

Or as a guy on a cross once said:

"Always look on the bright side of life."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Scooter and Jett (L-R)

If you go back, way back to when this thing first started, you may (or may not) remember that I did an entry on my friend George. Well, this entry is about his dogs, Scooter and Jett.

Scooter is 13, and is a licensed therapy dog. George and him do the rounds at St. Vincent's. On the right is Jett. I don't know how old he is, only that he's a pup, and a therapy dog in training. I hate that George named him "Jett," since now whenever I see or think about the damned dog I have Wings stuck in my head (was your father as bold as a sergeant major? Well, was he???). George, if you were going to name you dog after a Paul McCartney song, you could have at least picked Eleanor Rigby, or Yesterday, or even "Someone's knocking at the door, somebody's ringing the bell, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE LET THEM IN ALREADY!!!"

Well, at least it wasn't the Starland Vocal Band.

If you want to find out more about Scooter and his work at the hospital click here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Real Headscratcher

I could have also called this entry "Indecision." I really couldn't figure out what to put here today. I did develop some rolls today (all by my lonesome!), but really won't know for sure if anything is useable once they're fully dried out and scanned. So instead, I take you to a time not so long ago, and a place not so far away:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Furniture Truck

A few posts ago I talked about being in Williamsburg for the first time in a long time, and commented on the number of Bentleys parading up and down Bedford Ave. These pictures are also from Williamsburg, but dating back to 1999 or 2000. I was a limo driver back then, and our base was an old converted pier at Java and Kent (which would technically count as Greenpoint). Every day I would drive through Williamsburg to get there, and every day I would see more and more white people carrying couches into houses. I had no idea I was witnessing the beginnings of a caucasian outbreak.

When I first moved here, hardly anybody lived in Brooklyn, since it was still affordable to live in the East Village. The punks lived in Park Slope, which at the time was gentrifying much to the chagrin of those who went there to seek out even cheaper rent than the Lower East Side. Williamsburg was a ghost town. Nobody went there. There was no reason to go there, unless you wanted to walk around all night until you got shot in the face.

Here are some shots before the Bentleys rolled into the neighborhood:

And another view:

I doubt they allow this sort of display in Williamsburg today — unless of course, somebody calls it "Art."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vintage Pride

This was in either 1999 or 2000. I liked these guys. They weren't those unrealistic ideals of gay men all skinny and oiled up and dancing on flatbed trucks sponsored by corporations in their once a year effort to sidle up to the pink triangle crowd ("You don't have to suck cocks to drink Diet Pepsi, but it doesn't hurt!"). Even back then, big business was already infecting this local tradition, but amidst the advertisements and senators (Schumer was there. Who knew he was gay?), there were these guys:

Look at them. Just your average everyday men who prefer to have sex with other men. They also like to sing (these men at least), as you can tell from the cut-out notes they're carrying. I can even still hear the song they sang as they marched by me and my camera....

"The sun will come out, tomorrow...."

Long may you march.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Doggie Diptych

In honor of the dog show (but not really), I present these consecutive frames what I took in the fall:

Can you call it a "diptych" if they're on top of each other instead of next to each other?

Yeah, yeah, I output hasn't been quite as exciting lately as it could have been. Didn't I also say I wasn't going to make excuses or apologize for that? I suppose I did. But it's like I was telling a friend of mine yesterday. Here's the deal. And I think I've even said what I'm going to say already, but who knows where on this blog where it is, so if I repeat myself, then I repeat myself.

It's important to me that I post something here every day. Even if it's crapola. I mean, what's more frustrating than seeing some half-interesting (or even fully interesting) blog that maybe the person posts to like once a month? You forget about it. I'm not saying that I'm putting up all this fascinating stuff every day, but even if someone forgets about my blog here (I still hate the world "blog," and even referring to this site as such, even if it's part of blogger/blogspot), they can check in later on and see that I've still been chugging along with it. And maybe they'll look back at what they missed and realize, "say, there's a few decent ones in here." But good or bad, this thing will stay alive, to keep that connection with something or other. I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say here. There's plenty o'schoolwork that I gots my mind on.

So I developed that other roll and gave it an extra push, though it didn't seem to come out much differently than the first roll. Once I scan I'll see if there's anything worth putting up or not. Now I should probably be writing something about how the only way we learn is by doing and that I'm just going to keep on doing and learning with this self-processed iso3200 stuff and all that jazz, but that would be too hack.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Faces From the Past

Remember yesterday when I said that I was going to say something and then decided not to bother? Well, here it is.

