Found Friday – Psychedelic Edition

Mount Rushmore

A month or so ago, we picked up another pink Hawkeye Flashfun, 1. Because those cameras are awesome, and 2. Because it had a partially exposed roll of film inside. I am incapable of passing one up. Anyway, we shot the last few remaining pics on the roll and then developed it. The film was Kodacolor-X, which is process C-22, but no worries – we just developed it in cold C-41 chems instead.

Grotto Geyser

The found pics were taken out west, at Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone. The picture above is of Grotto Geyser in Yellowstone, which tends to erupt about once every 8 hours. It is apparently also related to Grotto Fountain Geyser, Spa Geyser, Rocket Geyser (my favorite!), and Giant Geyser.

The pictures we shot on this roll of film didn’t come out so well.

Psychedelic Amish

You can kind of make out an Amish buggy at the bottom of the photo, underneath all of the shrooms and LSD.

Big day today! Going to hopefully buy an epic amount of photography goodness at an auction! Wish me luck!

Found Friday – Serendipity Edition


We’re going camping next weekend! Yay! It’s going to be out first camping trip of the year, at Indian Lake State Park, which we’ve never been to before. I’m looking forward to going, though, and breaking out the camper for the first time since last fall. And hey, since we have an air conditioner in it, it won’t even matter if the weather is all hot and crappy!

I See You

We bought a new pop-up camper last year right before we went on vacation, which also happened to be right before the next year’s camper models came out. We bought the last one they had in stock of a current year model, and told the dealership specifically, in very clear terms, that we did not want an air conditioner – we always go camping when it’s cool outside, so we didn’t need one, or want to pay the $1800 charge, or whatever it was, for the AC and installation. We come back a week later to find our brand new camper waiting for us in the parking lot, with a brand new air conditioner installed on it. Um… what? Turns out someone screwed up and installed it anyway, and since you can’t exactly uninstall one once it’s put in – they have to cut a big hole in the roof to install it – and we refused to pay for it, since we didn’t want it anyway, we got the AC for free.

Don't Look Behind You

And honestly, the AC works great! It’s awesome! I’m all about going camping in the summer now! Screw it, we can just do outside stuff in the early morning and then again in the evening, and stay inside the camper and play Boggle or something when it’s 12,000 degrees outside. Free AC for the win!

Mom and Dad

Anyway, the reason I mentioned the camping trip is that last weekend, Travis and I went to an auction. It was an auction of the contents of a house owned by a guy who had recently moved, I think, into an assisted care facility. Turns out the guy worked at least part time as a professional photographer, and we scored a bunch of great items, including a few cameras, lenses, books, and a huge amount of old negatives and slides. Huge. I probably have at least 1,000 4×5 negatives shot by this guy, not to mention the smaller format ones and the slides. It’s going to be too much for me to go through, so I put some of them up in the shop. I started going through the negatives, put have only begun to make a dent in the collection.

Indian Lake

I was startled, however, when I pulled a sleeve of negatives out from the box that was labelled “Vacation ~ Dad & Mom R At Indian Lake.” The photos were taken (or developed, maybe) on August 6, 1955. And now, 56 years later, I’ve got the opportunity to go to Indian Lake and shoot some pictures with what I’m assuming is the same camera that shot these photos originally (a 4×5 Speed Graphic, which we also bought at the auction).


It looks like they stayed in a cabin, though, so it won’t be exactly the same. But still, kind of awesome nonetheless.

Found Friday – Gold Rush edition

Central City downtown

Hey! It’s been a while! I got sick right after my last post (blerg), so I didn’t get a chance to try what I wanted to try with my RA-4 chems. It’ll just have to wait until next time I do some color embiggening. Meanwhile, we’ve been developing some black and white and color film lately, so I do have some new found stuff to share.


One of the more interesting rolls of found film that we’ve come across lately is this roll of Super XX Pan 620 film. It showed up in a random ebay lot, so I have no idea who shot this or what camera it came from, but the photos on it rock. About half were shot in a cemetary.



And the other half were taken in town. Looks like there was some kind of party going on.

Woman at piano

By blowing up part of the first photo, I was able to follow the road signs in the atlas and find out that that photo was shot in Central City, Colorado.

Central City detail

According to Wiki, Central City used to be known as “the richest square mile on Earth,” due to its proximity to the Pike’s Peak gold rush. This was one of those little Deadwood-esque mining towns – it aspired to great things – it even has an opera house! – but fell on hard times once the mining boom subsided. It’s now trying to bring back tourism via casinos. There’s a link on the city website to a “Gambling Horoscope.” So, you know, at least they’ve got that going for them.

