Category: Uncategorized

Wrapping up

I've changed my mind on the 365 Project. I'm enjoying myself but feeling constrained by my instant cameras. There are so many more engineering and artistic marvels just sitting on my shelves begging to be used.

Details after the jump.

2.19.13

Test Shot

FP100c in Beth's 'new' Polaroid 420 with electronic flash.

2.20.13

Safety Gates

Impossible PX680 / Sun 660 Autofocus

2.21.13

Standoff

Beth with her 420 and me with my 230, reciprocal shots on FP100c

2.22.13

Telephone Emergency

Impossible PX680 with ND filter / One Step BC Series box camera

 

I've decided to go in a new direction with my photography projects. March 1 marks the beginning of this year's #MarchofFilm challenge, and I will also be kicking off a new 52 Cameras project. I will be shooting a different camera each week for at least a year and sharing the results here.

 

In which I admit defeat

For most of my EMS career, I've worked three shifts a week or less. Three 16s, 24/16, two 24s. I have spent over a decade with more free days than working ones.

Until last November, that is.

I had been stuck on weekends and hating it. With Beth in school, I was very upset to be working 24 hours on one of the only two days she was home, so I did something rash.

I volunteered for a four-by-12 schedule on the transfer truck. Everyone told me I would hate it, but I rationalized it. I would sleep in my own bed every night, and I would have Sundays off. The transfer truck goes everywhere and does everything; fun!

 

Yeah, right.

 

It took less than two months to bring me to a point of frustration equal to almost five years at my old job. I had gained Sundays free at the expense of three afternoons and most evenings. The trade off was simply not worth it.

Fortunately I was able to trade back into a pair of 24s, with no weekend. I'm counting the hours (96 to go. . .)

 

Reunion (finale) and proof, 2012 edition

When last we left the saga of the Return of the Howe, we were sitting in a Walmart parking lot in Tilton, NH with only five functional tires. I haven’t felt like writing the rest of the story in detail, but here are the bullet points:

 

  • Emergency tire replacement x1.
  • Ran out of daylight
  • Limped into safe storage in NH.
  • Went back another day to finish trip.
  • Blew hydraulic brake booster.
  • Towed home & placed in garage.
  • Fixed booster at last minute before big parade debut.

 

Which brings us to Saturday morning. I didn’t want to let the big annual Lynnfield parade pass without my Howe. There are other parades in the area, but this is THE one for me. The brakes are working, the alternator is questionable, and everything else seemed OK.

 

I made it to the lineup without incident, arriving early enough to be at the front of the parade. I don’t care about being first, but I wanted a bit of buffer time in case things went wrong.

 

And here she is in action, 6th unit from the head of the parade:

 

I made it home safely with electrons to spare in the charging system, and I’m still smiling.

Threadbare

A small city-owned apartment. Usually they are filled to bursting, a honeycomb of micro-hoards straining against steel doors and cinder block walls. This one is different.

It still consists of the obligatory two rooms plus kitchen and bath; it’s still painted Institutional Cream; it’s only accessible via a smelly, undersized elevator. Instead of the usual hoard, its living room contains only three things: a television, an old wing chair, and Jenny.

She called 911, but I can’t imagine how as she writhes around in the chair, feet planted firmly on the floor. She stiffens and leans waaaaaaaay out to one side, then to the other while mumbling and whispering.

If you could even call it a whisper. “Help me,” she breathes over and over again, Scarlett O’Hara in a silent film.

She doesn’t really want our help, though. I’m not sure what she wants. She pushes the oxygen away, breathing “It doesn’t work.” She balks at the cardiac monitor, and she adamantly if quietly refuses the IV. “The last paramedics almost killed me with an IV.” We don’t pry for details.

We finally coax her onto the stretcher. She keeps demanding yet refusing our help, so the best we can do is a trip to Local Suburban Hospital. Maybe they will have better luck. As she steps aside, he feet reveal a pair of threadbare spots worn completely through the rug to the linoleum below.

.

Carpe Granitum*

I didn’t realize I’d been stressed lately. Life goes on, I have a lot of things going on and a few deadlines on the horizon. Work was starting to feel less fun and more like work, but all in all things are still good.

