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Ice Cream at Night

January 24, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I've been focused on local photography of the southern suburbs of Buffalo, NY for quite a while now. More and more, it is the ordinary that surrounds me every day that not only catches my eye but gets me out with the camera. I  am sure you will see even more posts like that from me in 2022.

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Instead of a single walk through a single neighborhood we're visiting three different food stands today. They're each very popular with the local community in their own way and each have their specialty. However, they are also stands that look great at night thanks to their bright lights or neons that make them very eye catching when the daylight runs out.

The idea started with a wonderful vintage ice cream stand in Orchard Park, New York. I drive by it almost every day and quite often even after dark. I figured I could include the popular local ice cream stands on a single roll of film of night photography. And of course, I had to start where the idea was born. I had to start by Custard Lite in Orchard Park, NY.

For this purpose, I loaded my Nikon FM2n with a roll of Cinestill 800T film. I like that specific camera for night photography because of its LED light meter that is very easy to see at night. On my other cameras, like the Nikon FE, I enjoy their analog match needle meters quite a bit but those become of limited value in the dark. And that's where the LED lights shine. I paired the camera with the original all metal pancake Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Custard Lite Corner at Dusk, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYCustard Lite Corner at DuskNight Photography

Custard Lite Corner at Dusk, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

This first establishing photograph has become a favorite of mine. I really enjoy leaving enough room in the frame for the utility poles and playing with their position in the frame. Most streets in the are run in a perpendicular pattern but here and their one is the oddball. And the end of the Ellicott Road is just such a road placing Custard Lite on a small triangular plot of land.

Since this was at night, there was a new opportunity though. There was an opportunity to show off the lights, to show off the vintage look of this stand. The 50mm lens worked well too and just allowed me to fill the frame with the building while staying within the safety of the lot. I was very happy I went for this frame filling photo and even happier when it showed up on my monitor screen. That's one of the quirks of film photography. It adds a dose of suspense as there is no LCD to quickly check to make sure the exposure and the focus were in order.

Custard Lite Lit Up, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYCustard Lite Lit UpNight Photography

Custard Lite Lit Up, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

I enjoy photography very much but prefer to do so away from people. For me, getting some peace and quiet and time just for myself are part of it. As soon as people are around the experience changes for me and it is no longer so relaxing and enjoyable. Night photography has its pros and cons from this point of view. There are usually fewer people around and that opens up new locations to photography that would otherwise be full of people. However, the people that are around will be even more suspicious of someone walking around and taking pictures at night. A lot of people just can't understand why I would take a photo of a building at night without any bad intentions. And if you run into a paranoid person that had one too many drinks the situation can get quite ugly.

Taffy's after Dark, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYTaffy's after DarkNight Photography

Taffy's after Dark, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

The second location is on the other side of Orchard Park. Whereas Custard Lite's specialty is ice cream, Taffy's is a popular open-air location for summer lunches and for milkshakes. And while their food selection is what one would expect their milkshake selection is wild. I don't remember the total but it must be over 100. Are you adventurous? Try to get each at least once! I will admit, I usually stick to a few of my favorites, and often go with the good old boring choice of strawberry banana.

For the final photo we're heading back across Orchard Park and all the way to Hamburg. And we will end with the same treat we started with, ice cream. Nick Charlap's ice cream stand stays open longer into the night than the other two and people stream in all the way through the closing time. And since I don't want people in my photographs, it can become quite the exercise in patience. To get this photograph, I actually had to return back twice. But it was worth it!

Nick Charlap's Open at Night, Night Photography, Hamburg, NYNick Charlap's Open at NightNight Photography

Nick Charlap's Open at Night, Night Photography, Hamburg, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

That's it for today. I hope you've enjoyed this change of pace and the night time photogrpahs.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

Night at a Grain Elevator, Riverworks, Buffalo, New York (NY)Night at a Grain ElevatorNight Photography Buffalo, New York - a steel bison sculpture, an old red double-decker bus, and a grain elevator - night photography from Buffalo, NYBuffalo, New YorkNight Photography London Double-Decker Bus around the Corner of an old Grain Elevator, Buffalo, NYBus 'round the CornerNight Photography

Peace Bridge Blues at Night, Niagara River, Buffalo, NYPeace Bridge Blues at NightNight Photography USS Little Rock at Daybreak, Buffalo Naval & Military Park, New York (NY).USS Little Rock at DaybreakNight Photography


A Winter Walk

January 20, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Snow was late to come this winter season but it's here for the moment so let's enjoy it and celebrate it with some white scenes. These two photos have been waiting in my blog queue for a while. They go back to 2018 and my cold winter's day walk in Beaver Island State Park.

