Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Ilford HP5 in 510 Pyro - Nothing On

This shot may work for the Apparitions project.  In hindsight I probably should have left a little more space in the foreground, in front of the TV.  I think there is actually a little more on the negative, that just didn't quite make it onto the scan.
I shot this one in May of 2022 with my Ebony SV45TE and a Fujinon 125mm lens.  I used a #8 yellow filter to increase contrast a little.  The staining pyro developer held the highlights in the sky quite nicely.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


I checked, and that's how many exposed sheet of 4" x 5" sheet film that I have exposed and waiting to be processed.  This includes almost 50 sheets of color, but does not include any 8" x 10" material.  I'm heading out on a couple of photo shoots in the coming days, so no doubt this total will grow.
I save up film until I have a least 20 sheets of a given type, that requires processing in a given developer.  My development times vary from about 7:00 minutes to over 20:00 minutes, depending on the combination of film and developer.  It takes me around 1 to 2 hours to process 20 sheets and have them in the wash.  Then the washing process takes 24 hours, with around 10 water changes.  This is followed by a treating with wetting agent and a final rinse in distilled water before the negatives are hung up to dry.  With this in mind it will obviously take me quite some time to catch up on processing.....

Monday, August 15, 2022

Bedroom - Ilford HP5 in 510 Pyro

This shot was taken during the recent trip to Saskatchewan.  It was at this location that I noticed the first of several Wood Ticks... this one was crawling on my darkcloth.
This was taken on Ilford HP5, developed in 510 Pyro.  The staining pyro developer did a nice job of holding the highlight details.  The bright highlight on the floor beside the bed was seven stops brighter than the floor beside it.  The exterior, visible through the window, was six stops brighter than the bed.  I have been rating HP5 at 320iso, which I believe provides adequate exposure to hold shadow values.  The staining pyro developer seems to hold the highlight values while still providing reasonable overall contrast.  I'm not sure if I'll do much to further refine this.  Perhaps I'll experiment a little with slightly more exposure, or slightly longer development... but not both.
This shot was taken on July 14th with my Ebony SV45TU view camera and a Rodenstock 90mm lens.

Blackmud Creek Ravine - Ilford HP5 in 510 Pyro

I originally took this shot with the intention of cropping it to panoramic proportions.  But now that I see the scan of the negative, I think it looks good full frame.  I shot this back in the fall of 2021... late September to be precise.  I used one of my Ebony view cameras, and a Fujinon 125mm lens.  I shot this on Ilford HP5 film.  HP5 has never been a favorite of mine.  I use it quite a bit in 8" x 10" format as it is a lot more economical than any of the Kodak alternatives.  But in 4" x 5" it has always been a second choice.  Recently I came back to it, and decided to try to refine my development a little.  I processed this one in 510 Pyro developer, and quite like the way it handled the background highlights.  I also used a #8 yellow filter to highlight some of the fall leaves.  Development was at 1:100 dilution for 7:10 minutes at 21C.

