By the fall of 2011 I had been living in Texas for a little over a year. Things weren't really going that well. I took three weeks off from my job and from some other shit and went home to the coast of Maine. On my way through Massachusetts I borrowed a leaky Mamiya 7 from my friend/former college professor/former landlord and bought a shitload of Kodak Portra and my scumbag friend Dan picked me up in his mom's minivan and we drove to Maine. I'm not making this up. I missed Maine so badly. I took all of these photos in Acadia National Park in October while extremely high on marijuana. I had never used a rangefinder before, which is to say I figured it out in two seconds and then promptly forgot it was any different from any other manual focus film camera, but go ahead and use that hashtag. I went back to Texas, lost track of all kinds of things including my self, and eventually got the film developed a year later when I gave up and moved back to New England. I remember cutting the film, putting it into plastic sleeves, noticing that it had come back very dirty, and putting it in a box. Guess what, eight years later we've got ourselves a pandemic and I don't have to go to work in the morning, I scanned the fucking film. LOTS of dust and garbage on the negatives, just real bad, but here are some pictures I took while I was high and feeling free.
striding cracking across the white cellophane
ice atop the mud, dead leaves dusted, late snow
just trees, jumbled and mismatched
mossy stumps to mark the tall ghosts
the gloom, the morning, the afterward darkness of
among vague constellations of stone, cairns
to hold the corners, inscrutable
one thousand sagas sung at sunrise, junco
songs and pileated hyena hymns in the cold
lacing the understory, the stone walls
time-tossed and doomed to be forgotten
I walked through my own plume of white breath
weaving into this invertebrate
forest, to haunt it
for a few moments of my own.
Bristol, New Hampshire, March 2020.
Developed film in my kitchen sink for the first time in eight years. The last time I did it was in a hot dark roach-infested studio apartment in south Austin, Texas, back in 2012, near the end of a bad time. The place had a windowless bathroom and so I'd load up film and get drunk by myself and sweat and sweat and sweat and listen to The Argument by Fugazi and develop my film in the sink late at night. I didn't have a scanner or anything at the time so the shoebox full of exposed rolls of T-MAX just slowly became a bigger box full of processed rolls of T-MAX, and then soon I was back in New England and unemployed for almost a year and then I used a couple of the checks to get a scanner and basically did the same thing - scan film all night with my headphones on until I had two years worth of film done. You can see that work here.
Anyway, things are different now, I've been "quarantined" at home for several weeks raising a majestic toddler and teaching her to dance to punk rock, mainly Idles and The Stooges. The idea is to just flail wildly and take snack breaks at the slightest whim. She's into it. My house is full of windows and chores and so I load the film in a closet at night after the light's gone from the sky and everyone is asleep, and then it's late and I'm tired (9:45, what the hell has become of me) so I develop it in the kitchen sink the next day during naptime. I used Ilfosol-3 for the first time so that I could just mix small amounts as needed, after a lifetime of 1-gallon D-76 dilutions, waiting for it to cool down, etc. I also used Ilford stop and fixer, but stuck with the Kodak photoflo. In case any nerds stumble upon this and care. I listened to Caligula by Lingua Ignota while I was doing it - an imposing, incredible record.
A couple years ago someone gave me a Nikkormat 35mm camera in good shape, with a bunch of expired black and white film of a type I'd not seen before: Arista.edu Ultra 400, which according the the packaging is "the educator's choice." Free film, so I shot it, and that's what you see above - shot with the free camera, no less. I developed it for 7 minutes at 68 degrees F, Ilfosol-3 1:9 dilution, and it came out just fine. That there is the main summit of Osceola from the shoulder below the east summit, almost one year ago. Pretty cool.