Camping at Saranac Lake

Earlier this summer my husband and I went camping with a group of friends on an island on Lower Saranac Lake. One of our longtime friends has camped there since childhood, and now plans a camping trip every year on a different island for whoever wants to go. This was the first year I was able to go - usually the kids’ schedule prevents me - and we were able to go kid-free, although there was another child there and it would certainly be a fun experience for adventurous kids. It was the first time I had been camping in years and I’m looking forward to going back.

Camera/film: Olympus OM-1/Tri-X and Rolleiflex 2.8c/Portra 400.

One Roll, One Kid - July 2019

I missed a month of the One Roll, One Kid project due to June being insane - two weeks of end-of-school-year activities, one week of recovery, and the last week in upstate New York. I was afraid I’d miss this month too, but in one day I managed to shoot, process, and scan a whole roll of film, almost all of my youngest child, so here she is, with a couple of guest appearances from her older sister. All photos were taken on my Rolleiflex with Ilford FP4+ and developed in HC-110B. The indoor photos were lit with a strobe that I had set up for a product shoot.

Be sure to click through to the other photographers participating in the One Roll, One Kid project. Next up in our loop is Tatiana Johnson.

One Roll, One Kid - May 2019

I’ve cycled through each kid and I’m back to my oldest and most cooperative. Before you leave, please click through to Charlene Hardy’s blog for her monthly One Roll, One Kid post.

This is our seventh spring in DC (I can’t believe we’ve lived here so long!), and my husband and I agree it’s the nicest. Usually spring is either a solid month of rain or a handful of days between the abrupt switch from windy winter to muggy summer. This year, there’s been a more gradual transition in temperature, and while we’ve had a decent amount of rain (including Mother’s Day, bleh), there have been a lot of really pleasant days, even the hot days aren’t humid, and the mosquitoes aren’t too bad yet. We can sit out in the backyard at night with the scent of our neighbor’s honeysuckles wafting through the air and be reminded that for a few fleeting days in May, DC is a pretty amazing place to be.

So I shot most of this month’s roll outside. The first few pictures are from a Sunday walk in Georgetown, where we ate sandwiches and visited the Georgetown Flea. There is a guy there who sells vintage cameras, which is naturally one of the main draws for me, but there’s also books, vintage furniture, stuffed animals, posters, and all kinds of stuff. The last pictures are from a walk we three girls took through our neighborhood alleys. I occasionally have overlapping frame problems on my Rolleiflex so there is an inadvertent double exposure which looks kind of cool, although I still wish the frames had turned out as intended. All photos were shot on Tri-X 400 and developed at home in HC-110B.

One Roll, One Kid - April 2019

I’m in my third month of this year’s One Roll, One Kid project. Before you close out this tab, make sure to follow our blog circle and check out Tatiana Johnson’s vibrant and emotive photography.

This month my one roll features my middle child and only son. He’s a tricky kid to photograph. The girls generally love to pose and are happy to get in front of the camera, but if I can even persuade my boy to sit in my temporary home studio, he covers his eyes or sticks out his tongue, or, if I offer a bribe and I’m lucky, gives me one picture like this:

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This makes him seem freakishly exuberant, but most of the time he’s a pretty mellow kid who likes to read, play Roblox and Minecraft, learn everything he can about whatever topic he’s into, and explore the world at his own pace. So over spring break, while I was visiting the grandparents in Ithaca with him and his little sister (big sister was off in Seattle visiting my family), I brought them to Sapsucker Woods and took photographs of them on the trails around the forest and pond. I focused on photographing my boy, but of course his sister is his shadow and made it into a few images too. I wish I’d put him in a plain shirt, but getting him clothed at all is a challenge sometimes, so any shirt is a win. All photos were, as usual, taken on my Rolleiflex with Tri-X 400.

This last image doesn’t include any kids, but they’re responsible for the ripples.

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One Roll, One Kid - March 2019

I’m back with another installment of my One Roll, One Kid project! I’m trying to shoot a roll each month of one of my kids. Please click through to Vanessa Smith’s blog to follow our One Roll, One Kid blog loop.

This month my youngest turned four! Of all our three kids, she is usually the boldest, the most cheerful, and the most melodramatic. Her favorite color is yellow, which suits her personality. She loves school, talking to her friends and making new friends, and going to the playground on her scooter. She is really interested in sea creatures (big Octonauts fan!) and space. For her birthday we moved her out of her toddler bed (aka our much-loved crib with the side off) and into a twin bed. When I asked her what kind of bedding she wanted for her new bed, she told me she wanted a blanket “with earths on it.” I had a roll of Tri-X in my Rolleiflex for most of the month, so these photographs were taken on a few separate occasions, but all in and around our house. Most of them were taken one day after school when her sister had done her nails, so that’s why she’s showing off her fingers. I developed in D-76 and edited out dust and yellow streaks from exhausted fixer (don’t used exhausted fixer!) in Lightroom.

One Roll, One Kid - February 2019

I’ve joined a blog circle of film photographers who are doing a One Roll, One Kid project - the goal is to shoot a roll of a kid once a month. The rules are flexible, so we can shoot multiple rolls, or multiple kids, or someone who is not a kid, and so on. I am getting a late start but I’m excited to join. Please click through to Charlene Hardy’s One Roll, One Kid post - her beautiful work is an inspiration to me in my own.

I started with my oldest because she is a compliant subject and doesn’t currently look like Scarface, unlike her brother who fell flat on his face in a parking lot earlier this month. She is eleven and as you can tell is used to my camera and coming up with interesting poses. She’s worn dresses for a lot of shoots, but she’s not into dresses right now, so she decided to wear my flannel shirt (I came of age in Seattle in the ‘90s - I have to own at least one!). It’s a little big but I’m sure this is just the beginning of many closet raids to come.

I had a roll of Tri-X in my Rolleiflex with ten frames to go. It was a bright day, so while I set up my mini home studio (Alien Bee 400 in a softbox and black backdrop), I didn’t use my reflector and depended too much on ambient light, not realizing I was blocking a lot of it while shooting. Consequently, the negatives are thin (I know my developing was fine because the first frames on the roll came out perfectly) and hard to scan well. I like moody lighting, but this is a little more than I’d prefer! Also, I have a weird streaky thing going on in a couple of frames. I am pretty happy with the focus and posing in these, though. These were developed in HC-110 solution B, scanned on an Epson V-550, and edited in Lightroom.