Film Washi B&W

A few months ago, a good friend gave me a roll of film made from sound recording film by a company called Film Washi. It’s supposed to be a very fine grain B&W film at 50 ISO. I loaded it into my vintage Pentax Spotmatic and carried it on a few trips.

The first trip was in October 2017 to the North Carolina High Country. The trip was mostly for fall color, but I did some B&W work as well. The second trip was to Buck’s Pocket State Park in AL. I usually hit the B&W during the middle of the day when the contrast is too much for slide film.

I didn’t know it at the time, but after looking at the spec sheet – it’s not good for high contrast scenes either. In particular, it has a tendency to blow out the sky.

Here’s a shot of the ranger station at Linville Gorge Wilderness area, taken around 2pm in the afternoon. This shot has strong sun filtered through the trees.

Here’s a shot of the overlook at Buck’s Pocket State Park. This was taken on a cloudless day in the early afternoon:


Most of the shots on this roll were unusable for printing and took a good bit of level & curves work with Photoshop before they were good enough to post.

Fortunately, I did have a couple of shots from the Rough Ridge trail where I had been shooting the sunrise with my Hasselblad. There was a group of students from Lees-MacRae College that were also watching the sunrise. I was able to get this shot – handheld at 1.8 aperture. Good thing the Pentax has an incredible Japanese made lens!


This is the kind of shot that makes this film shine. Just remember, it shoots more like slide film than traditional B&W. I would guess that is has an exposure latitude of 4 to 5 stops. I think I will pick up another roll to keep in the bag in case I need a high contrast B&W with a very fine grain.

Mountain Trip – June 2014

June 18, 2014 – Another trip through Linville Gorge. Got to the campsite at the bend just before a huge thunderstorm rolled past.  You could see the thunderstorms building as I headed up the ridge from I-40. Now I’m just waiting for the charcoal to get going so I can put the pork chops on.  I decided to grill each night that I’m Jeep camping – we’ll see how it goes.

I plan on driving up to a spot before Wiseman View on the right where the trees are cleared and see if the sunset will shot.  Tomorrow the plan is to hike to the bottom of Linville Falls.

June 19, 2014 – Tried to shoot the sunrise at Wiseman View.  I took a couple of shots, but no clouds or good color.  I went back to the campsite to see the sun rise over Hawksbill Mtn, but the sun comes up farther to the north this time of year.  I should have checked the Photographers Ephemeris before I came.

I hiked to the bottom of Linville Falls.  It’s not too bad of a hike.  15-20 minutes to the bottom.  A lot of rocky spots to scramble through though.  I met a hippy yoga instructor with a dulcimer.  Her name was Ann Marie.  She said that the good light is ~8am this time of year.  She also said to order the trout BLT at Little Switzerland.

I took a few shots of the falls from the shore on the right side of the falls.  I also climbed up to on a large boulder in the middle of the river and checked the angle from there.  I plan to go back down with the Hassy 1st thing in the morning.  I also “hiked” to a small falls on a creek near the visitor center.

I drove up the road to Roan Mountain State Park – it took about an hour or so from Linville Falls area.  I hiked the trail to Roan High Knob.  The trail head is at the back and it’s only a 1/2 mile to the lookout point.  It was too hazy for photos, but I got some good cloud shots if they turn out.  I was using the circular polarizer to get some dramatic skies.  I also tried some shots of a pretty fern.  Then I hiked through the Rhododendron Gardens & found placed to shoot tomorrow. Continue reading

Night Swimming

Night SwimmingThis is a photograph that I have named “Night Swimming”.  This is from the first roll of slide film (Velvia) that I had ever shot, and I have been hooked ever since.  I still remember pulling the slide out of the box and trying to figure out when I had taken any night pictures.  Then I realized that I was holding the slide upside down.

This was taken somewhere near the Chinnabee Silent Trail in Cheaha State Park.  It looks great in a ~8X10 print and you can hang it either way.

New Years Goals

I’m not much on resolutions because I can never seem to keep them. However, I am a big fan of goals. Here are a few things that I am going to do every day in January in an attempt to create some good habits:

  1. Run/Walk 2 miles – this is the distance to the stop sign at the end of the road.  I don’t care about the time, but need to create a habit of running again.
  2. Read a chapter in the Bible – I’ve been working my way through Luke, but I need to be more consistent.
  3. Write something – it doesn’t matter what or where.  I need to spend more time writing, either here or on my Google+ account.  This also includes posting photos.
  4. Play something – mandolin, drums, guitar.  I would like to be able to play Windy and Warm by the end of January.

That’s it!  I hope that this is not too difficult to achieve.


Tycho Target Trouble

I lost a few hours this weekend over one line in a maven pom.xml file.  I thought I would post the issue here so that anyone else that runs into this problem might find some help.  The original setup is this:

I have a fairly large Eclipse based application that I am moving from Juno to Kepler.  I am currently using the Maven/Tycho build structure, so I decided to incorporate a Target Platform definition to make it easier for other developers to set up their target platform as they also move to a Kepler install for their IDE.  I created a project with a target platform and copied a pom.xml file from another project.  I set the packaging to “eclipse-target-definition”.  I added all of the dependencies to the target platform definition and set it as the target platform and was able to build successfully with Eclipse.

When I tried to build with maven, the build (even a clean) would fail immediately with “Could not resolve target platform specification artifact”.  After reading a few pages of google search results, I downloaded the Tycho demo project from here:

The itp04-rcp project has a target platform, and I could not see any differences between the demo pom.xml and mine.  I moved my target definition into the demo project and did not see the same error, so I determined that it was not an issue with the target definition itself.  After a few hours of tweaking, I finally figured out that you can’t have a version element in the pom.xml file for a target platform.

