Thursday, March 31, 2011

Headless Portraits...

So this is one of those images that kind of came to me one day.  I have been sitting on it for quite a while, mainly because I have been thinking that this might be a fun project in the making but I couldn't quite figure out how I wanted to approach it.  I think what I'd like to do is photography various people (headless) and allow them to pick their wardrobe to either reflect themselves or even better allow them to act out a totally different personality.  Then set them in slightly off settings.  That at least is my first thoughts, so anyone want to volunteer to model just let me know.  If you have an idea for the shoot great, if not I am sure I can think of something so just let me know your interested.

"Watering can"
Hasselblad 500c, Ilford HP5

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More from the fair

Here is a shot from a county fair I went to last summer.  This is one of those shots that I overlooked the first time, but then kept coming back to.  I'm still not sure how much I like so I figured I go ahead and do some post on it and live with it for a while.  Feel free to let me know what you thunk.

"World Famous Iced Tea!"
Holga, Ilford HP5

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Working through the backlog

Like may photographers out there I always have a back log of images that I am working through.  I think I have images from around 20-30 rolls of film from last year that I still need to edit and post at some point.  So while I still need to post the last 3 images from Jake's heartworm series (Still need to scan them) here is another image from my December trip to San Fransisco to visit my sister.

Fijipet Thunderbird
San Fransisco, China Town
Kodak Porta 400

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 27

So just a few things to point out about PX70 PUSH films.  The image below the bed sheets are a pale greenish blue, maybe sea foam or some other silly color name.  The walls are a dark grey.  So as stated before while this latest color film fro Impossible are much better they are not for capturing true colors.  Not that I really care about that, but I do think there could be some improvements.  At the very least Impossible should address the need for narrow temperature ranges for development.  It would be nice to not have to protect the film from light while it develops as well, but if I had to pick I rather have the film able to be developed in a wider temperature range.

"I'm NOT tired!"
Polaroid SX-70, Impossible PX-70 PUSH 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 25

Once again I fell behind with my posts.  So here I'll just post them now.  Jake is now officially fine in my mind, but we are going to follow the doctors orders so Thursday will be his first day of exercise.  Hopefully it doesn't rain, though at this point I think neither of us really care.

"I don't want my picture take!"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX100 SS

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 24 - PX100 Silver Shade

Jake and I continue to count the days until next Thursday when we get out freedom back!!

So far during this photography project I have used the two types of PX600 films and had a first look at a pack of the color PX70 PUSH film.  Now I have shot a pack of the PX100 Silver Shade film.  The image below was created with this film.  It was shot with evening window light and the light/dark wheel was at max dark.  Not too shabby right?  Some lovely chocolate tones.  What you don't see is the hundreds of tiny white specs that I cloned out in Photoshop.  I found that every shot in the pack had these specs that basically looked like a tin dot where developer didn't work.  I spent a half an hour spotting out the specs so if you are going to make prints or show your images on-line it isn't terribly hard to clean up, even if it is a bit of a pain.  I'll post another image from this pack tomorrow showing you an image using morning window light.  I point this out because the cooler morning light created an image a bit more contrast with less of the yellowish tones and much more of a dark chocolate tone.  I also played around with the light dark wheel.  I found set at neutral you get a blown out image. While setting the wheel half way between neutral and max dark looked much the same as max dark.  So my first pack leads me to believe that the PX100 film is not as easy to control with the light/dark wheel like the PX600 films are.  As for developing I kept using the cold clip and the temperature I found to be best was the snowman sticker visible.  I tried using body heat and ended up with an very dark low contrast image that was terrible.  It will take a few more packs before I will be able to tell if these first thoughts bare out or if this film is like the first flush films and just unpredictable from pack to pack.

"I am SO BORED!!!!"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX100 Silver Shade (SS)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 23

Entering into the last week Jake continues to do great!  So onto some first thoughts on Impossible's PX70 PUSH film.

