Here in central Indiana, the trees changed colors slowly and dropped their leaves late. It made autumn seem to last a good long time. I know that autumn lasts the same amount of time every year regardless of the trees! But when the trees are bare, to me that’s when winter begins.
We had some good color this year, with strong reds and oranges abounding. I didn’t make a huge number of photos — some of them are on the roll of Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 sitting here on my desk needing to be sent off for processing — but here are some that show our color this year.
On the retention pond Yashica-12 Fujifilm Velvia 50
You are forgiven if you think I went out into the country and found some old swimming hole to make this photograph. It’s actually the retention pond behind my house. Directly beyond it is I-65 — the drone of all the trucks makes this anything but a peaceful place.
I sent this film to Fulltone Photo for processing and scanning. They did a fine job with the processing, but I was disappointed that the scans were only 1024×1024 pixels at 72 dots/pixels per inch. That resolution makes good snapshot prints, but any larger than that and things start looking pixelated.
Many labs offer enhanced scans with much larger pixel dimensions at that same 72 dpi. I haven’t been able to figure out how to make my flatbed scanner do that. I adjust dpi to get the pixel dimensions I want, as for my online work pixel dimensions are everything. I recently shot a roll of Kodak Tri-X in the Yashica-12, and scanned the negatives at 2400 dpi. I got images of a whopping 5192 pixels square. That’s more like it — I can crop deeply if I want, and still have an image with lots of surface area to share online.
I have a lot to learn yet about scanning and the interplay between dots/pixels per inch and raw pixel dimensions.
McCormick’s Creek State Park is Indiana’s oldest state park, opened in 1916 as part of our state centennial celebration. It’s near Spencer in Owen County, about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis. I met my younger son there a few weeks ago. He lives nearby, and thanks to the pandemic it had been months and months since we saw each other.
We hiked some of the park’s trails, and ended up on one that hugs the creek itself. As you can see, it’s quite rocky. One of the trails requires crossing the creek. I did that on a long-ago visit and ended up soaking my shoes. Not wanting a squishy hike, we stayed to one side of the creek.
The highlight of the trail is the little waterfall.
Hiking along the creek can be quite rugged. I wore flat-bottomed sneakers that were not up to the task of climbing rock. Why did I not think to put on my waterproof hiking shoes? Fortunately, most of the trail is just a nice walk through the woods.
The highlight of the day for me, aside from getting to see my son, was coming upon these horses. The park offers guided trail rides.
Finally, I made a portrait of my son. I didn’t think the shadow across his body would come out with such strong contrast — it wasn’t so strong when I composed.
I made all of these with my Nikon F2AS and the big honking 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Nikkor lens on Fujicolor 200. Fulltone Photo did the developing and scanning.
Autumn at Lilly Lake Canon Canonet QL17 G-III Agfa Vista 200 2018
This photo was featured in Flickr Explore on November 19. It’s always fun to see all the likes and comments when one of my photos makes Explore.
I wonder how many Flickr viewers had any idea that I was shooting film? To know, they’d only have to click through to my image’s page and read the description.
Can an experienced eye guess that this is a film photograph? To me, the sky is the tell. It has a nuance to it that digital cameras seem unable to capture. They tend to render skies almost too perfectly, with wispy clouds against a sea of perfect azure.
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Yellow flowers Minolta XG 1, 50mm f/1.7 Minolta MD
Agfa Vista 200 (at EI 100)
When I was 22 I broke up with a young woman who I still call my first great love. We were such comfortable companions. Our favorite thing was to watch bad movies together on cable well into the wee hours. She was brilliant at heckling them. Her dry, nerdy humor kept me laughing. I don’t laugh easily. She was a real gift in my life.
Yet we couldn’t make other things about our relationship work, important things. I don’t think she ever felt like I really loved her. I showed her in the ways I knew how, but she needed to feel loved in ways I didn’t understand and couldn’t give. And when I was tired or overwhelmed or irritated I was prickly and difficult. Still am. She never knew how to deal with that and she took it hard.
Sometimes a relationship can’t last because you’re not right together in some ways that really matter. Yet you’re reluctant to end it because it’s otherwise so comfortable. But after awhile comfort isn’t enough, and after a longer while the places where you don’t fit start to grate. More of your needs must be met. We ended our relationship, and it hurt, and we missed each other. But it was necessary.
My many Minolta SLRs have all been lovely and felt great in my hands. Their lenses are sublime. My heart leaps over the images these cameras give me. I want to shoot with them forever.
But they have been so unreliable. I just can’t keep one working for the long haul. There may be photographers out there who enjoy taking their gear apart and keeping them working smoothly. I’m not one of them. I just want my gear to work, period. And that’s why I’ve just sold my last Minolta body and am running right into the arms of reliable Pentax and Nikon.
Once in a while I’ll take a day off work just to go out into the world and be alone. I usually do it after a particularly stressful period. Exploring the world distracts me for a while, and being alone recharges me.
This particular day I chose to stay close to home. I took my old Kodak digital camera over to Holliday Park for a hike through the woods to take in the autumn color.