Category: 52 cameras


Today figured pretty high on my list of days I hope never to repeat.  We lost Noah unexpectedly. I will write in due course, but it’s too raw right now.

I’ve been frittering away the evening scanning negatives and watching YouTube.  These are taken with my new ONDU 6×6 pinhole on Portra 400 during my trip to Lakes of the Clouds back in June.

Gem Pool
Dining Room, Lakes of the Clouds
Portrait of a cold, wet hiker. 🙂

More later.

Dave (2016.01.04)

Winter has finally arrived. Temperatures have dropped to seasonal levels, freezing the yard into a treacherous sheet of ice.  The pellet stove hums away in the corner as I write, the humidifiers are doing their level best to keep me from shocking the cats, and the chicken water fonts have frozen.


Todays primary chore was to finish winterizing the coops.  This means more soft bedding on the floor and heated water buckets.  Dave proudly led his little flock outside while I installed them.  They quickly decided it was too cold and retreated back into shelter.

Dave & Co.

Week 45b – Christmas

I selected the Minolta Weathermatic 35DL for shooting Christmas by accident.  I wanted something decent and automatic with a flash. My first choice Olympus MjuII had a dead battery.  There was certainly no need for a weather resistant camera this year.

Christmas morning was a success.


My dog can be a long-suffering saint at times. Then she’ll destroy something to make up for it.


Kiddo is practicing to be a teenager soon.


But we still have our moments.


At the farm.


We mostly missed out on this guy. Kiddo was never a Sesame fan.


The coat rack of a volunteer firefighter.


This roll simply refused to end, and the Weathermatic has no way to manually rewind the film.  The solution was a few ‘wasted’ shots.  I give you “chicken” and “garage.”


Camera: Minolta Weathermatic 35DL

Film: Portra 400

Developed & scanned at home (Unicolor kit/JOBO CPA2, Epson v700)


Thanks to Urban and the rest of the 52 Rolls crew for having me around this year.  I’ll fill in the gaps as things get developed, and I have a few ideas for 2016.

Week 45a – Foster Happiness

This should technically be Roll 52 as it’s the last roll I shot this year. It’s also the last C-41 35mm, so it was developed out of order while I had the JOBO warmed up.

The subjects are vaired, but I like most of the shots.  I’m splitting it into two posts, as I feel this one needs to be separate.

Leading from the middle of the roll, this is Maggie:


Maggie is our latest foster cat.  She came to us pregnant. The plan was for her to live here until the kittens were weaned and then go back to the shelter for adoption.

Best laid plans. . .

It seems Maggie did a convincing impression of being pregnant but never actually was.  Instead she went into heat.  She still lived with us until after her spay scars healed.

I fell hard for this cat, but we already have more cats than we should.  We simply cannot add another.  Yesterday I drove her back to the shelter.  Putting her in a cage broke my heart, but I know it’s the right thing for her.

This afternoon we received an update email from the shelter.  Maggie spent less than 24 hours there before being adopted!  She’s in her forever home tonight, and I’m a bit weepy.


Camera: Minolta Weathermatic 35DL

Film: Portra 400

Developed & scanned at home: Unicolor kit/JOBO CPA2, Epson v700

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Week 43 – Dedication

This week covers the dedication of my FD’s new ladder truck. We’ve developed a tradition where each new apparatus carries the name of a past member or members. Ladder 1 is the first all-new aerial ladder the department has ever owned, and it carries the name of Senator Cornelius Haley who was instrumental in the founding of the RFD back in 1927.

Alas I made 2 mistakes this week. Firstly I used a lens from my wife’s digital Nikon on my N65. Although the mounts align, the lens does not have “full frame” coverage. The result is a strongly vignetted fish-eye effect and a slightly missed focus point. Secondly I handed the camera to a family member so that I could join in the group photo. She assumed it was digital and wasted half the roll on multiple versions of the same image. Grrrr.

I am happy with the images I did get. Enjoy.

RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication
RFD ladder dedication

Camera: Nikon N65

Lens: Sigma Zoom DC 18-125mm/f3.8-5.6

Film: Hawkeye traffic surveillance film

Developed & scanned at home.


And to all a good night!

Christmas Eve.  The gifts are wrapped; the house is ready.  Bedtime and Jolly Old Elf duties await, but otherwise I’m free.  I load 6 cupcakes and a gift for my dispatcher friend into the wagon and strike out for the Communications Center.  The on-duty shift will have more cookies and cupcakes than Santa tonight.  It’s small consolation, but we do what we can.

