Thursday, January 31, 2013

Success on a Smoky Idaho Morning

I bought my first Polaroid camera and a 5-pack of 600 film from Costco in the early 2000s. In 2008, I snagged an SLR 680 off ebay, stocked up on Polaroid like it was going out of style (turns out soon after, it was!) and I've still got eight of nine packs stashed in the fridge. I started shooting film from the The Impossible Project in 2010, starting with the very first test film they ever released to a few handfuls of photographers around the world. Their film has dramatically improved over the short time they've been creating it, and it's been both a nightmare and a joy to shoot. It's expensive, which means when you're trying to learn it, there's not much room for error. That was the nightmare, but once you get the hang of the film, you're good to go.

All that said, this past August, on a trip to Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho, I finally reached a milestone with TIP film. I've usually been very cautious about when I shoot it because I didn't want to waste my money or be disappointed with the results. The conditions always had to be perfect. But after several days of TIP success in the mountains of Idaho, on the last morning of our trip, I grabbed the last pack of PX680 I had brought with me, popped it into my SLR 680 and shot it with no reservations. I didn't cover the film as it ejected. I made no adjustments to my camera. I just shot. And I loved it. These five images are some of my favorites from the trip (disclaimer: I probably have said that about every image from the trip). I love this smoky morning on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, the colors of this beautiful film, the memories of the trip in a place I adore, and the excited feeling of finally being able to use TIP film like I've used 600 in the past. 

To see all of my Redfish Lake photos, click here.
To see all of my Impossible Project images over the years, click here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Places Like This

It's Sunday afternoon, snowy and cold. We had spicy sausage, kale, and potato soup for lunch. My hellish homework for the week is done. I've got Jeffrey Foucault playing. And I have a moment to post this beautiful Polaroid I made at Little Redfish Lake back in August.

It's been five months since our trip, but it's still fresh in my mind. I think about it often: that late summer sunshine, the cool, clear lake, those rugged peaks, the wildfire smoke. Idaho. I plan to live there someday, so I can be nearer places like this.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm a Forgetful Photographer

So Vanessa and I have been collaborating over on Doubles for a couple years now. We each shoot a roll of 35mm film in our own camera, then swap, and I shoot her roll and she shoots mine. Simple enough, right? Well, sort of.

There are a few tricky elements we've had to figure out over time, but nothing a few rolls of experience didn't teach us. The most important thing, however, is the one I always seem to forget: adjusting to the appropriate ISO. If we are shooting an ISO 400 roll, we have to shoot at 800. If we're shooting an ISO 50 roll, we have to shoot at 100. This is where I went wrong in the past. (I have since made a note and stuck it to my camera when I've got a Doubles roll inside.) I would adjust my camera to 200 for an ISO 400 roll, and so on. I was allowing twice as much light to hit the film than was necessary, and when you're shooting double exposures, you've got to be extra careful because the film is being exposed twice.

These images are among 27 that didn't work, thanks to my forgetfulness. They are from three or four different rolls, so it's not like I'm a fast learner. But I like these images, and thought I'd share, even though they didn't turn out as I intended.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Best of 2012

I'm a little late with a 2012 recap, but who cares? It was a wonderful year, full of memorable times with family, new and old friends, kiddos, cameras, kayaks, Texans, bees, homebrews, and the great outdoors. I'll let these 48 Instagram images speak for themselves. They're among my favorites all year. I hope your 2012 was just as happy as mine, but I also wish an even better 2013 for us all. Happy New Year, friends!

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Up until a week ago, I forgot about making a list of things to do for my upcoming year. (35! How am I already 35?!) Usually, I take a couple of months to really think about what I'd like to try to do but this year, thanks to school and work, my life has turned into a mad rush. Some of the things are carried over from last year, partly because a couple of them just didn't happen, but also because some are worthy of repeating. Some will be monumental, some will be quiet achievements. Either way, I'm looking forward to a successful and happy 35th year. In no particular order...

1. Lose 30+ pounds
2. Try 10 new foods
3. Graduate with a masters degree
4. Get a job in my field
5. Host a backyard BBQ
6. Ride the Matterhorn
7. Get to a national park
8. Stay in a yurt
9. Kayak
10. Try 25 new recipes
11. Make a wheat beer
12. Watch a meteor shower
13. Take a drive on Mirror Lake Highway
14. Camp in the Uintas
15. Shoot some doubles
16. Go to an outdoor music venue
17. Celebrate 4th Nut Brown Day
18. Catch two shows in one week
19. See a band I've never seen live
20. Spend some time at the cabin
21. Take my niece swimming
22. Take my nephew on a train
23. Take more pictures of my family
24. Road trip to Idaho
25. Master guacamole
26. Make a new treat at Christmas
27. Update the blog twice a month
28. Go to a museum
29. Sell some framed pieces
30. Submit work to High Desert Journal
31. Hang out with Vanessa
32. Stand on sandstone
33. Drink coffee
34. Make a recipe I've been avoiding (soft pretzels? bagels? grilled artichokes?)
35. Get a new Christmas tree skirt