I was going to say that I developed a roll of Kodachrome II that came with a Kodak Pony 828 that I bought. I got the camera just because it came with the roll, and it's most valuable backing paper, which allows me to use my various Bantams (respooled with modern day 35mm, of course).

The roll pretty much came out all around. There were pictures showing summer and winter scenes. Either the people went on vacation, or the roll just hung around in the camera. I'm opting for the latter, since it hung around undeveloped until the other night.

I'm wondering if this isn't some kind of Memorial Day thing. The men on the right (especially the one on the left side of the right looking at the camera) seems to be wearing a uniform jacket. Or maybe he just has a napkin in his collar. Kodachrome II was discontinued in 1974, but I'm guessing this might have been taken slightly earlier, but not much. It would be hard to divine modern fashion from the older woman wearing the clear glasses. They do evoke a certain time and place, but she probably had been wearing those frames for some time already.

Either way, I didn't take this picture, but after all these years I got them out from under the tent and onto the internet. I would wager that more shots from this roll will be making their way to this site soon enough.

This is in regards to what I wrote yesterday about over-pushing my film. Well, it turns out that I spoke too soon. I actually didn't push it enough. So I'm going to have to push even harder to get something (hopefully) special. I'll have to push it good. I mean, I'll have to push it real good. And that last comment is actually somewhat apropos to the subject matter. But I'm not going to push it tonight. I'm pretty darned tired and that would just be pushing it. I think even doing schoolwork tonight would be pushing it. Or maybe that would be a stretch. Either way, I'm going to hunker down and watch Celebrity Fat Club on VH1, and get a good night's sleep so I can start pushing things around tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Post Office

You know, the one where Newman worked at on Seinfeld over on 11th and 4th Ave, down the street from Webster Hall. I was once the mens room attendant at Webster Hall. I'll have to find a picture to somehow work that story into this daily, ongoing narrative.

Or maybe it's for the best that I just forget that idea right now.

I took this with a Kodak Brownie 2-A Model B box camera, dating back to the late teens. The film used was Kodacolor 116 that expired in 1957 (October, I think the box said). This might have been the most decent ("most decent?" is that really good English?) shot of the roll. If you'll notice near the top in the center you'll see a light diamond and a circle. That's the backing paper somehow leaving an impression on the film And the dust is all me.

It looks like I might have gotten the focus finally right on the Bantam 4.5. Today I developed the roll I took last week and from what I could tell I think I really hit it. I'm excited to really start using this thing in earnest.

Remember about a week ago I made some cryptic remarks about witnessing something special and taking pictures of it with some high speed film and not having the right developer because I have to push the negs like crazy? Well, I developed the first roll and it looks like I was pushin' too hard. Pushin' too hard (on me). So I have one more roll left, and boy, aren't I excited to try to figure out how much I should pull back with my push. Maybe I should think of it as more of a nudge than a push. Or maybe a cajole or an urging ahead.

You know, I changed my mind about this paragraph. I'll save the completely unrelated news for another, more relatable time.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Joyce Kilmer Ain't Got Nothin' On Me!

I mean, seriously...

Dig it:

Taken in Tomkins Square Park on a cold, clear day.

Maybe if there were a cloud or two up there it might have added something to the shots.

Friday, February 12, 2010


This was Amy's last full day in New York, before heading back to Alaska. I don't know how many shots I took with her with how many cameras, yet this was the only one that came out halfway decently for any number of reasons I won't list here.

I felt funny about taking her picture at this location. I don't mean funny ha ha, I mean funny like it wasn't right. I never liked the idea that it's become a tourist site. But do we not go to the USS Arizona and take pictures there, while over a thousand sailors are still entombed in the ship? Who wouldn't go to a city that's one of the biggest tourist spots in the world, and then visit a place of momentous history? They'll be coming once the memorial is built, so why shouldn't they come now? I don't know...It still doesn't seem entirely right to me. But enough about it already. Well, at least for one more paragraph.

I didn't want to take the picture, but it wasn't my picture not to take. Did that make sense? I think you know what I mean, right? I think I'm trying to say that it wasn't my place to refuse her request. I didn't say anything at the time. I guess I'm saying it now.

