As I write this, my Kickstarter just ended, and I figured I’d be stuck indoors babysitting printers for the next good long time, so I took the morning to scoot around Albuquerque’s West Mesa to take some pictures.
I am always thinking about water in the desert. I like to shoot pictures of where the city meets the desert, where people could not live until recently. I am always looking to shoot a series of identical rooflines, abutting open desert, with the Sandia or Manzano mountains in the background.
I had been out on the West Mesa last week, couldn’t finish five pictures that day, my alternator tensioner chucked a bolt somewhere along Route 66 at the edge of town. I did some redneck engineering in the closest AutoZone parking lot, under the one merciful tree. It gets hot in the desert, and I drive a convertible with no air conditioning. I’d rather the light at 6pm, but I pretty much need to be indoors by noon.
A devoted photographer, I am not.
I did a slightly more professional job securing my alternator bracket, and this morning returned to some of the things I had passed and missed shooting last week. This time, while shooting a strip of eerily desolate, identical suburbia, I met Steve, the only man out in his driveway, owner of a naughty 500HP boosted VW Jetta with a hole sawed through the front clip to expose his intercooler to more hot breeze. We talked VW’s and gyrocopters for a bit, and he gave me some tips on where to find the views I had been looking for.
I shot with my CAMERADACTYL 4×5 field camera, a Kowa 300mm f/9 lens that I can’t remember where or why I bought it, but its pretty sharp and flat, and I like it. I used a beat up old Bogen tripod and I shot Kodak Verichrome pan 100, which expired in 1992, and has been stored in a hot closet. I hand processed the sheets in a tank with T-MAX RS developer. The photos were scanned on an Epson flatbed, laying flat, no carrier. contrast and sharpening done in Lightroom.
Submit your own 5 Frames With...
Get your 5 frames featured on EMULSIVE. Submit your 300-350 word article using this Google form. If you would prefer to submit another way, please use the @contact@ link at the top of the page.
This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
Your turn: submit an article
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.