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Obscure Landscape Photographers: Tad Nichols (1911-2000)

While in the US on holiday my wife and I visited one of our favorite bookstores in Bonner's Ferry Idaho Bonner's Books. Highly recommended if you find yourself in the vicinity. This is where I picked up the book The Glory of Our West that I used as the basis for a series of posts here.

On this visit I picked up Ansel Adams’ classic Yosemite and the Range of Light in paperback for $6.00 used  thank you very much. One has to be careful in buying photography books because some are printed in truly appalling ways. There were two more books in the bookstore featuring Ansel Adams, one I did not purchase as the tonal range in the printing was awful. The other was better but it featured an identical print to one in Yosemite and the Range of Light and I didn't even recognize them at first as the same print so poor was the reproduction in this other book.

I also stumbled upon an Eliot Porter book Down the Colorado; diary of the first trip through the Grand Canyon, 1869. (This book …
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More Film:Kodak

I just returned from holidays and brought back a supply of Kodak film. My recent use of Colorperfect SW and successful use of it has renewed my interest in color negative film. This should last me awhile!


Developing Film in Cibachrome Drums

I bought a Cibachrome daylight print processing drum a few years back when I experimented with Cibachrome using expired film and chemicals I bought online. Since then I have used the drum to process 8x10 and 4x5 large format film. It works well; already dimensioned for 8x10 print film, it has a light tight top where chemicals can be poured in an out without losing the light tightness. This means once the film is loaded it can be processed in normal room light which is a huge advantage. I have seen them sold for as little as $8.00.

Drum-based developing has other advantages in that it is less likely you will scratch the emulsion compared to tray developing and can achieve more uniform development compared to tank developing. They can also be used in a water bath to regulate temperature if needed. The nature of the tank is also such that it does not immerse all the film all the time and so uses less chemicals.

The lid is unscrewed and in the dark the film is loaded on the inside wall of…

Large Format Flowers

I sometimes watch Tim Layton's YouTube channel. Tim grows his own flowers and makes very large prints of the flowers; he uses an 8x10 large format camera to capture them and then prints on silver gelatin up to 30x40 inches. The prints look impressive online and must be more so in person.

Now I don't have quite so nice a setup but noticed that some gladiolas in bloom in our garden and thought I should give this a shot myself on my 4x5 camera. Tim speands a lot of time getting the lighting setup correctly and while I don't have the dedicated space and background for this I made a small setup in our hall where a skykight two floors up casts a very diffuse light from the ceiling. I wasn't sure if this would be good or not but let's see what results I get! I placed a piece of white card behind the flowers and one underneath to reflect some light upwards as well.


I already had some pre-loaded Fomapan 100 film in film holders and some Portra 400 color so I decided to sta…

New Film

On a short business trip to Japan. Can’t help but spend some time in Shinjuku. Stopped by Map Camera to look at all the old cameras. Map is a palace of Leica with some Rolleis and Hassleblads thrown in as well. Well worth the visit to the basement. For new camera a colleague informs me the prices are better at Map than Yodobashi. 

The other stop was Yodobashi and their film department. Here you can get great deals on fresh Fuji (other films as well Iford, Kodak, etc.) Everything available from Fuji from 35mm up to 8x10 large format film. You can also get 220 film here as well. The import film prices for Kodak and Ilford are not as good a deal os course. (Coals to Newcastle). 
I picked up Acros B+W, Velvia 50 in 120 and 4x5, Velvia 100 in 220, Provia in 120 and 4x5. On the way home at the airport found some good prices on Velvia 100 120 film I couldn’t resist as well.    
I also picked up a large format 150mm f5.6 Nikon lens while there. It was like new. In great condition.


The Glory of the West: Part 6: The Obscure Photographers

Here I summarized a little of what I was able to Google about the more obscure photographers in this series.
Fred Bond.  Little is known except he wrote a couple of books on photography. Difficult to find much biographical material.  He lived in Los Angeles.

KODACHROME & KODACOLOR FROM ALL ANGLES (1947 3rd edition)
WESTWARD HOW! through the Scenic West (1947)
Ferenz Fedor He lived in Albequerque New Mexico. His photographs appear in some archives online mostly black and white with churches of New Mexico and Native Americans as popular subjects.
Chalres D. Downey From Scottsbuff Nebraska (1907-1989).

An archive of Downey family photographs is at the Nebraska State Historical Society.

There is a Downey Photography that has been in photography for 5 generatons. The current owner "Tom’s grandparents, Charles and Dorothy, began Downey’s Studio in the 1930s in Scottsbluff, Nebraska."

An article in the local paper indicates the shop will close its doors after 80 years in busine…

The Glory of Our West: Part 5: Esther Henderson

I did some short research on Esther Henderson who is featured in many photographs of Arizona. She created a large body of work but surprisingly there is very little information consolidated in one place.

She was born in 1911 and died in 2008. She lived in Tucson Arizona until 1963 when she moved to Santa Cruz California. She gave up acting back east and studied photography and became a freelance photographer after moving to Arizona. When she was a child her family took a road trip to Arizona to see the grand Canyon and Monument Valley. This seems to be what propelled her career to Arizona.

The Arizona Historical Society has this about her.

Born July 24, 1911, Esther Henderson, professional photographer, came to Arizona in 1935 after completing a course in professional photography at the New York Institute of Photography. She set up her own photo studio in Tucson. She married Charles “Chuck” Abbott in 1940 and they worked together as a photographic team. With their two sons, they trav…