mandag 11. september 2017

The Darkroom Cookbook

I've heard words spoken and written about it for years, the Darkroom Cookbook. Written by Stephen G. Anchell, published 1994 it seems. It's more or less full of weird recipies for more or less anything photography related. Developers, fixers, toners and stuff nice to have inside the darkroom. In other words there seems to be some interesting reading in there, as I'm now the owner of an example of this book. There's a few general darkroom chapters in there as well, as far as I can see without starting searching for my glasses and such.
You see my cousin once used to be a quite promising(ish) darkroom scientist, but at some point he just gave it all up. The pixelating age, a bunch of kids, a house and a million things to do... you know the story.
He got rid of most of his equipment, but somehow managed to find a bunch of darkroom paper (Agfa RC) in addition to The Darkroom Cookbook hidden way down in between the layers of things having added up down in his basement over the years.

A half-frame snap from the Olympus PEN. Nothing too interesting, perhaps, but there might be something for the right kind of person. Not sure about the film, but it could be Kentmere 400 or maybe something else. Ilford PAN 400 or something, maybe.

Long story a bit shorter he decided to donate the Cookbook and the paper, and will continue to dig for more interesting stuff down in that basement. I was trying to give him a hand during the searching for the Cookbook, and to be honest I think he'll be better off bringing in a (rather large) team of archeologists to go through that basement.
It's going to take some time. Let's just simply put it that way...

Half-frame snap from sludge delivery and provision carrying in Peterhead harbor last trip at work. I was working with the sludge while a bunch of the rest carried the provision. I snapped them with the Olympus PEN. It's a small and great camera to carry on deck inside a pocket.

There's going to be chemicals needed to get anywhere with the recipes, of course. Luckily the same cousin is very different to most of us, and would (don't ask me how and why) be able to supply whatever you may need in that respect. I might try one or two of the toners or something like that, but don't think I'm going to be making my own developer and such. Maybe...?!
I will read the book though! I'm putting it inside my bag right here and now, as I just got the message I'll be leaving for work tomorrow. That's two days early even though I got home one day late, which means three weeks and a few days at home. Too short a time off, just saying!

One of the piers on The Clyde, Glasgow. Half-frame again.

tirsdag 5. september 2017

Offshore stuff, again

Another rather quick post, I'm afraid. 
I'm just out of the darkroom after a rather frustrating session in there. You see there's four or five pieces the wife has picked out for one of the walls, and I thought I'd just get them done. This night seemed to be as good as any other to get it done, so I went for it. The medium format neg was a tricky one, so I might have to alter the settings a bit I think. I'll let it dry and have a good look at it in the daylight, but I suppose it's not up to standard. 
But OK, it was a print, at least. 

Brent A. The only steel legged platform on this field consisting of Brent A, B, C and D (the latter now partly removed, see next picture). The Brent field has been producing oil and gas since late 1976. The oil is fed through a pipeline to Sullom Voe oil terminal in northern Shetland, while the gas goes to St. Fergus in northern Scotland. The field is very close to the norwegian border, and you can easily see what's going on over the border at the Statfjord field.

Then there were a series of four 135 negs on the to do list. Had to switch to the other enlarger as the bigger one is not very well suited to do 30x40 enlargements from small negs. Ping... and the damn bulb went dark as in really dark and no hope for any further work for either today or tomorrow. And before you ask, nope I did not have a spare one in stock. 
I'll put in an order for a new one, or three. 

Brent D, or at least what's left of it these days. 
I got no particular clue what exactly our mission this close to them old legs were, but I'm sure we had important stuff to do. We always seem to have, if you ask the right person. See that thing up there on that left leg? Every second day or so a helicopter will land on top of the leg, and some dude will come out of it and walk over to have it checked sort of carefully. I suppose they would soon find out if anything's wrong from hundreds of miles away, since it's some sort of navigation beacon or similar, but they still have to check it of course. It's probably written in some sort of procedure somewhere. At least they know how to spend a fair amount of money in places like these... 

The snaps for today is from a film I wasted about a month ago when at work. Leica M3 camera with Summicron glass 50 and/or 35mm lenses attached, Ilford FP4+ film developed in Paranol S. 

