Remembering 2018 (Not a Best Of)

I recently saw a post on Twitter from Jim Goldstein ( @jimgoldstein ) asking photographers to collect a series of their best work from 2018 and blog and share it. One of the purposes of the exercise is to review 5-10 examples of recent work with a critical eye, looking for areas to improve on; at least that’s my take away from Jim’s post. That tweet inspired me to go back through the archives and review my work for the past 12 months, not to select a “best of” but to select a series of images that take me back to the moment of capture. I can name the place and time of each of these images. what the environment was like, and what I was thinking as I made the exposure. I can’t always do that.

I narrowed the photos down to 10 at first but added an extra image, well, because I can. The images are in order taken, from January to December and are a mix of film and digital. I’ve decided not to include any descriptions but am allowing them to stand (or fall) on their own.

Morro Sunset.jpg
Womens March.jpg
Artist.jpg
Gecko.jpg
Roads End.jpg
Yaquina Lighthouse.jpg
Prevost Harbor Farm.jpg
Curlew.jpg
Morro Jetty Wave 1.jpg
Cacti Morro Bay.jpg
Burning Bush.jpg

2018 Calendar Images

Each year in December I design a calendar for the upcoming year. I go through all the photographs I have taken in the prior 12 months and select from a mix of film and digital that speak to me at that time;  not necessarily a "Best Of" but more visceral or emotional, a moment in time of importance to me.

This year I chose images strictly from the film category and while labeling the title or location I also included the media on the calendar. Here are the images I selected for 2018.

January

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Acros 100

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Acros 100

Ewing Cove, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Acros 100

Ewing Cove, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Acros 100

February

Henry Island, Washington. Ilford HP5+

Henry Island, Washington. Ilford HP5+

Henry Island, Washington. Ilford HP5+

Henry Island, Washington. Ilford HP5+

March

Daffodils, Ilford FP4+

Daffodils, Ilford FP4+

April

Tienda, Dayton, Oregon. Kodak TMax 100

Tienda, Dayton, Oregon. Kodak TMax 100

Bandstand, Dayton, Oregon. Kodak Tmax 100

Bandstand, Dayton, Oregon. Kodak Tmax 100

May

Daffodils, Mt. Vernon, Washington. Kodak Ektar 100

Daffodils, Mt. Vernon, Washington. Kodak Ektar 100

June

Cannon Beach, Oregon. Kodak Ektar 100

Cannon Beach, Oregon. Kodak Ektar 100

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon. Kodak Ektar 100

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon. Kodak Ektar 100

July

Sucia Island, Washington, Kodak Portra 160

Sucia Island, Washington, Kodak Portra 160

August

Smoke on the Water, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Provia RDP 100f

Smoke on the Water, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Provia RDP 100f

Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Provia RDP 100f

Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Provia RDP 100f

September

Turn Point State Park, Stuart Island, Washington. Kodak Ektar 100

Turn Point State Park, Stuart Island, Washington. Kodak Ektar 100

October

Silver Creek Bridge, Silver Falls State park, Oregon. Kodak Ektar 100

Silver Creek Bridge, Silver Falls State park, Oregon. Kodak Ektar 100

Vine Maples, Oregon Cascades. Kodak Ektar 100

Vine Maples, Oregon Cascades. Kodak Ektar 100

November

Junction Boxes, La Conner, Washington. Kodak Portra 400

Junction Boxes, La Conner, Washington. Kodak Portra 400

December

Mt. Baker from Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Velvia RVP 100

Mt. Baker from Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington. Fuji Velvia RVP 100

Fuji Neopan 100 Acros: Select Images from 2017

I didn't venture too far outside my comfort zone in 2017 when it came to black and white film. The following images were taken using Fuji Neopan 100 Acros, a fine-grain, low ISO film.

The select photos were taken with a Nikon F2 (ca.1974) and a Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 lens. Locations include Sucia Island, Washington; Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island, Washington; Cannon Beach, Oregon; and Ecola Beach, Oregon.

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington

Ewing Cove, Sucia Island, Washington

Ewing Cove, Sucia Island, Washington

Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island, Washington

Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island, Washington

Kenji Maru, Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island, Washington

Kenji Maru, Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island, Washington

Ecola Beach State Park, Oregon

Ecola Beach State Park, Oregon

Stairs, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Stairs, Cannon Beach, Oregon

A Very Brief Tour of Nicaragua

This past year I had the opportunity to briefly tour two communities in Nicaragua: El Viejo and Chinandega. I found the Nicaraguan people to be extremely friendly and welcoming. They smiled and nodded as we "invaded" their space but never once tried to peddle wares or solicit from us.

In El Viejo we toured the central market, Mercado Central, a vibrant marketplace with meats, produce, and clothing. 

