A few photos taken with the Hasselblad 503cx on Kodak Ektar which expired in 1991. The photos are not great, but the film turned out better than I imagined it would. The images were mostly shot metering for ISO 8, or +1⅔ stops of exposure compensation from box speed. This was done according to the rules of thumbs for shooting expired film.
In graduate school I took a software engineering class which was essentially a colloquium. The professor would select relevant topics, provide suggested reading materials, and then the class would meet to discuss. Through the semester long class a broad range of software engineering topics were discussed, but one topic has come back to mind many times through my professional career.
As I remember it, we discussed the conservation of organizational momentum. However, I cannot find any material which references this topic. The fourth of Lehman’s laws covers the conservation of organizational stability, which is semantically similar yet conceptually different. Perhaps through discussion our class conceived of the conservation of organizational momentum, or perhaps I am simply misremembering. Regardless of how I came to think of this subject, it is a topic which I have considered on more than one occasion, and it is a topic which deserves further consideration.
Some more photos taken with a Hasselblad 503cx on a roll of Kodak Vericolor 400 which expired in 1990. These are some of the best results I have gotten from expired Vericolor 400. The images were shot metering for ISO 25, or +4 stop of exposure compensation from box speed. This was done according to the rules of thumbs for shooting expired film.
Just some mediocre photos taken with the Hasselblad 503cx on Kodak Plus-X Pan which expired in 1999. The images were shot metering for ISO 64, or +1 stop of exposure compensation from box speed. This was done according to the rules of thumbs for shooting expired film.
On a family trip a few summers back I found a box of expired Fujicolor Super HQ 200 with 3 rolls in it. It was at a roadside flea market and the vendor was packing up for the day. I asked what they wanted for the box. They seemed unsure, but replied, “five dollars.” I paused to consider the price, tentatively waiting for a better offer as is usual for this type of venue. Hearing none, I handed over a five dollar bill and walked away with the film. Three rolls of expired film for less than the price of a new roll seemed like a good deal.
The box was a three pack of Fujicolor Super HQ 200, but it also contained a bonus roll of Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400. So, I received two rolls of Super HQ and one roll of Superia. I shot the roll of Superia in my Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. The results were hit-and-miss, so I tossed the other two rolls in the freezer.
Wanting to see how the Nikon 35Ti would treat expired film, I thawed a roll of Fujicolor Super HQ. The 35Ti does not have an ISO override, so I had to use exposure compensation to adjust for the age of the film. The rules for shooting expired film suggested the film would need 1⅓ stops of additional light, so that is what I dialed in. The results from the Super HQ in the Nikon were much better than the results from the Superia in the Minolta. The photos from the expired Super HQ turned out great. If I knew the photos were going to turn out so well I would have spent more time considering the subjects and composition.
Expired color film rarely produces great images. The longer the film is expired, the less likely it is to produce usable results. So, not much should be expected from a roll of Kodak Vericolor III which expired in January of 1991. The only thing that it has going for it is its slow speed, it was a 160 speed film. Based upon the rules for shooting expired film this film should now be rated at ISO 40. That’s because ((2022 + 4/12) - (1991 + 1/12)) / 15 is 2.0833, and two stops of overexposure from 160 is 40.
Fortunately, it was cloudy the day this film was shot, so the needed dynamic range for the day was minimal. That combined with nailing the adjusted exposure resulted in some surprisingly pretty images. The scans are a little dodgy, not enough compensation for springtime dog shedding, but that’s not the films fault. No corrections were made to the images, just scanned and inverted, which is why the black of the borders is not true. Regardless, the results from this roll of 31 year old color film are encouraging; some expired color film is still worth the trouble.
Shooting expired film is a challenge. Film sensitivity and dynamic range both decrease over time. To account for the loss in sensitivity there is a rule of thumb which advises adding one stop of light for each decade of film age. The rule may account for loss of sensitivity on average, but the loss in dynamic range means that it is often not enough to get usable results. I use rules of thumb based upon the type of film to get slightly better than average results.
In addition to the problem of getting the correct exposure there are also challenges related to using the film after it has been developed. Expired film which has been properly exposed and developed can still be quite dense. Expired color film can also have strong color casts. Even if all of these obstacles were accounted for, rolls of medium format film will frequently have uneven exposure across the frame caused by the additional fogging which occurs towards the edges.
This 32 year old roll of Kodak Vericolor 400 demonstrates the limitations of expired film.
