Thursday, June 30, 2022

Neopan Acros 100 in Rodinal - Blackstone Pebbles

One more from the recently processed batch of Fuji Neopan Acros 100.  I really like the way that this film renders midtones, and that is evident in this image.  Sadly Fuji ceased production of this film... for a second time.  The first time was about a decade ago, and then they brought it back.  This time they stopped for a while, and then came out with Acros II.  But the new and improved [?] version is only available in 35mm and 120 roll film.  I still have a number of boxes of sheet film left, including one of 8" x 10".  Hopefully by the time I use these up, Fuji will have had a change of heart, and release the sheet film again...!
I shot this image in May of 2021 with my Ebony SV45TE view camera and a 300mm lens.  These are pebbles along the shoreline of the Blackstone River in Clearwater County.  Fossils are quite common here and if you look closely you can see some fossilized coral in some of the pebbles.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Neopan Acros 100 in Rodinal - Rivets

This is another from the recently processed batch of Fuji Neopan Acros 100.  I processed twenty 4" x 5" sheets of film last week and will be posting a number of the better ones in the coming days.
I shot this one in May of 2021 when I was out on a day trip with some of the guys from the Monochrome Guild.  These valves and rivets are on the underside of the Marion 360 Stripping Shovel at the Diplomat Mine Historic Site.  I recently posted a shot of the bucket of the same machine.
I shot this with my Ebony SV45TE view camera and a moderately long 250mm lens.  Development was in Rodinal 1:50 for 11:00 minutes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Neopan Acros 100 in Rodinal - Nautilus

I recently processed a batch of 20 sheets of Fuji Neopan Acros film.  Unfortunately this film has been discontinued in sheet format, and is now only available in rolls.  It was one of my favorite films and I will ration the remaining 4" x 5" sheets that I have left.  I processed the film in Rodinal Developer, diluted 1:50, for 11:00 minutes at 24C.  I find that this gives about a half stop of contrast increase over normal development.
I shot this image in August of 2020 when the girls and I took a trip down to Red Rock Coulee in southern Alberta.  I call this fractured concretion "The Nautilus" as it sort of resembles the sea creature of the same name.  I took the shot from a nearby rise with a 500mm telephoto lens.  I added a #25 Red Filter to increase contrast.  I shot this several times before and seem to be drawn to it every time that I hike in the natural area.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Leduc Number One

On June 21st Arturo and I headed over to the Leduc Number One Historic Site near Devon.  Margarit had stayed out at the cottage for an extra couple of days and I was home with the girls.  I had to run them to and from school and appointments, so there was limited time to get out shooting.  This location was perfect as it was really close to the city.  It allowed us enough time to explore some of the old machinery on the property, and I think I came away with about 15 sheets of exposed film.  Definitely worth a return trip to explore in more detail, and perhaps next time also visit the museum.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Bosc Pears

I found some cool Bosc Pears at the grocery store the other day.  Some were a little misshapen, and they all had nicely curved stems.  I had been checking every time I went to the store, and this time around I found what I was looking for.  I brought home a half dozen, and the next day I set about posing and photographing them.  I've had this project in mind for quite some time and was just waiting for the right opportunity.  
I set up a white paper backdrop outside on the patio and photographed them under natural daylight.  It was a little challenging as the skies were partly cloudy, and light conditions kept changing.  I shot three setups with both my 4x5 and 8x10 view camera.  I also took these snapshots with my phone.  I look forward to processing the film to see how the Black and White shots turned out.
I call the first one "Gossip", the second one "Orator" and the third one "Victim"...

Friday, June 24, 2022

21st Anniversary

On June 23rd 2001 Margarit and I were married.  Twenty-One years and Three Daughters later, we're still together.  The long-suffering Mrs. Pohl continues to tough it out...!
It was a pretty low-key day for us.  Hailey took advantage of a couple of days off work and went out to the cottage.  The two younger girls stayed home.  Anna is finished her school for this year.  Helena still has a couple of days left but wasn't feeling well today.
In the evening Margarit and I went out for dinner together..... I had prime rib and a lobster tail and Margarit had a steak and a salad.  It was a very pleasant evening, despite the wet rainy weather that rolled in this afternoon.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

More Game Camera Photos

The date is incorrectly set on my game camera.  I have to remember to reset it.  These images were all captured over the past two or three weeks.
Our local fox, or perhaps there is more than one, makes regular appearances.  We often see it wandering through the yard during the day, and it is regularly captured on the game camera.
The White Tail Doe that suffered a massive wound a year or two back seems to be nicely recovered.  You can still see a big scar on her flank, but it is healed up now.  I suspect she survived a cougar attack, but of course there is no way to be certain.  
I saw a White Tail fawn last time I was out at the cottage... but just one so far.  None have been captured by the game camera yet.  I suspect that in the next little while we will start to see them more regularly.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Leighton Art Center - Coal Opening