Yesterday an errand put me north of the notches in the White Mountains. I took the chance to shoot a bit of film at Lost River Gorge and then headed for home.


Warm sunny afternoon, open sunroof, twisty road, a smooth turbo and gears to row. I’ve mentioned before that Pink Floyd makes everything more epic. Pink Floyd played very loudly by the London Philharmonic Orchestra? For. The. Win.

Stress? What stress?

*Seize the granite. Yes, I know it’s not a proper translation.

Just a few notes on good reads

One of my favorite blogs is gone. In the early days of my own blogging career, Tom Reynolds’ Random Acts of Reality was both a favorite and an inspiration. He painted a vivid portrait of the reality and absurdity of life in the London Ambulance Service. As time passed, Tom moved on to a different career and a different blog. He recently announced that although he maintains an archive, Random Acts is no longer available on the Internet.

 

All is not lost, however. ‘Tom’ published two books based on the blog. Blood, Sweat & Tea and the sequel More Blood, More Sweat & Another Cup of Tea are both available from Amazon and B&N. As of this writing the Nook edition of BS&T is free, so you have no excuse. Go get it now!

Both books are published under Creative Commons license and are also available for free around the Internet. If you enjoy them though, why not buy a copy and shoot the author a buck or two?

Tom still blogs about his current life and opinions under his real name at BrianKellet.net.

—–

Kelley Grayson, aka AD of A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver, has announced that only a few copies remain of the first edition of his book. I own a later edition, but I understand that the first edition was edited differently and contains more content. It’s a highly recommended read. Go get a copy and contribute a few cents to Kelly’s doublewide fund. (It too is available in electronic edition. Simply Google Life, Death, & Everything in Between.)

 

—–

Last but not least we come to Lt. Michael Morse of the Providence Fire Department. Lt Morse writes the blog Rescuing Providence, as well as the book by the same name and the sequel Responding. I count his writings among my regular inspirations, and I was incredibly flattered to discover this blog received an acknowledgement (among many) in his latest book.

I have a special place in my heart for Providence and the PFD as I spent my college years there. I suspect I may have crossed paths with a young Probationary Firefighter Morse without knowing it. I own Rescuing Providence, and I bought a copy of Responding but gave it as a gift. My own copy is on the way now, and you can find the links to get yours here.

 

In the modern climate, it has never been easier to get your message out to the world. Anyone can set up a blog and shout their message from the rooftops. Good authors, however, are still hard to find. Tom/Brian, Kelly, and Michael are all worth your time and money. Enjoy!

 

Pinholes

Skipping ahead a bit, this past Sunday was World Pinhole Day. I’m not sure exactly who declared it, but if the Internet says it then it must be true. I read about many pinhole designs and theories before settling on my approach.

 

I used a Nikon body cap, fitted with a pinhole made from a Diet Coke can. It will fit any of our Nikons, it only cost about $2, and it’s the best use I can think of for a can of Diet Coke.

 

 

This is proof of concept from 4/26. Taken with the D70 at 400ASA, 13 seconds.

4/27 – FM2 pinhole, expired Tri-X 400. Handheld long exposure.

 

4/29 – Another long handheld exposure. FM2/Tri-X
4/30 – The Farm. FM2/Tri-X

5/2 – Obs Deck. FM2 with Tri-X 400. All were home developed.

 

Escape!

 

4/12

4/13 – Escape from Stetson St.

Argus C3, Portra 160VC expired.

 

Love/Hate (P366 4/14)

I have a love/hate relationship with my local camera shop. I want to support them because they’re the only place in the metro area selling darkroom supplies. Their selection and prices may not be as good as the Internet, but they have most of what I need NOW.

I recently went in for a hardware repair, though, and my experience was not what I had hoped. Instead of repairing or replacing Mrs Mack505’s damaged lens, they tried to talk me into an upgrade. I fell for it.

I later found I could purchase a replacement on eBay for a fraction of what I paid, or get the repair parts for even less. Grrrrr.

Buyer beware.

They do sell Portra and Velvia, though. They can’t be all bad.

Photo: Argus C3 with Portra 160 (expired)