Exploratorius

Old School Film Hack

Tag Archives: History

Fall Afternoon Drama

6

Gathering clouds over the Madison Range
Southwestern Montana (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

I love wandering around and grabbing shots as they develop in front of my eyes; this was such an occasion, as Cindy and I were driving around and sightseeing.

Ancient Springs

12

A ridge of tufa towers
Mono Lake, California (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

Mono Lake.  I’ve wanted to visit and take photos there for years and years.  You can read all the Wikipedia details about it here, but to really appreciate just how interesting (cool, bizarre, weird, wild, otherworldly, etc.) it can be, one has to experience it in person.

Among the treats to see are these tufa, the limestone remnants of ancient underwater springs.  Record snowfall in the mountains above Mono Lake (read about that here) may be bringing some desperately needed water into the lake basin, to raise the shoreline up to where the stresses on the migratory birds are lessened.  And I only recently learned that the current lake level is several hundred feet below what it was during the last ice age, as determined by other tufa towers that were formed when Mono Lake was five times bigger (and much higher) than it is now.

This is one of the many places I want to revisit and explore in far more depth and detail in the future.

1929 Ford Model A Special Coupe

12

Ford Model A Special Coupe
Central Maryland (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

There was a classic car gathering at my workplace last fall featuring antique cars, newer vehicles, and motorcycles.  Admittedly I’m highly biased and felt that this one was the best in show, though I wasn’t able to get a clean shot of it at the time of the original viewing due to the many admirers.  Later I spotted it parked in a protected area and saw my opportunity to take some photos without a crowd pressing around it — and voilà!  Here it is.

Hollywood Showers

17

Water tower house
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (September 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

Inquiring minds want to know — who was the evil genius behind this design?

Cindy and I stumbled across this oddity when we visited the King’s Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, last fall.  Yes, it’s a real water tower that is still in operation today (I didn’t see when it was constructed).  Yes, there is a dwelling built in the supporting structure directly under 10,000 gallons of water.  And yes, the cistern at the top is leaking like a sieve. Continue Reading →

Friends of the Methuselah Tree

10

An ancient bristlecone pine
Methuselah Grove, California (October 2016)
Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8
Kodak Portra 400 + Commercial C-41 processing

How often do you come across another living thing that is older than the recorded history of your own family tree?  Older than the discovery of the Americas.  Older than the ruins at Mesa Verde.  Older than the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  Older than the Great Pyramids of Giza.  Dating all the way back to the mid-to-late Bronze Age — or Babylonia — some 4,000 years ago.

How many cycles of drought, floods, fires, and blizzards have they seen?  How many civilizations have risen and fallen around them while they’ve been alive?  If they could share anything from their experiences, what would it be? Continue Reading →

Savior of the Union

11

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of the Capitol
Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

After decades of neglect, the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial has finally been restored to its full glory, following more than ten years of fundraising efforts.  Birds and weathering had really done a number on it, and vandals had defaced it and made away with parts over the years, but all that has been undone.  With a long period of planning followed by two-years of careful work — the memorial was cleaned up, repaired, new parts were crafted, and everything was finally finished a few months ago.

Readers not familiar with Grant are to be forgiven if they are a bit hazy on the knowledge that he was the final Union Army general (out of four) responsible for ending the US Civil War (1861-1865) and preventing the Confederate States from splitting the Union apart.  He and his men were also given credit for keeping the Confederate forces from nearly sacking DC in 1864 (during the Battle of the Monocacy), which nearly happened a couple of other times during the conflict. Continue Reading →

The Washington Monument to the Nth

26

The Washington Monument
Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Whenever I’m in DC for business or pleasure, I always like to visit the National Mall and see if I can get some shots in.  Among my favorites is the Washington Monument, where I try to take at least one image, often high contrast, usually backlit, and frequently with one flag or more with it.  The image above is an interesting shot because it looks like I used a strobe to provide some fill on the flag, but it’s actually backlighting from the sun providing that. Continue Reading →

Two Founders

18

The Washington and Jefferson Memorials
The Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Washington, DC, is filled with many dozens — if not hundreds — of monuments and architectural wonders that you could spend years fully exploring… or so it is with me.  I observe a new detail every time that I go down there for a business meeting or personal visit, and this instance was no different. Continue Reading →

Cue the Music… Here Come the Cherry Blossoms!

54

Blooms on the indicator tree
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

I’ve heard since at least last week that the cherry blossoms in DC are on a tear and are already popping.  Uh… sorta yes and a lotta no. Continue Reading →

Inside/Outside

26
Ghost town interiorBodie, California (October 2016)Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8Kodak Ektar 100 + Commercial C-41 processing

Ghost town interior
Bodie, California (October 2016)
Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8
Kodak Ektar 100 + Commercial C-41 processing

I’ve been interested in seeing Bodie, California, for decades… having heard about it for the first time when I was still in high school some forty years ago.  Did it meet my expectations?  Oh yes — very much so! Continue Reading →