Photos & Projects

My Best Friend Ross – A Short Photo Story – By Jarrod Sams

April 9, 2022

Every child has a best friend growing up. Every child has a favorite toy that they cherish.  Sharing fun moments together and are seldom separated. They explore and enjoy adventures. What about their favorite thing in life being personified as their best friend?  This is the inspiration on a short photo essay I call “My Friend Ross”.

This is Ross. A simple fellow. No frills. We go everywhere together.

We play together. Enjoying the summer sun.

Ross helps me practice basketball and shows me new tricks.

We get all dusty on the field as I practice my throw.

And we relax in the shade after a fun filled day.

The images above were captured on Ilford FP4+ 35mm film using a Minolta Maxxum 9xi and a Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 lens. Why this gear? Honestly I had no specific reason other than that I wanted to do this project on black & white film. I owned DSLRs at the time and could have easily used those and converted to monochrome or used a film simulator. I could have captured and processed images much quicker that way, but instead I opted for the process and authenticity of using film. It also gave me a reason to try a new film and a new-to-me camera at the time (more on that another time).

I have only used FP4+ this and one other time.  My initial impressions were that the images were sharp, but seem a little flat compared to what I was used to seeing from films like HP5+, PanF+, and Kodak T-Max. All of these images were taken on a bright summer’s day and I thought the contrast would be much higher. After some time examining the images, I’ve come to appreciate this.  It lends to that classic feel and adds an air of remembering fond memories.

Thank you for reading.  Please check out more of my work at the links below.  Until next time.

Jarrod Sams

Instagram @jrodsams


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  • Reply
    Peter Roberts
    April 9, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Jarrod.
    I loved the simplicity of this. Thank you for posting it.
    I showed it to Hercules and Raleigh, my two old bicycles. They send their regards to their American cousin.

    • Reply
      Jarrod Sams
      April 9, 2022 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Peter.
      I am glad that you enjoyed this and I am looking forward to posting more.
      Tell Hercules and Raleigh that Ross says “Hello”.

  • Reply
    Eric Norris
    April 9, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Nice photos! Definitely like the imaginative bike content.

    Throw a yellow filter on your lens, and I think you’ll get the results you’re looking for from FP4. The filter will bump up the contrast and darken the skies a bit. Works great on a day with puffy clouds!

    • Reply
      Jarrod Sams
      April 9, 2022 at 5:47 pm

      Thank you Eric!
      I agree. I own a few color filters, but sadly none that would fit the lens I used for these images. Working on this piece has re-sparked more of my excitement for using film. I will be using FP4 again and next time I’ll have some fun with filters.

  • Reply
    Teit Joergensen
    April 9, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Great humor

    • Reply
      Jarrod Sams
      April 9, 2022 at 5:48 pm

      I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for the great photos and the memories! I, too, had a Ross – the first bike I bought with my own money. He got modified, however, with a banana seat! Made the ride a lot better! Had he survived the vagaries of time, he’d be over 40! 😲

    Thanks again,

    • Reply
      Jarrod Sams
      April 9, 2022 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you and it makes me happy to read that this story took you down memory lane.

  • Reply
    Christopher Thomas
    April 9, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    This was exactly the type of simple uplifting humor I was looking for today! Thank you Jarrord

    • Reply
      Jarrod Sams
      April 9, 2022 at 10:25 pm

      Glad that Ross and I were able to lift your spirits.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Ah the good old days. Now, my bike is as stiff and rusty as I am. Lol

    • Reply
      Jarrod Sams
      April 9, 2022 at 10:24 pm

      Ross stands by WD-40. It has worked wonders over the years.

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