So we’ve left 2016 behind. Personally, it wasn’t a bad one after the suffering of 2015, as I found my way back into the gentle embrace of corporate life and an inch away from the intoxicating pleasure of steady monthly income. I also started to get into photography more seriously after 2015 curbed both my inspiration and budget, finally starting to process film on my own and experimenting with things like very long exposures and shooting outside of daylight hours in general. Having to reboot the blog also kicked me back in gear for writing animu opinions again.
I’m bad with things like New Year’s resolutions, but I do have some plans for 2017. Now that I’m getting myself more or less back on track, I’m planning the following things:
4th trip to Japan. I’ve been aching to go ever since the last highly successful trip to Yamagata. Having to work in a filthy logistics terminal right by the airport and sitting at an empty loading dock every day watching planes take off while sipping on awful filtered coffee was nothing short of torture, but such are life’s financial realities. I’m thinking of timing this trip to October and head once again to Tohoku for the autumn colors, as well as finally climbing Mount Choukai which I had to skip on my last trip due to adverse conditions. The backup plan in case of poor budget is revisiting Budapest, which was both affordable and all round impressive.
Medium format system. I’ve been getting into medium format photography recently but the only cameras I have are a pair of Zeiss Ikon Nettars, early 60’s folding cameras which were affordable compacts of their era. While they are fun to work with, they aren’t exactly flexible with a f/4.5 lens and only three shutter speeds. I need medium format’s much increased resolution over 35mm for proper landscape work, which depends on the ability to record minute detail. So I’ve been looking at getting a Zenza Bronica ETRS at the earliest opportunity. 645 is a compromise format, but it already provides ~2.7x the resolution of a 35mm frame, and 6×7 format cameras are too big and heavy for my liking. My decision to make a serious move towards larger formats was sealed as I was exploring the flea markets in my hometown to discover three boxes of medium format slide film (Velvia and Provia). I’m not going to waste such a find by shooting it on the Nettars.
Moving and establishing my own film lab. After getting the hang of processing black and white film I decided to expand to doing C-41 (color negative) and E-6 (slide film) on my own as soon as possible, as well as putting together a proper setup for making enlargements. Frustration after getting another batch of improperly handled negatives from a lab had a lot to do with this decision. Lucky antique store finds have yielded me some much-needed equipment, most importantly a photographic enlarger (Axomat 4 with Schneider Componar 4.5/75), an exposure timer for it, and some assorted darkroom supplies. Unfortunately in my current cramped apartment there’s nothing to build a darkroom in, but as the place has turned out to have a serious mold problem, I’m going to have to move out at the earliest opportunity anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not foolish enough to establish a business, but looking to expand my options and see how far I can go with this stuff. And not having to pay for a lab that wouldn’t know how to handle negatives to save their lives. Or retain paying customers.
This didn’t have all that much to do with anime, but hey, I’m the one paying the bills here. I’m going to have a pretty late start on the new season due to having to work on a seasonal job for the next few weeks calling for continuous night shift without days off, but I’ll be catching up by the end of the month.
Let’s conclude this with some of my favorite shots from 2016.
Next up, Flip Flappers and Occultic Nine.