Ah... the little steel drum with yellow cable spooled on. We picked it up right here, on the bank of the River Clyde up in Glasgow, you know. Put the whole thing on the back deck, and off we went to drop all the yellow stuff into the sea west of Ireland somewhere. We were careful not to drop the drum as well, so no harm done. I got no idea what the yellow cable will do once they decide to power everything up, but they told us it was rather expensive and important. 
Nothing new, in other words.

lørdag 2. september 2017

365 - ongoing series

Three more from The Project this year. The 365@50 thing, you know. 
I have posted the notes from my book on the snaps lately, but since we were out there on the tiny little island of Ona and had to leave in a hurry about a week ago, the little black book is still out there.  Just had to leave both the book and a bunch of cameras, but I'll get out there to pick them up some day soon I hope. 
Anyway, I know what they are, the snaps. So I'm able to tell you what I think was most likely noted.

#068 - The Crane repair man traveled down the coast in a boat. They stopped in my home town, so I went for a chat and a snap.
#069 - The Cat, as it usually looks when I get home. Time for food, she seems to think.
#070 - Chain Saw Day. A lot of work done, but things look better in that area now. 




torsdag 31. august 2017

Another Nikon EM arrived

Just done the way to boring scanning job of the last batch of films I developed when I came back from work. I just wish I were able to do more printing and less scanning, just like Michael of the North Liberties. Well, it's out of the question at the moment, so I just have to keep on doing it the way I do for now. Things might change some day though.

It's been the very worst of weeks this last one, so I have not been able to do anything involving using the brain at all to tell you the truth. I know I have been trying to get the daily snap done, but I'm quite sure there are holes or doubles somewhere. But OK... there are more important things in life than having the daily photo done, after all.
Everything works way much better now, and the world can slowly start turning again. I even managed to find energy to haul the hoover around the house for a short while, and to clear away some tools and stuff I had left in the hallway a couple of weeks back. Not bad at all, actually...

Probably an old shipyard or something. They used to build ships and stuff along the river Clyde back in the days, as you might know very well. Seems like there's not too much of that sorts going on anymore, which is a real shame I think. The good thing is that it's probably a lot healthier environment for the river itself these days, but then again the world has changed a bit in the last 50 years as we know. 

The second Nikon EM I just bought arrived yesterday. The one with the 50mm E-series lens attached which I got for next to nothing. It sort of pleased me to find out that I had to change batteries on this one, and to find this body to be in a lot more used state than the other one arriving with the 35mm lens. Also it didn't work properly. The light meter, which is absolutely essential on this type of camera being a fully automatic exposure sort of thing, didn't show any reading at all when I first fired it up. After some fiddling and thinking and doing, I finally found the problem. The ring on the camera front following the aperture ring on the lens didn't make good contact with the inner parts of the camera, so we were talking about a mechanical/electrical issue. That's the kind of stuff I know a couple of bits about, so now it works like a dream. A very tiny spray of contact cleaner and some excessive movements of said ring, and it seems to have done the trick. At least it works for now, so we'll see how the test roll comes out some time in the future.
As a matter of fact I'm sort of shooting the first test roll as we speak, because in addition to a 50mm lens with the original UV filter attached, and the original (and very good, mind you) carrying strap, the camera also came with a partly shot film sitting inside. The ASA wheel was set to 200, so I guess there might be a Kodak Gold 200 or something similar in there somewhere. We will see when I remove it some day soon. If it's a negative color film, which I'm about 99% sure it is, it will still take some time yet before I get it developed. It might be a good idea to buy a set of C-41 chemicals soon anyway, as I got a few of my own rolls to develop as well. Stuff that has been waiting a long time now, for sure.
The lens, which was the reason I bought it in the first place, looks absolutely great and was just what I was after. Small and light weight, and hopefully a great performer.

Old slipways and signs of times long gone. The buildings in the background seems to be in use though, so the area is still good for something obviously. I would think the rest of the area will turn out useful as well, some day.

I'm sort of trying to put together this series of snaps from the banks of the River Clyde. I've been posting a few on Instagram lately, and there's also a few in my last post here on the blog, to hopefully get some sort of feedback and feel for it. I'm not too confident about this thing, but it might grow on me a bit. Or maybe not.
All three snaps posted today is part of the same series, and there might be a few more to come. All taken from the same roll, but I might take away a few and maybe even add a few taken from another couple of rolls snapped in the same area. The plan is to get a few of them printed as well.
I really liked this place to be honest, and sort of hoping to be able to go back some day and have a walk on the river bank itself instead of steaming down the river on a ship. There's quite a few opportunities lost that way, just saying. 

