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Thursday, 21 March 2013


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I can sympathize with your student since I recently started developing my own film. I swear it took me the better part of an hour to load one film on the spool the other day. Pretty frustrating. Last one I managed in the first go, though. It's getting better all the time…

Maybe you should write the text in some editor outside of TypePad, (Pages, Word, Textedit, does't matter) then copy/paste into TypePad to finalize the blog entry. Even if TypePad times out or your connection goes down, you don't lose what you typed.

You really compose your blog posts in Typepad? Sorry Mike, but that's just plain nuts. Do it in textedit or anything - your Mac will auto save it, or you can just hit cmd-s now and again..

Friend of mine ran a Speedotron strobe head into his film loading closet, sent his new assistant in there to load an 8x10 holder, then popped the strobe while the dummy film was being loaded. That was a laugh...

I know I write stuff for the web in the browser all the time, but I'd definitely consider it a bad habit of mine (oh, look, we got ourselves one of these guys who tells you how you should have backed up your computer just after you've lost all your data). Well, shorter, non-important stuff is fine to write in the browser, sure, but otherwise I'd say write it in a text editor or some such desktop app.

Apple's Time Machine has saved me a couple of times when I have become engrossed in something that has taken a time to do but I forgot to save it.

What is that I see next to the glass beaker?
It it perhaps a Pany 20mm 1.7? I have one, which I love, on my new Pany G5, which I love. Ernie

Great idea, I need that tape: teaching students next tuesday!

"I had spelled out the word "PATIENCE" on the wall in fluorescent tape."

Great idea...I'll think about :-)


When I was in film school I was working on a film in the lighting department when an underclassman, our loader, had to down-load for the first time.

It is understandably stressful... like you, we'd practice loading in the light a number of times, and even in the changing bag with waste film a number of times. But that first download can be scary, because at that point you only have one live load under your belt, and you've never actually been able to practice downloading, as that would require running all of the film through the camera.

Anyhow, the loader asks me to explain the process to her, and I do. I explain that she'll be taking the film off of the spindle, popping out the core-adapter, replacing the core-adapter, opening the can, removing the bag, placing the film in the bag, putting it all in the can, and sealing the can with black tape.

All along she's nodding at me, as though she mostly understands; then when I'm done, she asks me:

"Right, but I don't need to do it in the changing bag, right?"

Clearly there were fundamental elements of the medium she simply failed to grasp.

Did something foolish and then something tedious a few weeks back. Was at the end of a roll of Superia Reala on my Yashica Electro35GSN. I was at the very last frame, and I cranked it to what I knew would be the last time for the roll. It trrrrr---- I think it stopped at a hair below 100%. And I thought, 'Damn. A frame wasted.' Then I did something no photographer should do. I forced the issue. Sure enough I heard hell snap into two inside the camera. Feeling quite stupid, I brought the camera home, put it in a loading jacket along with an old Konica roll (that I dismantled earlier to rehearse what I was going to do) and some tape. Then I the roll back together. Most of that negative came out pretty undamaged. (Physically, from my circus undamaged; aesthetically, well that's another topic)
WHen I was in film school,200 feet of 16mm film unspooled out of my hand inside the loading jacket. And I coiled it all again. All 200 feet to the sound of the cinematographer sitting next to me and sobbing. :D

@Richard Tuggwell,

Mike is not nuts.....a bit excentric okay, but nuts, never....

But having said that....Mike, Copy Paste button, Copy Paste button, Mike....so now you have been introduced to each other...

Greets, Ed.

BTW, I've grown rather fond of the akward user interface of the OM-D....the key is, programming the right buttons. Now I can flip ISO, repeat rate, MF/AF, AF Loupe and DOF at the touch of button (be it a small one)....

How deeply ingrained those darkroom lessons are. I still have a moment of panic whenever I open the inner plastic bag of a box of inkjet paper in the light. Too many fogged boxes of Record Rapid and Multigrade on my conscience...


High school darkroom, 1972. A whole roll of the cheerleaders. Struggling with the film and spool, hot and sweaty. Felt around on the wall for the vent fan switch and hit the light switch.

Forty years later, still mentally banging my head on that wall.

Luke, every now and then I look at my darkroom light switch and wonder why did I place it so high? (It's about six feet from the floor.) You've reminded me.

I now write all my text in a web app that's called Simplenote.
There's no formatting tools so I must concentrate on the text and the content is saved in quasi-real time. It's impossible to loose work and there's a history tool so you can go back through edits.
Once all is to my tast I copy and paste in the final application.
Simplenote is free and I'm not affiliated with it in any way. And there's an iPhone app that I use quite often to get strings to and from the phone.

Dear Luke and latent,

For much the same reason, all my darkroom lights have ceiling pull-chains. I have to actually reach up to turn on the light, but they're still easy to find in the dark just by waving my arm above my head. It entirely prevents accidentally turning on the lights.

It doesn't prevent me from "intentionally" (as in “stupidly") turning on the lights when I've left a film or paper box open. But it does prevent accidents.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

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