Playing in the Light and in the Shadows

Some days are difficult, while others are brilliant. Today was filled with a coffee cup spilled on a new shirt, a run that left me wheezing like an old man for no reason, and Mingus’ surprise discovery and exploration of the bathroom garbage can. It left me wanting to just pick up, walk out and travel, like Tennyson’s Ulysses, “until I die.” Ā Other people do it, so why shouldn’t I? The reality is that the dogs need me, I am in a loving relationship with V., my mom would freak, and there is a fear that there might be less out there than there is here. I will be fine after some tea and a good night’s sleep.

I scanned two negatives tonight. The first was one of V.’s Diana F+ camera shots using the 150mm soft focus lens. Again, I am a big fan of this second shot. The structure of the film meeting the plastic give a dreamlike haze that vignettes and moves with the outlines of the car’s hulking frame in decay. As an initial edit, I think I would like V.’s input on toning and development in the digital darkroom, but for a quick treatment I like the results.

The second image comes from the only image salvageable from my second roll in the Hasselblad in March. Somewhere along the way I forgot which film was in the magazine and tried to check, but then realized that was completely useless. This was also my first time using the Sekonic lightmeter, so I am surprised that the exposure turned out as well as it did. I had been planning to shoot this particular scene for about a month after I purchased the Hasselblad. On my way home every night I pass this memorial to a young person who died across the street from my building. Once or twice a vigil by candlelight was in progress, and it never failed to make me wince in empathy. The teddy bears dirty with car exhaust, plastic flowers fading like what Delta Dawn might have on, and little notes written by loved ones; it was a living piece of death. The memorial was torn down last week as the new condo opened up the construction site to new buyers. This image is my memento mori for the week; even if those memories fade as life trudges on.

The Hasselblad 150mm CFi lens I picked up from KEH Camera in Atlanta, Georgia is not in the best shape compared to the other lens I have received over the past year. Nonetheless, the $3000 saved over the cost of a new copy of the lens [or the few thousand saved over less than perfect used copies at Vistek] made this a solid purchase that should be a perfect travel lens when I need a telephoto. The glass is totally clean, and I can be satisfied if it carries some battlescars from another owner…don’t we all.

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