Seems to be some sort of abandoned old industrial building, but I'm not too sure about what it is to tell the truth. Looks like it's sitting in the middle of an old and obsolete shipyard or ship base area with quays and warehouses. 

onsdag 30. august 2017

Kentmere 400

I bought a ten-pack of Kentmere 400 a while ago. Got it from over in the UK somewhere, I think. I also bought a tenner of Kentmere 100 as well, but I'll leave that one for another day. I never liked the K400 too much, and think I've mentioned it before as well around this place somewhere.
Anyway, by the time of leaving Glasgow heading for west of Ireland a few weeks ago I grabbed a roll of K400 as I thought I would give it another go, and threw it inside the Nikon FM2 as it was a rather typical scottish day. Gray and grainy, if you like.

A real old fashion scrapyard with a lovely looking old crane to really make the scene worth snapping. I think I got a hundred or so of this scene snapped during the days in Glasgow not too long ago, but what the heck... you need to explore the surrounding area, don't you? At least that's what you have to do when you got no chance of going anywhere further than just around the ship. Nikon FM2 with the absolutely fantastic Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens I've had for something like 25 years or so. And Kentmere 400 film, developed in Paranol S 1:25

Previous attempts have been giving me all sorts of not so good results, but this time I really feel I somehow got the looks I've been aiming for all the time with this film. It was snapped with the Nikon FM2, and I had a battery inside and used the light meter quite a lot through the roll just to try having things a bit under control for once. The whole thing was set up to box speed, as I usually tend to do with most films if I'm not pushing it a step or two. This time it was definitely not pushed as I usually would go for a HP5+, Tri-X  or even PAN400 for those sort of things.

Same scene, same camera and film. Damn seagull had to fly just a couple of meters too low, but I was not going to wait for it to take another round to position itself exactly where I wanted it...

Anyway, as we went away down the river Clyde out from Glasgow I snapped into more or less any direction and forgot about the whole film until just a few days ago when I finally got my stuff together and started developing my rolls.
As I've been out of decent developers for a while I just recently had some stuff bought over in England. A bottle of Kodak HC-110 just because I like it and because it's way too expensive over here in Norway, and then I also brought with me a couple of small bottles of Paranol S by Tetenal, just because AG Photographic was out of Rodinal (or Adonal, as it's not actually called Rodinal anymore... as we know) when I payed them a visit.

Old warehouses or whatever, at the bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow. This made me want to play a bit with lines and stuff, but I had to work way too quickly as the ship moved rather fast down the river. Crazy folks on the bridge and things, as usual. 

So, back home and ready to start developing a bunch of rolls, I went for the Paranol S just to see what it looked like. I've never tried this mierda before, so I was a bit excited about it to tell the truth. Not because I thought I would notice too much of a difference compared to Rodinal and similar developers, but more because of the fact that I've never tried this particular developer before. I found it to be a rather nice one, truth be told, so I might try it with a few other films as well. But then again I just have to, since I got a couple of bottles of the stuff. 
I've tested it with both FP4+ and now also Kenmore 400, and I must say I'm very pleased with the results this far. The Kentmere roll seems to have come out better than any earlier attempt, I must say. Makes me wonder about how HP5+ will look when washed in this stuff. We will find out soon. Maybe even tomorrow by the looks of the weather right now.
Anyway... more to come a bit later. 

Same warehouses from the other side. As I said, I had to work very quick to hopefully get what I wanted. Luckily I didn't have to run inside and down to the engine room during the trip down the river. 

tirsdag 29. august 2017

Still scanning

I'm still scanning film, and I also still got a few rolls yet to develop. I'll get there though, so just keep cool and wait for it. Not that I'm sure it's anything there to really wait for, but then again your guess is just as good as mine in that respect. 

I suddenly found myself well away inside the fences dividing a bunch of these beasts from direct contact with the tourists venturing the paths on top of The White Cliffs. By the time I discovered the fence was there for a reason it was way to late to get away from it all, and I just had to trust they were used to people and not of the wildest type of things. They were not luckily, and I even managed to get a few snaps from too close a distance even for my 35mm lens attached to the old M3 rangefinder which I carried at the time. The one without a light meter, and with no frame lines for the wider lens, you know. Ilford FP4+ by the way... dunked in Paranol S 1+25 mix. 

Here's a couple more anyway, from the last batch of rolls going through the developing tanks. This time washed in a to me new developer, the "Paranol S" from Tetenal. Just because they were out of Rodinal in my shop over in England, and also a bit out of curiosity. 
They had a lot of stuff over there in England, but I could not find any lith developer anywhere. Well, I guess I just have to wait a bit more and get it ordered to be sent by mail over here. 
Lith developer, and some bleach. I want to check that out as well on a few of my prints, and I can't find anything like that over here in Norway. Guess I have to start import and selling dark room chemicals, film and other things nice to have. On the other hand it might turn out to be a very quiet business over here. 
Would have been nice to be your own supplier though...

