Illusion of Fire

I tried to catch the window on the gallery where I stood one night in Salt Lake City.  The automatic exposure of the XA4 was a long one . . . when I first glimpsed this, I wondered what fire I had photographed.

On the Edge

The last time we were visited Yellowstone National Park – which is the size of a small country – the boardwalk surrounding the Grand Prismatic Spring was closed for repair and refurbishing.  Yesterday, we made it . . . it was packed with people from everywhere in the world  . . . but it was worth the crowds.  Fumaroles are amazing in that they are boiling hot, occasionally spout a geyser, and have plant and animal life which can live in such extreme conditions (ones which humans consider extreme, though they probably don’t worry about it too much!).  Besides the odd flora and fauna, the colors in these pools varies, from yellows and ochres, to deep reds, and finally to the blues and turquoises from the Caribbean or Mediterranean.  If you ever get a chance to visit Yellowstone, do so – it’s an amazing place.

Home to the Ancestors

I love Mesa Verde … it is one of the wonders of the world. Here, a view of Spruce Tree House, closed, unfortunately, because of a slide into the area. Heavy rains caused it,and I hope it will be repaired soon. No damage was caused to the structure, which dates ca. 1200 a.d., but to the area where tourists – like yours truly – stand. We were there on an early morning, enjoying the quiet of the canyon into which it is built.

In Flight

I think this is a crow or raven, soaring out over the Grand Canyon.  With the 1 Nikon 70-300mm lens, this was a lucky shot – I saw the bird, but was busy with a film camera – and snatched the V3 and aimed.

A Portrait in UltraMax 400

This is the other half, taken with UltraMax 400 and the Nikon F3HP and scanned on the Pakon 135. A bit of retouch in LR, but overall, there is little difference. The skin tones were important, because he has a rather ruddy complexion (not as bad as mine), and sometimes toning it down removes a lot of other qualities in an image. Above is the “retouched” and below is the untouched.

UltraMax 400 in the Weeds

Initially, I was not especially thrilled with this film, and I hate to say it is most likely because of the packaging is yellow and blue, not colors I like together too much. Agfa Vista 200 has a decidedly more appealing more cheery packaging for me – love the red!

However, now that I have been using it a lot, I am actually rather pleased with it. I can push it in post, I can leave it be, I can mess up the exposures. It’s not too expensive. Neither the UltraMax nor the Vista have the colors of Ektar 100, but when you are using a new-to-you camera, a good length of inexpensive, reliable film for test purposes is necessary.

I admit, I love bright, impressionistic colors and strong contrast. Subtlety is not a strong suit in my preference range, but here, the delicacy of tonality and shading and contrast works to catch that magical time of day when the color fades away . . .