When my grandfather left me the entire Grand Rapids Amateur Movie Club library
I promised I would work to preserve them and some day transfer them to digital.
As you can see, there are quite a few films, in both 8, Super 8, and 16mm formats.
A few years ago I made my first attempt at transferring them using movie mode
on a digital camera pointing at a projection screen. This worked in that it
created a digital version of the films but the quality was of course terrible.
I then tried a local company which did conversions. The quality was somewhat
better but it took them too long and the cost was too high. I could send them
out to something like ScanCafe which does a great job. The trouble with that is
I don’t believe they return the films on the original spools, which is a
requirement. They are cheaper, but transferring everything would still be
expensive. Besides, I kind of want to handle everything myself. These films are
important to me.
The plan is to get everything transferred and resell the unit. The problem with
that plan is that if it works well I won’t want to sell it, even when all of my
films have been transferred. I will probably want to transfer films for other
folks who are in the same situation as me. Preservation of family and other
histories is important and this is something that could help. Yes, I’m
rationalizing a purchase, but my intentions are good!
Eighteen months ago I asked myself if I should Keep the Nikons or the
Canons. Turns out that
I’ve kept most of both. Time to decide, so I’m unloading all the Canon gear.
This wasn’t an easy decision, mostly due to the EOS-1v, which I love. The 1D
Mark III is also terrific, and would be perfect for any “serious” work I might
do. Trouble is, I don’t do any serious work. I just snap pictures, and the Fuji
X-T1 is totally capable of handling anything I might want to shoot digitally.
Finally, a decision!
Here’s what’s for sale:
Canon 1d Mark III $750
Canon EOS 1v 35mm Camera $350
Canon Canon EF 24-105 mm F/4 L IS USM Lens: $700
Canon 50mm 1.8D: $100
Canon 50mm EF 1.4 II: $100 (autofocus not working)
I got my first Hobonichi Planner
in 2013 and it quickly became a favorite. I’ve carried one with me ever
since, and I plan to continue doing so in 2015.
I use mine mostly as a calendar and appointment book. Yes, the iPhone is better
at those things but what fun would that be? I also like to draw quick sketches
representing the day’s events. I try to do this every day but realistically it
only happens a couple times a week.
I find the Hobonichi Planner to be the perfect size. It’s small enough to
carry, but large enough to work with. The killer feature is the Tomoe River
paper. The paper is very thin yet never bleeds through. Using such thin paper
keeps the notebook compact, even though it contains 450 pages.
I promised myself I’d never switch blogging tools again1. Then yesterday I ran
I’ve tried static blogs before using Tinderbox, Octopress, Second Crack,
Blosxom, etc. They all work, some more easily than others, but they all took
too much effort and could be a dependency nightmare. Here’s why I’m trying Hugo
and finding it so encouraging:
Speed. Octopress/Jekyll took around 7 minutes to render my blog. That
was always a deterrent to publishing.
No dependencies. Hugo is written using Go and comes as
a single binary with no dependencies. A breath of fresh air compared to the
spiderweb of ruby gems and versions required by Jekyll/Octopress.
Live Reload. Hugo comes with a mini web server built in and renders the
site locally each time any content or template is changed and reloads the
browser instantly. This shortens the feedback loop so much that it feels
like I’m editing the static files directly.
Speaking of speed…
0 draft content
0 future content
1875 pages created
96 tags created
3 categories created
in 579 ms
Rendering speed is no longer an issue.
The good news is that I don’t think I broke anything critical this time.
There’s still a lot of theme cleanup I’d like to do yet.
Converting from Wordpress was surprisingly easy. I used a plugin by Cyrill Schumacher and had all of my 1800+ posts, images, etc. converted for use with Hugo in less than an hour. All links were preserved so I don’t need to create a bunch of rewrite rules in Apache like every other time I’ve done this. Every step was easier than expected so I just kept going!
My grandfather, Richard Baty, was part of the Grand Rapids Amateur Movie Club for many years. He used to tell stories of the club’s “One Day” competitions, during which they would split into teams and each team had one day to plan, shoot, and edit a short film. This would be easy today using an iPhone and iMovie, but in the 1950s it was way more work.
Here’s a home video of my grandpa creating titles for one of his films:
See what I mean?
I recently found some photos taken during the filming of one of these One Day competitions: “Dune Dreams” shot during the summer of 1953. Looks like they were having fun.
Richard Baty directs “Dune Dreams” (1953, photographer unknown)
The cast of “Dune Dreams” (Richard Baty, 1953)
George Bates as the Life Guard in “Dune Dreams” (Richard Baty, 1953)
George Bates as the Old Man in “Dune Dreams” (Richard Baty, 1953)
“…aaaand ACTION!” Richard Baty directs “Dune Dreams” (1953, photographer unknown)
I still have all of the original GRAMC films. One day I plan to digitize them.
I spend way more time with photos at a computer. Why shouldn’t I be able to post something from there? The instagram web app/site is basically useless.
Looking at photos on a tiny phone screen is the worst. And the app won’t let me zoom. I hate that.
I shoot a lot of 6×6 film and I love the square format. I just don’t want to be forced to use it for every single image unless I want to cheat.
No access from other apps.
It seems the only way to post an image to Instagram is from the Instagram app or via way too many workarounds. Take a look at what Flickr offers. Everything can easily post to Flickr.
But I’m willing to reconsider using Instagram. For some reason everyone else uses it even though Flickr is now clearly better. And I suppose I’m not really sharing photos if no one is around to see them.
So I’ll use both. I’ll continue posting to Flickr from my desktop just like I have since 2004, then I’ll save the image from Flickr to my camera roll and post it to Instagram.
I had finished my usual end-of-roll plinking with the OM-1n. I felt like spending some time in the darkroom, so I shot a bunch of nonsense at random. When I opened the camera I discovered that it had been loaded with color film rather than my usual Tri-X or HP5. So I had an exposed roll of Fuji Pro 400H to deal with.
No way I was going to the local Meijer (they still to film processing) on the day after Christmas. I checked the darkroom and found that I still had C-41 chemicals mixed and sitting on the shelf.
C-41 chemistry isn’t complicated, but I’ve always heard that once mixed it has a very short shelf life. The bottles on my shelf had been mixed more than 8 months prior, so I didn’t expect much.
I hauled out the JOBO and used the old chemicals as-is, and was surprised to find that I actually had images on the roll. The color seemed shifted a bit but it still usable.
One of the things that’s kept me less interested in C-41 processing has been the shelf-life of the chemicals. I may shoot more color now that I know I can get nearly a year out of a single kit.
Fuji recently released a major firmware update to the X-T1 so I was playing around with it while reading John Caz’s excellent Setup Guide. I learned a few things, and one of those was that the X-T1 has improved the way it handles manual-focus lenses, so I threw on the Leica 50mm Summicron and took a few quick test photos. The combination handles much easier than expected and the images look pretty good so far.
Gail and Ella – Fuji X-T1 with Leica Summicron 50mm