Your table awaits Pentax Spotmatic F 55mm f/1.8 SMC Takumar Ferrania P30 Alpha Rodinal 1+50 2020
The last two years for my birthday I had everyone in the family who could make it meet at Muldoon’s, an Irish pub in Carmel. The first year it was nice enough outside to sit here, on the patio. They make outstanding nachos. I know, nachos at an Irish pub. They call it Irish pizza. It’s loaded with crumbled sausage — unique and delicious. The cheese is top quality. It’s a giant calorie bomb but it’s soooo goooood.
Who knows where we’ll be in the coronapocalypse on my birthday this year, but I’m not feeling great about returning to Muldoon’s for a third year. I haven’t figured out yet what my birthday celebration will look like, or whether I’ll be able to see any of our children that don’t live with us.
I’m starting to develop 35mm black-and-white film now. It was my goal all along — I started with 120 because it let me shoot a roll fast so I could get to the developing. I shoot way more 35mm than 120 normally.
Last week I shared a roll of Arista EDU 200 I shot, developed, and scanned. I thought surely it and my whole box of to-shoot film was damaged by a space heater I kept too close by. But a commenter said “hey, maybe your Rodinal has gone weak.” I did open a new bottle of Rodinal to process some Eastman Double-X 5222 and, spoiler alert, it turned out perfect. So it was the Rodinal. Maybe I didn’t get the cap on right last time, and for the little bit left in the bottle the air scotched it.
I didn’t get that comment before I used that potentially compromised bottle of Rodinal to process this P30. Several photos turned out reasonably well. They might have looked better in fresh Rodinal. But they show P30’s signature characteristics: nearly undetectable grain, rich blacks, strong contrast, and a reasonable tonal range.
I shot this roll in my Pentax Spotmatic F with the 55mm f/1.8 SMC Takumar lens attached. I developed it in Rodinal 1+50 at 21° C for 12 minutes, 40 seconds. Ferrania advises 20° C for 14 minutes, but the ambient temperature led to 21° developer and I had to adjust development time. I used the Massive Dev Chart’s converter. The first two shots are from downtown Carmel, and the next four are from Broad Ripple.
Some photos didn’t fare as well. Anything with significant amounts of sky in it suffered. I shot all of these around Broad Ripple.
Interestingly, the film closest to the outside of the roll fared the worst. This is one of the first photos I made on this roll. It still shows P30’s signature rich blacks, despite being so mottled overall.
One last photo, just because I like it. That’s my wedding ring on the ring holder thing we keep near the kitchen sink. It’s Belleek pottery; we bought it at the Belleek factory in Northern Ireland when we visited a few years ago.
I have one last roll of P30 Alpha, which I just retrieved from my freezer. I’ll shoot it soon and I expect far better results from it, developed with fresh Rodinal 1+50.
Tree blocking the State Theater sign Minolta SR-T 101, 50mm f/1.7 MC Rokkor PF Ferrania P30 Alpha 2018
Memo to cities everywhere: stop planting trees near your downtown walkways, as they block clear views of your classic architecture and signage!
This theater in my hometown of South Bend needs an owner and a profitable purpose. It is one of the last two remaining theaters of many that South Bend used to have; read about them here. And see a photo of this theater from when South Bend replaced its main street with a disastrous pedestrian plaza here.
Downtown South Bend on the river Minolta SR-T 101, 50mm f/1.7 MC Rokkor-PF Ferrania P30 Alpha 2018
On my visit to downtown South Bend I had a deep sense that this town has a lot going for it that they are not leveraging fully.
I don’t know how hard it is to run a medium-sized Midwestern city today. I know that in most of the Midwest, if you are not a major population center you are slowly losing residents to those larger cities. I’m sure South Bend is no different. I’m sure that makes is challenging as heck for city leaders to build on what’s good.
But my old hometown really does have lovely attractions. This view from the east bank of the St. Joseph River overlooks Seitz Park, which is at the southern tip of an island in the river. Beyond is the city’s low skyline, with some still-proud older buildings cutting a strong profile.
Unless you kayak to work, it’s unusual to get to look at a bridge from underneath. But the Twyckenham Drive bridge in South Bend includes spans over not only the St. Joseph River, but bordering Northside Boulevard as well.
Built in 1929, this four-span open-spandrel concrete-arch bridge is one of South Bend’s many lovely bridges. Since I last photographed it, it underwent a restoration to replace the deck, repair piers and beams, and replace an aluminum railing with a period-correct concrete railing.
I was in town with my Minolta SR-T 101, on which was mounted a 50mm f/1.7 MC Rokkor-PF lens and in which was loaded Ferrania P30 Alpha film. I walked under the arches on Northside Boulevard and tried to find some interesting perspectives.
As you can see, the Twyckenham Drive bridge’s arches are interesting underneath because of their design. A solid arch would not offer so much to see.
I think I need more practice here. There have got to be some truly lovely patterns in this design. I just didn’t fully find them. But I enjoyed trying.
Grand Trunk Western
Minolta SR-T 101, 50mm f/1.7 MC Rokkor-PF
Ferrania P30 Alpha
I figured out how to read largely on my own starting at age 3. As we’d ride around in the car I’d read aloud the big signs. Mom said that the first one I read was the BUS sign at the Greyhound station.
I remember reading this one, too. The Grand Trunk Western railroad passes through my hometown of South Bend not far from the neighborhood where I grew up. Two bridges over city streets have the GTW name painted on them. I still love to see them.