The Monte Vista sandhill crane migration is one of the first signs of springtime in the Rockies, so I am well aware that time is running out to capture winter images! I had a half of roll of Ilford HP5 Monochrome left in my old Canon A-1 with which to capture the last vestiges of winter on film before the vivid colors of spring invade the Rockies.
Winter Lingers in the Canyon
By now the snow is either hopelessly dirty or completely melted, even up here at 10,000 feet where I live. But I know winter at icy Eleven Mile Canyon isn’t going to give up without a fight.
I made a special trip to experience the waning days of winter because it was important to me to finish my film before the ice melts off the river. We will surely get some big dumps of snow in March and April, but the ice is rapidly melting from the banks of the South Platte. Once the ice is gone, the canyon will just look like a river with snow beside it.
I’ve been unhappy with local photo labs so I decided to take my film to a reliable source. Back in the day I always took my film to Englewood Camera. I have been trusting my film processing at the locally owned camera store and film lab for decades, and decided it was worth the drive all the way up to Denver! I made the best of my journey though, rounding the trip out with lunch and an annual pilgrimage to the REI sporting goods store on the way home, hoping to spend my $36 dividend from last year’s purchases. I couldn’t decide though, so a second trip is going to be necessary, I think to score a more modern pair of MSR snowshoes.
A New Old Camera
I was on my way out of the camera store when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. In the pre-owed display case there were three beautiful brand new looking Minolta X-700 cameras. My first real camera was the X-700 which I purchased from Waxman’s Camera in 1984. I stupidly sold mine when I got my first digital camera, thinking that I’d never shoot film again.
I was so excited to see some in such amazing shape, one of them even still had the clear plastic on the base from the original purchase! I could not resist, and I’m now in the processing of tricking out a new film kit so I can join the burgeoning film renaissance using the same kit that kicked off my photography career so many years ago!
In just a few short days I received an email from the lab with my hi-res scans attached in a zip file. As expected, the lab did stunning job with the development of my film and subsequent scanning. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do, even as I prepare for a summer of color film adventures!
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