Reflections in a Scummy Pond

Reflections in a Scummy Pond

I took this photo in August or September of 2014 at Bredesen Park in Edina, Minnesota. This shallow pond was largely covered with algae. I liked the idea of taking the usual idea (i.e., reflections in water) and having the reflecting surface be–well, scummy.

I took the photo with my Canon TLb, using a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I suspect that the focal ratio was f/11 or f/16. I shot the image on Ilford Delta 100. I developed the film in Sprint developer and printed the image on Ilford MGIV resin-coated paper, glossy finish. The print has more detail in the lights and shadows, but the sky does not have any detail in it. But that’s accurate: the sky was a pale blue that day, with a fair amount of high haze from humidity.

Contaflex Me, Baby


For a time, I was being a good boy and purchasing camera gear less frequently. Recently, though, I’ve purchased a few vintage cameras–a Busch Pressman 4×5, this Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, and a Canon rangefinder.

I’ve already posted a bit about the Pressman. I was going to wait to post about the Contaflex after I’d developed a roll of film shot through it. But I’ve been busy teaching, and I haven’t yet finished shooting a roll through the Contaflex.

I feel pretty confident, though, that the Contaflex is performing well. The aperture and shutter appear to be working properly, and I can’t think of any obvious reason why it wouldn’t work.

This is a Contaflex II. At the right of the camera (in this image), you can see a little door or flap, which covers a selenium meter. The meter still works, although I haven’t tried to determine whether it’s accurate.

So far, the camera appears to work flawlessly. The controls have a very solid, precise feel. The camera is a fixed-lens single-lens reflex. The viewfinder is bright, and it has a very fine split-ring focusing mechanism. I love split-ring finders: they feel far more precise to me than ground-glass finder.

I’ll try to finish up the roll soon and post some photos taken with the camera–assuming, of course, that all works well.

In the meantime, you may be wondering about the title. For some reason, the name “Contaflex” made me think of “Kokomo”–three-syllable words with the same stress pattern. Both are dactyls (i.e., three syllables, with the first syllable stressed).

For some reason, this similarity (along with the alliteration) brought to mind this great song by Mississippi Fred McDowell:

And, for what it’s worth, I took this photograph with my Samsung NX300, using a Canon FD 50mm lens at f/1.4. I focused on the lettering around the lens itself.

At Bredesen Park, May 2014

At Bredesen Park

I shot this photograph last May at Bredesen Park in Edina, Minnesota. I used my Canon TLb with a 50mm FD f/1.4 lens. I suspect that the focal ratio was f/11 or thereabouts.

The lens is very good. Under the grain scope, I was able to see a great deal of detail in the branches of the trees.

I used Ilford Delta 100 film and developed it in Sprint developer. I printed the image on Ilford MGIV resin-coated paper, developed in Sprint paper developer.

Our Lives Are Inscribed on Our Hearts (What the Worm Wrote)

What the Worm Wrote

I shot this photograph on Ilford Delta 100, using my Canon TLb SLR and a 50mm lens. I can’t remember the focal ratio, but I suspect that it was f/5.6 or thereabouts.

I developed the film in Sprint developer and printed the image on Ilford MGIV resin-coated paper.

“In the Twilight Glow I See”


For some reason, this photo reminded me of the classic “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

Willie Nelson’s version is probably the best known, but others have also performed it well. I’m always partial to Hank Williams’s performances. Here he turns in a lovely live version:

Eva Cassidy had one of the loveliest voices of all time, and she always conveyed the emotional truth of the songs she performed:

Plastic-Lensed Flowers

Plastic-Lensed Flowers

I took this photograph with my Lomo-brand La Sardina camera. The La Sardina is a 35mm film camera with a 22-mm plastic lens. The focal ratio is f/8; the shutter speed is 1/125th of a second.

The plastic lens results in a very, very soft appearance to the photos. I like it!