The "Coal in Alberta" show by Monochrome Guild members Fred Braakman, Nigel Goldup, Arturo Pianzola, Court Smith and myself opened at the Leighton Art Center near Calgary on June 18th.  
Hailey had to stay in Edmonton to go to work but Margarit, Annelise and Helena joined me out at the cottage in Nordegg on the evening of Friday June 17th.
We all hit the road on Saturday morning for the 3+ hour drive to Leighton.  It was a pleasant day, mostly sunny, with some nice clouds in the sky.  We arrived at the gallery at about 1:30 in the afternoon.  The gallery staff were great to deal with and very friendly and helpful.  They did a great job installing the show and the prints look fantastic.
The Leighton Art Center is the former home of Alfred Leighton, a relatively famous Canadian landscape painter, and his wife Barbara, also an artist.  It is a beautiful location high in foothills south of Calgary, overlooking a broad sweep of the Rocky Mountains.  The living room in the home has a large fireplace and big windows overlooking the mountains.  It is an exhibit space that includes furnishings and possessions of the Leightons, as well as some of their art.  The main gallery space is in a large room that I suspect was once the dining room.  It has several smaller windows, some skylights, and great track lighting.  Twenty Five of our Twenty Nine prints were displayed in here, and four overflowed into the adjacent hallway.
I'm glad that we decided to use the rather costly Museum Glass to display our prints.  This glass is water clear, has UV protection, but mostly it almost entirely eliminates reflections.  The lighting in the gallery is really good, but there are several windows and a couple of skylights in the gallery space.  From certain viewing angles the glass picks up reflections, but for the most part it is reflection free.
Arturo and his wife Sharon were also out for the opening.  Arturo and I were asked to make some remarks to the guests in attendance.  The gallery staff advised us that by mid-afternoon they had 63 guests at the opening.  I think a few more may have arrived after that.  A shower had rolled through about 2:30 in the afternoon but that cleared and the sun busted out and we were able to make our remarks to the group outdoors on a deck.  We were also interviewed by a reporter from the Okotoks Western Wheel newspaper.
By about 4:30 we all wound things down and hit the road.  The girls and I drove back to Nordegg and Arturo and Sharon headed for Edmonton.  It was a great day and we were really pleased with how well the opening went.  The exhibit will be on display for nine weeks, until August 21st.  Hopefully a lot more people get to see it.
The girls have been able to come to gallery openings with me in the past, but only when they have been close to home, in the Edmonton area.  This was the first time that they were able to travel with me to an out-of-town gallery.  It great to have them there for company, and support.  An early Father's Day gift...!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Out for a Spin

The rain finally came to an end.  On Thursday and Friday the mornings started out clear and sunny.  By early afternoon the clouds built up and we got some very light showers.  But it seems that the period of heavy rain is behind us.  It is very humid and in the mornings there has been some fog and low cloud.
I spent part of the day working in the guest cottage and got the aspen paneling installed to the bathroom ceiling.  There is one board left to go along one edge, and that will be the last of the ceiling finishing.  I need to dig out my tablesaw and rip that one down, so I left it for now.
Later in the afternoon I decided to take a drive up to Abraham Lake.  Following the pattern of late it had clouded up by this point in the day.  All the creeks and streams were full and running with significantly increased flow as compared to a week ago.  I stopped up by the lake and took a couple of shots with my view camera.  I was hoping to capture the cloud shrouded peaks, but I don't think it really worked out.
Later that evening Margarit, Helena and Annelise arrived at the cottage.  I made them a nice dinner of shrimp in cream sauce.  It was around 10:00PM when they arrived, so it was a very late dinner.  After dinner Margarit and I went for a short walk.  It was really warm in the cottage from cooking and from the woodstove and it felt good to get some fresh air before turning in for the night.

Monday, June 20, 2022


The rain tapered off on the afternoon of Wednesday June 15th and that evening the sun actually broke out a little.   Thursday morning dawned sunny and clear.  It was really nice to see blue skies for a change.  It is really humid after all the rain, and there's lots of standing water, so it was not a surprise to see that the blue skies became cloudy by mid afternoon and there were some late day showers.  It seems we will remain in this unsettled weather pattern for some time to come.
After morning coffee I set to work in the guest cottage.  With the rain-free conditions I dug out my table saw and ripped down some aspen paneling.  The last row of every surface generally has to be cut to fit.  So I trimmed down boards to use at the top of the exterior bathroom wall, on the ceiling in the second bedroom, along the base at the west end of the loft, on the upper west wall, and at the top of the kitchen wall.  Once this was all cut, I set about installing it all.  When that installation was complete I moved on to the stainless steel reflector panel that I had made for behind the wood stove.  I drilled holes in it and mounted it on standoffs behind the stove.  Once that was complete I put in a section of duct from the bathroom exhaust fan, to the vent on the small loft.  That all took me the better part of the day and when that was done, I decided to call it quits.
I only have about 20 aspen boards left, so I will have to bring some more out next time I come.  But I have most of the outside walls done now, and can now move to some of the interior rooms.  It has been a very productive week so far, and I can still keep working a little more before I run out of material.
Late in the day as I was finishing up, I looked out the kitchen window and there was our resident fox.  It was digging in the dirt right in front of the cottage by our septic tank.  I'm not sure exactly what it was doing... maybe trying to bury something... but when it heard me, it took off.
Later in the afternoon I took a spin into town.  Having been out at Nordegg for over a week now, I ran out of beer and had to pick some up.  Mostly I wanted to attend the open house at the Community Hall.  West Fraser, the forestry company that works in the area, was putting it on to offer information to residents about their planned activities for the next couple of years.  Of course a for profit company paints a picture of a good corporate citizen, but I took in the information with that in mind.