Monday, June 4, 2012

Parting shots

I gave my Fujifilm Instax 210 one last look inside and feel pretty confident that it’s unrepairable.
Broken fujifilm instax 210, Andrew D. Barron ©6/2/12
I also made a very brief video before the gears fell out.

As I write this blog, I am having my first outbreak of poison oak in decades. You see, I went up to Agness and hiked some of the Lower Rogue river trail. There were many trees that had fallen over the trail (maybe a dozen) and only too late did I notice the boat load of poison oak in the makeshift rerouting of the trail. But the culprit was forgetting that the pants had been doused. During laundry, the residue seems to have spread all over.

It was a week ago that I went up there, so allow me to step back. There was a beautiful patch of California poppies near the store. The photos will look amazing when the film is returned and scanned. I shot lots of film lately and have a nice pile ready for what I hope will be some of my last outlab processing. I really must get serious about developing film! However, most of this week’s photos are using the infrared-converted D5000. I seem to always prefer them as black and white these days.

This image looks across the would-freak-me-out-if-i-had-to-land-there air strip, though you can’t really tell.
Agness air strip, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
I haven’t really said so, but the 35mm ƒ1.8G Nikon lens, while wonderfully sharp (even wide open), it leaves an infrared hotspot at apertures smaller than ƒ4 or so. That is why so many of my infrared photographs have a shallow depth of field. If I use smaller apertures, there gets to be a noticeable circle in my photos. Just thought you’d like to know. Soon I should retrieve another lens, hopefully one without the hot spot problem. This problem only occurs for very few people who change their camera’s sensor to infrared. It’s a shame too, since the lens is the best $200 I’ve spent in gear.
Agness air strip, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
The lower Rogue trail is 12 miles one way from Agness to 6 miles up from Lobster creek bridge. There isn’t really an easy way to do this hike in it’s entirety, but I tried out-and-back from both points. A twelve mile hike, while photographing, is much too far for me, so I only saw portions of the trail. And got a lot of poison oak on my clothes.
The Rogue river below Agness, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
Fresh evergreen growth, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
I once said that infrared might be a great way to shoot in the deep shadows of the Rogue river and I still feel that way. However, it is kind of a one-trick pony. Due to the problem of hotspots at small apertures, I shot this more wide-open than is needed to preserve the details in the trees that were beautifully lit by the sun’s last ray.
The last ray of sun on the Rogue river below Agness, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
The first time, at the lower trail head, I lost a tire. The second time, I got the worst case of poison oak that I can recall. I’m positive this has very little to do with the great trail though. Just watch for the leafless poison oak branches as you make your way around the many trees that have fallen on the trail.

This is a good place to interrupt the infrared photos with the film photographs I processed this week. I was glad to play music with my friend Cliff, but there I learned that shooting musicians (especially a fiddler) with a waist-level viewfinder was not ideal. I was kicking myself for not also borrowing the prism-viewfinder, which allows one to use a Hasselblad at eye level like a normal camera. Oh well. Anyway, film. Right. First up, from the very dead Konica Autoreflex T, this was the last frame of it’s last roll. I was turning in film at the lab in Portland and had a few frames left on the Velvia 50. In my brief time in Portland, I didn’t see much light like this, so it was nice.
Leica Manual, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
I am sure it is impossible for anyone else to follow but, well, here goes. This camera never took another picture. It is hopelessly jammed. The very next camera that found it’s way to me was a Leica IIIf. Cool, right? I have been very much enjoying shooting with the IIIf these days, now almost through my third 36 exposure roll since c-l-a.

With the square Hasselblad photos, I haven’t determined the best size. Lately I’ve quietly embedded links where most photos can be viewed in isolation at Flickr. The Hasselblad shots benefit the most from this extra click. I look at a lot of photos on flickr using the on black mode (L) with a full screen browser, called presentation mode in Chrome. (F10 pc, apple-shift-f mac) This does bring up a point that will become serious in the years to come: retina displays, as rumored to be in the new Macs and already in iPads. I will have to put up quite a few more pixels in my photos.
Above sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©4/6/12
The Patterson Bridge over the Rogue river had it’s 80th birthday. I heard of no celebration, but in February, there was a person who wrote a book I should get. When I first got going with 110 film, (I shot four rolls), I ran all around and got some neat photographs. One of my favorite shots ever is on the tiniest negative imaginable, the 110. By the way, you can be part of the 110 resurgence by getting some new b+w film! Be sure to send it to a quality lab, like Blue Moon. That’s where this print came from, snapped on 10 year outdated film in a 35 year old plastic Minolta:
Patterson Bridge over the Rogue River, Minolta AutoPAK 440E 110, Andrew D. Barron©1/03/11
I went back with the wide angle on the Hasselblad. I am often challenged by the square format. Here is what I got.
Patterson bridge over the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron ©4/6/12
Now when I first looked at the maximum aperture of ƒ4 on the Distagon 50mm lens, I was disappointed. However, it allows a closer focusing than the 80mm ƒ2.8. Maybe. Anyway, wide open and close focused, it makes beautiful photographs.
Devils Backbone, Andrew D. Barron ©5/27/12
Whew, okay. I have one last adventure. Oh wait. We had some amazingly beautiful days last week. From some random steep road in Gold Beach, this looks out across the mouth of the Rogue River. The black areas at the bottom outline the Jettys:
Clouds above Wedderburn, Andrew D. Barron ©5/30/12
Before the poison oak from hell, I went to the top of one of Sisters Rocks. I have shot them countless times, but never have been brave enough to scamper up the seriously deadly trail. It was an incredible night up there and I am so glad that I got into a new roll of Portra in the Leica. I have a feeling the muted orange and green tones that I was seeing there above the sea are going to come out grand. For now, here are some infrared photos.
From the top of first Sister, Andrew D. Barron ©5/31/12
Old Roads to Frankport, 454 miles from San Francisco, Andrew D. Barron ©5/31/12
(Pardon the self-indulgent portraits. . .) I had grown a (very white) beard. In this iphone pic, the mound that I scrambled up to is right in the middle above the right of my hat brim:
Andrew D. Barron ©5/25/12
Once on top, I was exhilarated, but also concerned about how my obit might read in the awful local newspaper if I fell. So for posterity, I turned the infrared camera on me. It took forever to get down. I’d probably do it again.

Feet on the ground, head in the sky. It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong.
Andrew D. Barron ©5/31/12
I got plenty of time.
You got light in your eyes.
And you’re standing here beside me.
I love the passing of time.
Never for money, always for love.
Feet on the ground, head in the sky, Andrew D. Barron ©5/31/12
Cover up and say goodnight.
Say goodnight.

Home is where I want to be,
But I guess I’m already there.

Talking Heads
I Guess This Must Be The Place

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