Commission House, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New YorkCommission HouseBeaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York

Commission House, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York

It was very cold, air freezing my nose, and snow beautifully cracking under my boots. There was also a lot of mist over the Niagara River creating a nice mysterious mood and simplifying my backdrops. It's sometimes tough to convince myself to go out in these conditions but I always enjoy it once out there.

Tree on the River Banks, Beaver Island State Park,  Grand Island, New YorkTree on the River BanksBeaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York.

Tree on the River Banks, Beaver Island State Park,  Grand Island, New York

Hope you all have a wonderful day whether you choose to brave the low and still dropping temperatues or watch the white world from the comfort of your home, maybe sitting by a fireplace and sipping hot beverage of your choice.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

Did you enjoy this Western New York post and the enclosed photographs? Visit the Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes gallery for more local landscapes. If you are a fan of the snowy white season, I have a Winter collection dedicated to that season for you. Please, let me know if you have any questions about photo products offered, or not offered. Looking for a present? I offer ready to hang solutions like canvas gallery wraps, prints on metal, and matted and framed ready to hang photographs. You can see the photo and product offering on the Products page.

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).

Active Volcano on Lake Erie, Winter in Western New York.Active Volcano on Lake ErieWinter Frosty Horseshoe Falls of NIagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and New York State (NY), United States (USA).Frosty Horseshoe FallsWinter

Season's Greetings from Buffalo Main Light - Lighthouse in Winter, Erie Basin MarinaSeason's Greetings from Buffalo Main LightWinter Kiss of Light on Buffalo Main Light, Erie Basin Marina - Waterfront, Buffalo, New York (NY).Kiss of Light on Buffalo Main LightWinter South End Marina Frozen & Wind-Swept by Cargill Pool Grain Elevator, Buffalo, New York (NY).Frozen & Wind-Swept by CargillWinter

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Cyanotypes VI: Toning

January 17, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Cyanotypes are known for and easily identified by their blue color. But are they? Yes, straight printing with cyanotype chemicals will result in blue prints. That's what gave the name to the term blueprint. However, one does not have to stop there.

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This was my first venture into altering the final results of my cyanotypes. In concept, it is a very simple process, however, it adds quite a bit of time until one gets to the finish line. First step is to print a normal blue-looking cyanotype and let it fully dry and cure by being exposed to oxygen. It seems like the general recommendation is about 24 hours. At this point, you may have something like the below print.

Helfštýn Courtyard Cyanotype, The Original BlueHelfštýn Courtyard CyanotypeThe Original Blue

Helfštýn Courtyard Cyanotype - The Original Blue, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

After 24 hours, the print is ready to go through the next two or more toning phases. First, the print needs to be bleached and I followed the recommendation of using washing soda (not baking soda), approximately one tea spoon per liter. In my case, I estimated half a tea spoon and only mixed 500ml.

The length of bleaching depends on one's desired results. The highlights and then mid-tones start bleaching first and very quickly, in about 15 seconds. Then the apparent speed goes down and full bleaching my take 2 to 3 minutes depending on the print, the paper, the bleach concentration, the temperature, and probably the weather outside (joking). I do the bleaching step in a darkroom tray while constantly agitating the bleach by rocking the tray back and forth.

Removing the print after about 10 - 30 seconds results in a partially bleached print with the shadows keeping some of their blues. You can see a sample of that stage below. This remaining blue will combine with our toner in a successive step. Based on how long the bleach worked on the shadows their color may also change and they may appear black, gray, cyan, or even have a greenish tone.

Helfštýn Courtyard Cyanotype - Partially BleachedHelfštýn Courtyard CyanotypePartially Bleached

Helfštýn Courtyard Cyanotype - Partially Bleached, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

Continued bleaching will start removing even the mid-tones and shadow areas and the look will depend a lot on the paper. Smooth papers bleach differently than textured papers. In this case of the rough texture of the Shizen Design Watercolor Paper, the dark areas turn yellow and "never" really disappear, at least not within a few minutes. For full bleaching, I wait for all other colors do disappear and only faint yellows and whites remaining.

After bleaching, whether partial or full, the print needs to go back into a water wash to get the bleach out. I have seen wildly differing recommendations but based on my testing so far, 4 minutes of flowing water in a print washing tray does the trick. However, ask me in 100 years to confirm whether those 4 minutes provide archival washing quality.

Once washed, the print goes into a toner of your choice. In today's example, I used the partially bleached print from the above step and toned it in black tea, 4 tea bags per 500ml. Temperature does matter and going with room temperature is generally recommended. Higher temperatures will result in faster toning but will also cause general paper staining, front and back.

