High School Kids on the Highway

About 100 teenagers showed up ready to spread mulch to prepare the trees for winter. It was a slightly cloudy morning which is my favorite on this hill because they always work in the AM and the sun rises over that side of the...

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State Pres Film

As mentioned in the previous post, I have received the developed film from this year's state preservation conference. I shot Tri-X at 400 on my FTb with the 35mm. Most of these were shot at the White Rose Cemetery and a couple around the Frank Lloyd Wright Price Tower. Being new to film and photography in general, this was only the second time that I shot in bright midday sunlight. The first time was three days before on a roll of HP5 and I hadn't had it developed yet, so I didn't have any insight to glean from that roll going into this one. All of these images are straight scans from the negatives and haven't been touched up in LR.

Overall I'm not terribly impressed with these. There are only a couple worth looking at. I'll show you a couple that I liked and one or two that are pretty typical of the roll. I'm still trying to get used to how both Tri-X and HP5 look as well as continuing to work out framing and composition with the FTb. What I mostly didn't think about too much was that shooting sunny 16 keeps everything in focus at 400 ISO in full sun. I understood what was going on, I just didn't pay any attention to it. There are a few shots that would have looked much better with a more open aperture on a slower film which brings me to the other thing that I learned from these two rolls. Subject and context of the shot with this type of film lends itself to a more gritty street feel. These pics would have proved much better with a finer grain and sharper detail. Coming off of shooting the D3s to Tri-X is definitely different. I need to practice getting into digital and film modes in my thinking and approach. But then that's photography these days. :)

OK, enough preface, what do we have?

Blythe RD is the gate and entrance to the cemetery. I liked this shot because it reflects what the cemetery was like. The masonry of the pillar shows the technique and materials of the era. The open feel to the space and the mix of old and new headstones suggest the population density of Bartlesville considering its age. This was the first frame of the roll and works because of my proximity to the sign which is just enough to knock out the background. Using the 35mm lens allows the additional headstone into the frame which tells the viewer where we are.  This isn't a 5 star image or anything but it was one of the better ones on the roll.

So John here is a good example of my inexperience with Tri-X. There was way more detail that could have been pulled out of the headstone. My angle to the subject, the lighting angle to the subject, and my lack of understanding of the grain of this film and how the grit of the stone would interact with it resulted in a kind of blah image. I think the composition isn't anything stellar either; very centered and I could have worked with the clover flowers more. I also think that this setup would have been better with a 50mm lens as opposed to the 35mm. I'm not saying I should have switched or anything, what I mean is that my thinking was evidently 50 instead of 35 at that moment.

The mausoleum was an interesting place to go into. I had never been in one before so I didn't know what to expect. The interior was top to bottom marble with some nice stained glass in the back and a skylight that didn't make it feel creepy in there. As far as the shot goes, its one of the better ones on the roll. This one was tricky because of the full sun sky, the completely dark interior and the heavily shadowed exterior corner with the tree. The composition isn't bad and tweaking it in Lightroom helped with the exposure problems (you are looking at the film scan and not the touched up version). The sky is pretty much blown out and there is a cloud in there somewhere, but maybe that is just the nature of Tri-X 400 at midday. OK, one more.

Well, I liked this 66 and thought it would have turned out better than it did. This is one of the cases where my not paying attention to the aperture didn't help. Now, my FTb only has a shutter speed of 1000, so there wasn't really anything I could have done about it but found a better angle and composition. But what bums me out about the shot was the contrast of the different parts of the numbers. It was kind of a multi color sculpture that I thought would have worked well in B&W.  A color filter would have helped me out there I suppose but what I got was pretty flat. So those two oversights created more of a bland image to me.

I really enjoyed taking these and am happy with what I got out of it. None of these pictures were critical as they were just an artistic version of what otherwise would have been a snapshot event, but the few lessons learned were well worth the effort and I can't wait to try out some new ideas. The first one I'm going to mess with is actually pulling the film. I mostly just want to see what it does and I have another BS opportunity to pull out the FTb tomorrow at our Tulsa Tough cycling event. I'm going to use the 135mm lens to get some reach, pull Tri-X to 100 and go for it weather permitting. I'll let you know how it goes. Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any feedback on these images. I'd love to hear other perspectives and experiences. Thanks!

OK State Preservation Conference

Cassandra and I went to the state preservation conference. She and I are old house nerds and we always enjoy going to these things. The conference this year was in Bartlesville, OK and I thought I would take the Canon along to see what we could see.

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