Starting with yesterdays shot you can see that the colors are much better than the blue cast that was typical of the PX70 First Flush films.  That said the film still has trouble with the red side of the spectrum.  The top right tile (still looking at yesterday's image) is actually a deep red and the bottom right tile is a bright orange yet they look almost the same color on film.  If you look at the bit of white baseboard in the image you will see a magenta hue to it also.  So the colors are nice but not accurate.  That isn't really a complaint, just the way it is.  Some of the old Polaroid films like the Artistic film didn't have accurate color rendition either.  This doesn't bother me that much.  The image was taken with out a filter and developed 2 minutes in the cold clip (see yesterday's post for details) at the sunny temperature range using body heat to keep the clip warm.  The light source was indoor tungsten lights.

Today's image was shot using a green filter mounted like shown here.  The light source was window light.  Again the light/dark wheel was pushed to max light.  Jake's collar and the carpet tile under duck and goose are both bright red and again you can see that they are not rendering correctly.  Body heat and the cold clip were once again used to keep the film warm for the first two minutes of development.

The nice thing about this film as apposed to the PX600 films is that I should easily be able to use it during the hot summer months here!  And it isn't terribly hard to develop it in the cooler months by using the cold clip and body heat.  I also tried a few other heat methods like using hot water and the microwave and the oven.  None produced desirable results.  And none are very portable so I really didn't experiment too much since the combination of the cold clip and body heat does pretty good.

Just to add a bit more data, I did note that many of the images from all of the PX films I have been using for this project have had the occasional developer leak from the film.  Just little bits here and there randomly.  Nothing like the First Flush films delamination problem, and not much different from my experience with old Polaroid stock.  Just keep an eye out and clean your rollers with a bit of water and a q-tip when it happens and you'll be fine.  Tomorrow I'll take a first look at the latest PX100 Silver Shade film, thus completing the a look at the complete offerings of Impossible.

"Don't you want to play with us?"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX70 PUSH

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 22 - In living color!

Nothing new to report on Jake.  I entered into this project expecting to have daily reports of all of the ups and downs of Jake's heartworm treatment.  As it turned out he felt pretty bad and was very low key the first 10 or so days and since then it's been a steady return to a happy healthy dog, one who wants to go out for walks and play and is upset at me because I won't take him.  I am happy that the treatment has gone so well and feel very lucky.

So since I have nothing to say about Jake let me talk a bit about the new Impossible films.  First the Impossible films have come a long way from their first releases.  The films have more contrast and are not as light and temperature sensitive as they were.  The PX600 V06 (batches 6/10 and later) are fairly predictable films with a lovely yellow brown tone (almost Sepia).  Under the right temperatures (below 70 deg F) and protected from light for the first few minutes of development the films are just stunning.  It is a bit of a pain that you have to protect the film from light as it is ejected from the camera, but taping a darkslide on the front and using a cold clip for developing make this pretty easy.  I have been shooting this past moth mainly indoors under temperature controlled conditions, and it is early Sprng so pretty much the perfect temperatures for this film.  The new cold clips from Impossible come with temperature sensitive stickers that tell you the temperature range.  There are 2 stickers and they become visible when the clip reaches certain temps.

Darkslide taped over ejection point

Impossible cold clip

The first sticker has a snowman image the becomes visible between 59-63 deg F
The second sticker has a heart image that becomes visible between 74-77 deg F
The third has a sun symbol that becomes visible between 86-90 deg F

For the PX600 and PX600 UV+ films I have actually found that having only the snowman visible is the best temperature range.  I should note that each sticker remains visible once it's lowest temp has been exceeded.  So if the it is hot enough for the sun symbol you will see all 3 symbols.  That means with only the snowman visible you could actually be as warm as about 73 deg F.  I have tried having the clip colder than 59 deg F and found that there was a blueish tint to the final image and it didn't develop as much as I expected.  For the PX 600 films I started seeing an orange tint when the heart symbol was visible (74 deg F or above).  The PX 600 UV+ was as close to B&W white as it could be when developed with the snowman visible and started moving quickly to orange tones above 74 deg F.