The scanner mumbles quietly in my car.  I commonly ignore it.  Until last month, it didn’t even work properly.  Something catches the attention of my subconscious though.  Before I can figure out why, the fire tones drop.  Dispatcher Friend gives out the address of my neighbor.  I can see it from the end of my driveway.

I double back, beating the first patrol car to the scene.

This is not my first rodeo.  I park on the street, leaving the driveway clear for the ambulance.  I don’t have red lights, but I engage my hazards to mark the location.  (I should say that I fumble in the darkness for the big button with the lighted red triangle.  It was right THERE until I needed it.)

I’m pretty sure I’ve left a radio in the car somewhere, one of my little $40 Chinese jobs.  This is why I carry it in the car. (It has migrated under the seat.)  My medical bag is in the trunk, buried under the groceries that will soon be Christmas dinner.

I stride up the driveway into the darkness, knowing that the cavalry is only a few minutes behind me.  My neighbor comes out to meet but doesn’t recognize me.  In the dark, in the unusual circumstances, I am not surprised or offended.


In the ensuing hour, every local takeout restaurant will decide to close early for the holiday.  The patient will get safely to the hospital, Dispatcher Friend will get his gift, the on-duty officers will get their cupcakes. . .

. . .and I will scrounge in the cupboards for mac’n’cheese for dinner.

Merry Christmas, suburbia!

Happy Camper

For years I was a MacBook person.  The Mrs and I had a pair of 12″ PowerPCs running OS 10.2.8 back before they were cool.  They eventually gave way to first generation 14″ Intel powered units.

The Intels were great. We certainly got our money’s worth out of them, but time marched on.  I got an iPad2 and jumped on the tablet bandwagon.  When it was time to replace the old MacBooks, we balked at the price.  I bought an HP instead.

It didn’t take long for me to hate Windows 8.  I wiped the machine and installed Linux.  It was fun. It was edgy. It was like being back in the 1990s where some things worked, some things didn’t, and everything required tinkering.  I loved it.

My loyalties were split though.  Recently in a fit of frustration I quipped that I just wanted everything to work together on the first try.  She heard me, and a new MacBook Pro appeared under the Christmas tree.

I have to wonder if the world has lost its way with mobile computing.  Phones and tablets have their place, but right now I am REALLY HAPPY with a real keyboard and a screen that stands up by itself.

I still enjoy tinkering, and I have the parts to build a Raspberry Pi laptop on order.  It won’t be my primary machine though.  This one just works.

Maybe I’ll write more. . .

The Year of the Print

I think I will succeed in completing the 52 Rolls project after all. I’ve written and scheduled posts through week 40. Weeks 41 and 42 have been scanned and are simply awaiting time to write. Week 43 is hanging in the darkroom awaiting scan. Week 44 is at the lab, and week 45 needs to be developed in my basement.

Weeks 46-49 are partially shot, waiting in-camera for me to finish them. While it’s not truly a roll a week, if I can shoot 3 rolls this week I will make it to 52.

Looking ahead, I don’t think I will take on another shooting project in 2016. I’ve only completed a 365 project once, despite attempting it three times. My 52 Cameras project was fun, but I’m past the point of enjoying a large random collection.

52 Rolls has been a learning experience. I started off with much enthusiasm, but I couldn’t keep it up. Feeling I HAD TO shoot a roll in any given week became a burden.

So what for 2016?

I plan to keep photographing, using whichever cameras and films meet my mood. I have mentioned that I want to spend more time in the darkroom; I also started a printing project this year which I did not finish.

2016 will be THE YEAR OF THE PRINT (#TYoTP). I plan to produce 52 good prints in my darkroom. They may not be spaced exactly weekly; an average of one per week will be good enough. Source matter will be a combination of old and new negatives as fancy strikes.

Wish me luck!

52 Cameras #88 – Seagull 203-i

IMG_0802.JPG  The Seagull 203-i is a Chinese folding rangefinder of indeterminate age.  I found mine on a recent trip through my local flea market on a sunny Sunday morning.  It features a 75mm/3.5 lens in a 1/300 shutter.  It is the most advanced folding camera I own, with a coupled rangefinder, a hot shoe, and a film advance lever in lieu of a knob.

I wasn’t aware of the 203-i; I didn’t feel I needed one; but once I saw it I had to add it to my collection.  A quick inspection revealed that the shutter fires and the bellows seems light tight.

The 203-i has one especially interesting feature.  A set of folding panels inside the body allow it to be set for 6×6 or 6×4.5 images on 120 film.  This must be done before loading and cannot be changed mid-roll.

My example cost $25.  It came with a ratty leather case.  The film door latch is loose, but it works if you are persistent.  The leatherette is peeling and needs to be redone. I’m looking forward to running a roll of FP4 through it soon.