weird graffiti and medium format film

This is one of the weirder pieces of graffiti I’ve ever seen, especially in Fremont.

So I finally got around to going down to Ritz Cameras with my film on Saturday. It’s in that monstrous shopping center, Pacific Commons, and it’s a pain in the ass to get to because it’s as far away from my end of town as you can get and still be IN town.

Plus, the center itself is fucking boring. I had to wait almost an entire hour for the bus, and there’s literally NOTHING worth killing an hour in. No Target, no Michael’s, there isn’t even a Borders! Half the places are restaurants and the anchor stores are all dull crap like Kohl’s and Lowe’s and freaking Costco. Feh. I wish there was a Ritz in Union City Landing. It’s easier to get to from my house AND it’s more interesting.

Anyway, they can’t print medium format at all, not even proofsheets. Which makes no sense to me, because you don’t need a special enlarger for proofsheets, you just lay the negatives directly on the paper and shine the light from any old empty enlarger on it for a few seconds. So I have to decide which ones I want printed (they send it out to a 3rd-party contractor) by looking at the negatives, which kind of sucks.

But their development service isn’t bad. It’s only a 24-hour turnaround time (I didn’t have time to go get them tomorrow, I think I’ll leave work a couple hours early tomorrow and go then) and with the membership I signed up for, only $10 per roll. The manager said he would also see about getting me a discount on printing, but of course he couldn’t promise because the contractor can charge whatever he wants. But if he’s interested in maintaining a good relationship with the company he might consider it.

I’d really like to start printing myself. The problem with that is that I’m fairly certain you need a special enlarger to print medium format, and I doubt any of the local community colleges have them in their darkrooms. Still, it’s worth looking into, maybe after the holidays.


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