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Its been a very busy few days in August recently.   My Uncle Walter passed away.  He was my Dad's oldest brother, and my godfather.  If he would have made it a few more days he would have made it to his 98th birthday.  The funeral was in Wetaskiwin on Thursday.  It was good to see a bunch of cousins and relatives, but the circumstances could have been happier.  Although it was sad to say goodbye, when a person lives to almost 100, and was healthy most of their life, then there is really nothing to be sad about.
Then on Friday, Margarit and Annelise and I headed down to Calgary.  We went to my brother Wes's place and attended an East Coast Kitchen Party at his house.  My neice Simone and a bunch of her friends were there, including a young guy named Ryan, who was doing all the cooking.  There were also a bunch of friends of Wes and Barb.  We had a bunch of drinks and played guitar and sang songs all night.  It was a lot of fun.  Anna stayed with her cousin Simone but Margarit and I stayed at a nearby hotel.
Then on Sunday, after breakfast and helping tidy up a little we said our goodbye's to Wes and Barb and hit the road.  
Margarit and the girls have been badgering me for months to get another dog.  I was hoping that the animal population in our house would come down somewhat before we added any more.  We still have four rabbits and two skinny pigs, despite the fact that our two family dogs passed on recently.  But of course, my vote does not count in the slightest, and eventually the girls beat me down.  Margarit and I stopped at a farm near Bluffton on our way home from Nordegg a week ago to look at some puppies.  Of course once Her Nibs saw them, there was no turning back.  We kept it a secret from the girls, and on the way home from Calgary we took a slight detour over to Bluffton to pick up the puppy.  By this point he had had his last vet appointment, and had turned eight weeks old.  
I made four rules when I foolishly agreed to this and I'm going to try to stand firm on them.  We'll see how it goes.  Rule Number One is that I do not have to walk the dog.  Rule Number Two is that I do not have to clean up after the dog, and that the girls will.  Rule Number Three was that I got to select the puppy... and I did.  And Rule Number Four was that I got to name him.  I won on Rule Four... sort of... and got to name the dog, even though many of my names were rejected.  I really wanted a Mike, or a Steve, or a Bruce... but we ended up with Hank.  Hank is actually Hank Yarbo... named after the town Doofus from the TV Series Corner Gas.
Hank is part Jack Russel Terrier and part Cairn Terrier.  He came from a litter of eight... three boys and five girls.  The traits of the two parents were mixed in the litter.  Some had smooth coats while others were a little wiry.  Some had the longer legs of the Jack Russel, while others were shorter from the Cairn.  I selected one of the boys... with a wiry coat and stubby legs.  He's a tiny little guy and can't weigh more than a pound or two.  He sure is getting a lot of attention from the four doting girls in our house.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Shunda Viewpoint

Shunda Viewpoint is just east of our cottage in Nordegg.  I read that it affords one of the best views in the area of the front ranges of the Rockies.  Margarit and I decided to check it out when we were last in Nordegg.  This is a panoramic shot taken with my iPhone.  This is the Brazeau Range.  In the center, just behind the tree, you can see "The Gap".  This is where the North Saskatchewan River passes through the Brazeau Range.  Coliseum Mountain and Baldy, are sort of an extension of this range, and are just out of sight behind the trees on the right edge.  The Nordegg subdivision extends up onto the flank of Coliseum Mountain.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Sunday Day Trip

Margarit and I headed out to Nordegg together on Friday August 5th.  All three of the girls decided to stay home in the city, so it was a nice couples weekend.
We had a bunch of errands to run on our way out to the cottage.  We stopped at the Clearwater County offices in Rocky Mountain House to pick up 75 Lodgepole Pine seedlings that we previously ordered.  Then we picked up some groceries.  At this time of year, when the weather is warm, it is easiest to just pick up supplies on the way out, rather than deal with coolers and such.  Then we ran a couple of errands and picked up a few things for friends and neighbors out at Nordegg, to save them a drive.  Finally we stopped in at the Antique Store and browsed around for a bit.  We finally made it out to the cottage by early evening.
On Saturday we didn't do a lot.  Mostly we just relaxed and took it easy.  We did manage to plant most of the pine seedlings that first day.  Later in the evening I made us an appetizer of hot wings, and then later a dinner of Shrimp in Cream Sauce.
On Sunday we decided to head out for a day trip.  We took my old truck and went for a spin up the David Thompson Highway.  It was fairly breezy at Nordegg, and the further west we got, the stronger the wind became.  It was REALLY windy at Abraham Lake near Windy Point... imagine that...!  We continued on up the valley and eventually got to Whirlpool Point.  We wandered down to the river and explored for a little while, and I took a few photographs of the Limber Pines and of the River with my view camera.  The water levels have come down a bit since all the heavy rain and snow melt in June, but the river is still running pretty fast.  It wasn't as windy here as it was back by Abraham Lake, but the it was still fairly brisk.  
We decided to take a spin up to Blackstone River.  This was probably my fifth time up to Blackstone this year, and I never really get tired of it.  Margarit wants to try casting a bunch of pebbles in Epoxy Resin to make a tabletop, so we collected a bunch of rocks so she can experiment with that.  I also noticed that there were a bunch of stone fly skins on the rocks down right at the water's edge.  The nymphs crawl out of the river and then hatch into an adult fly, leaving the skin behind.  They are really cool and kind of prehistoric looking.  I suppose if a person was to go fishing at this time of year, a lure that mimics a stone fly nymph would be ideal.  The cutthroat trout in the Blackstone have diminished numbers and only catch and release fishing is allowed.  I didn't try this time around.
The avens were still in seed like they were a week ago when Hailey and I visited.  This time around Margarit and I dug out one plant and transported it back to the cottage.  When we got back we planted it into a sloped, gravelly, south facing spot behind the cottage.  We also planted the last 15 pine seedlings that we hadn't finished the day before.  Later that evening I made us a dinner of Chicken Enchiladas. 
I haven't done a thing over in the guest cottage yet, and may not get around to it by the time we leave.  But is sure has been a relaxing time and Margarit and I really enjoyed the days together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Semi Final Victory

