A kind of funny thing happened when I shot that last photo. There was a small clearing in some trees where you could get a good view of the falls from a hiking trail. A guy stepped out of my way so I could take a photo, and after I snapped my one shot, he asked “did it turn out?” I glanced at my 1956 Kodak Retina IIIc and said “yep, looks good” before continuing along the trail.
These photos were made at Gooseberry Falls State Park on Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota. The extremely dry fall slowed the normally-spectacular falls to a mere trickle. Those people in the photo above are standing where a lot of water is typically flowing.
I’ll have some newer photos to post soon, as I just sent several rolls of 35mm and 120 in for processing and scanning. In the meantime, I thought I’d dig back through some older shots. These were shot with the Retina IIIc on Portra 400. The bright sunlight was a bit harsh that day, especially at mid-day when these were shot, but the Retina and Portra handled it pretty well.
St. Anthony Falls panorama auto-stitched in Photoshop from two photos taken with the Kodak Retina Automatic III. The concrete wall is the side of the lock that allows boat and barge traffic to navigate the falls, and the buildings beyond are mostly what once was the heart of Minneapolis industry — the flour mills (which were powered by the falls, through an elaborate system of tunnels that brought the water under the mills to drive the machinery). You can click the image to see it slightly larger.
These shots also remind me what a great place NE Mpls is to walk around and shoot photos — and how walking with a camera hanging around your neck makes you look at things and see things in a completely different way. I’ll walk in places I might never bother walking without a camera, and slow down and really look at things trying to find beauty or a great composition in places most people simply hurry past.
Shot on Kodak Portra 400, with my 1956 Kodak Retina IIIc rangefinder camera.
I’ve begun the expansion of my Kodak Retina collection, this time with a non-folding variety from the 1960’s. I’ve been so pleased with the performance of my Retina IIIc, that I’d like to collect more of these German-made gems. This one is an auto-exposure rangefinder that uses a selenium-cell lightmeter to operate in shutter-priority auto-exposure mode, or may be operated in fully manual mode, with the light-meter reading available on top of the camera for reference. A remarkable thing (to me, at least) about it is that it takes no batteries.
It’s a fun camera to use, and I’ll be shooting more with it. I’ve only shot one roll so far, so it’s hard for me to judge how well the lens performs compared to the IIIc, but the results look pretty good. In the photos of the block wall, there appears to be very little distortion, and very little softness at the edges, though the sharpness is a little hard to judge as I didn’t get terribly high-resolution scans made. The results look good to me, though.
These were shot on Kodak Portra 400.