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Winter Sux

Posted 2010.12.14 11.49 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

It’s crazy. It’s not even winter here yet. And I already hate it.

In fact it feels like I’m hating winter more and faster than I remember in previous years. It hasn’t really snowed much here yet, but don’t care so much about snow. It’s the cold. And it’s the way so many people forget how to drive when there’s white stuff blowing around.

Cold – it seems like it’s damn cold out, and in. Like, Suddenly: Deep Freeze! Yet it’s not really that cold, when you look at a thermometer. It’s only mid-December.. what am I going to feel like when we get to February and the -40’s? Actually, I don’t want to know. I want to hibernate.

Then there’s the way people drive… Oh my Gods.

We get this white shit every year. Why is it always a shock to people? Why don’t people learn to fucking drive on snow? “Oh christ there’s snow on the ground – I better go into panic mode and act like I’ve forgotten how to use a car!”

One thing I’ve made a point of doing every year since I got my license, is when we get some snowy/icy/slippy weather, I’ll find an empty road or parking-lot, and practice driving in bad conditions. It’s not magic. You can learn this stuff. It varies from car to car, and it’s good to stay in practice. All you need to do is first, learn what your vehicle feels like as it is losing traction or just starting to slide. Then you learn how to deal with it. Most of it is common sense. I’m sure there’s even places you can go, to specifically learn how to drive in poor conditions.

So here’s the deal: If driving in the snow makes you feel so scared and tense that you have to go at 10km/h with your four-way blinkers on, if you’re on the verge of panicing when another vehicle goes past you, if you can’t stop at a stop-sign that you can see 250 meters away, then stay the fuck home. If you don’t know how to drive in the winter, then just don’t do it.

Developing Film

Posted 2009.09.06 11.11 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

It’s not as hard as you think!

Tri-X 400 black and white filmYesterday, I wrote that I had processed my first roll of film in over a decade. In fact, with hardly any time I was able to refresh my memory on what needed doing. It’s realy quite simple – there’s three main steps. Develop, Fix, and Rinse.

In terms of equipment, really the only thing you need to invest in is a developing tank. I have a plastic Patterson Super System 4 tank which can hold two 35mm reels. The key to the developing tanks is that once the film is properly loaded and the tank is closed, you can then pour liquids in and out, without any light reaching the film inside. There are a number of different tanks available, I like the Patterson system because it’s pretty easy to use, and the reels are more or less easy to load.

Along with the tank, you also need a light-proof place where you can get the film out of the little metal cannister and into the tank. Red light isn’t safe – it has to be completely and totally light-proof dark. A windowless room would be good, or a closet, or something like that. If light gets through around the door, you need to fix that. Lock yourself in for 5 or 10 minutes so your eyes adjust, then look for any light.

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Black, White, and Processing

Posted 2009.09.05 19.03 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

So, when was the last time you developed your own film? I haven’t done it in at least a decade, but today I picked up some Tri-X 400 Pro film, some chemicals, and took a walk around the neighborhood. It didn’t take too long to shoot a roll of 36 frames through my trusty Minolta X370. I’ve got a ‘new’ old lens on there, a Rokkor 45mm f/2 that I bought through eeeebay.

Processing was pretty simple and didn’t take long, and I can’t tell you just how rewarding and exciting it is to open up that tank and see the images on the film. It’s almost like magic, really.

Anyhow, below are some of the shots from today. They’re nothing terribly special, just shots that caught my eye between my walk and getting home.