Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Last Rolls

For years, my "real", workhorse camera has been my beloved Nikon N80.

I shot mostly B&W and I processed my own film and made my own prints in my own darkroom. There is something magical about seeing that ghostly image manifest itself for the first time in the developer tray. I've been in love with that process since the 7th grade.

Don't get me wrong, I've embraced digital photography too. I've had various digital cameras of varying mega pixels over the years. But I always treated them like convenient, portable, reconnaissance cameras. I'd scope a shot out with the digital, but the "serious" photography was always done with the Nikon.

Well, that's about to change.

My darkroom equipment has been in storage for several years and I can't imagine ever devoting that much space, time, effort or money to the chemical processing of analog photos again. Which is a little bit tragic.

But continuing to cling to chemical/analog technology when digital photography has become so good is like continuing to eat with a pair of sticks...

...after you've seen the fork.

It just doesn't make any sense.

So within the next 6 months or so, I plan on kissing my beloved N80 goodbye and upgrading to the Nikon D3100.

Sure, they look alike. Almost indistinguishable.

But whereas the N80 can capture and store about the same information as a clay tablet and a stick...,

...the D3100 is the equivalent of a Google server farm.

But I have some unfinished business with my N80 before I say goodbye.


Exposed but undeveloped roll of color Kodak MAX 400 ISO (24 exp)

I have no idea what is on this roll. Getting it developed and printed will be a complete crap shoot.


A partially exposed roll of color Kodak Max 400 ISO (24 exp) in camera

1 Roll of color Kodak Max 400 ISO (24 exp)
2 Rolls of color Kodak Portra 160NC, 135 ISO (36 exp each = 72 professional quality portrait exp)
5 Rolls of color Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 ISO all purpose film (24 exp x 5 = 120 exp)
1 Roll of B&W Ilford 100 ISO Professional film (24 exp)
2 Rolls of B&W Kodak Tmax 100 ISO Professional film (24 exp x 2 = 48 exp)
2 Rolls of B&W Kodak 125PX Professional Film (24 exp x 2 = 48 exp)
2 rolls of B&W Ilford Delta 400 ISO all purpose film (24 exp x 2 = 48 exp)
1 roll of B&W Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film (36 exp).

That comes to about 450 exposures left before the N80 goes to it's maker. I'd like to make the most of them. I want to use them all up and post them here before completely converting to digital.

I won't be processing these myself. I will probably send them through Crick (unless someone has a better idea).

I'm soliciting advice/suggestions from you experienced photogs. Pic a roll of film and suggest a location/event that would maximize the film's potential. I want to send my venerable N80 out in style.


Drunk-Monkey said...

I do miss the smell of developing chemicals.

In college I dicked around in the dark room so much I ended up with a photojournalism minor. If the school I went to offered an actual photojournalism degree I probably would have snagged that too.

Xavier Onassis said...

Drunk-Monkey - Alright. That's nice. But how about picking a reel of film and suggesting a creative target for it?

That is what this was about.

Focus, people!

Pick a target!

Should I choose early morning or late evening?

Should I use 100 ISO B&W, 400 ISO whatever or 3200 ISO SFX?

Professional portrait film on everyday objects?

"The D" said...

This post is bunch of whooie! How could you be in love with photography since the 7th grade? Fire wasn't even around then!

{pause for laughter}

How about talking pic of the sun rising over downtown from Kaw point? Then the same day the sun setting from some hill top on the MO side? Or maybe you could renT a helocopter and take arial pics of most major landmarks in KC? You can rent helos from the downtown airport.

Smed said...

Canon guy myself, but I must ponder now. May have to start shooting again.

Hyperblogal said...

Take the ilford roll down to the Cosby Hotel, 9th and Baltimore, do a photo essay on an endangered 139 year old building.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

Daughter has the D5000 and loves it. They shopped the internet, found the cheapest price and took the ad to Best Buy where the price was quite a bit more but they honored the internet price.

Well Hell Michelle said...

Cosby Hotel is a great idea. Also the Plaza. And how about getting some bloggers together that you like and shooting them?

Drunk-Monkey said...

Or you could line up the bloggers you don't like and shoot them...

how about solme old skool 400tx down in the west bottoms

Xavier Onassis said...

The D - WE HAD FIRE, FUCKER! And we didn't need fire for photography anyway (unless the light was low and you needed a flash). But setting the exposure using that new-fangled integrated abacus feature had a pretty steep learning curve, let me tell you! Sliding colored beads on rods and such. Shit was complicated!

Now that I have that out of my system, I'm adding Kaw Point to the list. Thanks! Helos are probably too expensive for me and there are camera stability issues with a hand held in a chopper.

Smed - Where the Hell you been, buddy?

Hyper - We've talked and Ima do this. Thanks for all of the encouragement and advice!

JOOLS - The D3100 is also a HD video camera and I don't think the D5000 includes that feature, but I could be wrong.

WellHell - The Plaza is so overdone! Everyone shoots the Plaza. I'm looking for more out of the way and obscure locations. HINT: One of my favorite things is shooting ordinary objects in a way that makes them abstract and unrecognizable. Also, I suck at shooting people (with a camera). I never developed (heh heh...see what I did there?) portrait skills. It takes more technical posing and lighting expertise than I have.

Drunk-Monkey - The West Bottoms is definitely a target rich environment and I would definitely go back there.

EolaĆ­ said...

A project I wanted to do before I left was to pick half a dozen streets or so and do photo essays of each street - just 1 roll each - I had themes in mind, like windows on Rainbow, doors on Main, storefronts on Wornall, houses on Troost etc.

A project I tried just before I left but the camera died mid-roll leaving me no time to re-start was photos of fire hydrants. Every so often I'd get really upset because one I was about to photo was painted all different than what I'd had my eye on for ages.

I could go on. I'll stop.

emawkc said...

I'd suggest a photo essay of Kansas City's lesser known fountains. I'm not sure which ones they are (they're lesser known, after all), but I would find it interesting and that's the important thing here.

I'm an old Nikon man myself (first SLR was an N2020). I've been shooting with the D5000 for about a year and it's pure joy! It shoots 720p video (some people consider that HD) but I personally think video on a DSLR is a bit of a novelty.

What you'll really like is the high dynamic range Nikon has on these things. Makes shooting in low light without extra lighting a lot of fun.

Good luck and good shooting!

cyclesurplus-usa said...

Kansas City has a plithora of photog opportunities that are sure to have been done already. It's a very photogenic city, but the challenge remains; how to set yourself apart, somehow, to make a memorable parting effort with a soon-to-be dead process, and at the very least in your own eyes? How about some dramatic and exotic B & W pic's of your favorite girls? Any red-blooded man that likes us would never get tired of that visual dish. It could be a worthy contribution to your male ego and peers. What better way to retain your man-card? Add to that the subject qualifier of chicks from KC and there you go! Dilemmic quandary solved!