Bryce in monochrome

I developed 3 rolls of black and white film yesterday in a community darkroom. One of the rolls is a bargain 120 film I bought off eBay. I exposed it at box speed of ISO 100 and developed it according to published chart – D-76 1:1 dilution for 10.5 minutes.

Since I don’t have a scanner that can handle medium format negative, I had to work quickly to print some of the frames to see what I have. I made 6 prints from this roll.

2 of the frames I printed were exposed in Bryce Canyon earlier this month.


The image above was exposed handheld on September 2 at about 17:50, f/8, 1/250. This Nikkor 40mm f/4 lens has unusual filter ring size of about 90mm. So I couldn’t mount a contrast filter. The print was made with a 3 1/2 filter.


If I remember correctly, this image was made close to noon on a mostly cloudy day with a 135mm lens.


Donate platelet

Platelets are the component in human blood responsible for stop bleeding from a wound.

Unlike whole blood donation that can be refrigerated for a few weeks, platelets are good for only a week after collection. So hospitals need a lot of this stuff to support surgery patients needs. 

Another difference is how they are collected. Whereas whole blood donation drains fluid from your veins in about 30 minutes, platelet donation takes about 90 minutes. In a sterile closed system of tubes and centrifuge, the machine collects just the components they need and returns every thing else back to your body. This procedure used to require two good veins from the donor. For the last 20 years they have been able to use just one needle to do everything. It is simply amazing! 

I have donated platelets since I was introduced to the idea as a freshman in college. It is so comfortable to donate at my alma mater that I have not switched to a hospital closer to my home.

Have you donated platelets lately? I bet you will often find the donation go by too quickly. When you are only half way through watching a movie, they have already finished bandaging your arm. 

I was only halfway through the movie “the girl with the dragon tattoo” after this afternoon’s donation. Time to finish the movie on Netflix. 

I found the milky way in my photo

This is a snap I took right outside my tent near Moab, Utah.

Moab is the town serving visitors that are not lucky enough to get a camp site inside the Arches National Park. There is a decent selection of eateries in town. The gas prices in town were reasonable. Unless you are short of time, do not top off your gas tank at 10 miles north of Moab. The prices at this Chevron station was 35% higher!


When I captured this image, the light for the sign has not yet been turned on for the night. Therefore, I did not have to juggle graduated filter or resort to HDR procedures in post-processing. I tweaked curves a little bit to enhance contrast in the sky. I did not realize there was enough ambient light in the campground and passing vehicles to light up the Chevron sign and leaves on the adjacent tree.

Camping September 2016

Earlier this month I extended my Labor Day weekend into 10 day national parks tour with my mother. Mom put up with sleeping in tent, and I put up with not being able to go on proper hike on my own. Fair trade?

This is our tent: My tent in the Mammoth Campground at Yellowstone NP

I think tent camping is the way to go to experience national parks. It folds into small package and gets you as close to nature as possible without being exposed to elements. I don’t yet understand why some people haul huge trailers full of stuff, kitchen, and satellite TV, thus isolating themselves from nature they have driven hours, if not days to see. Maybe I will join their rank when I could no longer crawl into a tent?

Did I mention that I got over 40 mpg by driving a sedan on this trip? Bet you don’t get that kind of mileage with campers and trailers.

Below are some snapshot of my neighbors’ camping gears that are much smaller than the monstrous trailers I mentioned before – I can see myself in one of these in the future. Hopefully a distant future.