Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Double Shifts

This blog features loads of shots with the Instax 210 and a long weekend of Portland live music. I talk a lot about shooting with the Hasselblad, yet there are no example shots. When I have a better handle on shooting and scanning, I will feature some photographs from that camera

Learning to deal with film photography is a challenge for me and my blogging style. At the end of November, I went to a park and recorded songs. I shot a bunch with the Hasselblad, only later to see that I often had the film sensitivity wrong. For some reason I had it in my head that the film speed was also 120. Three rolls like that.

The drive east from Vancouver Washington on Highway 14 takes you through Camas, Washougal, Skamania, then to Stevenson. If you keep going you get to Hood, WA, and on it goes to White Salmon. I haven’t been out there yet, but do enjoy the Country Boy 6.2% IPA from Everybody’s Brewery. It’s on tap at Laurelthirst, where I spent a few nights lately scoping out the Portland roots music scene. In fact, this blog will meander towards those nights, and be primarily focused on shooting with the Fuji Instax 210, that wonderful, cantankerous intergral film camera with easily procured film.

The light has been very nice lately, with many days of happy film shooting. On the last day in November, I passed the Skamania general store and toured around that area and ended up recording some music. Later I stopped at the Bonneville Dam. The Konica Autoreflex T was loaded with Fuji Velvia 50:
Bonneville Dam on the Columbia, Andrew D. Barron©11/30/11
I love this film, but it doesn’t like to be overexposed. I have a bad habit relying on through-the-lens metering. From these rolls of film, I have much to learn about properly metering with the Gossen Luna Pro F. However, an additional problem with shooting on film is UV. For whatever reason, the UV filter on a digital camera is just not noticeable. I read ab

I have also been loving my Nikomat FT2. Here from October:
Nikomat FT2 w/Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, Andrew D. Barron©11/30/11
I didn’t know it was in such good shape until the first roll came back, and by then I had already put another experimental roll. So here now, I have put 4 rolls through it and I take it everywhere. At this moment, there is some iso100 Kodak slide film in there. It has replaced my Sony H1 as my ‘always with me’ camera. That second roll in it was Fuji Superia 800. I didn’t reach for it too often, so it took a while to get through those 36 frames. I look forward to getting back my first ever black and white 35mm images soon.

11/29: After I shot at Bonneville Dam and the Bridge of the Gods, I drove to Stevenson where I found Andrew’s Pizza. Of course, I had to have some. Here is a pepperoni/garlic and canadadian bacon/pineapple on iso800, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4:
Andrew's Pizza at Andrew's Pizza, Andrew D. Barron©11/30/11
Unfortunately, I overcranked the end of the roll late night when I first heard Woodbrain and partially exposed the roll. Luckily, it was in a dark bar under a table. It made some interesting light leaks, but I hope to be more careful in the future. My negatives are coming back scratched even on nice new film. This is something that is of notable concern since it is intended for scanning. I am sure the lab would like it to be me or my cameras, but after enough rolls, I am convinced otherwise. I look forward to retrieving my Paterson tanks over the holiday and learn about home devoloping.
McMenamins St. Johns Theater & Pub, Andrew D. Barron©12/3/11
The Camas library is impressive and I am really grateful for such an unexpected rich resource. Libraries are magical places. This is the entry way as I tested out the fast film and the fast f/1.4 Nikkor.
Camas Library entry, Andrew D. Barron©12/4/11
My adoration of Camas comes from my experiences here and what I have photographed. It is also easy to like a place you know you’ll be leaving soon. In my city-spanning photography adventures in Portland, there is also an undercurrent of self-consciousness and my-neighborhood-is-cooler-than-yours. I don’t really need to understand why it is that way, but it is important for a person who plans to play music all over town to be indifferent to neighborhood pride. More about this later. I suppose I could draw the analogy that my lousy, goofy-looking Fuji Instax 210 just isn’t cool. But it took this picture in downtown Camas:
Downtown Camas, Andrew D. Barron©12/5/11
I went to the office, but the light was so nice, and practically everyone was attending the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. So I enjoyed a phone conversation with a dear old friend and took pictures at Lacamas Lake. This was a great subject earlier with the Hasselblad, but I still had a mind to test the Konica and it’s hexanon 57mm f/1.4 lens.
Fallen tree, Lacamas Lake, WA, Andrew D. Barron©12/5/11
The Instax 210 made one of it’s finest captures yet. Amazing things happen when that big print pops out, especially around other people; types of things that simply do not occur with any other camera.
Lacamas lake with plastic-lensed instant film camera, Andrew D. Barron©12/5/11
The hexanon 57mm on the Autoreflex T and Fuji Velvia are a sweet combination.
Branch over Lacamas Lake, WA, Andrew D. Barron©12/5/11
Sometimes, I get going on a super-ball-in-a-closed-space photo endeavor. On Thursday, the 8th of December, I was in downtown Portland photographing architecture and enjoying the bounce.