Mercado Central, El Viejo. NIkon F2, Ilford HP5+

Mercado Central, El Viejo. NIkon F2, Ilford HP5+

Mercado Central, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Mercado Central, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Mercado Central, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Mercado Central, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

The Basilica of Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary in El Viejo was built in the 17th century. The statue of the Virgin Mary is said to have been rescued during a storm from a sinking sailing vessel that was bound elsewhere. The church was declared a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

Iglesia of Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary, El Viejo, Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Iglesia of Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary, El Viejo, Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Interior, Iglesia of Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Interior, Iglesia of Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Statue of the Virgin Mary, Iglesia of Immaculate Concepcion, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Statue of the Virgin Mary, Iglesia of Immaculate Concepcion, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Sugar Cane, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Sugar Cane, El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

El Viejo. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

After a short bus ride we arrived in Chinandega, the 5th largest town in Nicaragua and the name of the municipality surrounding the area that includes El Viejo. The church of Our Lady of Santa Ana was nearly destroyed in an earthquake in 1885 and has been restored to its original beauty. Unfortunately this is the only photo I took of the church.

Our Lady of Santa Ana Church, Chinandega, Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Our Lady of Santa Ana Church, Chinandega, Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Float being prepared for an upcoming parade, Chinandega plaza. Surprisingly the entire plaza had free wi-fi available. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

Float being prepared for an upcoming parade, Chinandega plaza. Surprisingly the entire plaza had free wi-fi available. Nikon F2, Ilford HP5+

I have one major regret and that is that I didn't take more photos of the people, churches and buildings. At times I get caught up with the "camera" in my brain and lose focus. I do, however, have the memories.

Although I enjoyed the brief time spent in these two cities I would not, as of this writing, return. I was deeply moved by the people and their pride in their community and country yet the overwhelming poverty I saw in this small sample of Nicaragua was truly distressing. 

From Film to Digital and Back Again

Most of my early film work was done using Kodak Kodachrome and Ektachrome slide film. Unfortunately most of those images are lost as I fear I tossed them in a period when I was not shooting at all. Photography had lost it's interest for me and I thought I'd never wish to view those images again; how terribly foolish that was. A few slides remain from carousels and are included on this site. The only thing I can surmise now is that I became bored and tired of shipping off film for development. I no longer developed or printed at home; the darkroom equipment stored in the garage gathered dust.

In the mid 90's I began to dabble in web design and development and thought I needed a camera for site images. I happened upon an early Nikon digital coolpix 300 with it's 0.3MP sensor and began my journey down the digital pathway. Over the years I moved from the 300 to a CP7900 (7.1MP), then a D80 (10.2MP), followed by a D300s (12.3MP),  ending with my current digital camera a D810 (36.3MP). My days chasing megapixels are over. The D810 gives me all I could possibly want or need. I don't do commercial work and am no longer looking to sell large prints. 

In 2014 I bought a few rolls of black and white film and ran them through my F2 (which I purchased new in 1974). Although I didn't process them myself I enjoyed seeing the results. I dusted off my old film cameras (Nikon F, F2, F3, N2000, and purchased a used F100 and a new F6) and went looking for like minded souls and soon discovered a group of film enthusiasts on Twitter and Instagram. It's been interesting interacting with and learning from these photographers, some nearly half my age, and some even young enough to be my grandchildren! 

I still use the D810 on occasion; each time impressed by the quality of the images I obtain but there is just something about film I prefer at this point in my life. Maybe it's because as I get older I find myself looking back to the times when life was simpler and less encumbered by technology, infowars, and Donald J. Trump. 

I can't and won't argue the technical merits of film versus digital; the resolution, the dynamic range, and overall image quality among others. I'll leave that to those who are obsessed by such things. I'll just enjoy my Velvia, Provia, Ektar, Portra, Delta, HP5+, HP4 and Acros one roll at a time as long as they are available.

 

Turn Point Light Station

On the Northwest tip of Stuart Island in Washington state the Turn Point Light Station has provided support for ships transiting the blind corner from Haro Strait to Boundary Pass along the United States and Canadian border since 1893. The station's signals were automated in 1974 and remain in operation today.

Stuart Island is comprised of private land holdings as well as a large state park spanning the isthmus between each harbor on the island: Prevost Harbor to the north and Reid Harbor to the south. State park mooring buoys are available at the head of each harbor and excellent anchorage can be found throughout each harbor.

The hike from either Prevost Harbor or Reid Harbor to the light station is approximately 6 miles round trip. The out portion of the hike is mainly up hill through second growth forest past homesteads, the island school, and a private airstrip. Access to Stuart Island is either by boat or small private plane.

The U.S.  Bureau of Land Management has maintained the Turn Point Light Station since 1991. The grounds have been preserved and the buildings have undergone renovations. The point is a quiet place with picnic tables and large grassy areas for relaxing after the hike. Off shore the view extends to South Pender and Sinclair islands in Canada across Boundary Pass and Vancouver Island across Haro Strait. Large ocean going tankers can be seen rounding Turn Point throughout the day. The area is on the route of a large pod of Orcas. These large mammals can been seen from shore as they traverse between the U.S. and Canada. 

A unique family run business provides t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats all adorned with Stuart Island/San Juan Islands logos. Payment is by the honor system; an envelope is provided with your selection and it's expected you mail your check or pay on line for the item after you've left the island. No cash or checks are accepted at the clothing kiosks.