Found Saturday – Serendipitous Veteran’s Day Edition

Liberation of Paris

Yesterday – Veteran’s Day – Travis and I were in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and we wandered into an antique shop. There, we found 4 boxes of old black and white 35mm and 4×5 negatives, and of course, I bought them all without even glancing through them to see what the subject matter was.

I didn’t start going through them until this morning. At first, the pictures seemed kind of mundane – the 35mm looked like it was mainly family shots, pictures of babies, that type of thing. However, there was one little strip that had some photos of what looked to be Mont St. Michel. Sure enough, the edge of the film said “Kodak France.”

Military Police

So, I started flipping through the large format negatives only to discover that the majority, if not all of them, look like they were shot in immediate post-war France, particularly during what looks to be the Liberation of Paris, which would date the photos to late August 1944.

Under the Eiffel

Surprise! Happy Veteran’s Day!

At the bar

I’ve only scanned in a handful of these pictures, and have really only looked through one box of four of the negatives, but there’s a *lot* of interesting pictures.

The joint committee of Communism and Socialism?

I was trying to track down the history of this aircraft:

Duration Plus

Of course, I know nothing about planes, and the only “Duration Plus” I’ve managed to find a mention of on the Google says that it was a B-17 bomber, and that it crashed in Germany on September 13, 1944. I have no idea if that is the same plane as this one, but if it was, how strange that it was on display in Paris under the Eifel Tower for the liberation celebrations, and then was destroyed in Germany about 2 weeks later?

(And of course, due to the amazing power of Teh Internetz, in the time it took to type out that paragraph, I got confirmation that the plane is indeed a B-17! Thanks, iPlaid!)

Somebody important

If you give a soldier a camera...

I uploaded a bunch of these pictures – they’re on my Flickr if you want to see more of them.

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Getting ready (and accidental Found Monday!)

So. Much. Film.

So, I’m still working on getting our cameras and film ready to take on vacation. Almost everything is done – I’ve got the rollfilm and 35mm film sorted and respooled. Almost all of the sheet film holders are loaded. I remembered to grab an armful of Fuji Polaroid film boxes. I’ve got a few sewing related things I need to get done – the elastic on our big dark bag snapped, so I need to repair that before we go, and I’m trying to convert a big Trader Joe’s insulated shopping bag into a suitable camera bag for our 5×7 camera, Watson.

Yeah, I decided to take Watson instead of hauling around the big-ass 8×10 pinhole camera. The problem with the pinhole camera (besides the fact that it’s gigantor) is that I think I want to eventually replace the pinhole on it. The one that came installed on the camera just isn’t sharp enough for my liking, so I’d like to try to improve on that. Until I do so, I don’t want to waste my precious stash of 8×10 slide film on mediocre pictures.

Watson, however, is a bonafide large format camera with a real lens and everything! Travis and I took a few cameras out the other day to do some final testing before we left, so I grabbed Watson to see how he performed in the field. He weighs about the same, or maybe even a little less than my 4×5 Speed Graphic, and folds up nicely.

Watson 5x7 camera, folded up

The downside to taking Watson is that the only film I can shoot with him on the road is my Fuji X-ray film. I have some old, old Kodak Aerocolor film that expired in 1985 that’s on a roll, but that’s a pain to work with, and I’d be too flustered while traveling to deal with it (also, it’s C-22 or something, so I’d have to develop it in cold chems – not that big of a deal with roll film, but a pain in the ass if I’m trying to do large format film). The Fuji X-ray film, on the other hand, is black and white, but fortunately has a double-sided emulsion, which means I can’t screw up how I load the film holders. That’s nice, because the film doesn’t have any notches letting you know which way to load it.

Anyway, I wanted to try out the Fuji X-ray film one more time before committing to take Watson. We hauled him up to the cemetery and took a few shots.

Cooper C. Jackson

Okay, not the most interesting photo ever, but still, I was pleased with how sharp the image was. I also tried taking a picture using a yellow filter over the lens. The X-ray film apparently can’t be used with a red filter (it reads reds as black, I think), and I wanted to see if the yellow filter would help bring out the sky and clouds. The resulting picture showed maybe a little darkening of the sky, but nothing really awesome, and was also not as in focus as the above photo. I think that might have something to do with the fact that we had to manually hold the filter over the lens, since I don’t have a proper filter mount for the lens on Watson. I’m probably not going to mess around with filters with this camera for the most part.

So, Watson is a go, but that means I have to cut down a bunch of my Fuji X-ray film to 5×7, since I only have it in 5×12 size. So! Tedious! Hopefully it’ll be worth it, though. Since I’ll be using Watson, I also have to remember to bring a dark cloth to use when I’m trying to focus the camera. I’d love to go full-out Ansel Adams and build a camera platform on top of the truck and take pictures that way. I won’t be a truly hard-core camera nerd until I do that.

I also wanted to test out my gel filters before we left, too. I made some improvements on my Bollywood Pinhole camera to keep it from being lightleaky, and also making it tripod-friendly. So, I was able to mount it on a little tripod and take a few pictures with the gel filters taped to the inside of the camera. Here’s one shot using a turquoise gel filter:

Harry R. Deem

The final thing we wanted to try out was shooting with 4×5 Kodak High Speed Infrared film. I’ve shot a few pictures with it before, like this one:

HIE test shot

…but I wanted to try rating it at different speeds. That photo was shot rating the film at 200 using a red 25 filter, and it looks decent, but I wanted to see it shot rated at 100 to see if there was much difference. I also wanted to see if it worked in the Bollywood pinhole camera using the red gel filter, and in Travis’ 4×5 Graflex SLR. We don’t have a filter mount for the Graflex, either, unfortunately, so we shot film in that with me holding the red 25 filter over the lens.