Helfštýn Courtyard Cyanotype - Toned in Black TeaHelfštýn Courtyard CyanotypeToned in Black Tea

Helfštýn Courtyard Cyanotype - Toned in Black Tea, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

You can see the remaining unbleached areas in the above print. You can increase their presence by bleaching less or decrease by bleaching more, all the way to removing them completely.

Alright, that's it for black tea. But how about other toners? How about green tea? Or white tea? Or something more adventurous like red wine? Let's take a look. First, I printed a whole bunch of cyanotypes from the same negative so that I could keep some in blue and experiment with the rest.

Helfštýn Archway - Cyanotype BlueHelfštýn Archway CyanotypeCyanotype in Blue

Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype - In Blue, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

I really liked the blue look. I am definitely nowhere close to getting tired of these blue beauties. As a result, it was quite hard to keep only couple and proceed through the next stages with the rest. During this session, I decided to stick with the partial bleaching process. If you'd like to see what one can get with fully bleached prints, you'll need to return to my blog in a week or two, I hope to have that post up by then.

Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype Toned in Black TeaHelfštýn Archway CyanotypeToned in Black Tea

Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype Toned in Black Tea, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

The theory has it that as far as teas go black tea tones the most and the closest to black tones. It results in rich blacks. It also stains the paper on both sides. At first, I did not like the staining much and was excited about trying other teas but at this point, I will admit I am more and more partial to going back to black tea. The charcoal look appeals to me more and more and I am over my initial problem with the slight general staining. It can also be somewhat controlled by keeping the toner at room temperature or at least between 20ºC to 30ºC. Hotter liquid will stain more. I also found that at this temperature and with this paper, 15 minutes provides a good balance between effective toning and limited staining. Leaving the print in black tea for significantly longer results in limited toning improvement but significant staining all over.

Next planned experiment was with cheap red wine at about $6 for 1 liter. I was not sure what to expect but wanted to try something other than tea. I also intentiopnally stayed away from coffee for now. I use coffee and Caffenol for another project and wanted to try my hand in other materials first.

Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype Toned in Red Wine & White TeaHelfštýn Archway CyanotypeToned in Red Wine & White Tea

Helfštýn Archway Cyanotype Toned in Red Wine and White Tea, An Original Hand-Made 5" x 7" Cyanotype
Chemically printed on a hand-coated Shizen Design textured surface cold pressed recycled watercolor paper

After 15 minutes in red wine, the toning was very faint and I did not yet have the experience that would prompt me to either raise the temperature or let the print sit in the wine for longer to see what would happen. I still have not tried that and it is coming soon. On this day, I decided to pull the partially toned print out, wash it, and then tone in white tea. Why white? I was afraid black tea would overpower the faint wine toning results and I did not have cheap green tea on hand. I did not want to "waste" fancy loose tea for these experiments. However, I had some cheap white tea handy that I normally use for my kombucha. I used the same strength of 4 tea bags in 500ml of water and went for it. I read that white tea was not good for toning but I figured I could try and hoped that in combination with red wine it would be enough, And it worked really nicely and I am sure this was not the last time I tried this combo.

Future plans? I am working on a project that will require me to print traditional cyanotypes as well as cyanotypes toned in green tea. I need to try red wine again on its own and be more patient. I am also more and more curious about coffee. And there are quite a few herbs that can also be used. I really liked prints toned in marjoram I saw soemwhere on the web.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Previous posts in the Cyanotypes series: 1. First Cyanotype - 2. More Cyanotypes - 3. Highlands Cyanotypes - 4. How do Cyanotypes Happen? - 5. Cyanotypes V: Tweaking the Curve - 6. Cyanotypes VI: Toning

If you like cyanotypes you can explore the Cyanotypes Photo Gallery dedicated to my growing collection of them. Would you like to browse through traditional darkroom wet prints? Visit my Darkroom Photo Gallery and enjoy! Do not hesitate to contact me whether you would like to learn more or would like to purchase one of my prints.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

House of Memories Cyanotype, An original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.House of MemoriesCyanotype Helfštýn Castle Palace Cyanotype, an original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.Helfštýn Castle PalaceCyanotype Highland Hay Bales Cyanotype, An original hand-made 5" x 7" cyanotype print from the Czech Republic.Highland Hay BalesCyanotype

 


Shenandoah: The Unfinished Hike

January 10, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I realize it's no longer fall but I have had this post sequenced since October. Then I always got excited about some new photographs and pushed it a week, and another, and another. In fact, the gorgeous Rose River Falls hike has remained unfinished since 2019! I hope you enjoy the burst of color in our mostly gray world.

