Plans change. Normally we would go to western Massachusetts to celebrate midsommar in late June. But we were supposed to be in Italy and France around this time. Then the plague came. That’s how we ended up celebrating the solstice in this lovely house in Paxinos (pack-SAI-nus) PA.
Shamokin is a coal town in central PA. It seems to have been hit hard by the loss of coal and industry jobs and the opioid crisis. The population is about 7,000 now, down from a peak of 50,000 in the 50s.
Shamokin has an interesting labor history, including the Shamokin Uprising of 1877.
I only spent a few hours there—barely enough to scratch the surface.
I dropped the Diana maybe one too many times and it seems it’s gone to meet its maker.
Here are some of the last salvageable images from it. They feel melancholy and reflect my muddy view of the past few weeks.
A while ago I accidentally bought a box of Arista Ortho-Litho 3.0 that was too big for my 4×5 film holders. (This film comes in two sizes, one that is cut down a 1/10th of an inch to fit in film holders and one that’s not.) It’s been sitting around since then gnawing at me to figure out something to do with it. So when I recently found out about lumen prints, it clicked.
Lumen prints are typically made by exposing photo paper to the sun for a long time, anywhere from a half hour to a day. The result is that the paper sort of auto develops and you get an image. Typically they are made as photograms with organic material on photo paper. But you can use a negative to make a contact print. And you can use film instead of paper.
My first thought was I would make contact prints and display them with a backlight. So here are my first contact prints, scanned and tweaked slightly. They look pretty good. I’ve sent them to be printed as 8x10s. Curious to see how they look. Next step is to build some cardboard frames for them to see if I can light them
Another option I am considering is making photograms and then printing them in the enlarger. I just need to scrounge up some material.
A Sunday afternoon along the Delaware in Port Richmond with the Fuji GW690III and some more Ilford OrthoPlus.
I sometimes have difficulty talking about my work conceptually and tend to fall back on process.
Summer vacations, Diana, and Kodak Ektar. Here’s some of the places I went this summer.
Ricket’s Glen, PA
From the tracks
I shot some more Ilford OrthoPlus, this time in the Fuji GW690III. This is another camera I probably don’t shoot enough. But this film, I’m liking it. And initial darkroom experiments suggest it looks better as a lith print (images to come).
I took it down to Old City on a bright, cold day. I tried to avoid the usual Race Street Pier shots, and the streets were empty, so a lot of #peoplelessphilly shots.
I thought that I would use the Ilford OrthoPlus in the Diana, but I am enjoying it more in the Rolleiflex.
Recently we had horribly warm January weather, so I took advantage and took a walk around South Philly with the Rollei. Maybe it was the weather or the fact that nobody is out on Sunday, but everything felt post-apocalyptic. The OrthoPlus fit that mood for sure.
I shot 4 rolls. Looking forward to printing these.
I was super excited when Ilford announced that they would be releasing Ortho Plus in 35 and medium format. I’ve been looking for an orthochromatic film I could shoot in the Diana and this seemed like the perfect option.
Between Christmas and New Year, we took a trip up to Jim Thorpe, PA so I brought along some Ortho Plus and the Diana as well as my Rolleiflex to compare.
The low ISO for the Ortho Plus, 80 in daylight, limited how I could use it on this trip. Jim Thorpe is in a valley and the sun never really got far above the surrounding mountains. Then we had a couple of days of rain. Most of the shots I took came out underexposed. I did get a few passable ones though.
The Rolleiflex was much better. I even got Nora to sit for a portrait. The skin tones with this film are nice, though not for everyone.