All of this would have been well and good, if we were shooting unexposed sheets of film. However, unbeknownst to us, what we were actually shooting were sheets of film that had already been exposed. I bought a lot of the Kodak High Speed Infrared film off of ebay a while ago, and got a few sealed boxes of film, and a few opened boxes. The film we used came from one of the opened boxes, and apparently the person I bought the film from had stuffed a few sheets of exposed but undeveloped film back in the film box and forgot about them. So, instead of our carefully thought out infrared test shots taken in the cemetery, we got this:

Carhenge

And this:

Mount Rushmore

So! That was a surprise! A bit of a bummer about our test shots not coming out, but kind of awesome found photos regardless. Strangely, both of these places, Carhenge and Mount Rushmore, are places that Travis and I went on our honeymoon, and even more strangely, I actually shot an infrared picture of Mount Rushmore then. Not on 4×5 film, though. Still – weird!

I didn’t feel like wasting any more of our infrared sheet film on test shots, though, so I think we’re just going to wing it on our trip. I may try taking a few pictures using the red gel filter and the pinhole camera, but I think I’ll probably just stick to using the infrared sheet film in the Speed Graphic, where I can get a proper filter in place (the shot we took with Travis’ Graflex SLR with me holding the filter over the lens barely came out – I suspect extra light leaked in around the edges).

I’m looking forward to playing with the silly gel filters on vacation. I had the thought to bring my Coronet 127 stereo camera along, and shoot pictures with a different colored gel filter inside each lens.

Dr. Funkenstein

That might turn out neat. Or obnoxious! Who knows! I respooled some rolls of color infrared film, too, taking the risk that I was ruining them in the process, so I can shoot color infrared with sprocket holes and cameras other than the 35mm. I hope I didn’t ruin them. That would really suck. Oh well. Too late now!

Whirl

I also ignored the fact that to date I haven’t been too awfully thrilled with the results I’ve gotten when I’ve tried shooting redscale film, and respooled a bunch of redscale film on a whim. I also bought a few rolls of the Rollei Nightbird film, which is pre-flipped redscale film. Actually, I bought a bunch of different rolls of the new Rollei films. I’ve only ever used a roll of their CR200 120 slide film, but I thought that roll came out really well, so I bought some more of their Digibase films to do weird stuff with. The Nightbird film has a variable ISO of 580 to 800, I think, so I might try shooting that with some of the gel filters. Because I really, really want to know what happens if you shoot redscale film with a green filter. Will it all turn out brown? I want to know!!

Oh, and as a point of interest for anyone else who shoots 127 format film, Freestyle Photo is selling the Rollei Nightbird (redscale) and Crossbird (E6 film meant for cross processing, so you can develop it either E6 or C41) in 127 format, so, yay, now there is some fresh, in-date 127 color film available to purchase again. Hooray!

Well, it’s time for me to get my butt back to cutting down more of the Fuji X-ray film. I feel like I’ll never see the sunlight again.

Found Friday – Tiny Ties Edition

Small Ties!

Just one pic for Found Friday today, but it’s a good one. I bought a stack of old photos at an antique mall this winter, but mixed in with all of the prints was this one 4×5 negative that had absolutely nothing to do with any of the other photos. These four guys are full of awesome, from the high waisted pants to the tiny ties, to the straw hats, to the corncob pipe(!) So. Much. Win. It looks like they’re standing in front of some gas pumps, but I definitely got the same feeling Katie did (on Flickr), where it looks like these guys were getting ready to head on down to the track.

In other news, Travis and I survived the big camera auction, although our bank account may disagree with that. We scored some things that rock:

Series B Graflex

Kodak Medalist

And some things that made us go “What the hell were we thinking?!!!” as soon as we won our bids. Travis is kicking himself for spending more than he wanted on a military 4×5 Speed Graphic camera, although I had absolutely no problem with what he spent on it – I mean, it’s a working 4×5 camera. How wrong can you go? That doesn’t compare at all to my auction shame.

I only spent $30 on it, which isn’t that much money to piss away in the wind, if one were so inclined. (I have, on occasion, been so inclined). However… this?

I don't know what the hell this is

Oh, it may look like some sort of gigantic monster camera, but it’s not. It’s really an albatross. (Obligatory link to Monty Python here). Sure, it only cost $30, but how much will it cost my SOUL to have this in my life now??!!

First of all, it weighs roughly 14,000 pounds. Secondly, it somehow weighs more when the camera is taken out of the case – it’s like the anti-Tardis. Thirdly, it probably is a roll film camera (I’m guessing for 70mm film), but it’s definitely unusable, since I don’t have a roll film holder for it, or power cords, or an instruction manual. Fourthly, I thought maybe I could just tear it all down and scavenge cool parts and lenses from it, but no, I can’t, because the inside of the camera looks deadly, like it wants to kill you so, so much. Fifthly, I can’t even try to sell it, because, again, it weighs 14,000 pounds, and I can’t even comprehend what kind of postage that would cost.

Buttons

But it does have some fun buttons and switches, so it has that going for it. /sobs

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

Splash

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).

Sleeping

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.

Party!

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.

Woodman?

Headstones

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.

Found Friday – I Smell Bacon Edition

Ew.

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’.

Bottom

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?

Horses

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

I’m so sick of winter.