He, or was this a she maybe? was watching the higher grounds of the fields around The White Cliffs of Dover this day. Turned out he was not too afraid of either the rangefinder or the norwegian carrier of the old thing. Made all sorts of strange movements as well it did, the beast. I'm not too fond of this type of animal to tell the truth, but this one was a nice enough chap... or chapette(?!)

The weather have been absolutely fantastic since I returned back home from work. Nearly two weeks now, for those who count days and things like that. Very nice indeed, until about an hour ago. Now the old wind is howling around the corners again and the rain is hammering onto the roof and windows like crazy. It was great as long as it lasted though, the nice weather. Now we can't do anything but wish for a nice winter and a very happy return of the sunny days some time around May 2018, I'm afraid. 
OK, with some luck we might get a nice day or two before that, but you never know. At least we've learned by experience not to hold our breath...

mandag 28. august 2017

A couple of new Nikons

I was looking around for a couple of lightweight lenses a couple of weeks ago as you might remember. The old Nikon E series glass are known to be good performers, light weight and used to be Nikons cheaper series of lenses.
I got a couple of E-series lenses from earlier, but the focal lengths is a bit on the odd side to my liking, and zooms are not exactly my cup of tea even though I have a few in boxes around the house. I don't use them much, as a lot of you know by now, but I've been thinking about wiping the dust off a couple of them some time this week. Just to give them a tiny chance, you know. If I can even find them, that is. It's a bit cluttered in the lens department, to be honest. In addition there are quite a few of them out on loan as well... but I have to collect them soon, I think. 

A nice find just outside the Dartmoor area a few weeks back, during our summer drive around the southern parts of England. A beautiful classic Rolls Royce is not exactly a common sight on this side of the North Sea these days. This one was strategically parked in the center of Tavistock, where we went for a nice walk since it seemed to be a fitting place for a stop. Leica M3 on Ilford FP4 film. 

So I managed to get a 35mm and a 50mm E-series lens, of which I wrote about a few days ago, from two different norwegian guys. Both lenses also contained a camera, meaning I'm also getting two Nikon EM cameras.
One of them is already here, and the other one should be in the house monday if the mailman still can be trusted these days.
The 35mm lens and the first Nikon EM has already been tested and seems to work perfectly. Seems like neither the lens nor the camera have been used a lot up through the years to be honest. Looks brand new to me, and there's even a strap on the camera and a UV filter on the lens... I mean how much luck can one man have when buying a camera for next to nothing?
On the back side, I should hasten to tell, everything smells a lot of old tobacco smoke. I mean to an extent that it's been hanging outdoors since they arrived. Oh, and there was also this old Tamron zoom lens following the same deal as well. All in all a good deal, as the prices for these E-series lenses seems to be a bit on the unrealistic side these days.
Nice to see then, that a good camera deal can still be done... on a good day.

England again. This time far south and west, in the St. Ives Bay area. Not too busy here on this side of the bay, meaning it was possible to get a snap containing only two tourists out running on the beach. It was a too hot day for any running if you ask me, but you don't. Leica M3, Ilford FP4+

I think I'll just give the two cameras away to someone eager to test film photography for the first time. After all I can't see them getting into much use in my hands anyway, and I can't say I feel too connected to them either. I mean it's always a bit different with things having been handed down to you from somebody, because that happens at times as well when people have decided you're a camera collector. If you didn't consider yourself one in the beginning, you soon will no matter what the original plan was.
There's one of them old and rather worthless cameras out on loan right now, to a girl with a set of very good eyes. I still think that's an OK thing to do, as long as there are people interested in taking them out for a short while to waste a roll of film or two just for fun, or in a bit more serious way. Usually there will be a couple of really nice frames in between a couple of rubbish ones... as with most of us.
Hopefully, some day, I'll get another person interested enough to be able to use this pile of equipment a lot better than myself. Both on the developing and printing side of things, and not at least when it comes to the snapping bit of things. Seeing the right moment, choosing the right angles and framing stuff in the right way.
At least in their own eyes.

An ever so slightly overexposed street scene from St. Ives itself. Busy old place, as you might know, but nice nonetheless. The old man to the left standing outside his front door having his morning smoke without even noticing a single tourist sort of said a lot about the locals and what they have to go through during a few months in the summer. Leica M3, Ilford FP4+. All three frames are from the same film, by the way...