Hopping Down the Steps, Rose River Falls Trail, Shenandoah National ParkHopping Down the StepsRose River Falls Trail

Hopping Down the Steps, Rose River Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park

Looking at these two photos induced a bit of nostalgia and I went back to photo archives and realized how long it has been since our last trip to Shenandoah National Park. Wow, two back to back trips in 2013 and 2014 and not since then.

Waterfall Zigzag, Rose River Falls Trail, Shenandoah National ParkWaterfall ZigzagRose River Falls Trail

Waterfall Zigzag, Rose River Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park

I hope this brought a dose of warmth to this cold day and maybe even a smile.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

Previously from Shenandoah: Trouble with ColorThe Details or the Wide and Grand? - The Skyline Drive View in Autumn - The Lonely Tree - Dark Hollow FallsCozy at ShenandoahSkyline Drive of ShenandoahShenandoah SunsetDifferent Look of Shenandoah at Big MeadowShenandoah is Waking UpOn Skyline Drive - Colorful FlashbackLuray CavernsLuray Valley MuseumFox Hollow Trail - The Treasures of Shenandoah - Distant Sunset Views - Hiking - Rose River Falls Trail - Still on the Rose River Falls Trail - More Waterfall Wonders along the Rose River Falls Trail - Continuing our hike along the Rose River Falls trail - Shenandoah: The Unfinished Hike

Did you enjoy this post and the enclosed photographs? Visit the Landscapes Faraway gallery for natural landscape beyond Western New York to see more. If you are a fan of nature's fall colors, I have an Autumn gallery dedicated to that season for you. Please, let me know if you have any questions about photo products offered, or not offered. Looking for a present? I offer ready to hang solutions like canvas gallery wraps, prints on metal, and matted and framed ready to hang photographs. You can see the photo and product offering on the Products page.

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).

Lower Emery Falls in the Fall, AutumnLower Emery Falls in the FallAutumn Eternal Flame Falls Ravine and Creek in Chestnut Ridge Park in the Fall - Autumn, Orchard Park, New York (NY).Eternal Flame FallsAutumn South Emery Falls in the Fall, AutumnSouth Emery Falls in the FallAutumn

Water Veils in the Fall, Dark Hollow Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park, VIrginia (VA)Water Veils in the FallAutumn Fall At Watkins Glen, AutumnFall At Watkins GlenAutumn

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Twelve Months, Twenty Photos - 2021, Black and White

January 06, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

As promised in the previous color edition of this post here's the 2021 in review in black and white. During the selection process it was very obvious what role the seasons play in me choosing black and white or color. While my color photographs did not kick in until April I could fill this whole grid with black and white photographs between January and March.

Twelve Months Twenty Photos 2021 - Black and White, Annual collage selection for a year in review.Twelve Months Twenty Photos 2021Black and White

As a result we're starting this grid on the home front with winter scenes from Orchard Park and East Aurora. Everything was beautifully covered in snow. The sky was almost permanently not so beautifully gray. Nature looked black and white to me and that drove my choice to stick with black and white film during those months. I'll see what 2022 brings but so far we are lacking the white cover, everything seems to be gray, and my bias towards black and white holds. But who knows. If we get some nice sunny days with blue sky it might be cool to go for color contrast. Stop by in a year and we'll see.

Then came the road trip to Arkansas with a repeat stop at Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, MO. It provided a nice driving break, an opportunity to stretch our legs, and had plenty to offer photographically too. Then a short drive along the wonderful Route 66 that we like to seek anytime we get close enough, and finally Arkansas. We visited the charming little town of Eureka Springs several times, hiked several areas of the Hobbs State Park, and went for a longer 1-day trip to explore the Buffalo National River area.

Next up was a summer trip to the Czech Republic with a mix of hiking and castle chasing. Some of the places we enjoyed that made it to the 2021 collage are Rymice, Radhošť, Milotice, Holešov, Helfštýn, Karlštejn, definitely a dirt road, and Praha (Prague). 

And finally, the selection is closed by a home front sample from the long-term large format Niagara River Project photographing locations along the river with a 4x5 camera on Foma film developed in Caffenol. It was a big year for Caffenol. After some experimentation I settled on developing Fomapan 100 and 400 in Caffenol Delta and was able to get consistent results very much to my liking. The project is far from over and I will stick with the chosen constraints into 2022.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Twelve Months, Twenty Photos 2019Twelve Months, Twenty Photos 2019A cut through 2019. All photos captured on film. Twelve Months Twenty Photos 2018Twelve Months Twenty Photos2018

Twelve Months, Twenty Photos 2017Twelve Months, Twenty Photos 2017A 2017 year-end collage of natural landscapes and cityscapes from around Buffalo, NY. Twelve months, twenty photosTwelve months, twenty photos

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