Maples Leaves Gone Red – Infrared

This time of year, the leaves remaining on the trees have usually turned colors already.  This shot is from all the way back in July, but catches the maples of Volunteer Park in full red glory.  Yeah – Aerochrome EIR will do that.

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This one was also shot with my Rollei, using the same Aerochrome EIR as the other shot here.

The Last Chance for Color Infrared

You used to be able to buy color infrared film.  Kodak produced a line in sizes from 35mm to large sheets – I think the original purpose was for some sort of agricultural surveying.  Living things reflect infrared light differently.  This is color infrared film – specifically, Kodak Aerochrome EIR.

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When the film is fresh and you do it right, the results can be amazing.  Trees and gress in full sun are rendered red or orange.  Human skin is pale, almost white, and sometimes you can see blood in the veins beneath.  Unfortunately, you just can’t get it anymore.  Well… mostly.

Kodak stopped producing the 35mm version around 2002 or so.  They stopped producing the 120 version around 2006, and I believe they stopped producing the large roll format in 2011.  Some enterprising folks stockpiled massive amounts of it.  Even at 12 shots per roll using my Rollei, like above, those rolls still cost $25 each (from here, which has since sold out).  Not only that but you have to load and process them in complete darkness in a processor that doesn’t use an infrared counter.  Even in photo-happy Seattle, there is nowhere I can get these things processed anymore, so I had to ship it to Portland (which to its credit, boasts at least two places that can do this for you).

At the end of the day, it’s a great lesson in what happens if you even semi-successfully stack together a bunch of old technologies.  Medium-format, color infrared, TLR – they’re all there.  I’ve got two rolls left and they stay in my freezer, waiting for something momentous enough to justify thawing them out.

The Last Reminder Of Seattle Snow

The Last Reminder Of Seattle Snow

The aftermath of the snow here in seattle is dirty streets, massive potholes, and broken tire chains everywhere. I don’t think it’s that so many people were driving with them – more like a good number of people driving with them for the first time. Lots of tire chains coming off, lots of tire chains to swerve around on the freeway. Here is the one occupying the corner of our driveway. I love the grain on this Neopan film for the Rollei – it’s almost circular or bubbly instead of being really… well… grainy, I guess. I’ve got a roll of color that I’m going to try shooting now that I know the camera works. We’ll see how that turns out.
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Ari the human lightmeter

Ari the human lightmeter

So I finally got the film back from my first attempt at actually shooting with the Rolleicord. I have no lightmeter and neither does the Rollei, so you have to use the magic guidelines stamped onto the back of the camera and your imagination.  I was somewhat shocked that the pictures came back in any sort of serviceable condition, but I’ll take it. I shot one roll of Neopan 400 and since this is 120 film, it only has 12 shots per roll. Here’s the first – I think maybe there are one or two more worth showing off. I didn’t write it down as I’m a spoiled digital photographer but I believe the exposure here is something like f/5.6 at 1/100th of a second. I didn’t realize how shallow it would come out looking, but combined with the sparse tree limbs and the great angles you can get with Twin Lens Reflex cameras, I like this one a lot.
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Oh Oh Oh! New Rolleicord!

Oh Oh Oh!  New Rolleicord!

Growing up, my dad had an old Rolleicord. I think he got it from his dad or brother – something like that. He kept it the way he got it – in a WWII 50 caliber ammunition case with the manuals and accessories. I remember the way the whole thing smelled like developer and glorious photo chemicals. It never saw much use, being a *real* manual camera and all, but I know he used it at least a handful of times. Anyway, after seeing some of my TtV stuff, my dad offered to send it up and now it’s mine! This is a seriously beautiful camera, as opposed to my crummy old Kodak. Made in Germany in the early 50s. According to the price slip that came with it, my Rolleicord III with the Schneider Xenar f/3.5 lens was worth $149.50. In 1952 dollars. I assume it still works (although my ability to operate it I wonder about) and I should have some results for you shortly!
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  • ExposureTime: 1/60 sec
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  • FocalLength: 100 mm
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