The big issue with the Impossible films has always been the very narrow temp range that is needed to obtain acceptable results.  Using a cold clip with the handy temperature sensitive stickers should make working with these films during the Fall, Spring and Winter months easier.  During the colder days one can easily heat up the clips with your body heat.  The problem will still be the Summer months (at least for me) we typically get temps above 85 deg F with high humidity so we shall see.  I guess I'd have to carry a cooler or have some way to cool the film as it develops.  This sounds like a pain to me and will likely restrict my shooting with this film to the indoors.

While I really love the tones in both the PX600 and PX600 UV+, I have to note that the UV+ films have more flaws than I would like.  They often have water mark like patterns as well as little pock marks where no developer seemed to get to.  And my least favorite tendency is to have a third of the image clearly darker than the rest.  There are 3 chemical packs on the film and the dark line looks like it always comes from one of the chem. packs like there was a slight variation in the chemicals and how they respond to the exposure.  You can see it in yesterdays post. That needs to be fixed before I will be able to say that I love this film.  The B&W tones are lovely though with the creamy whites and dark blacks.  It could use a bit more richness to the blacks, but I wouldn't change the creamy white personally I just love it.  I also love the yellow/brown tones of the PX600 films and hope that it stays as an option as Impossible improves their films.  It would be awesome to have a Sepia film, B&W and color film.

Since I have spent so much time talking about the PX600 films I am going to wait until tomorrow to talk about my first pack of the color film PX70 PUSH, but here is my first image from that pack. I shot this with the light/dark wheel at max light.  Developed it in the cold clip with the sunny symbol visible using body heat the keep it warm.

"Duck and Goose"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX70 PUSH

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 21

Jake spent the day with my pop while I went to work.  Apparently he is much more calm when I'm not around, sheesh!  Since I am catching up with my posts I am going keep this one short.

Jake pretty much acts like a normal dog now, one who really really really wants to go outside and play, but a normal dog none the less.  As far as the heartworms are concerned there is still a chance that some are still being dissolved which is why he needs to continue to have little to no exercise.  I'd much rather have him going nuts because he feels great and doesn't like being couped up inside all day than having difficulties with the treatment.  So I continue to count us lucky and count down the days until we can return to our normal routine.

Check the next post for my first look at the new PX70 PUSH film from the Impossible Project (their color film).

"Goose wants to go outside"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 20

I forgot to post this yesterday, so here is the day 20 image.  Jake continues to do well and is feeling better each day.  He is also continuing to whine about wanting to go outside and play.

He was reunited with Duck yesterday thanks to duck surgeon Spring and he is very happy about that!  He still loves Goose (pictured below) but it's just not the same.  All yesterday he carried duck around everywhere he went.

I think it's safe to say that Jake will make it through the rest period with no real set backs.  Other than the burden I put on myself to make sure there has been someone with him at all times just in case he needed to be rushed to the vet (mostly me, but also my Sister and Father when needed) this whole process has been pretty painless.  Most of the anxiety came from the unknown leading up to the final treatment and those first few weeks when he was clearly not feeling too well.  I can't really complain because I know that not everyone is lucky.  Knock on wood the 24th will come with no set backs and both Jake and I can start working on our fitness!

"Ghost Jake"
 SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 19

Today started with an early morning wake up call from Jake followed by a long nap and then the whining and crying to go for a walk started.  Such seems to be me life for the next 11 days....

While it's all worth it, blah blah blah.  My patience is wearing thin.  As far as how Jake is doing, all is well, no coughing or other symptoms for the past few days.  His energy levels have returned to pre-treatment levels.  He has started playing with all of his toys again and is constantly under foot.  In other words he's a dog :)  We will both be happier when we can go out and enjoy the lovely weather we are having and Jake can burn his energy off.  He has taken to trying to convince all my neighbors that he is being mistreated, running up to them and crying desperately to be pet, telling them how mean I am because I won't let him go for a walk.  That's gratitude for you, I rescued him, am working to treat all his aliments and not so much as a thank you.