All Fuji Instax Wide shots from here until I finish
Portland building, Andrew D. Barron©12/8/11
After tons of photography, I found myself at the release party of a holiday beer from the Alameda Brewery. A dude from Chicago via southern California made for a great drinking buddy out of the blue. If you’re getting the idea that I am going around, taking pictures, tasting all kinds of microbrewed beers, and meeting the randomest people, you’ve got it. That night, the jazz trio was very good but a little quiet. It was a family-oriented restaurant vibe, so that was totally appropriate. The place was jam-packed and were were scrunched in at the bar. I would have liked to pay more attention to Alice sing jazz.

Last Friday was the first time I went to Laurelthirst to see Woodbrain. I had met them the week before up in the St. John’s district. Joe is a great blues guitar player, and we had a lot to talk about. I also spoke with the great harp (blues harmonica) player, David Lipkind. I had become fairly serious about playing the harp living in Kentucky in 2008. I am sure that is in this blog somewhere. I can tell already, I will be picking it back up again. In between sets, a fellow had overheard some, and was a musician from the Tahoe scene and remembered me from playing Hellbound Glory. Rich.

After the early show, they invited me to another smaller show in a different part of town. I guess this is how it rolls for these guys. Wow.
Mock Crest Tavern, Andrew D. Barron©12/8/11
I walked in with the Instax 210 and the above photograph developing in my hand. A man approached. He was a photographer and a neurophysicist. Rich. We had a lot to talk about and enjoyed the blues until late in the evening. There were other new friends there too. I shot with the Hasselblad 500c quite a bit, but I am not optimistic that I will get any shots out of it. It was fun to try with such a cumbersome camera, so we’ll see.

Now some funny things have started to happen because of what film I have loaded on the Hasselblad. I didn’t do much on Saturday, but on Sunday drove again to the Hollywood district to try out the Fleur De Lis bakery. The unique building was noted previously used to be the neighborhood library. The book drop is still in the front door. The bakery is independent and expanding. The food was very very good, and of course the bread was spectacular. So getting to the funny things that happen, I could see the baking area and I asked if I could shoot back there. It was a first-ever request. But I was allowed back there, and there were bakers working. Turns out this baker actually grew up in the neighborhood and remembered when the library was here. He was rolling out butter to weave into a croissant-like dough. He had recently returned from his first visit to Texas, and said, “Everyone kept giving me hats.” It was my first real portrait shoot besides musicians and was completely impromptu with available light. I sure hope some turn out, but I am learning with low light on the Hasselblad to take other pictures. The Instax 210 comes through:
Luke the baker at Fleur De Lis, Andrew D. Barron©12/11/11
I had a mind to shoot another nearby buidling at 41st and Hancock. I wandered around the Hollywood district for a little while then headed down for a show where I didn’t take any pictures, nor have much to report.

Okay, whew, so Monday, 12/12 was Portland Country Underground at Laurelthirst. It was the harp player recommended coming out; remember (here from 12/3)?
David Lipkind and Jimi Botts of Woodbrain, Andrew D. Barron©12/3/11
Here they are.
Portland Country Underground at Laurelthirst, Andrew D. Barron©12/12/11
This was another night of interesting random conversations. I met some characters. Here, these two had just met and were too perfect to not ask for a photograph.
Laurelthirst goers, Andrew D. Barron©12/12/11
Things went in a good direction at the break when I mentioned my favorite country harp is a Waylon Jennings track, Lonesome Onry and Mean (a Steve Young song). Lipkind had a lot to say about Don Brooks, the spectacular player who covered all of the genres. At the end of the 8:00 set, I was again steered towards another show of a different band. This one was up Mississippi, at one of the oldest bars in Portland, the White Eagle. A nice set of solo songwriter stuff was finishing up. I wish I had heard more. The band set up and played some great music. Root Jack. I took some photos. The man in the hat who randomly told me about Woodbrain nine days before walked in and we had a nice catch up. Now I don’t think I could go on like this, photographing, watching and networking bands. This is the reconnaissance phase that usually finds me playing with some dudes in pretty short order. I hope that will be the case for me in Portland. I can see already that this is a skilled and busy collection of musicians. Several shows per night booking is something I could really get into. It would cut into photography, but we will just have to see.

On this shot the band, the instax developing did some weird stuff over Root Jack’s Kris Stuart. This is rare for this film, but it makes for a nice image. Root Jack will be playing Monday’s at the White Eagle, so be sure to check them out.
Root Jack @ the White Eagle, Andrew D. Barron©12/12/11
It’s great to be around musicians again.


  1. wow... great set of pics

    damn there are a lot of hoops to jump through to post a comment on this blog ;-)


Search This Blog

Blog Archive