I missed the last couple games of the regular season, and the first two of the playoffs.  First I was away on the Saskatchewan trip, and then I came down with a bad cold... which was possibly Covid.  I have since mostly recovered, so I was able to rejoin the Renegades Hockey Team for a game on Thursday August 4th.
The team had split the first two games with the Mighty Ducks and this one was the sudden death final in the Best of Three semi-final playoff round.
I certainly didn't have much stamina after being away from the rink for three weeks, and just recovering... but I gave it my best shot.  We got out to an early lead, and never looked back.  The final score ended up as a 7-1 Renegades victory.
We now move on to the Best of Three Final Championship Round next week against the Chiefs.  Our team won the summer championship last year, so it would be nice to repeat....!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Back to Blackstone

Hailey and I were out at Nordegg on the August long weekend.  On the holiday Monday, after the big Hail Storm, we took a drive up to the Blackstone River.  This is a favorite spot of mine and I never get tired of going there.
This time around there were clumps of Yellow Flowered Avens all over the place, that had gone to seed.  I am always fascinated by these wildflowers and tried to photograph them.  I got a bunch of snapshots with my phone, and also what I hope are a couple of decent shots with my big view camera.
We got dumped on by a heavy rain shower on our way up to the river.  The rain stopped around the time we got there and we were able to wander around for a while.  Just as we were leaving, another shower rolled through and dumped on us again.
We later learned that there were tornado watches in effect for the area.  We didn't experience any winds and other than the heavy rain showers, the weather wasn't really an issue for us.  But, I understand that the storm moved off to the southeast and some large baseball size hail hit areas south of Red Deer.  This unstable weather pattern that we find ourselves in is not much fun, and I'll be glad when things settle down.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Levers - Ilford FP4 in HC-110 - plus development

This shot was taken on the recent trip to Saskatchewan.  This is the interior of an old grain elevator.  These levers were used to open and close the various grain chutes.  I think it makes for a rather interesting shot, particularly with the distortion that results from the use of a really side angle lens.  I shot this with a 58mm lens on my 4x5 view camera.  That is roughly equivalent to an 18mm lens on full frame digital or 35mm film format.  The combination of this film and the development in HC-110 resulted in a signficant boost in contrast, as the light was rather flat inside.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

The Hail Storm

An ominous storm rolled in on the evening of July 31st.  Soon there were hailstones mixed in with the rain.  Before we knew it we were getting pounded by large hailstones... grape size... and even bigger... some like a Loonie.... maybe even golf ball size.
Our next door neighbors had come out with a brand new vehicle.  They had only had it for about it week and it got pounded by the hail.  I had both of my trucks out at the cottage.  The old one was little more sheltered than the new one, and didn't suffer quite as many dents.  The hood and roof of my newer truck are pocked with hail marks.  The box cover is even worse.  The metal roofing on our cottages and garage are all lightly dented.
Later that evening I understand that a tornado touched down in the area of Caroline and Sundre.  There was a real light show of lightning off to the south after midnight.  It was reminiscent of photographers shooting fashion models on a runway.  We didn't hear much thunder, so it must have been quite some distance away.  
Holiday Monday was also very unsettled.  The only good part about all of this is that it probably helped to get the wildfire under control.  But I will sure be glad when this period of instability is behind us and we return to a more stable weather pattern.