Is it all obvious that spending so much time indoors caring for Jake is wearing on me as well?

"Can't tame the restless Spirits"
SX-70 Sonar w/timer, Impossible PX600 UV+

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 18

The crazies have officially taken over my sweet calm dog, please send help!  Jake is driving me nuts.  It's hard to be too mad because it is so good to see him feeling well.  But it is getting harder to get work done at home with him as he is constantly whinning to go outside and play, then there is the pacing from one window to the next.  Twelve more days and I can start taking him on walks again!  We have also started talking with the Vet to plan his cherry eye surgery and do his final round of de-worming. 

I have to give a shout out to the Lab-Rescue organization for making the process of adopting a sick dog so easy.  They have a policy of covering all expenses for aligments that are identified while the dogs are fostered with them. They agreed up front to cover Jake's heartworm and cherry eye treatments and have followed through coordinating with the Vet so I don't see a single bill.  It really makes taking home a pet that really needs you all the more easy.  If you live in the Northern VA area I highly recomend this group.  There is a bit of a process you have to go through to get approved to adopt, but it really is focused on pairing you with the right dog.  Other groups tend to be on high horses trying to allow only the "perfect" (based on their critera) people adopt, Lab-Rescue seems to get that pairing the right dog fit for the home environemt is the key.  I think this is a good approach.  I live in a small condo (450 ft^2), I work, and I'm single.  I also cared for a lab basically from birth until his death last year at 13 years old, and rescued a cat who lived with me for 7 years before his sudden and unexplained passing last year as well.  Lab-Rescue took all this into account and listened to my requirements and paired me with an excellent dog in Jake!

Here is a link if you are looking for a new pup: Lab-Rescue

"I get so excited I loose my head at dinner time!"
Polaroid SX-70 w/ timer, Impossible PX600 batch 7/10 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 17

So Jake has been driving me crazy the past 24 hours.  If I had any lingering doubts that he was feeling fine they are now out the window along with my sanity.  Jake has been pacing and whinning and asking to go outside pretty much since yesterday afternoon.  He is definately going stir crazy.  Of course it has been raining here all day and everything is soaked from the rain we got earlier in the week so even if he was allowed to go out for a walk it would only be a short one.

I think it is this time during the recovery that most people have trouble with.  Your dog seems healthy and is obviously feeling well but you still can't take him out for excersise.  Any good dog owner knows that excersise is the key to a happy and easy to live with dog.  So facing two more weeks of the insanity doesn't sound like that much fun, and it seems cruel.  If you are going through this treatment and you are having doubts I encourage you to read about the life cycle of the heartworms and exactly what happens during treatment as they die.  I promise you won't want to risk allowing your pup to over exert itself just so you can have a bit of peace and quiet.  At this stage the heartworms are still being dissolved by the body and there is more risk of clots than during week one.  Thirteen days to go....

SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 batches 6/10 and 7/10

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 16

I couldn't be happier with Jake's progress and just how easy he has made his recovery period.  I am just lucky that he turned out to be such a mellow and easy going dog.  I have no idea how anyone could have ever let go of this sweetheart.  He the most relaxed dog I have seen, nothing phases him and he has settled right in to life with me as if he had been here since birth.  While he is not nearly as quick to learn as my last lab, Tucker, Jake is picking up commands pretty quickly.  He is solid with sit, has now proven he can stay for 30 seconds to a minute consistently, and just last night did his first down without my aid!!!  Of course all of these commands were completed without distractions, but he is doing well after spending 4 years without learning a command.

