Smoke On The Water

As of September 6th, there are currently over 20 forest fires burning in the State of Oregon, and many more in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. Many of the Oregon fires have been burning for weeks. There are currently no fires in the Rogue Valley, but because of location and the way air sits in the valley, we have had a huge amount of smoke in the valley for the better part of a month now. On August 28th, Ashland had the worst air quality in the entire US, and it really hasn’t improved since then. If anything it’s worse. We have forest fire smoke in the valley every year around August and September, and some years it’s worse than other years, but in the 16 years that I have lived here, this year the smoke is pretty much the worst I have seen. In 2002, the first summer I lived here, and the year of the Biscuit Fire and Grizzly Peak fire, the smoke was pretty bad, but it’s worse this year.

Other than a quick trip to the California coast, and a day trip to Redding, I have hardly left my house for nearly a month now. Between the smoke outdoors and being stuck in stale air conditioned indoor air, I have felt nauseous for 3 weeks. Yesterday we learned that due to the terrible air quality, the annual Walk To Defeat ALS was canceled for the first time ever.

On Labor Day, we were so tired of being in the house, so Tiffany, Etta, and I decided to brave the smoke and spend some time at Emigrant Lake. I decided to bring along my Minolta Autocord TLR which has had a partially shot roll of Lomo Color Negative 100 in it for nearly 2 years. I thought that maybe the smoke would make for some interesting landscapes, plus I needed to get the roll finished anyway. Despite the smoke, it was great to get out for a bit, and I managed to finish the roll.

Here are a few photos from the outing.

 

 

 

 

 

Curving Space and Time with a Widelux.

One of the cameras that I feel very fortunate to have, is a Widelux F7. The camera was given to me by my wife’s grandfather, and is a cherished gift.
The Widelux is a very interesting camera, because it has a lens that swings from left to right as it is making an exposure. The film is held in a near semicircular curve inside the camera, and instead of a traditional lens and shutter setup, the lens is mounted inside a moving turret, and the shutter is a narrow vertical slit in the back of the turret. When you press the the shutter button, the slit opens up and the turret sweeps from left to right while the slit “paints” the projected image onto the film. Because the lens moves, and the time it takes for the lens to move, the images can have the feeling that the camera is messing with space and time.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the Widelux.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Shasta – White Mountain

I grew up on a farm in northeastern British Columbia, nearly 1000 miles north of Vancouver. When I was 7 years old, my family took a trip down to California to visit my grandparents. To this day, I have never forgot driving over the Mt. Ashland pass and seeing Mt. Shasta for the first time, even though that 30 years ago now. All of The Cascades are beautiful and majestic in their own right, but I feel that Mt. Shasta has a special beauty to it. I now feel very fortunate to live as close to Shasta as I do. Mt. Ashland pass is only a 20 minute drive, and the town of Mt. Shasta is a little over an hour drive. Because of this, I have ended taking quite a few photos of Shasta over the past 8 years or so. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you all. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website Changes.

Over the past week I have been working on some much needed updates and upgrades to my website portfolio. I have fixed the gallery/slideshow so they look and work better, and have (so far added two completely new galleries. In the coming weeks, I hope to at least two more new galleries.
Stay tuned!

While I’m here I thought I’d share a recent photo from the California coast.

Help Defeat ALS

This past June 28th marked the 9th anniversary of me being diagnosed with ALS. 9 years of getting weaker and weaker, and losing my mobility and self sufficiency. 9 years of living with a future so uncertain that I can only live one day at a time. 9 years of letting of activities and things I love doing. Through all these years, I could never have survived without the amazing and unending love and support of my family and friends, who never fail to be there for me. I have also had the amazing support from the ALS Association. From guidance dealing with that terrible diagnosis, to support group meetings and guidance with figuring out how to adjust to life using various assistave devices and technologies, the ALS Association has been a huge help. The ALS Association is devoted to actually making a difference in the daily lives of people living with ALS. For 2 years now, the ALS Association has covered the major part of the costs of us having a professional caregiver come help us at home 3 days a week. This help makes a huge difference in my and my family’s daily life.
The help and hope that the ALS Association provides wouldn’t be possible without fundraising. If you are able to help, please donate what you can to my Walk To Defeat ALS fundraising goal.
Thank you so much,
Colton

Donate Here!

 

 

Mt Rainier National Park

A few weeks ago, Tiffany, Etta, my brother Jason, and I went on a roadtrip around the Pacific Northwest in Washington State. The first day of the trip was spent driving through Mt Rainier National Park. We left Portland fairly early, drove up I-5 to Hwy 12 and headed east, then north on 7, and into the park on 706. We entered the park through the West Entrance, drove up to Paradise where had lunch and spent time, then drove down the east side.

I had seen Mt Rainier before, usually from a distance while driving I-5 through the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia area, but had never been to the park. Seeing the mountain from a distance, it is actually fairly impressive, but seeing up close is amazing.

We stopped to take photos at quite a few different spots on the way up and on the way down.

 

Here are some photos from the day,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On The Surface

Yesterday, I posted a photo titled “Surface Study” on my facebook page. The photo got me thinking about all the photos of surfaces that I have taken over the years, and I thought I would post a collection of my favorites here.