Friday, August 5, 2022

Weeping Wall - Ilford FP4 in HC-110 Developer - plus development

Here is another image from the recent batch of FP4, processed in HC-110 developer.  I expose the film at 160iso, and develop for 14:20 minutes in HC-110 dilution B.  This provides a significant boost in contrast.  I reserve this combination for subjects that are rather flat in soft light.  After years of experience with these materials I am beginning to learn when to go to this combination.
This images was taken in June of 2020 when I was out exploring in Banff National Park with my friend Rob.  We stopped beside the highway at the Weeping Wall.  The waterfalls were all flowing with significant volume as it was the peak of the mountain snow melt.  I used a long 500mm lens on my 4x5 view camera to get in tight on this one waterfall.  I liked the way the wind was blowing the spray into the air and creating the little cloud of mist.  I added a #24 Red Filter to darken the shadows and boost contrast yet further.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Never Ending Story......

Hailey and I travelled out to Nordegg on Friday July 29th.  For the past week or so there has been a wildfire burning just west of our cottage.  The Black Mountain Fire was initially out of control, but in recent days is classed as being held.  It was helpful that winds were mostly out of the east, and that we had some off and on showers.  In fact it rained heavily between Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg as Hailey and I drove out on Friday.  The fire grew to nearly 500 hectares before the crews were able to hold it.  While we were out at the cottage we heard and saw a lot of helicopters going back and forth but surprisingly there was no smoke.  There is more rain in the forecast so hopefully in the coming days the fire is brought under control, and eventually extinguished.  It is burning near the Crescent Falls Road, just west of Dry Haven Creek, which is about 18km away from our cottage.
I brought yet another load of more aspen boards out to the cottage with us.  This time I brought about 40, and my last five gallon pail of lacquer.  On Saturday morning I unloaded all the boards and packed them into the cottage.  Then I decided to do a little yard work.  I sprayed a bunch of weeds that have been growing through the driveway, and used my big string trimmer to cut down the tall grass around the edge of the cottage site.  After that I set to work finishing yet more of the aspen boards.
On Sunday I went back to work in the guest cottage.  I continued with finishing of the boards, and started installing some to the wall in the west bedroom.  I left an empty can of Kokanee beer inside the wall.  Someday if the cottage is ever demolished or renovated, someone will find it and perhaps be reminded of me.  I also connected the electrical receptacle as I finished the wall.  Soon I will be able to energize the circuit in the west bedroom.
While I was working a big four point buck in full velvet laid down in the shade about 50 feet away from the cottage.  He got a little nervous when I came to the door and watched him, and eventually wandered away.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

General Store - Ilford FP4 in HC-110 Developer - plus development

I was travelling in eastern Alberta with a small group of my photography friends when I took this shot.  It was in late fall of 2020.  A number of us from the Monochrome Guild were out for a day trip.  This trip consisted of a couple of day outings, with everyone driving in separate vehicles.  We had to cancel our annual Fall Photo Weekend that year due to the Covid Pandemic.
I used a 90mm wide angle lens and pointed my 4x5 view camera up at the facade of this old store.  I think the skewed angle works rather well in this composition.  I chose to increase contrast with this combination of film and developer.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Fossil Shoot

When I was down in East Coulee in mid July I borrowed a bunch of fossils from Frank.  A week ago I set up to shoot them with my view camera.  It took over a dozen trips up and down the stairs to pack all my gear up into the kitchen.  Of course when I was done the process had to be repeated to put everything away.  There was the backdrop stand, a white paper backdrop, two light stands, two flash heads, two umbrellas, a heavy tripod, my Sinar F1 monorail camera, a couple of lenses, power cords, sync cord, flash meter, loupe, film holders, step ladder, the list goes on.  I had eleven different fossils and I took two shots of each.  
Once I get all the negatives developed I will select some of the best ones and make black and white prints.  Some will be offered for sale at "The Rock" in East Coulee.  Others will be used for various projects for Dinosaur Valley Studios.  There was a rib, a couple of vertebra, some claws and teeth, and various other fossils.  I look forward to seeing how some of these negatives turn out.