GLB Dancer

I haven’t had a chance to do any more developing or scanning since my last post, so here’s another shot from the Toronto Beer Festival. This was the scene at the entrance to the Great Lakes Brewery’s “brand experience area”.

This weekend I have a lot of catching up to do – 4 rolls from the Peterborough Folk Festival and 3 from the Keene Amateur BBQ Competition are waiting to be developed, and I was hoping to get out and do some shooting as well. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll have time to do both and I think catching up on the development and scanning side will have to take priority.

Scheming to go down to Toronto in September or October to do some enlarging in TIW’s darkroom, and do a shoot up on Milvan Drive if there’s time for both.

Kentmere 400 developed in ID-11. Maxxum 7000i, Maxxum 35-105mm f/3.5

An owl?

Last night, I developed and scanned the negatives from my trip to the Toronto Beer Festival at the end of July. Lots of the breweries there – especially the larger ones – had “brand experience areas”, which for the most part, like the Molson and Labatt ones, were the sort of disappointing nonsense you’d expect from a huge brewery.

On the other hand, some of the smaller breweries that shelled out for “experience areas” did more interesting things. Lake of Bays, for example, had a whole series of wildlife presentations, and I chanced upon this woman showing off a none-too-pleased looking owl while I was – what else? – getting a beer.

I think I might attempt to do a photo-a-day format for this blog, at least for the time being. Since I’m working on 35mm and it’s not every day that I have the chance to do any developing or scanning, it won’t be quite the “real time” sort of thing that lots of blogs seem to go for, but I think it could be a worthwhile exercise all the same.

I’m slowly but surely getting more adept at film development, which is gratifying. I did managed to scratch up one of the other rolls I developed along with this one, which is a bummer, and I’ve yet to see what’s salvageable from it. Live and learn, right?

I’m also itching to get into a darkroom and do some proper prints of these photos. Getting my exposures into the digital world is great, of course, and I’m learning plenty from seeing the photos this way, but it defeats a bit of the purpose of this film photography expedition. Maybe a trip down to Toronto to rent a darkroom at Toronto Image Works for a day is in order.

Kentmere 400 developed in ID-11. Maxxum 7000i, Maxxum 35-105mm f/3.5

Now that I’ve got my workflow for developing and scanning 35mm film up and running, I’m working through the many, many photos I’ve taken over the last month or so.

On August 11th, we had the Hootenany on Hunter Street, and then later that evening No Pussyfooting played a show at the Pig’s Ear Tavern with our good friends the Venisons. I took the opportunity to play around with some push-processing and low-light photography, with mixed results.

The Express and Co.The Express and Co. at the Hootenany

Crowd on Hunter St.The crowd at the Hootenany

Amplifier (homemade)Some sort of hand-built amplifier

Andy (El Racoono)El Racoono, from the Venisons

The VenisonsThe Venisons at the Pig’s Ear

Electric GuitarThe Venisons

Kentmere 400 pushed to EI 3200, developed in ID-11. Maxxum 7000i, Maxxum 35-105mm f/3.5

All in all, I’m reasonably happy with how these turned out, but I’m looking forward to doing better next time I try this. The daytime photos turned out really well, but the negatives from the indoor shots are so thin they’ll probably unprintable on an enlarger. (But I intend to try if I get my hands on one.) I was able to bring up the contrast in Photoshop, but it’s really not there on the film.

3200 seems like a heavy push for the Kentmere / ID-11 combination, and the exposures themselves could be much better: the backlight from the lamps on stage was fooling my poor Minolta’s meter, and f/3.5 probably wasn’t quite wide enough for how dim the lights were, so even for EI 3200 some of the shots are likely underexposed a stop or two. Lessons learned, I suppose. I have a much better idea of how to expose a backlit scene like these, now, and I’ll be sure to have my 50mm prime handy for when I need that extra stop.

Yesterday was the main day for the Peterborough Folk Festival, and I took a good number of photos there. There were a handful of other photographers there, and I got a few pointers on concert photography while we were at it. Was playing around a bit more with Arista Premium as well, and I’m curious to see how that turned out.


After waiting patiently as I could, finally all my orders have come in and I’m able to get some sort of 35mm photography workflow set up in my apartment. I’ve got a 2-reel spiral tank, some ID-11, a few different types of film and an Epson V500 scanner.

Of course the first thing I did when the film came in was fire off a test roll and develop it as quickly as I could. The film got a little mangled in my ham-fisted attempt to load the reel, which did a number of a bunch of the exposures, and I didn’t really put any thought into what I was taking.

Also my first time shooting on Arista Premium 400. I really like the look of it, and am looking forward to giving it a whirl when I’m shooting a bit more seriously.

Arista Premium 400, developed in ID-11. Maxxum 7000i, Maxxum 50mm f/1.7

I’ve been learning autoharp for the past 6 weeks or so. For Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday on July 14th, I recorded this quick and dirty cover of his “I’ve Got to Know”. Poor recording, and amateurish playing, but an accurate document of where my autoharp playing was a month ago.

I’m not sure that I’ve advanced very much since I recorded. If I find the time, I’ll knock out a handful more tracks like this and toss them up here.

Was attempting some writing on the ‘harp tonight, but kept coming back to Hazel Dickens songs. OK.

Some photos from earlier this summer. Taken on my trusty Minolta with Shoppers EasyPix film.

Work Yard

Hey friends,

Looks like I made myself a blog. Who knows? Not sure exactly what I’ve got planned for this space, but I suspect in future I’ll be posting music, photos, and ramblings. But maybe not.

– Rob