Saturday, June 8, 2024

Tri-X gratuit en plein air

A couple things have been on my mind lately.  

I've found myself riding around with a camera full of film and not taking very many pictures, fearing triteness or banality. With the last roll it was a constant debate whether using ISO 800 film in the sunshine was wasting it.

A second is a bit of jealousy of the digital photographers I've been associating with lately for the way they merrily take pictures without concern for the cost or whether each one will be a masterpiece.

The solution to both is more free 35mm film than you know what to do with - the roll of 1980's Tri-X I rescued from the trash when my department got rid of the freezer.

I loaded about a cubit of it into a cassette. That may seem an antiquated unit of measure, but that's literally how I do it. The counter on the bulk loader doesn't work so in the dark, I just open the gate, pull out film measured against my forearm, and then roll it into the cassette. Pro tip: Take the camera winder in there with you. It takes forever just using the little knob that sticks out of the cassette.

Another advantage is short rolls can be loaded so you don't have to take so many pictures before you get to see them. And for you, dear readers - shorter blog posts to wade through.

The camera is the modest, brown cardboard Neville, with whom innattention can be risky. It was loaded for the Appleton PhotoWalk. The gathering took place mostly at the tables in front of the Appleton Brewing Company. Eventually I remembered that this camera was along specifically for casual portraiture that is a common feature of photowalks. I exchanged cards with the gentleman on the left, who also shared the table later at Stone Arch, but lost it after looking at his pictures. (Later edit: I just found it. Hi, Scott Kruger!)

Fox Valley Photography Group comrade Tim Matey, formally posing.


After finishing all the rest of film from the photowalk, I set out to finish this roll as well with the specific intention to take pictures that just caught my eye even if they were of the most common scenes. 

I'm not that familiar with contemporary Lutheran liturgy. I wonder if they have a dress code.

Framed under the pine, a metal pontoon boat at the end of Libby Point, which divides North from South Asylum Bay, caught my eye.

The trees lining Millers' Bay framed in the gap between Ames Point and Monkey Island are a common theme for me. Here's the view of that gap looking back across the bay. A lady roughly my contemporary asked what I was focusing on. To my surprise I didn't say anything pinholy, and just explained about the trees on the other side of the bay. She "only" was using her phone and we had a bit of conversation about the advantage of having large collections of family pictures with you all the time. She never mentioned the cardboard camera.

As about a close as you can approach a great blue heron fishing along the shore (my second attempt). I wasn't even aware of the one bare tree.

More archaeology with what looks like definite layers just in front of the Chief Oshkosh Monument.

Streaming light through the trees on the wall of the Mercury Marine Lab.

The front facade of the Paine Art Center with two volunteers highlighted sticking out from the building's shadow.

The back of the row of identical, but multi-colored Paine Townhouses.

A curved portion of the Riverwalk on campus.

A monumental power tower with a flock of birds resting on the wires.

When we moved to Oshkosh in a U-Haul truck with a manual transmission, I remember going though the Morgan Door factory which rose up straight from the sidewalk on Oregon Street on both sides with two large overhead passageways crossing above traffic. The factory has been gone for thirty years with at least three large projects announced for the location on the shore of the Fox. After much publicity about the brown field nature of the site, and tax concessions to facilitate it's remediation, construction has finally begun on what's described as an in-patient hospital, returning some emergency care access back to the middle of the city.

There was a 20mph wind coming down the Fox. Look at the angle of the line coming down from that left hand crane. In order to get over the construction fence, I had the tripod precariously positioned up on the slats of a steel bench. The wind would blow it over unless held firmly down. I waited for a calm moment and used both hands to make the exposure, which somehow worked.

Neville has a hand drilled .15mm pinhole, 24mm from a 24x36mm frame. The old Tri-X was semistand developed in Rodinal 1:100.

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