Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Color under pressure

I haven't been using a lot of color film lately because I've gotten impatient with the wait to get color negatives back from the lab. Eight days minimum and can be almost a fortnight if you don't get synced with the once-a-week lab deliveries. During the prime of one-hour processing, I hardly ever used black and white because I was paranoid about developer oxidizing before I used it up, or horribly, using it and getting blank negatives. One-shot caffenol and immortal Rodinal solved that.

I finally lost patience waiting for commercial processing and bought a C-41 kit which involved a few distressing mistakes, but is pretty easy, although it involves record keeping and adjustments with use and age. If I'm not going to worry about it going bad, the kit will have to be used relatively quickly. It turns out there's a bit of a stash of 120 color film in the freezer. 

Kodak Gold 200 went into The Diversity 30. The idea of going out and looking for something specifically for color film strikes me as kind of vague, so the plan was just to see what appeared before me and find out what a color pinhole photograph of that looked like.

The corner of the lanai in the sunshine appeared before me as I loaded the film. Zoom in to see the shadow of the wicker on the carpet under the chair.

On my usual route over to the lake, some shadows and utilities on the side of one of Noffke Lumber's buildings. 

More picnic tables in the sun. My depression-era mother thought restaurants were an unjustifiable expense and going out, even when long-distance traveling, usually meant we would eat meals she brought along at public picnic tables. I remember the view during a sunrise breakfast outside a rural mid-century modern motel overlooking a river valley in the Ozarks, but it was mostly local parks, beaches and road side rest areas.

A return to the art alley, my regular subject behind the south end of the west side of the 400 block of Main Street. The stage behind the Jambalaya Collective.

I never really noticed these subtle grey-greens before.

The same color shows up on the Democratic Party Headquarters at the other end of the block on the east side of Main.

A tree in a strong breeze at the corner of the city garages behind the Beach Building.

On the way to getting frozen custard from Leon's Drive-In, there were these ladders and their shadows up to the roof of the Glad Tidings Tabernacle. Under the influence of William H.F. Talbot again, I had to get the camera and go back.

I also went back to Leon's.

After the first day of classes, I went over to photograph the new Vel Phillips Middle School. This is the main entrance on Kentucky Street. Eight hundred teenagers are much quieter than the construction was for the last two years.

About 40 minutes later when the sun had barely swung around to the north side, the courtyard entrance on Nevada Avenue.

A Dragon Dance was to take place at the Farmer's Market. How colorful can you get? I took advantage of the dragon parked by the curb before the event.

I felt I had to develop two rolls at once so the chemistry didn't have to be heated twice. In anticipation of the Dragon Dance, a roll of Portra 800 I've had in the freezer since before the pandemic went into the Little Mutant in hopes of capturing the action.

The dance began on Merrit Avenue. 

After turning around in Opera Square, coming back north on the 400 block of Main Street.

Since the high speed Portra was in the camera, I felt I couldn't just go out and take pictures that didn't take advantage of the high ISO and the camera sat there for two weeks. So much for getting negatives promptly.

Journalism professor Grace Lim asked Farmer's Market Board Chair, Michael Cooney for some fodder for the first interview experience for her "Humans of Oshkosh" class/spectacular-production. He volunteered the Oshkosh Photography Lunch Group. I was interviewed by Matthew, who agreed to sit for a portrait. While the exposure was happening I thought of all sorts of things I should have clarified and nervously tried to do that instead of advancing the film. Back on the street, Grace was busily doing documentation of the class' experience which eventually will become part of a public event at the end of the semester. By totally random occurrence, she seems to be ghostly merging with her student's brain. The G on her forehead is also a coincidence. The class decided their theme this year would be "Score! Our Town, Our Music." I shoulda brought the Telecaster.

The Dragon Races foretold by the Dance occurred simultaneously on the Fox. My former colleague AnnMarie Johnson is Race Director. Between heats she agreed to sit for a portrait. As I lined up the camera, Brian Ledwell appeared behind her, our companion for a decade in the former AV darkrooms beneath Polk Library, .

She let me behind the ropes for a closeup of one of the boats. While I was concentrating on my photograph I hadn't noticed one of the heats lining up to my left. About the time I closed the shutter, they started. If I had waited 10 seconds the boats would have been streaking by.

On the lawn inside Leach Amphitheater each team with colored t-shirt uniforms had a designated area. Here Team Survivor Madison rests between heats. 

Some teams doing stretching exercises before the competition. Most of the competitors were women in a range of ages. From the team names there seemed to be an association with health-care, but there's no mention of it on the web site.

One of the things I intended to do with the fast film were some interiors. I had been waiting for late afternoon sunbeams to photograph the comfy seating area of the Democratic Party Headquarters. A sign outside says that anyone is welcome to come in and get a cup of coffee. The pinhole camera didn't surprise them too much. They tried to get me to volunteer.

I thought Winnebago Bicycle might like a memento of the great drag race on Main Street. I stopped by Camera Casino to get some while-you-wait prints but couldn't figure out how to download them from my blog to the phone. Andy Ratchman graciously did that on the store computer.

They liked the pictures so I took advantage and photographed the interior of the bike shop. A couple carefully stepped around the tripod and stood in the frame for half the exposure. With their black hair and clothes and constant movement, I'm not surprised they disappeared, but maybe thought they'd darken the display behind them more.

Very early the next morning, a foreshadowing of the season ahead.

The C-41 kit is still fine. The negatives didn't seem different than from the lab. The Kodak Gold 200 was really curly and a couple negatives had to be scanned backward and then flipped to avoid Newton Rings where it touched the glass. This very rarely happens to me.

The Diversity 30 has .22mm and .23mm hand-drilled pinholes, on the axis and 11mm above it,  30mm from a 6x6cm frame. The Little Mutant has .27mm pinholes, one on the axis, and one 10cm above the axis, 45mm from a 6x6cm frame. The Kodak Gold 200 and the Portra 800 were developed together in Arista.edu's liquid quart kit.

I'd better get busy with more color film.

1 comment:

  1. The back stairway with air conditioners is outstanding. The self portrait is excellent. All the rest are great, as usual, but these two story’s out for me. - Earl Johnson