Raleigh, February 2015. Tri‑X 400 120, GA645

This is the roll of Tri‑X 400 that I picked up from the Imag­in­gUSA Kodak booth. I haven’t shot any medi­um for­mat Tri‑X before (to my rec­ol­lec­tion any­way) and I was very impressed with the breadth of tone that could be pulled from the scans. 

As always, I loved walk­ing around with the GA645. Just a great cam­era. So sharp, so reli­able — my only com­plaint is that it shoots 15 instead of 16 on a 120 roll (and 30 instead of 32 on 220). But being able to use the same equip­ment for 120 & 220 with­out adapters is pret­ty awe­some. Which reminds me.…I have a roll of FP4 220 that needs to be used!

Downtown Nashville, February 2014

Since mov­ing here, I’d been want­i­ng to pho­to­graph the peo­ple who go down­town. It’s a mix of tourists and natives — there are enough great parks, muse­ums and activ­i­ties to bring the locals but the rep­u­ta­tion of Broad­way draws in the visitors.

These are a bit of the find­ings on a warm after­noon in Feb­ru­ary. Some on the Shel­by St Bridge, one from Cum­ber­land Park (this real­ly neat space basi­cal­ly under the bridge) and the rest from walk­ing around Broadway. 

All FP4+ in the GA645.

Photo Exploration: Orange|Blue Wall

This late after­noon image was made in Decem­ber 2011 with Provia 100f slide film. The sun was still bright but the year was draw­ing down and all the col­ors were start­ing to fade. Espe­cial­ly in Asheville, where once the fall leaves dis­ap­pear it can get rather dreary.

How­ev­er, this wall in the Asheville Riv­er Arts Dis­trict was a mas­sive anti­dote to the gray. Seem­ing imper­vi­ous to tem­per­a­ture or sur­round­ings, the wall stood (and stands) not with an active pur­pose, but maybe just with an iden­ti­ty. A bit of an unm­mov­ing block of col­or hold­ing court with itself. I had walked this neigh­bor­hood many times to get out from behind my desk and get a bit of fresh air, and although I had pho­tographed the wall with dig­i­tal and neg­a­tive col­or film, I had nev­er real­ly felt like I had made an image that was ful­ly present in both col­or and tex­ture. How­ev­er, this one last walk of the year I had slide film loaded and the time was right. 

One of the hard­est, for me, chal­lenges when shoot­ing an image like this is to get it all lined up prop­er­ly. Any tilt up/down or left/right will be very notice­able in the fin­ished image, and tak­ing care in the moment to true your lines pays div­i­dends lat­er. I think I still have a bit of ver­ti­cal mis­align­ment, with the top titled slight­ly away from the film plane, but over­all the wall and the film seem to line up pret­ty well. Expo­sure with the in-cam­era mech­a­nism, check focus and with a click the image is made. 

Orange|Blue Wall, Provia 100f. December 2011

Orange|Blue Wall, Provia 100f. Decem­ber 2011

I’ve dis­cussed the benefits/process of slide film before, espe­cial­ly regard­ing the view­ing of an image and see­ing the minia­ture world with­in. With this image the expe­ri­ence was near­ly tran­scen­dent. It was like hold­ing pure light, this amaz­ing trans­par­ent yet sol­id emul­sion of orange and blue. I am no way with Rothko’s tal­ent, but I imag­ine his won­der at a com­plet­ed col­or field paint­ing to be much the same as when I first held the devel­oped image above.

It was made with a Fuji GA645, quite a work­horse medi­um for­mat cam­era. If you aren’t famil­iar with one, think of a wide-angle rangefind­er with aut­o­fo­cus capa­bil­i­ty. Extreme­ly sharp ele­ments and very accu­rate meter­ing. It is a fun cam­era that I’ve used many times over.

This image is mean­ing­ful for two rea­sons — the first is that after many attempts with a sub­ject, I was final­ly able to find the right com­bi­na­tion of mate­r­i­al and process to get a sat­is­fac­to­ry image. The sec­ond rea­son is this pho­to­graph helped push my bound­aries a lit­tle bit. Remov­ing peo­ple, nature, and many extra­ne­ous items from the image I was pre­sent­ed with slight tex­ture and com­ple­men­tary colors.