While I have been lucky so far with Jake in that the heartworm treatment has been relatively without problems or setbacks, that is not always the case.  I did a lot of research on the web looking for information and discovered a pretty good blog by a small town Vet.  He did a post back in 2007 and he is still answering questions in the comment thread today.  I found just as much info in the comments and his responses as the article itself.  It really helped me understand the disease and the treatment options and gave me the ability to really discuss the details with my Vet.  Here is a link: Heartworm Blog

"Watching TV"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar w/timer, Impossible PX600 batch 6/10 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 15 - Half way there!

Jake has made it half way through the recovery period!  I don't think the 24th can come soon enough for either of us.  Jake is really starting to feel better, he is playing with his toys and in general being more demanding of me.  Constantly asking for me to give him treats, pet his belly, take him for a walk.  Of course I am a sucker and give in to most of his demands except the walks of course.  As you can see from the picture he is happy to have goose back.  I have word from the surgeon that Duck may be ready by the weekend!

Polaroid SX-70, Impossible PX600 batch 6/10

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 14 - Becareful what you wish for

I decided that Jake might actually be suffering from boredom rather than showing signs of lethargy.  So starting yesterday afternoon I returned one of his favorite toys (goose) and started his training again.  I also gave him more treats and let him walk around outside a bit more.  And now Jake is acting just like he was before the treatment.  He is following me around, reacting to all the sounds in the building and generally just acting like himself again.

Today I went back to work and my Parents came and stayed with him.  When I came home he was laying on the couch between the two of them soaking up all the love, so much so that he barely lifted his head to say hi.  Traitor!  I'm just glad he is feeling better.

"Ear Scratches!"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 batch 6/10

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 13

Jake is still doing well.  I wish he would be a little more active, but at the same time he is supposed to take it easy.  I have started his training sessions again so that he has something to keep his mind occupied.  He does great with sit, and is getting better at stay.  I am still having trouble getting him to figure out down.  He perks right up for all of his walks, training, and his peanut butter kong.  His breathing and heart rate all seem about right and he continues to have the occasional hacking cough, usually only after he drinks a lot of water and still no more than once or twice a day. I plan on contacting the Vet tomorrow to discuss his progress and start to plan for what comes next.

"I love couch!"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, PX600 batch 6/10

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 12

Jake continues to improve.  He spent much of last night pacing around after spending the day sleeping.  Today we are enjoying having the windows open for the first time in some time watching the Hokies throw away their chance at making it to the big dance....oh well that's what the Hokies do best.

Jake has been the best patient, but I can see how spending a month with no exercise is going to really affect his fitness.  I have a feeling it's going to take a few months of regulated exercise to get him back on form.  I just hope that by the end of the summer all of his health problems will be resolved and he can live a happy full life shedding all over my apartment.

"Time for bed..."
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 batch 6/10

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 11 - the routine continues...

Another day down and Jake is still doing great.  I am increasingly hopeful this whole ordeal will end up being one without any set backs.  Jake has really settled into the routine of taking it easy.  He wakes me up in the morning, he is pretty excited to go out and then have breakfast.  Then he immediately takes his spot on the couch and sleeps while I connect my work computer and proceed to start work.  That lasts until around 4:30 PM when it's time for another walk and dinner.  Then he he goes right back to sleep after getting some extra ear scratches from me.  It's like he understands that he needs to take it easy, that or he's just lazy :)

I am going a bit stir crazy spending so much time in my place.  Today after work I will do my spring cleaning, some laundry and fix a friends bike.  Fun fun!  The worst part is the weather is starting to shift more towards spring and Jake and I are stuck indoors, gross!  The sacrifices we make for our animals...

Shooting the instant images each day has at least kept me occupied, though it is getting a bit hard to think of new images to shoot each day, I mean how many different images of a sleeping dog can you take?  Though when I step back and think about what these images are supposed to convey I guess they are doing the job.  I just wanted a record of what life was like going through this.  So if the images have the feel of the same thing happening every day, well that is exactly what has been happening.  Jake's days are filled with sleeping, and mine are filled with keeping an eye on him watching for any signs that something is going wrong.  That's what we have done the first 11 days and that's what the next 19 will be like as well.  If all goes well no issues will come up and Jake will be given the green light to start light excercise again on March 24th.

