Essays / s /

Krampuslauf show at Random Tea Room

I'll be showing a selection of photos from Krampuslauf 2011-2014 at the Random Tea Room. The show opens on 2/12/15 with a reception from 6-8, and runs through 3/8. • More info


The hidden costs of digital

The Afterlife Is Expensive for Digital Movies in the NY TImes, citing an AMPAS report, says the cost of storing a film master print is $1,059/year while storing a digital master costs $12,514/year. Add in all the ancillaries - raw footage, scripts, stills, audio - and the price increases $486/year for film but adds $208,000/year for digital.

Digital data needs to be continually migrated to new media, and converted to new formats to prevent obsolescence.

The risk in the film industry is the loss of work primarily from small and independent producers who cannot afford storage and migration.

Swirly tree

In 1978 my dad got a Konica TC for a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii. I frequently borrowed it, and it got me hooked on 35mm.

In high school I worked first at a deli and then at a video store to save up money for my own camera. In 1981 I went to 47th St. Photo in New York and paid cash for a new Olympus OM-1n and a 100mm lens.

My next purchase was a wide angle lens. The Vivitar 24mm f/2.0 was a piece of crap but it was all I could afford at the time, about 1/3 of the price of the remarkable Olympus 24 f/2.0.

This photo from 1983 was shot with the Vivitar, probably at f/2.0. I can tell because it is a visual encyclopedia of lens aberrations. I like it anyway. The lens, passably sharp at f/5.6 and beyond, served me through my collegiate PJ career. If I remember correctly, the front bezel and lens element came unscrewed and fell off.

I find the strangest stuff, part 2

Walking the dog the other day I saw some Jobo developing tanks sticking out of a box of trash. The tanks and reels were old and dirty so I passed them by. Digging a little deeper I found a bulk loader in good shape. It still had film in it.

I took it home and developed a foot of the film in Diafine. The edge markings were barely readable but it was Tri-X. Probably from the 90s, since the edge markings were not the 80s-era 'Safety Film 5063' or the modern '400TX'.

I got some used 35mm cassettes from Indy Photo Lab, and spooled up some short rolls for speed tests. Got some nice results at ISO 50 in Diafine.

I find the strangest stuff

Found a sleeved strip of Ektrachrome slides of a model blowing down 6th St.

A little further down, a few more strips.

Follow the trail to two bags full of prints, tear sheets, negatives, enlarged negatives, and slides. Beautiful, top-tier work.

Unfortunately everything had gotten wet so the paper was unsalvageable, but I was able to grab some of the transparent stuff. I've begun washing and drying it.

Yes, that is Elvis top center.