Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Grapevine, TX Monday, Oct 8 2012 

I spent this Sunday afternoon finally developing a roll of Ilford FP5 Plus film. It’s a roll I started in Rome, and finished at the Italian Car Festival in Grapevine. I was a little hesitant, because the last time I tried to develop my own film, I wasn’t very successful.

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

The first of the successful photos from the film roll I developed is this image of a 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, taken at the Italian Car Festival. You can see a closeup of Giulietta’s grille, in color, in my post about the ICF.

An interesting “feature” of these new photos is that the image area includes a part of the “Ilford FP4 Plus” imprint on the bottom of the film. On this one, I decided to scan the whole imprint, almost as proof that this is a film shot.

You’re welcome to share your experience and advice about developing film in the comments.

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New Roll Failures, Grapevine, TX Sunday, Oct 7 2012 

I spent this Sunday afternoon finally developing a roll of Ilford FP5 Plus film. It’s a roll I started in Rome, and finished at the Italian Car Festival in Grapevine. I was a little hesitant, because the last time I tried to develop my own film, I wasn’t very successful.

These two photos are my only major failures on this roll. The culprit again was the spiral spool, and there was a spot where the chemicals didn’t quite flow freely to the film surface.

Lamborghini Murcielago

Lamborghini Murcielago

The first photo above is of a wheel of a Lamborghini Murcielago. You can see that the right side of the photo is a smear, where the chemicals got all haywire. The bottom right corner of the photo is somehow preserved.

DeLorean

DeLorean

The next photo on the roll was this shot of a DeLorean grille. The smear is on the left this time, and you can see how it angles away at the bottom – that line continues and saves that little corner of the previous photo.

The good news is that the rest of the photos came out just fine, and I’ll be happy to post a few more of them next week.

You’re welcome to share your experience and advice about developing film in the comments.

Sunset, Grapevine Lake, TX Saturday, Sep 15 2012 

This photo is literally the last photo I took with my Canon 20D.

Sunset, Grapevine Lake

Sunset, Grapevine Lake

I mentioned yesterday that I owned a Canon 20D digital camera for a few years. I bought it from a friend who had upgraded, and I really liked it. It had the dial on the back, which made selecting options very easy. The camera had a nice heavy feel to it and fit nicely in my hand.

When I bought it, 20D was already obsolete – 30D was already on the market and 40D came up shortly after that. But those cameras didn’t really offer anything I wanted. The Live View on the 40D would have been nice, but it wasn’t enough for me to switch.

I went on many trips with the 20D, shot several studio sessions and a wedding. But when Canon released their 7D, I was ready. The new camera was faster, more powerful and easier to use, it shot HD video and it wirelessly controlled off-camera flash. So, a few days before my new 7D arrived, I took my 20D for a visit to Grapevine Lake, where I took some sunset pictures including the one above.

It’s a good reminder to not rush into “upgradeitis” — maybe the shiny new device that just came out isn’t the right choice for you. Instead, get as much use you can out of the one you already have, and upgrade only when it makes sense.

Italian Car Festival, Grapevine, TX Monday, Sep 10 2012 

Ferrari 575M Maranello

Ferrari 575M Maranello

Italian Car Festival is one of my favorite events in the Dallas area, but I’ve had the worst luck photographing it. In 2006, I only had my point-and-shoot Canon and the pictures were okay. In 2007, I was looking forward to shooting with my new DSLR, but it got stolen just weeks before the event, so I used my point-and-shoot again. Then, in 2008, when I was ready again, the event got canceled. Finally, in 2009, when I thought nothing can go wrong, we got quite a lot of rain, which reduced the number of entrants and made photography a bit difficult.

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

This year the weather was perfect – it was the first cool day after a scorching summer. The crowd came out in droves to see dozens of cars with Italian heritage. The top photo is one of many Ferraris in the field – the 575M Maranello, a magnificently beautiful machine, built to celebrate Ferrari’s 2001 Formula One Constructor Championship title.

Lamborghini Diablo

Lamborghini Diablo

Because it is nearly impossible to get people out of a photograph in an event like this, I focused mostly on details. Pictured are: the beautiful chrome grill of the stunner also known as 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, “scissor” doors of a Lamborghini Diablo reaching for the trees, and finally raised headlamps of a DeTomaso Pantera which look a little like Wall-E.

DeTomaso Pantera

DeTomaso Pantera

For the end, another gorgeous Alfa Romeo, this one a 1975 Montreal, pictured here with a trophy it won for Best in Class (Alfa Romeo). This thing looks mean, and is one of my favorites of the show. Leave a comment below with what your favorite would have been.

1975 Alfa Romeo Montreal

1975 Alfa Romeo Montreal

1967 Alfa Romeo GT Friday, Oct 22 2010 

A few years ago, I found one of my favorite public events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – the Italian Car Festival, held each September in Grapevine. Growing up in Europe, I always lusted after Italian cars, although some of the less exotic ones were easily found in the neighborhood.

First time I visited was in 2006, where the featured brand was Lamborghini. Then, in 2007, I was excited to bring my new DSLR (Canon Rebel XT) to the event, but it was stolen only days prior, so I had to make do with a point-and-shoot (Canon PowerShot A520). Then, in 2008, when I was excited to finally use a DSLR (Canon 20D), the event was canceled. Finally, in 2009, I brought my DSLR to the event, but the persistent rain limited the selection of cars on display.

So, here I am, in 2010, at the Nash Farm in Grapevine, with not only my Canon 7D, but also my Mamiya 1000S medium format rig. As a part of my September Manifesto, I brought the Mamiya to shoot a roll of medium format film. The resulting slides turned out very nicely, and there were several interesting ways to juxtapose the sporty European cars with rugged American farm equipment.

1967 Alfa Romeo GT

This is a classy and elegant 1967 Alfa Romeo GT; Alfa was the featured brand this year, because of the 100-year anniversary of the company. It’s a classy brand, albeit with a reputation for less-than-quality workmanship. Of course, when I was a kid, Alfa’s reputation was for winning rally races and going fast.

The bonus shot is the impossibly gorgeous 1971 DeTomaso Pantera. The film I used was Kodak Ektachrome, and I was curious about how the colors would hold up in the mid-day sun. On most of the shots, they were nicely saturated, but relatively restrained compared to my usual Fuji Velvia. I bumped up the reds a little bit on this shot, but on the main Alfa shot, the colors stayed pretty much as is.

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