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Showing posts from August, 2018

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…

The Glory of Our West: Part 4: The Photographers

This is the fourth in the series of photos from the 1952 booklet The Glory of Our West published by Standard Oil company. Here I talk about the photographers and how the film of the era probably influenced the style of color photographs they took.

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge  MIKE ROBERTS, Berkeley. 5 x 7 Graflex camera ; 6-1/2" lens; Kodachrome film, daylight type; 8 seconds, f:8; sunset, November 10. 
The Glory of Our West had a stellar list of photographers from that era. Probably most recognized from the list is Ansel Adams but I also recognize Ray Atkeson and Josef Muench. The complete list is below. The most prolific in this collection are Ansel Adams, Esther Henderson, Ray Atkeson, Mike Roberts, and Fred Bond.


ANSEL ADAMS, San FranciscoFRED BOND, Los AngelesCARI. JUNGHANS, HollywoodRoss A. Ross, San FranciscoJOSEF MUENCH, Santa BarbaraSTAN KERSHAW, Cody, WyomingRAY ATKESON, PortlandGEORGE E. STONE, San JoseFERENZ FEDOR, AlbuquerqueWINTER PRATHER, DenverWALT DYKE, McMinn…

The Glory of Our West: Part 3

This is the third in the series of photos from the 1952 booklet The Glory of Our West published by Standard Oil company.  Mission San Juan Capistrano  GEORGE E. STONE, San Jose. 5 x 7 Eastman view camera; f:6.8 lens; Kodachrome film, daylight type; 1/5 second at f:22. Made on a somewhat overcast day in July. Because of the darkness of the colonnade, a synchronized flash was arranged. Two "blue" bulbs were used; one about 10 feet from the camera, so as to light up the dark wall area; the second mounted on the camera itself.  Santa Barbara Mission  FRED BOND, Los Angeles. 4x5 Speed Graphic camera; 5-1/4" Zeiss Tessar lens; CC13 filter; Kodachrome film, daylight type; 1/5 second at f:25; June, 2 p.m.  Sequoia National Park  JOSEF MUENCH, Santa Barbara. 4 x 5 Crown view camera ; 5-1/4" Zeiss Tessar lens; No. 1 haze filter; Kodachrome film, daylight type; 1/5 second at f:22; mid-afternoon, early December. 
Kings Canyon National Park  JOSEF MUENCH, Santa Barbara. 4 x 5 Graf…

The Glory of Our West: Part 2

This is the second in the series of photos from the 1952 booklet The Glory of Our West published by Standard Oil company. 
 Grand Canyon National Park  ESTHER HENDERSON, Tucson. 5 x 7 Eastman view camera ; 5-1/4" Goerz Dagor lens; Kodachrome film; 1/10 second at f:8; July at sunset.   Monument Valley  ESTHER HENDERSON, Tucson. 5 x 7 Eastman view camera; 5-1/4" Goerz Dagor lens; Kodachrome film; 1/25 second at f:12.5; midmorning, mid-August.   Rainbow Natural Bridge  CARI. JUNGHANS, Hollywood. 4 x 5 Speed Graphic camera ; Kodak Ektar f.:4.5 lens; Kodachrome film, daylight type; 1/50 second at f:8; early March.   Zion National Park  JOSEF MUENCH, Santa Barbara. 4 x 5 Graflex Crown view camera; Zeiss Tessar lens; Kodachrome film, day-light type; skylight filter; 1 second at f:40.  Bryce Canyon National Park  FRED BOND, Los Angeles. 4x5 Speed Graphic camera; 5-1/4" lens; Kodachrome film; daylight type; special filters. Mount Timpanogos MIKE ROBERTS, Berkeley. 5x7 Graflex camera;…