Sunday, May 01, 2022

May 1 Musings

Taken today, May 1.

Well, here we are on the first day of May, and I am getting ready for a week away from home.  I'll be visiting the Film Photography Project HQ for a few days to record some sessions, and to also help with unboxing/checking of gear that has been donated to the FPP School donation program.  Then it's off to Amenia, NY, where I'll be for a few more days to visit family.  The drive from home this time will include a stop at the Camera Heritage Museum in Staunton, VA, which I saw last year, but it was closed by the time we stopped in Staunton.  I'll be giving a review of it here and on the podcast.

I love the month of May because of all of the rich variations in the color green, and as I drive up the Shenandoah Valley along Rt 81, I look forward to enjoying the scenery.  Of course, the various green shades don't look as good in b&w film, but there are so many interesting textures of unfurling leaves and patterns that to see them in monochrome is a different experience than in color.  

Rhubarb Leaf

Japanese maple

Speaking of color, people are still having a difficult time finding C-41 color film in stock.  I know that there is some excitement about Kodak Gold 200 being available in 120, and it's good to have that choice.  However, I remember when it was exciting to actually see a NEW film stock from Kodak.  It's anyone's guess about what's going on with Kodak and Fuji, and whether it really is supply-chain problems, worker shortages, or accumulating inflation effects, the prices of film have really shot up.  I'm glad that I jumped in and bought a 50 roll case of Fuji Superia 200 in 2018, when I paid $2/roll.  Last fall, as I was getting ready for a trip to the SW, I bought a bunch of Kodak Profoto 100, so I am pretty much set for any color film shooting.  I buy most of my black and white film in 100 ft rolls, and whether it's Arista 100, Kentmere 400, Fomapan 100, or Kentmere 100, I pay far less than I would for Kodak Tri-X (which I really don't like), or Ilford HP-5 (which I prefer).  The Kentmere and Foma films give me good, consistent results that I can trust.   However, the oddball films like some of the low-ISO films from the Film Photography Project (such as the Yeti and the Blue-Sensitive) and the films from Rollei always have a place in my camera bag(s).  

I am working on the next issue of Monochrome Mania - "Strictly Botanical" - which of course will be back to images and not gear, and I hope to have it ready by mid-summer.  I really appreciate the good comments that I get from readers of the latest issue - 35mm Toy Cameras, Issue No. 7, and copies of that are still available, though my Etsy store is closed until after I return on May 9.  

Here in the mountains of Western NC, spring seems to last for months, and if I drive 20 minutes, I can go back in time a week or two, and see flowers in bloom at 5200 ft. that have come and gone here at 2200 feet.   I feel fortunate to be living here.  I still have a lot to explore in NC, and hopefully, some short road trips are in order in late May/early June.

I hope that this month goes well for all of you!

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