More adventures with RA-4


It took me a while to drag myself away from playing Dragon Age II, but I finally shoved the enlarger back into the bathroom and mixed up some fresh RA-4 chems to make color prints. This time I was going to be using a fresh pack of paper, some Fujifilm Crystal Archive Lustre paper that I got from Freestyle a few months back.

The past few times I’ve tried to make color prints have been frustrating, due to using old paper and getting odd color tints in the base. I figured this would be a test – if I couldn’t manage to get a decent print using brand new paper and fresh chems, then I must be a lost cause.

I picked the negative above for my first test. There was a white background and bright colors so that I could easily tell how accurate my guesses on the enlarger filtration were. I did some test strips until I got bored with doing that – 3 test strips per image seem to be about my limit before I finally say, “Screw it, I’m just going to go ahead and make a print,” even if I still need to adjust my filters. 4 prints later I had the print above.

It’s not bad. I could probably tweak it a little more to get a clearer white, but I was actually pretty happy with the colors I go. My main issue was the slight cyan cast and the weird cyan splotchy bits in the upper right corner.

My next print had the cyan splotchiness in the corner, too.

Krispy Kreme

I couldn’t figure out what could be causing this. Maybe a defect in the paper? I started drying out my tank more thoroughly between prints, and as an afterthought checked my rotator base for the tank. It was a little bit off level, so I adjusted it so that the tank sat perfectly level when it rotated.


That actually seemed to do the trick, amazingly. After I leveled out the base, I got a lot less noticeable cyan weirdness on my prints. Hooray!

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting making prints with all sorts of negatives. The Krispy Kreme picture is from a cross processed negative. The waterfall pic is from a newly shot roll of way expired color negative film. Then I remembered there was something I had wanted to try, and dug out that reclaimed Polaroid negative I had salvaged from the goop of a Fuji FP-100C peel-apart photo. The negative looks like this:

My first Peel-Apart negative!

And one of the enlargements of that negative turned out like this:

David's Van

Weird! And awesome!

I made several enlargements of the leaf photo shot with the Graflex SLR:


Including one with the texture fabric over it. Not too keen on how this turned out, but it was interesting to see how the texture worked on a color photo.

Leaves with filter

It continues to amaze me how good these prints look “in real life,” you know, as opposed to scanned in on a computer screen. The detail and sharpness in the leaf print is pretty impressive. That was shot using 3×4 film, so I was working with a pretty huge negative. The detail is kind of phenomenal.

Travis went through some of our old photos from about 10 years ago, and picked out a 35mm negative that we had developed at Walmart or CVS or some place like that. We decided to try enlarging that to see how close we came to the actual photo we got developed back then.

Toby and trees

We came pretty close. Ours is a little more yellow and not quite as blue, but the aspen trunks are white and Toby is red, so that’s all I really cared about.

It was pretty refreshing to be working with paper that actually reacted the way it should. I made a bunch more prints that I haven’t scanned in yet, and some are even successful enough that I’m probably going to put them up in the shop. I know! Bold move! I just need to make sure I can ship prints safely without them getting all bent up. I’ll probably have to cut up chunks of cardboard for protection. I can haz box cutter?

One of the things I tried today that came out absolutely stunning was when I enlarged a black and white negative onto color paper. So, stay tuned for when I get pics uploaded of that goodness (or, just check out the shop tomorrow, because when I pulled the print out of the tank, I was all, “Oh hey! This may actually be art!” Surprise!).

Now that I kind of know what I’m doing with the color printing, I’m having a great time with it. I actually like it better than black and white printing, at least for right now. The whole process is so fast, and the amount of variables is huge, in a good way. For example, I exposed two prints exactly the same, same negative, same filtration, same time, etc, and they came out different. Why? I guess because the temps of my chems wasn’t stable, and I had to develop my prints for slightly different times. But that kind of stuff doesn’t bug me, I just accept it and welcome it as Darkroom Magic. I really like the process of making a print, and then tweaking it slightly – bumping up a filter by 5, or slightly shortening the development time, stuff like that, and then assessing the different results.