Here they are,

Pentax MZ-L
Kodak Ektachrome E100G 

Contax G2
Kodak Portra 400

Minolta PROD-20’S
Kodak Portra 400

Fujifilm Klasse
Mitsubishi MXIII 200

Pentax Z-1p
Kodak Portra 400

Pentax ZX-5N
Kodak Elitechrome 200

Fujifilm Klasse
Kodak Portra 200

Contax G2
Kodak Elitechrome 100

Pentax MZ-L
Kodak Ektachrome E100G

Kodak Medalist II
Kodak Pro 100

Ashland Oak Tree

Not far from my house there is a lone oak tree on a hill in a field. I first discovered the tree in early 2012, and in the years since it has become a regular photo subject of mine. If I am testing new equipment, or new a technique, I will often end up taking another photo of that tree.
A few days ago I posted a recent image of the tree on various social media, and got thinking about all the various images of the tree that I have made in the past 5 1/2 years. Interestingly (for me anyway) all the photos are taken from basically the same spot. I am rather limited in where I can go in my wheelchair, and I haven’t found another perspective of the tree that I like, so I just keep going back to the same spot.Even though the photos are all roughly the same composition, because of the different seasons, different weather, and different cameras/lenses/film, each photo still has its own unique character.

I wasn’t ever really intending to put all these images into a collection or series, but in looking through them all I realized that they make a really interesting set. I’ve taken well over 20 different photos of the tree, but there are 15 that I personally like.

February 2012
Digital SLR 

April 2012
Digital SLR

May 2012
Digital SLR Infrared

May 2012
6X7 Medium Format Film

April 2013
Digital SLR

January 2014
6X7 Medium Format Film

March 2014
6X6 Medium Format Film

November 2014
6X6 Medium Format Film

December 2014
Panoramic 35mm Film

January 2015
6X6 Medium Format Film

December 2015
6X6 Medium Format Film

January 2016
35mm Film

January 2016
4X5 Large Format Film

March 2016
4X5 Large Format Film

May 2017
4X5 Large Format Film

Expired film and a $9 camera in Portland

After getting my wheelchair camera mount all set up, and putting together a good camera kit for it, I thought it might be wise to keep an eye out for an inexpensive back-up camera body, just in case I should need it. Plus, who doesn’t “need” another camera, right? I started looking at various autofocus Pentax bodies that would work with my lenses as well as the right angle finder and electronic cable release I use, and decided I would like to find a nice Pentax SF1 or SF1N. The SF1 was the first proper autofocus SLR that Pentax made, and the SF1N replaced it as the flagship Pentax. Both these cameras are also currently one of the best deals in film cameras. They are well built, and full of great features. They’re also a bit big, heavy, maybe kinda ugly (depending on ones personal taste), and nobody wants them. After a bit of looking, I found a nice looking SF1N, bid on it, and ended up winning it for a whopping $9. I had to pay more than that for shipping!
After waiting about a week, the camera arrived just as we were leaving for a few days in Portland. After arriving in Portland, we opened the package and checked out what my $9 had got me. The camera looked like it hardly been used, and to make the deal even sweeter, it came with a good working 2CR5 battery which is worth nearly what I paid for camera. With my brother’s help, we tested all the basic camera functions and it seemed to be working perfectly, so we decided to load a test roll of film. The only film I had with me was a 36 frame roll of slightly rare “pre-aged” Lomo F²/400 Color Negative film. I wouldn’t normally use this film for testing a camera (I usually use something less expensive and also 24 frames), but the camera really seemed fine so I decided to go for it. You can read my review of the film here

Over the few days in we were in Portland, I managed to shoot most of the roll, then finished it off after getting home. The camera performed flawlessly. All in all a great camera for the money.

 

Here’s a photo of the camera,

 

And here are some of the photos from the roll,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on the Camera Mount

It’s been a little while since my last post (I’m a slacker I know), but I have been out shooting a fair bit with the wheelchair camera mount, and I thought I would share some of what I have done. So far, I have shot up nearly 10 rolls of film (that is a lot for me in a month), using 4 different cameras. I was even able to shoot a roll of 620 film using my 70+ year old Kodak Medalist II, and even got to see through the viewfinder/rangefinder without using a tripod. With a little assistance, I am able to shoot a lot more photos, a lot quicker, and with a lot less effort than usual.

Here are some of the photos I’ve made recently using the camera mount.

 

Pentax 645N
SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm f/4.5
Expired Kodak Portra 400VC

Pentax 645N
SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm f/4.5
Expired Kodak Portra 400VC

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-FAJ 18-35mm f/4-5.6
Expired Kirkland (Agfa) Color 400

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-FAJ 18-35mm f/4-5.6
Expired Kirkland (Agfa) Color 400

Kodak Medalist II
Ektar 100/3.5
Expired Kodak Pro 100

Kodak Medalist II
Ektar 100/3.5
Expired Kodak Pro 100

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-FAJ 18-35mm f/4-5.6
Lomo F²/400 Color Film

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Lomo F²/400 Color Film

Pentax SF10
SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6
Expired Fuji Superia X-TRA 400

Pentax SF10
SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6
Expired Fuji Superia X-TRA 400

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Kodak Portra 400

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-FAJ 18-35mm f/4-5.6
Kodak Portra 400

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-FAJ 18-35mm f/4-5.6
Kodak Portra 400

Pentax 645N
SMC Pentax-FA 645 75/2.8
Kodak Ektar 200

Pentax 645N
SMC Pentax-FA 645 75/2.8
Kodak Ektar 200

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-F 28/2.8
Lomo F²/400 Color Film

Pentax Z-1p
SMC Pentax-FA 50/1.4
Lomo F²/400 Color Film