Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ilford HP5+ 400

More Sign
I shot and developed my first roll of Ilford HP5+ 400 since high school - the film is supposed to be pretty similar to Kodak Tri-X 400 and I found that to be true. I shot it with my Minolta X-700 and developed it for 5 minutes in Kodak HC-110(b). Some people say that it is a little less contrasty than Tri-X but I didn't seem to notice that - and I'm someone who loves lots of contrast. The grain is said to be quit different too but my scans don't show it too much - it would probably come out more in prints. I shot the whole roll with a 45mm f/2 Rokkor lens - the one that came with most late 70's Minolta's - I found the lens to be far less sharp than my 60's era Rokkors and it didn't have nearly as pleasing of a bokeh. I have three of these lenses and they will probably remain on the shelf from now on....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Royal Bangs on Film

Royal Bangs at Grog Shop
A month ago I tested out a new, new, old, old camera(a Nikon L35 AF) at the Royal Bangs show at the Grog Shop. Let me explain - I had bought a Nikon L35 AF when I first started collecting cameras year back and finally started to shoot it a little over a year ago. Unfortunately it died on me so I recently picked up another one at an estate sale. I always liked the camera(Nikon's first auto-focus point and shoot) for its accurate AF, sharp lens, and bright flash ...and think it outshines many of the film point and shoots that followed over the years. It was released in 1983 and kinda has a cult following. I shot two rolls in mine that night - and extremely expired roll of Kodak Gold 200(which came out pretty rough) and a roll of Fuji Superia 400 which looks quite nice. Its a great camera to bring along when I don't feel like worrying about expensive equipment and manual operation. I'm glad to have it back in my line-up of working 35mm cameras.
Royal Bangs at Grog Shop

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Tiki Went my brothers for a great cookout - that dude can smoke some meat! GrillsGroup

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Magic Hour Walk

Self This evening I went for a short walk around my neighborhood - the light was great so I took the above self-portrait in Judy Irsroff Park. I also stopped and snapped a few photos of the Rotaynah statue in front of Fairlawn Elementary. I've shot the statue many times before so I went for a different perspective by zooming in tight. As I alluded to in an earlier post I probably won't be in this hood too much longer so I'm enjoying my last few chances to shoot it before I'm gone. Rotaynah

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Today I taught Laura how to fix brakes - I did the passenger side and she did the driver side. She's a pretty good mechanic after all! 
I was proud.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tri-X Downtown

I took a walk south of downtown to finish up a roll of Tri-X that I had mostly shot at the farm. I used a 50mm f/2 MD Rokkor which was a later era lens with a Tiffen red filter - the combination had all the sharpness of a butter knife. I forgot to take some test shots without the new red filter to know if that or the lens was the problem but I suspect the lens. Anyways - I was otherwise pleased with the extremely contrasty shots I captured.
Having gotten comfortably with my combination of Tri-X in HC-110 I plan to shot some Ilford HP5+ 400 next. I want to stick with HC-110 for a few different films before I try other developers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

El Averago

Laura and I had been watching in anticipation for the opening of a new Mexican restaurant in the old Yocono's building. El Ranco finally opened sometime this week and we decided to try it out tonight. The inside looks much like most Mexican restaurants - the vibe of the old place with some bright paint and Mexican paintings - the old bakery case was turned into a nice looking bar. Our waiter was pretty amateur but that's not a big deal to us - hopefully he'll learn you don't need to keep asking people if they are ready to order when they are clearly still looking at a menu. Unfortunately the food and margaritas were pretty average. With Tito's just down the street and the classic Mariachi's in the valley they will need to step up their game if we are to turn into regulars. I'll give them another chance in a few weeks but I don't think I'll be recommending them at this point.....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sand Run Jogging Trail

Former Outhouse Study #2
Believe it or not today was the first day I had ever been on the Sad Run Jogging Trail(or maybe its "yogging" with a soft J). Nothing too photographically exciting happened on this cloudy evening - but I did like this former outhouse by the Mingo Shelter....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm No Brassaï, Akron No Paris

Highland Square at Night
I had recently disassembled my Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model so I could clean the lens and viewfinder. I also realized that I could stick a roll of 120 film in it without re-spooling it onto 620 reels(as long as a 620 reel is used as the take-up spool). Last night I decided it was time to take it for a test drive and just for laughs I made it a real challenge. I went for a walk downtown Akron after the sun went down and used the camera on "bulb mode"(for the un-initiated this means the shutter stays open as long as you keep you finger on the shutter release). There is no tripod socket on the camera so I could only take shots from places where I could set it down on something stable. The camera has no light meter(not that they help much at night anyways) and I had no timer so I guessed at the exposure lengths by counting in my head. Most of these were 20-50 second shots. I've read the aperture on these cameras are about f/15 so most of the frame is sharp(except for when my hand shook the camera). With all that against me I'm surprised some of these turned out as well as the did - the film is Kodak T-Max 100.  
St Bernard's at Night
I tried this shot twice - for 15 and 30 seconds - this is the thirty second exposure. I used some mulch to prop the camera up to the necessary angle.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

Ranchero's Taqueria 
RancherosLast night Josh, Laura and I decided to get some Mexican food - Josh had never been to Tito's(in the former Egg Castle) so we started heading there. As we pulled up we realized the lot was full and there were people waiting outside - all of sudden it hit me, "Oh crap, its Cinco de Mayo!". We all had our hearts set on Mexican food but knew that every place would be crowded. On Josh's suggestion we drove over to Ranchero's on Cuyahoga Falls Ave. thinking it was a bit more under the radar from people who only get Mexicn on Cinco de Mayo. It was busy but we didn't wait too long, and few pitchers of margaritas made everything OK.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Potting Laura and I stopped out at Graf Growers today and picked up some flowers. We spent the afternoon planting and arranging them to spruce up our porch area and back deck. I hadn't been to Graf's since I was a kid - which is ridiculous because its about 5 minutes from where I live. The prices seemed to be a tad steeper than a chain store but I'd much rather support fellow, local farmers. ...and to clear up a misconception - Szalay's and Graf's do not consider themselves rivals - the owners know and like each other. Our corn is better anyways ;) Graf Growers

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Abandoned Everett

Shell IV
Today I took a walk through the woods behind the Historic Everett Church. I walked up on a house owned by the park(by way of kicking out an elderly lady) and snapped some shots of the collapsing outbuildings. The park restored the home after boarding it up and letting it rot for nearly a decade...makes sense, right? Outbuildings II

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fomapan 400 Action

Today I developed my first roll of Fomapan 400 which I shot in my Minolta X-700. The general consensus on the web seems to be that the film should be shot and developed at ISO 200 - I didn't listen to that though and shot it at the box speed of 400. Why buy my first roll of a 400 film and shoot it at 200 just because a bunch of web-nerds say too? Anyways - I shot the film the same way I shoot Tri-X 400 and developed in to the time specified in the Massive Development Chart(7 minutes). I was really happy with the contrast - I liked it as much if not more than what I can get with Tri-X, but this film is grainier and less sharp in my opinion. Some people say to steer clear of this stuff but I would shoot it again - maybe even try it out at ISO 200....cuz ya know - a lot of those nerds know what they are talking about. This was also the first time I used a wetting agent(Kodak Photo-Flo 200) in the final rinse of my film - and it worked like a charm - no water marks at all! I'm sold - I'll never do without this dream liquid what to do about that dust.... Big JohnWild Flowers VI