Highways 35/45, revisited.

A tale of two exposures.

Sometimes bad is good. Happy accidents. Kismet.

All that.

I brought a few cameras with me that morning. The location is an intersection of highways just north of Austin, TX called 35/45.

I set-up in a field right next to a car wash, and I was able to safely park in their lot. I asked if it was okay. No problem.

The structure is huge and this vantage point is quite something.

I used one of the wide-and-long shadows cast by the early morning sun to set up the tripod.

I used one of the wide-and-long shadows cast by the early morning sun to set up the tripod. Getting there early worked pretty well.

I had with me a pair of pinhole cameras that had some old film in ’em. My GX8. And I also brought along the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9.

I’ve posted before about the pinhole experience.

I made four instant shots in-between setting up and shooting with the pinholes.

I was quite happy with one particular instant and posted it on my film IG, @dogbonesoup

The other three didn’t seem to capture the story, how I feel, or what I liked about this location and vantage point.

This was back in July 2019. Over a year ago.

This past week I’ve looked back again at the instants from that morning – they’re in a stack of various sized instant shots on my desk I need to organize and store – and what caught my eye this time around was a different shot that was a little overexposed and somewhat blown out.

My position in relation to the sun had changed, and when I moved I lost the shade from the structure.

My position in relation to the sun had changed, and when I moved I lost the shade from the structure. That also means that a couple of these instants were overexposed because I didn’t change the settings on the camera accordingly.

Anyway, today I scanned the two that illustrated the point I’m trying make, here…

Looking at the two scans side-by-side, I am drawn to the dream-like feel of the overexposed shot.

The good exposure, while nicely composed, looks a little tame. Staid. A well documented structure. Very little emotion.

In contrast, the overexposed instant has so much more going for it. I holds a story. Feeling. Nostalgia. Mystery. A sense of wanderlust.

Emotion.

I love that this shot has a toy-camera vibe to it. I guess stepping out of that shadow proved to be a good thing.

Rusty shutters #33.

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Polaroid SX-70 SE Sonar OneStep.

October 2007.

This blue-button SX-70 – that’s why it has “SE” as part of the camera’s name, maybe – was purchased at the San Jose Photofair.

Sadly, I no longer have this camera. It started to produce a series of 4 small, fuzzy, and bright yellowish dots vertically just off-center left. Don’t know why or how that began, but I stopped using it altogether about a year after I got it.

I got some great shots with it before its demise, though.

I did a slight variation of Adrian Hanft’s hack

Auto focus was pretty cool. I was able to use a bit of my 600 film stash, too. At the time 600 film was still available and I would snag 5-packs at Costco for around $40 US, as I recall. A good deal.

To use that film in the Sonar OneStep, I did a slight variation of Adrian Hanft’s hack, which involved just removing the ND filter over the photocell and turning the light/dark dial all the way to dark for each shot. It worked well.

Body: Black plastic with brown vinyl porvair
Focusing: Split-image rangefinder. manual or autofocus
Lens: 4-element 116mm glass
Manual focus: 10.4 inches – infinity
Shutter: Electronic
Shutter speeds: 1/180th to 14 seconds
Aperture range: f/8 – f/74
Dimensions: DWH 6.49in x 3.93in x 1.77in

Rusty shutters #27.

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Polaroid one600|Ultra.

January 2006.

I’m pretty sure I bought this camera at Costco. 13 years makes an old man’s memory shaky.

At any rate, it was before Polaroid stopped producing their 600 film, which was available from Costco at a not-too-terrible price. As I recall, 5 packs were less than 40 dollars US.

This guy got a lot of use before I moved on to the SX-70. I shot it around downtown San Jose and my old neighborhood in Santa Clara, CA.

Sad thing is I no longer have this camera – or if I do, I don’t know where I stashed it – but I do have a few other Polaroids that’ll use up my remaining packs of 600 film.

Body: Two-tone silver/darkgrey, pop-up
Lens: 100mm, 2 element, plastic, fixed focal length
Aperture: ƒ/2.9
Shutter speed 1/3 – 1/200sec
Flash modes: Auto mode, flash off mode, red-eye reduction
Viewfinder: LCD info screen shows flash mode, film counter and self timer status
Focus: 2 ft to infinity
Size WDH: 4.7in x 6.2in x 3.6in
Weight: 18oz

Rusty shutters #24.

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Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10.

June 2017.

A lot of photo review sites panned the Fujifilm Instax SQ10, but I really like this funky little shooter. A hybrid digital/film instant camera just made sense to me.

I like the fact that you can shoot first, print later. Makes for fewer wasted shots and that, in my opinion, saves money.

IQ is what it is. I did a side-by-side comparison of photos made with the SQ6 (which I’ll feature in the near future) and I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. Plus, the LED display on the back of the SQ10 makes framing a shot super convenient. You see what you’re getting in realtime.

From vignetting to a number of creative filters and brightness adjustment, the SQ10 makes tweaking shots easy. It even does double exposures and the quick auto-focus is nice.

Along with 35mm and 120 cameras, I carry the SQ10 plus an extra pack of film in my film-only camera bag. Its small footprint makes it an easy choice to always have at the ready.

I like this little guy lots.

Resolution: 3.7 megapixels
Film size: 3.3 x 2.8in
Image size: 2.4 x 2.4in
Display: 3in LCD @ 460,000 pixels
ISO: Auto (100-1600)
Shutter Speeds: 10 sec – 1/29500 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.4
Focal Length: 28.5mm
Macro: 3.9 in
Metering: Multi-segment
Dimensions: 4.1in x 2.3in x 1.3in
Weight: 15.9 oz
Power: Fujifilm NP-50 lithium ion – MicroUSB charging
Memory card: MicroSD/SDHC card
Size WDH: 4.7 x 1.9 x 5in