I am sitting here at my computer writing this with a cat on my lap. Johan, my furry buddy, seems to think that is the best place to be. It makes typing a bit awkward, but he's not been feeling well the past few days, so I'll put up with it. Eventually, he moves around behind me on the seat, which probably helps my sitting posture.
Last year seems like only yesterday, and it was quite a year. My first year of retirement was filled with lots of travel, lots of photography, and personally, was quite good. I still think about my friend Marc, and wish I could share some of my adventures with him. I think my film photography was extremely prolific, with at least 120 rolls shot. Between testing new films, old cameras, and travel, I was also doing a lot of film developing. Of course, I scan my negatives, and while I have my darkroom and enlarger, I rarely print just for the sake of printing. I only make prints if I have a project in mind. Film photography is gaining more press and more traction, and I think most of would agree that the variety of film stocks (especially in b&w) keeps increasing. I hope that 2019 sees some great new products on the market.
Speaking of darkrooms… my most important acquisition has been the sous vide heater for doing C-41, ECN-2, and E-6 developing. It's been an incredible water and time saver, not to mention, giving me great uniformity in my developing process. While I bought mine on Amazon for about $70, The FPP is selling one for about $50. Of course, if you are doing stand development in regular b&w chemistry, the unit is even more desirable, especially if your workspace is chilly.
This year will see some big changes in my life, as we are preparing to sell our home and move to the Asheville, NC area. As we look at houses, it will be important for me to have darkroom and studio space. Analog photography processes will be an important aspect of my life, and I will continue to be advocating for traditional processes. We will have lived in Michigan for 38 years this May, and while we have greatly enjoyed Michigan, Adrienne and I are looking forward to new adventures elsewhere. She retired from her job yesterday, and now both of us are “pensioners.” We both grew up in New York State, and miss the terrain, but not the long winters, so the Appalachians are calling to us, and Asheville is a good fit. We probably won't be moving until mid-year, and in the interim, I have lots to do.
Due to the impending move I'll probably be selling some of my camera gear on eBay that I am not using. Just look for argusmaniac on eBay, and you can see my auctions. Moving a household is filled with making decisions on what to move. In addition, we are having some home renovations done, which of course means moving things around within the house. That's a great motivator to reduce the “clutter.” No, I am NOT selling my big Seal dry-mount press!
I have plenty of camera reviews lined up for 2019, and hopefully, more travelogues and photos to accompany them.
Here's to a good year!