"Another Day..."
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+ w/ND filter
Developed 4 min in hot/cold clip

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 10 - A third of the way there!

Nothing but good news, Jake is doing great.  He is basically back to normal.  I am feeling much better about everything.  Jake continues to be great about staying calm and taking it easy.  I think he is taking his cues from me.  He is starting to whine to go outside more so I am guessing over the next week it is going to get worse and I am going to have spend more time diverting his energy with games and activities to distract him.  That's what frozen peanut butter kongs are for, right?

Personally, staying indoors with him 24 hrs a day is starting to make me a little stir crazy.  I am actually looking forward to going to work on Monday (Jake will have my father watching him for the day).

I went through a pack of the PX600 batch 7/10 yesterday playing with developing temps.  I found that by keeping the film below 59 deg F for the first 4 minutes of development then allowing the film to continue to develop at room temperature consistently give the least amount of sepia/red tones.  The catch is that some of the deeper blacks take on a bit of a blotchy green hue.  I tried that method with the PX600 UV+ and discovered similar results, minus the green hues.  I have noticed that with the UV+ all of the images I have developed below 59 deg F there are these "water mark" looking rings and a bunch of little marks on the film.  I am not sure yet if this is a result of the cold or if this film just randomly has these imperfections.  I'll keep playing with this and see how consistent it is.

"Ear Rest"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+ w/ ND filter
Developed in hot/cold clip 4 minutes below 59 deg F

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 9 - Signs of Jake!

The last 24 hrs have been very encouraging! Jake has really started to perk up and return to his old self.  He is following me around more and has wanted to play on a few occasions.  He is also paying more attention to the sounds in the building and running to the mirror any time he hears the next door neighbors ankle biter bark (I still can't convince him that the dog he hears is NOT in the mirror).  I can tell he isn't at full strength, but given what his body is going through and the fact that he was on restrictive exercise the month leading up to this treatment I don't think I should expect him to be in mid-season form.  He has had a few minor coughs here and there, they sound like he is trying to hack something up.  As of yet these have been a most once or twice a day.  From what I have read the next week is when many dogs exhibit problems.  The worms are now pretty much all dead and now his body is slowly dissolving them.  As this happens he should start to feel better and better and hopefully start to put back on the weight he has lost.

The last two images I shot of the PX600 UV+ pack both had a darker strip on the right side of the image, like something went wrong with the spreading of the chemicals from that side of the film.  You can see it in the image below, though this image it is not nearly as visible as the first try.  This is only the second full pack I have shot of the UV+ film and this is the first time I have seen this issue.  I hope it's not the normal because loosing and average of 1 image per pack would not be cool.  With this series I am shooting I have been working indoors under basically ideal temperature conditions, so basically this is giving you an idea of how good the films are.  I don't know yet if these results are repeatable outside under various weather conditions.

"Cool Socks"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+
One half tick darker than neutral on the light/dark wheel
Dev 4 min in hot/cold clip

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 8

The past 24 hrs have had me a bit worried about Jake.  He has had a few hacking coughs, but nothing sustained.  He also seem to be content to sleep all day and night long.  Making me wonder if something was wrong.  He would perk up for food and his brief walks, but then quickly curl up and fall asleep.  He also wasn't following me around like usual.  On the one hand he is doing exactly what I'd want and taking it easy.  On the other hand I am not sure if this is a sign of something going wrong.

That was my train of thought until the middle of today when he has shown more normal behavior.  While he still isn't as active as he was before the treatment, I think that is to be expected.  I also tend to be over cautious and worry too much.  His breathing is fine as is his heart rate.  He is eating well and he is a pretty laid back pup in general and this is only day 8 and 5 days since he came home.  Can you tell I am anxious for him to be cured?

"Cuddle Time"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+
Medium Dark on the light/dark dial
4 min dev in hot/cold clip