Roll 001: Kodak 5062

  • 📷 :Pentax Spotamatic with unknown lens
  • 🎞 : Kodak 5062
  • 🗓: Spring/Summer 1999
  • 🗺: Garden Grove, California

This is one of the biggest things I love about photography. In a instant you can be transported back to the very moment the image was taken.

I look at this first roll of film I shot through a legitimate SLR camera. Over exposed and probably not the most thrilling, I can see my self walking next door and photographing my neighbors grand kids.

My mom helping one of the neighbor’s grand kids fill a water gun.

Over 20 years over passed since I took these photographs. All three of these kids have grown up and graduated high school, their grandparents have both passed, and the boys in these photos lost their mother in a strange murder after buying an RV from me.

It’s strange the things that happen between taking a photo on a piece of film, the time that spans exposure and development.

Thank you for looking at every frame of my first roll of 35mm film.

✌🏼

Ben

Introducing “Full Roll Friday”

We all know that the image a photographer displays is just one of thousands, or if you’re shootings film, one of 36 exposures.

Those other images, especially from a digital perspective, never see the light of day unless months, or years later, the artist returns to discover their unshared beauty.

I can confidently say I am one of those photographers with thousands of unshared frames, beautiful or not, they sit hidden in my three binders. Just waiting to be brought to life.

While taking on the recent task of scanning all of my film work I had, I’m sure, an unoriginal idea of sharing each roll on this blog came to my mind. All of the roll. The whole unhidden truth of my work. No cutting out photos, no over editing outside of dust and scratch removal. Just the photograph, as it is in the negative.

How this will work is I will try to post every Friday a Full Roll of film that I scanned. I’ll start at the beginning of what I have. Roll #1.

I’ll share with you what I remember from those photos, who the people were/are and what I was I was going for, if anything at all. It’ll be a fun time looking back at the world through a young photographs eyes.

So I hope you come back next week and check out the first post.

✌🏼

Getting Closer

It’s been a busy week at work, shops are opening up and events are back under way. I feel like I haven’t had a ton of time to work on the darkroom, but today I made sure to use a chunk of my Saturday for a little work.

Pulling out things from under the tarps, deciding what I want to keep, what I want to sell or donate, what is just total trash. I put up a piece of art and labeled trays that I’ll wash tomorrow morning.

Paper trays

A wood burn and paint art I made of the Nikonos V camera.

The pile that was next to the house is getting smaller. The wooden table will be given away and other two things moved somewhere else around the house.

I of course can’t help but throw stickers on everything. I love stickers, have since I was a kid, and wanting to keep my van stealth I needed a place to put all of the stickers I collect and these counters and shelves are perfect.

A surf shop I’ve never been to.

Before finishing up for the day my dad helped me check out the plumbing, wanted to make sure everything worked well. I ran over to the hose, turned the levers to change the flow of water and …

STOP…

The water came out a gap in the hose that lead up to the faucet. A few towels later it was all cleaned up.

The hose will need to be changed out for a bigger one and the problem should be solved. “Should be”.

That’s it for now. Step by step.

Darkroom Plumbing

We have pipes.

While I was at work my parents were kind enough to finish up the hose and piping for the plumbing for me. The pvc pipes need to be glued together now that everything is all cool but everything should be ready to go.

Here is the pipe leading out of the shed to a 5 gallon bucket on the side of the building. The bucket I can take into the garage to empty anything out. The pipes need to be glued together still and seal up the hole so light doesn’t come in, but it looks pretty legit.

The wall hanging cabinets work out pretty well as floor sitting cabinets and got most of my non-printing/developing chemicals organized nicely.

The light and timer are pretty much set up. I’ll see how I like the timer up there. I was wanted to keep the counters clear, but I’m open to moving stuff around.

Tomorrow I work on closing up the hole around the piping on the inside of the shed and just decorate with the bit of stuff I have.

I do have to do a light test of course before I do any printing. That’ll be soon.

Thank you for checking this out.

✌🏼

Instant Emulsion at San Onofre

It was a last minute decision to take a sunset surf trip to San Onofre State Beach on June 19th, 2020.

It was a fast drive down, a short wait in line and I was in with an hour till the light went down. I got changed real quick, did a dab, and hit the water.

I wore my 4:3 full suit. The waters down south are much deeper than my local break at Blackies, and often when I’d chosen to wear a thinner suit I’d always regret it the moment my feet hit the water. I’ve cold. Today, I should have worn the trunks. The water was warm and the wind minimal.

After the paddle out, I grabbed a spot in the line up. The waves were bigger than they looked from the back of the van, they always do, there were also a fair amount of good surfers out, I was not one of them. I enjoyed the show though.

After about an hour in the surf, a couple of sad attempts at a ride, I caught some baby white water type wave into the rocky shore. I was done.

The sun was giving that magical light right as I’d finished changing. Always with a camera at hand, I placed a fresh cartridge of color SX70 film in my Polaroid and walked off.