Tomorrow I’m going to try two different, older papers. One is just regular RA-4 paper, but 11×14. The other is 8×10 Fujichrome paper, which is supposed to be used for making prints from slides. It uses different chems and a different process than RA-4. That process is called R-3, and looks really similar to how slide film is developed – there’s a first developer, and then the paper is exposed to light, and then there is a color developer and blix step after that. My theory is that if slide film can be cross processed in color negative chemicals, then maybe positive paper can be cross processed in color paper chems. Maybe? Surely someone has tried this, but I couldn’t really find any info about it, so I’m just going to give it a go myself. If nothing else, I would think the Fujichrome paper could potentially be processed by developing in black and white paper first, then exposing to light, and then finished up by doing an RA-4 process. If the cross processing in RA-4 chems doesn’t work, I’ll have to try that.

Found Friday – I Smell Bacon Edition


This winter has been interminable. It is making me edgy. It’s April, for god’s sake, and there’s still snow in the forecast. It’s not like I live in freaking Banff!

Ew.  Again.

Travis did some Diafine developing earlier this week, and one of the things he developed was a roll of Verichrome Pan 620 found inside the cute mint green Valiant “620.” What sort of pictures could this roll of film hold? Adorable puppies and rainbows? Cupcakes? No, of course not. What we got were pictures of an old fashioned hog butcherin’.


Yes, I know, I eat meat, hogs have to be killed somehow, to everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn, but still – really? Of all the things to take pictures with using this adorable minty green camera, this is what the photographer chooses?


There were a couple of horse pictures on the roll too. Whatever. Too little, too late, Valiant “620.”

I’m so sick of winter.

Found Friday – Fishin’ (not fission) Edition


Hey, it’s actually gorgeous out outside! Hooray! I have the windows open and everything! Of course, my big plan for today was to try and make some prints on the new photo paper, but maybe I’ll just change my plan to try doing lumen prints instead.


Here are a few more slides from the batch I got from Terry. They were in a carrier labeled Canada 1966. There are some provincial parks in Canada that sound incredible, and are places that you either have to fly or boat into. We’ve always wanted to go to one of those.

Another fish!

I don’t know what kind of fish that is, but I bet if it could say one thing, it would be, “Ow!”

Sunset (or rise)

Tiny lith!


I’m just going to take a wild guess here and assume that I’m not the only person who has been extremely distracted this past week. I’ve been glued to the news, and even though I felt like doing something photograph-y, I didn’t want to commit to being locked inside the darkroom for hours. The solution? Velite!

I’ve talked about my obsessive love for Kodak Velite before (for example, here), but to recap – it’s paper that can be used in regular room lighting. Weird! Yet awesome, because you don’t have to be cooped up in a darkroom.

I hadn’t tried lithing Velite yet, but Velox, which is a close relative of Velite, lithed, so I figured Velite probably would, too. Travis and I set up the little tin Kodak contact printer in the kitchen, and got our trays of chems ready.


We would make a contact print with the Velite and develop it in regular print developer, and then extrapolated the exposure time for the lith print (we wound up normally doubling or tripling the regular exposure for the lith).

Nickels Bakery

It worked pretty well, and it was nice to have the direct comparisons of how the prints looked lithed and unlithed. It was also nice to be working with lith prints in regular room lighting, since it was a lot easier to see the prints develop and decide when to throw them into the stop bath.

Ansco Cadet

So, anyway, Velite! Lith! Yay!

Velite prints

Since the Velite is so slow, I think the possibility of finding any Velite that has been fogged due to light exposure is pretty much slim to none. So, I encourage you to seek out and experiment with this paper, because it is so fun! Tiny (the only Velite I’ve come across is 2.25″ x 3.25″), but fun. In fact, here’s an auction on ebay that looks like it comes with some Velite, along with some other vintage photo paper, too. I don’t have any connection to the seller or anything, but thought maybe some of you out there (hello?) might be interested. Actually, I was going to go ahead and buy this for myself, but I think I’m doing pretty good on photo paper right now, because this just came in the mail for me today:

Stack o' paper

Also, this:


And this:


Yes. It’s an embarrassingly huge amount of photo paper. I have shame! But, I’m also excited! Especially about the paper in that last photo. All that stuff in the blue packages is some obscure photo paper called Argenta. Apparently, it’s photo paper with a colored based instead of white, and some of the paper also has a metallic colored base. So, that could potentially be awesome. It could potentially be a huge FAIL, too, but we’ll see. I figure I can try doing regular prints, lith prints, and lumen prints out of them. Surely, one of those work, right? We’ll see!