Wine Country, Paso Robles

Wine Country, Paso Robes

This is from a summer or two ago. We drove along Hwy 49 in the central coastal area of California. It is a lovely drive – quite unpopulated in many ways. The hills and valleys spread out on either side of the road, with trees dotting the grassy slopes. Grapes are grown here, and the Paso Robles area is known for its wines. If you take some of the side roads off the highway, which is a nicely paved two-lane roadway, you can find yourself under the canopy of old oak trees, deep in the gloom of shade on a bright summer’s day.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta, Tri-X 400 by Kodak. Scanned and processed with Epson V600, VueScan, and Negative Lab Pro.

The Truck at Manzanar

The Truck at Manzanar

The day we came to Manzanar on our trip, we wandered throughout. Various places, such as the barracks, were open, but the visitor’s center was closed. Nonetheless, there was a lot to be seen.

Manzanar is a barren place, lonely and remote even today, even though it is readily accessible off Hwy 395 along the Eastern Sierra in California. Imagine being sent here, pulled from your home and put into buildings without insulation, subject to wind and dust, heat and snow, without appropriate clothing. Your entire family is stuffed into a room and there is no privacy. The internment of the Japanese did this.

This picture shows – and perhaps exaggerates – the isolation of Manzanar. Today it is still lonely, but 80 years ago probably even more so.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 521/16, Kodak TriX 400, Epson V600 and Negative Lab Pro.

Manzanar #1

Manzanar 1

In 2021 we headed out on what was to be a 3 week long road trip. The first part was up the Eastern Sierra along Hwy. 395, stopping and staying in Independence, CA. One of the most notable places to see along this route was Manzanar National Historic Site – a not very nice part of US history. It is a Japanese internment camp which was built for imprisoning Japanese Americans, natives of this country, and therefore citizens, as well as immigrants.

I took along a digital camera, and a folding camera, the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 521/16. Only now am I scanning the film – it took quite some time to finishing up the roll! I used Kodak TriX 400 and got twelve 6×6 images out of the roll, which is 120 film. To process the film, I took it to a local lab and then scanned it myself using the Epson V600 and Negative Lab Pro in Lightroom.

However, the trip ended when we got breakthrough Covid. We headed back home, sadly, but better safe than sorry, eh?

Sycamore

Sycamore

Before they added a second entry, this was the first tree to greet you as you walked in. Every autumn its leaves change color, and tumble to the ground. Sometimes they fly past you when the wind picks up. They are large and colorful, and something I look forward to every fall as much of California, where I live, is populated with non-deciduous trees and bushes.

Olympus Trip 35, Fuji Superia 400.

Time to Pause

Time to Pause

Over the next few weeks, expect more pictures of the local scenery. When I went out, at last able to do more than a hobble because of my foot, I went up to the botanical garden. With the seasonal changes come color changes, even here in Southern California. The local garden is always changing, and autumn and spring are the seasons with the most changes.

On this trip, I was determined to finish up a couple of rolls of film – the Olympus Trip 35 had Fuji Superia 400 in it, and the Agfa Ambi Silette, loaded in 2019, still had a lot of Kodak UltraMax 400 to be used up. The Agfa, too, had never been tested – it was one of those vintage cameras that intrigued me, so, being me, I bought it. The Trip 35 and the Agfa are small, but compared to the Trip 35, the Agfa is a tiny tank. A nice tank, but still a tank. It has no lugs, either, so I had to use a wrist strap that screws into the tripod mount. Awkward, but it works.

I always play with my photos, digital or analog, in Lightroom. Post processing is part of the way I see photos – like pictures and paintings – I want them to show what I want them to show, not what is straight out of the camera. One of my friends says this is cheating . . . ah, well. It’s autumn and time to show those colors and textures!

Wheel Barrows

Wheel Barrows

I busted a toe about 5 weeks ago and am finally able to wear more than a piece of tape around my 3rd and 4th toes and tight shoes. I have been hobbling around and taking, slowly and surely, short walks. I think I am out of the woods for the most part, and last week I was able to walk, very carefully, along the trails at the botanical garden. These wheel barrows reside behind their maintenance building, and I rather liked their colors and lines, so neatly stacked upon each other.

I took these with my Olympus Trip 35 and Fuji Superia 400 film. I picked up the film today and scanned and edited in post. The little Trip 35 does a great job for a camera ca. 1967. Some of the roll didn’t advance right, but when it did work, it did a pretty darned good job.

I save a lot of money on film since I don’t process it myself by scanning my own images in either my vintage Pakon 135 scanner, Epson V600, or Pacific Image scanners. Here I used the Pakon and my old eMachine XP laptop. It’s a pretty easy process. Once scanned, into Lightroom, and the rest, as they say, is history. There is something about film, even when edited in the digital darkroom, that a totally digital experience cannot replace – not even those great Fuji films mods in the X100V.