New Haven, Connecticut is best known these days for Yale University, one of the world’s most prestigious higher learning institutions. For some, Yale equals New Haven. But The Elm City has a life and history outside of this Ivy League school. The city was founded in 1638, barely two decades after the Puritans landed at …
On March 29th of this year, Fujifilm posted a notice that they would suspend shipments of 35mm and 120 color film, both negative and slide, to its Japanese customers. As someone who had been visiting Japan for almost a week by that point, it was not surprising, as it seemed like Japanese stores had not seen a shipment of color stock in quite some time. For the most part I was greeted to “out of stock” notices in every camera store I had visited. While this was frustrating enough for me, a tourist seeking out those rarified “only in Japan” emulsions, I can imagine it being much more demoralizing for local film photographers–at least I was going to get on a plane and go back to the US, where there would still be scattered stocks of Fujicolor 200 and “Superia” 400, plus Kodak, which was also rare on Japanese shelves.
When people think about night or low light film photography, I imagine they picture SLRs, TLRs, or large-format cameras, tripods, cable releases, and oh yes, a light meter. That’s all well and good. But sometimes you want to do a low light shot and you’re out and about without fancy gear–you just have your humble pocket camera with you. Can you get a decent low light photo with just that?
One of the reasons I love living in Portland, Oregon is the access to diverse landscapes. The city and surroundings most resemble what one thinks of “Pacific Northwest USA”, a landscape of Douglas-fir forests, farms, and cities. Drive two hours west and I’ll have the full splendor of the Pacific Ocean at my feet.
Here’s a story down memory lane, triggered by a camera acquisition. The Fuji Discovery 875 Zoom Plus is pretty forgotten today, but it relates to a moment in my former life.
It’s hard to fathom now, but there was a time where Kmart was ubiquitous. No matter what part of the United States you went to, there’d be a Kmart somewhere. Founded in 1962, the chain popularized the concept of the discount department store–a well-rounded set of self service departments from clothing to garden supplies to housewares and so on, and everything priced lower than you’d find in a regular department store or mom and pop shop. At its peak Kmart had 2,400 stores. Now? Last I checked, the once mighty retailer (second behind Sears for much of the latter part of the 20th Century) is barely hanging on, having just 17–seventeen!–stores left. What was once part of the cultural fabric of America is barely a shell of its former self.