It has been a very cold and snowy winter here in Northeastern Ohio. The weather hasn’t exactly encouraged people to get outside. But, it is good for the health to get outside on those few days when the sun pierces through the grey winter skies, even if the temperature is still well below freezing. So, I loaded up some film to have a reason to get out there.
For the colorless winter days I grabbed an expired roll of Kodak Verichrome. And, since the electronics on the otherwise outstanding Bronica EC-II refuse to operate below freezing, I have reluctantly switched to a Hasselblad 503cx. When your fingers are literally freezing, fiddling with an uncooperative camera very quickly causes frustration and discourages taking photos. The Hasselblad works reliably, even when it is well below freezing. I guess that helps justify the price. The real advantage of a working camera is that there is one less excuse to not go out in the cold.
A year and a half after I arrived back stateside from my expedition to Iraq I was asked about my deployment experience. The child of a friend of a friend needed to interview veterans for a project they were working on, so I agreed. The thing I remembered about my response, and what made me think of this questionnaire many years latter, was my memory of how Iraq smelled. Usually memories are visual, but these memories had an olfactory component to them. This was brought back to mind by Jon Stewart’s recent efforts to highlight the ill effects veterans are suffering from burning shit in Iraq.
At our first forward operating base we had burn toilets prior to receiving chemical toilets, but I think the rear elements had to burn the waste while we were out running missions. The thing people probably don’t realize though is that the baseline pollution level in Iraq, the baseline in combat zones, is considerably higher than what we enjoy here in the United States. Perhaps urban air quality in the late 60s, prior to the EPA, was similar to what I experienced in Iraq.
Of course it may have been worse in Iraq due to the dusty, arid environment. There was always something in the air. We lived in an old government building which perhaps contained asbestos, who knows, I doubt anyone tested for that. What we do know is that the building was famously bombed by Tomahawk missiles on the first night of the war. Those missiles were probably tipped with depleted uranium. We would laugh every time a mortar bounced off of the sturdy building. But, the so-called insurgents might get the last laugh; each of those mortar hits would stir up dust in the unventilated building. The Army should have given us N95 masks rather than gas masks which literally went unused, because, you know, there were in fact no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Recent break throughs in neural networks have made the use of computer vision technologies available to a wider audience, and many businesses are looking for ways to apply those technologies. To address the demand, large cloud service providers now providing basic turn-key computer vision services. Computer vision solutions currently perform best when they are asked to do tasks which are limited in scope. So, unless pre-trained models are already available for the task at hand, there could be a steep cost to implementing computer vision.
To make things worse, there are relatively few people who understand computer vision technologies from a wholistic perspective. This dearth of experience is not due to lack of educational resources, rather it is due to the steep learning curve and the inverse distribution of educational materials. There are many ways to learn how to get started with a computer vision project, but there are fewer resources explaining how to apply those initial learnings to harder real world problems.
Due to those challenges, it can be hard for technology managers get the information they need to make informed decision about the implementation of computer vision systems. In this post I will discuss ways to avoid some of the common problems encountered when non-tech companies attempt to implement custom computer vision solutions.
The Appalachian Trail is sometimes referred to as the green tunnel. The truth is that many of the backpacking trails on the East Coast run under the cover of deciduous forests and have few scenic overlooks. One backpacking area within driving distance of Northeastern Ohio which breaks out of the green tunnel is the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Dolly Sods has a rough, barren appearance which is partially the result of its unique ecology and partially the result of a long history of exploitation and abuse by European settlers.
Prior to civilization creeping up to it’s borders, Dolly Sods was an inaccessible region covered with spruce, hemlock, and mountain laurel. The expansion of the railroads brought the lumber industry into the area. As the lumber industry clear cut the forests they left behind a landscape barren of trees yet fertile for fires. Fires destroyed vegetation which survived the lumber companies. By the late 1920s little of value was left and the companies moved on. The Civilian Conservation Corps started planting spruce in the 1930s, but in 1940s the US Army rolled in. They were preparing for war in Europe and needed a place to practice destroying things with artillery shells.
On this site I write about, what I like to believe is, a diverse set of topics. The normal way of presenting posts using a sequential list does nothing to help people discover other material on the site which they may also be interested in. I wanted to provide visitors with a list of links to content which is similar to the page they are currently viewing. However, due to limitations in the platform I’m using, there was no option to simply turn this on. So, I wrote some code and implemented an algorithm to solve this problem.