Acros

San Francisco (C) 2003 Kevin Bjorke One roll Acros, two rolls Tmax 100, Xtol 1::1 9.5mins. I forgot about the mystery red stain from the TMax (anti-halation layer?). One Neopan400 rated 800, Xtol 1::1 11.5 mins.

Acros has a unique snap, described well by one early reviewer as “metallic.” I’ve never run any charts on it, but suspect it’s just that it blocks-up in the highlights, similar to slide film. Anyone know?

I can say this much — dries faster than Kodak, probably due to the plastic film base. This is ready to scan and sleeve after 4-5 hours, while the Tmax is still a wee bit sticky and still hanging.

Old Ho’s Last Laugh

Back in the 1960’s, there was an episode when Lyndon Johnson suggested offering North Vietnam a large dose of western-style incentive, as a deal to secure the peace. Cash and know-how to build hydroelectic power reservoirs in Vietnam, thinking it would transform the region into Tennessee-on-the-Mekong.

“Ol’ Ho just can’t turn that down!” Johnson is reported to have gleefully proclaimed, before the plan was rejected by the Vietnamese.

I have thought often of this story whenever I hear current politicians talking about Iraqis’ supposed willingness to turn themselves into happily westernized “free” consumers as a result of the coming (now current, and stalled) invasion.

2 min read

More Delta

Golden Gate Park (C) 2003 Kevin Bjorke Feeling better about the Delta switchback — as contrasty as the Fuji maybe, but then again that just seems to be due to the Ilford’s better latitude. Scanning/printing to adjust makes all the difference.

Took me until tonight to even begin to look in detail at the first of the rolls from a couple of nights back. Previously I just grabbed a frame from the end of the roll and rushed it through. Been really slammed on schedule at work, and the process of reviewing scans has been slow. The slogging part, ironically, is the computer — takes time, even on a fast computer, to pick through photos in detail, and the little 200-px sized thumbnails are no replacement for a clean, hi-res viewing.

On the way back from errands Courtney & I stopped at Kamera Korner in SJ and bought some Dektol. Looks like the darkroom is poised to rise again, after a long hiatus…

Finals

After a year of sitting on it, Warners has finally released Final Flight of the Osiris, the final production of the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within studio, Square USA. Though it gets this release in theatres, latched-onto Dreamcatcher as a standalone short, it will also appear as part of the upcoming AniMatrix DVD.

What a difference a year makes! After Final Flight I shifted my attention from production on a massive scale to doing it all on your PC (and every scale in between). I've been hammering furiously at the latest release of the CgFX plugins for Maya and 3ds Max. I hate to sound like an ad but for me, this stuff is hecka great — lets you work-out ideas about light, shading, and texture really quickly and fluidly. I'm really keen to get one of the upcoming GeForce FX Go laptops — studio!

(Now if I can just find a way to wedge 150 artists into that same suitcase....)

Back to the Delta

Santa Clara, CA

Xtol 1::1, 11.5 mins @ 20C. About 18C, make that 12.5 mins. Three rolls @ ISO 400.

After a four-month fling with Neopan 400 Presto (aka Neopan Professional), as of this batch I’m back to Ilford Delta. The Fuji is great stuff, easily pushed, crisp, contrasty. I picked some up in a corner store in Tokyo, having run out of Ilford. I was delighted with the results, but Delta has a smooth tone and latitude that I’ve grown used to. And I can actually find it bulkrolled in the store.

I ran the Fuji through a battery of tests — to ISO 200, pushed to 800, 1600, 3200. Xtol, Rodinal. For web purposes, running it at 800 was perfectly fine — for reasonably-sized printing. Good for an overcast winter. The last dozen rolls were all shot that way.

In going back to Delta I’ve realized that I hadn’t done any methodical examination on it since first shooting the old version, almost a decade ago. So it’s overdue! Hopefully over the next few days I can run a few rolls for the sake of the same tests — do some more-formal comparisons on Tmax 100 too (Acros is really great but hard to find around here and never in bulk). Rich has said he’d like to go out shooting in Marin sometime soon… hmm

Two rolls of unprocessed Neopan still sitting in the “need to process” box. One marked “Jan03K.” Tsk.