Here is what I found.

Out of the Earth
📷: Polaroid SX70
🎞: Polaroid SX70 Color Film
Cut Back in Blue
📷: Polaroid SX70
🎞: Polaroid SX70 Color Film
Mother Earth in Her Son’s Light 
📷: Polaroid SX70
🎞: Polaroid SX70 Color Film

Thanks for reading!!

All three of these polaroids are available for purchase at my Etsy Shop.

My Home Darkroom

Darkroom Coming Soon

This little house has been in the back yard for almost 34 years. My grandfather would come over for I don’t remember how many days, we would all work on the little house, mi casita, adding electrical and windows.

In that 34 years this little building has been many things to myself and my family. A storage shed, a hang out room, a sewing building for myself or my mom, I have even shaped two surfboards in this shed.

Now, it has taken a turn into something it’s never been before, but I’d always hoped it could be. A black and white darkroom.

Since I picked up the Beseler 23C Enlarger from my friend’s place I started transforming this little shed.

First, I had to take all the stuff out. I pulled it out and piled it on a concrete area in the yard. This’ll all need sorting through. Second, the white walls needed to be painted a dark matte color. I found a rad color called Grey Flannel that would be perfect. Brandon, the guy that kindly gave me the darkroom gear, mentioned not painting the wall completely black, it’ll just absorb all the red light.

Paint choice

After all that we had to find a way to get the doctor’s office counter into the room without having to take them completely apart. My dad and I dollied the counters into the back, took the tops off and wrestled them through the child size door.

Smaller than usual door.

The counters were a Craigslist find that my dad saw. At first I was just getting the counter and two upper cabinets for $80, then out of nowhere the guy throws in the sink for another $20. $100 in beer money and I was set.

He threw in the kitchen sink.

A craft sewing table I’d had stored away from my home sewing work days worked out perfectly for for the enlarger. I’m stoked.

Just the right size

There’s still work to be done, the jugs and some pipping for the sink and organizing the shelves, but I’m making some awesome head way and can’t start printing in here.

Make sure to check soon. I’ll be posting more on the progress of this project, as well as other awesome photography talks.

✌🏼

My 39th Year

Today is my 39th birthday, and while a lot has changed over the last 6 months., it the future that always holds the must questions.

I lay here in bed thinking of an uncertain future. It really is a moment by moment life right now.

One thing I know though is my decision to put digital by the wayside. Taking up film as my absolute of recording my life.

Who knows where my life will go, but I know that when I look back it’ll be through film.

Some Light in the Dark

I need film photography to save my soul.

A lot of craziness has been happening in the world. More than usual it seems. COVID over here, race riots over there, the “new normal” and our slowly being forced into a new way of life. It’s overwhelming most of the time.

Right on the crest of this wave of insanity, I rode my little floaty through my own white wash of crap. Before all of this happened in January, I broke up with my long time partner of 10 years.

Without going on to long about it or getting into to much detail, I broke up with my partner right before Christmas. It was rough, and still is, I had spent ever day, day in and day out, with my partner and our roads just got to a point where they no longer went in the same direction. It was more my decision than it was hers, and we separated. While still remaining friends, I’ve felt somewhat a drift in life. Not sure where to go.

No, this isn’t my first break up mind you. I’ve been married and divorced and had other long term partners. What’s different about this one you ask?!? Well, I’m not gonna freak out.

See, in the past, I’ve not handled a lot of things well, it’s my own mind and my own doing, my own responses, but I don’t want to be like that anymore. Before all this happened I’d begun taking steps to better myself mentally. Meditating and yoga, which is been doing on and off for several years. I needed to change myself.

How was I going to do this? In the wave of darkness and pain I was feeling, that the world seemed to be feeling. How was I going to free myself? How was I not going to yell and scream my pain out?

I have to do what I’ve never done before. I have to throw myself into my photography and my own life. Instead of running away, I must run to my gifts. I have to hold onto these cameras and photos like it’s my life raft, because it is.

What steps, or doggy paddle strokes, have to taken toward reaching my unknown and unnamed goals?

A few things actually. I’ve bought all the supplies I needed for loading my own 35mm film, I had begun scanning all my negatives, almost 20 years worth, and adding them to a hard drive, the intention of making contact sheets and digital prints from the images. I’ve switched from using Shopify, a platform that didn’t work for me personally, back over to Etsy, where I’ve had more random sales than any other place.

Then, out of nowhere, a very amazing friend gifted me a Beseler 23C enlarger. I couldn’t believe it. Brandon has his own home set up and had a second enlarger he was going to set up but never got around to it. Knowing how much I love photography, film photography especially, he knew I’d appreciate the enlarger. I was floored!! This was the best most amazing gift I’d ever been given by someone.

I was already to go. Newly single, a new travel/surf van, some good quality gear at my side and a home darkroom. As I write this I feel I’m at the shore’s edge, waiting to jump in the surf.

So let’s jump in shall we?