Taken with my Ansco Rediflex that I got in a junk shop somewhere in Tennessee back in 1995, and finally breathed some life into it for the first time this summer. I'm now also certain that this was my last Fuji Reala roll that I have. No more color negative film. Yecch. Slide or bust, baby. Slide or bust.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Pain of Pride

I know that nipple rings on a man doesn't necessarily mean they're gay, but OUCH man!

Taken with the Diana F+.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Out of His Element

On a snowy day like today, why not harken back to those lazy hazy crazy happy gay (and by "gay" I mean homosexual) summer of 2009, when this man conducted a silent protest of his own against the "You shouldn't have to ask if you can't tell already" crowd.

Taken with the Lomography Diana F+.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


It was another time. Another place. Another place in time perhaps, and I was an eager 21 year old taking summer film classes at NYU. It was still a time where you couldn't walk through the park without being propositioned by any number of drug dealers. "Smoke, smoke..." No thanks, I don't need to overpay for an undersized bag of pot which is more oregano and pubic hair than marijuana.

But I had a dream. I wanted to be the white Spike Lee. Or maybe the black Martin Scorcese (I have no idea what that means). I wanted to do for film what Mac Davis did for music (I have no idea what that means either. If I had more time and it wasn't getting so close to midnight, maybe I'd come up with a better line. Or maybe not...).

The second half of that summer I took a cinematography class. I didn't mention to anybody that I was color blind, but why let a little detail like that get in the way of art? The name of my professor is long forgotten, but the one thing that I bet nobody has forgotten was that he was Russian.

All the Russian film profs were the same. They were these tough, loud dudes who wouldn't hesitate to tell you that your work was shit. That's actually not so different than any other film professor (it's their job for crying out loud), but when some guy who got his hands calloused in the fields of the Ukraine is shouting at you with that Cold War accent, it really makes an impression.

So one of our assignments was to head out into the wilds of NYC and take photographs of things. Anything, as long as it had some kind of cinematic value (or something like that). I don't exactly remember what the point of it was, but I was happy to borrow someone's K-1000 (I don't even remember who I borrowed it from) and went up to Times Square. Among other things I caught on film were a Three Card Monte scam in action, and a Three Card Monte scam being busted by the police. But one of my shots was of a steam chimney in the middle of the street. I guess that's what those are called. You know, the yellow (or is it orange?) and white striped things where the steam comes out of the ground? Well, it was a picture of one of those, and a car driving by. I didn't think much of it when I showed it to my professor, and was expecting to be on the receiving end of a Bolshevik berating.

He said, "Good. Steam always good."

I wonder what he'd think of this offering:

Maybe the next time I go home I'll dig up those pictures and see if they still have legs nearly 19 years later.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Union Square

So I have this Kodak Bantam f/4.5 and I have to say I'm quite fond of it. It's nice and compact and has a really great lens. You wouldn't know it from this picture, but it really does. I'm actually in the process of adjusting the front lens element until I get the focus perfect (or damn close to it). Of course, I can only do this one roll at a time, and develop them when I have the time. From the looks of my last roll (this one isn't from that), I think I'm really close.

But for some reason, I really like this shot:

I think this pertains to a total of three people, and I'm not sure if they'll even be reading this, but just in case...I know I said I'd have those shots from last night developed right when I got home. But you know what? I ended up falling asleep instead. I also found out that the developer I had isn't good for pushing (and I'm going to be pushing this film like crazy), and had to get one that was more suitable for the task.

Hopefully the shots will come out, and hopefully there's something worth putting up here. Of course, I have no empty developing tanks right now. They're all filled up. I should really do something about that.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


This is what happens when you can't figure out which shot of the Flatiron Building to post.

I took this with the Brownie 127. The bottom half is still way underexposed. Perhaps I should have put up neither.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I found this specimen tipped over and chained to sign on Great Jones. I took this with the Nettar, standing directly above it, setting my focus with a little rangefinder. I took some other shots too, I'll have them up eventually. I'm sure you're thrilled to hear that.

Yeah, we're in a bit of a dry spell here. And the "Storm of the Century" that they were trying to scare us half to death with didn't even drop a flake on NYC. It's just as well, since I stayed in all day today and got some decent work done.

Hell, I still haven't left the house.

What, me a shut-in?

Oh yeah, I also developed this one myself. I think I'm really going to start to try to build my confidence up to start regularly doing my own black and white processing. The internet is of no help, since everybody who processes their own film swears by what they do, and they're all doing something different. I guess it's just hard for me to really know how something "should" look when I do it myself, as opposed to it going through a machine where everything is electronically timed and temperature controlled. But I just gots to keep doing it I suppose.