I removed the version element and was able to build and install my products.  Now I’m off to the races with Kepler!

Eclipse Communications Framework

A Forensic Approach

A few months ago, I started looking into using Eclipse ECF to provide a mechanism for moving some OSGi services to a remote OSGi paradigm.  The problem that I very quickly ran into is that ECF has the least amount of documentation of any Eclipse project that I have used.  Much of the documentation is also geared toward developers who want to develop new protocols, containers, discoverers, etc.  I do not want to develop ECF, I want to use it!

Of course, after my rant about lack of documentation, I found that the ECF team is working on an ECF Users Guide.

After a few days of Google exercises, I decided to go to the source and see what I could figure out for myself.  I started by cloning the ECF repository available here: ECF Git Repository and then loaded all of the projects into a new workspace.

The Tests

I checked my Run Configurations and found that there were now several JUnit Plugin tests created from launch configurations included in the test projects.

ECF Run Configurations

I launched each of the tests and found that most completed successfully.  I was a bit surprised, since I still had several compile issues in the source.  As it turns out, the compile issues were either due to missing dependencies or were bundles in an incubation directory:

  • There are a few ECF SDO plugins that depend on EMF SDO
  • The mylyn plugin had compile issues (probably because I’m running Kepler)
  • There is an ECF provider (and test) for dnsdd that has a dependency on org.xbill.dns
  • There is an ECF provider (and test) for zookeeper that has a dependency on org.apache.hadoop.zookeper
  • There is an ECF plugin with import dependencies on the Spring Framework
  • The REST capabilities have a dependency on org.json
  • There are twitter bundles that I assume have a dependency on some Twitter packages.

The tests that did not use these items seemed to run correctly.  This was important to me so that I could get a baseline of working code to use as a comparison for my learning experiences.

The Examples

The other great way to learn from the code is to check out all of the example projects that are included in the repository.  There are several example client and server bundles with run configurations that show how the different configurations are set up to connect.

For distributed OSGi, there are different configurations of the same remote connection:

  1. Declarative Services or register the service programmatically
  2. Service Discovery or static endpoint configuration
  3. If using Service Discovery, pick from SLP, Zookeeper, or Zeroconf
  4. r-OSGi or ECF Generic
  5. Synchronous or Asynchronous with callbacks

I was able to learn a great deal about how the remote OSGi can be configured by focusing on the commonality and differences between the examples:

ECF Example Projects

All in all, I was able to get my services working in a few different configurations.  I still have a good bit of work to do because I was using EMF objects as parameters of my service methods, and EMF objects are not serializable without some extra code.  But that’s a post for another day…

Scanned Film Sharpness

I finally had one of my images from Yosemite printed in a larger format (9″ x 16″) and found that the print was nowhere near as sharp as I thought it would be. I started going through the reasons that an image would lack sharpness:

  1. Focus – I was assuming that this was the issue, but then I realized that I had focused at infinity for the shot (across Yosemite Valley).
  2. Camera Shake – I was using a tripod and mirror lockup. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t what happened. I also checked the other shots in the same series and they have similar sharpness problems.
  3. Lens – I have read that no lens is sharp throughout the entire aperture range.

I assumed that the problem must be with lens sharpness, so I set up my camera and took the same shot of my house at each different aperture. I was using a stable tripod, mirror lockup, a cable release, and there was no wind. I scanned the developed film and found something interesting.

All of the images were equally sharp, or more accurately, each image was equally UN-sharp. Here is a sample of the shots at 100% zoom:

80mm lens at F2.8:

80mm lens at F8:

80mm lens at F22:

After further research, I found that all scanners (especially running at 4800 dpi) have issues with sharpness. I could see where it could be an issue when trying to approximate an analog film process using digital. Back in the day, there would have been several parameters in play even after the film was developed:

  1. Sharpness of the image
  2. Grain of the film
  3. Aperture used on the enlarger
  4. Type of paper used for printing
  5. Developer used for the paper

Now with this information, I know that I need to really sharpen the image before printing. I was hoping to find a setting for sharpening that would work in all cases, but that never panned out. I guess I’ll just have to work with each image on its own. Here’s a side by side with the sharpened version:

Fun with Google CodePro

Usually when a software tool has “Pro” in the name, it means that it is expensive. Sometimes it just means that the features are unlocked so that you can actually use the tool. In this case it means FREE.

I have used CodePro on another project, but started using it again to help analyze the Stanford Natural Language Parser (also free).  I would like to use the StanfordNLP in a side project that I have in mind.  The problem is that is has a large code base in a domain (language parsing) that I am not familiar with.

I will have to split this into multiple posts, but you can read about the metrics report below.

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Kallitype Printing

I had ordered a kit for Kallitype printing from the Photographer’s Formulary and received it a while back. It came with seven pages of instructions that still seem a bit short. Next time I will order from Bostick and Sullivan even though the price is higher.

It took some work to get all of the containers and measuring cups, which I had assumed would be included with the kit. I found most of the containers that I needed at various places around town, and I finally found some amber dropper bottles (50mL) at Propst Pharmacy that were not actually for sale. The next time I will order containers with the kit! I also got a red bulb and a black light from Walmart. I am still a bit confused on why the instructions require a red light since this is not supposed to be a darkroom process.

I mixed all of the chemicals in the upstairs bathroom and put them in marked containers. I sensitized some Arches Coldpress paper and let it dry. My first exposure was of a B&W 120 negative of dogwood flowers. I think I overexposed it though in the sun for 75 minutes.

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