I guess my fear is that I'll have something that I think is a really "good" shot, like maybe a person picture or something (I could have just said "portrait" there, right?) but am too worried about screwing it up. And I'm not even sure exactly how it should look. Too much contrast? Not enough contrast? Overfixed? Underfixed?

Calgon, take me away!

Friday, February 5, 2010


I really like this one. And yes, if you've been paying attention (which I know you have), you'll know that this is from the Summer 1999 Recess Records Tour.

This would have been up sooner, but my regular desktop model is acting oddly. And before you say anything, it's a Mac, running Snow Leopard. The past few days I was just thinking of the odd problems as "hiccups," but when it takes like ten minutes to start up (like just now, no kidding), there's something afoot. I'm not feeling good about this. I was once on hold with Applecare for SIX HOURS. I kid you not, but the issue at the time was that important.

I'm just wondering how much of tomorrow I'm going to be on hold with those yahoos while I should be getting schoolwork done. In reality I'll probably be taking pictures of the "Storm of the Century" (as the weatherpeople like to scare us all the time), if it should ever develop.

Okay, the computer is up and relatively running (the desktop model), even though it's not recognizing one of my external drives, the one with all the music on it.

None of this has absolutely anything to do with Hal up there, but he's finally getting his own moment in the sun instead of sharing it however many posts back.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mykel and Friend (R-L)

Yes, that's Mykel on the right. If he looks festive it's because he's celebrating his 60th birthday. He was a busy boy that night, and I didn't get any single shots of him. Well, I didn't want to bug him as he was flitting all around, happy to have made it this far. Of the shots I took of him (with others), I think this is the best.

There's so much I can say about Mykel, though I would never do as good a job as Mykel does himself. He's been writing a column for MAXIMUMROCKNROLL for I don't know how long. He's also published a book or two, most notably this one, about teaching English in Mongolia for a year.

A friend of mine wrote a beautiful, personal tribute to Mykel that I had the privilege to read which outdoes anything I could write about him. You'll have to go without it, but trust me, it was very touching.

I know this doesn't help you much.

Mykel, I'll write a better entry on your 70th, I promise.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I bet this isn't the picture you were expecting when you read the title of this post. However, I cannot tell a lie. Jism is the lead singer of the band Ism, legends of the NYC punk scene. They are also responsible for the best record cover art ever produced (if I may be so bold). Sometimes it's the simple ideas that go a long way.

Okay, I wanted to write more, but my head is killing me and I'm way tired. It's my own damn fault. I knew I shouldn't have stayed up late last night to watch Inherit the Wind, and I really knew I shouldn't have followed it with Sergeant York. But it's "31 Days of Oscar" on TCM! It's like every movie they're showing is a keeper!

Okay, I've gots to break away from here. I'm on the verge of an overtired typing jag that won't benefit anybody in the least.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


This was the first "official" shot I took of Erin, right before she left Mykel's party (we'll be meeting Mykel in a future post). "If you take a good picture of me my mother will love you," she said as I took this. Though she was already feeling self-conscious by the second shot:

She said, "I'm going to start blushing. I hope that's not color film."

"No, it's black and white." Though I stopped there. I didn't need to make her feel any more uncomfortable. Though it's my favorite of the two.

Erin was also in my very first shot of the night, which you can see below. On the left is her friend Diane. I knew she'd be out of focus, though I really wasn't thinking as to what she was doing, that is, in the middle of denuding a chicken wing:

I hope Mom approves.

Monday, February 1, 2010

You've Read This Before...

Oh, you've read this before. You've read about how I dropped off film at my local film guy. You've read how he told me that it would be ready by the end of the day. And you've also read about how when I so excitedly went to pick up my film at the end of the day I was told...well, this time the machine wasn't broken, it was COLD.

Say what?

I didn't take the film back. There was no point. Though he tells me it'll be ready at 1pm tomorrow afternoon, I'll believe it when I see it. I like this guy as a person, but I think he's just run out of straws.

So instead of (potentially) beginning of a new run of shots, I instead have this most crepuscular offering:

I'd like to think that this is the last time I'll bring any black and white film to that place, hoping that the machine won't be broken or cold only to come back here and bitch about it.

I'd like to think that...