simmons photos
A fine art photography site

Articles | Blog & Links | Formulas | Galleries | Graflex | RB67 | Typewriters | Home

 The Blog

Charis Wilson Weston's Smith Corona Thursday, October 26, 2006

The above is a crop of a somewhat famous photograph taken by Beaumont Newhall of the L.C. Smith & Corona typewriter used by Charis Wilson Weston to write the book "California and the West." I'd love to find a typewriter like this one.

Note the carriage return lever is on the left, the seven keys above the standard four rows of keys, and the key tops themselves - they appear to be plastic rather than glass. Has anyone seen a typewriter like this one?

Dare Friday, July 21, 2006

Following a dare, here's me with my small camera

Photo by Terry Casey.

510 Pyro Test Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here's the test Proper Proof made after developing six Efke PL-100 negatives in 510 Pyro 1:200 for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes with 1 minute agitation at the beginning and 10-seconds every 10 minutes. Exposed under the enlarger for the minimum time to print through the clear film edge.

Seems clear to me that the 50-minute development is correct. The white cloth on the stairs is Zone VIII.

Hemming Plaza Saturday, April 01, 2006

This is the first negative developed in the new, super-secret developer. Ha.

Shot with a 2x3 Speed Graphic - SBR 7 - on J&C 400

The image seems a little soft.

New site again Friday, March 24, 2006
Once again, I've had to move to a new site due to the inefficiencies at the old one. We are now hosted by We'll see how well these folks work out.

Vandyke Brown Experiments Monday, November 21, 2005

With the demise of Kodak papers, I've taken up alternative printing. I tried Cyanotype at a friend's, but don't care for the blue color. I ordered a Vandyke brown kit from Photographer's Formulary.

First step after mixing the chemicals was to find a suitable bulb for exposure. I have a device made from PVC that holds a bulb and reflector about 18" above my printing frame, so I decided to try some bulbs I had around the house.  I first tried a 15-watt BLB florescent bulb. After an hour and a half of exposure, I gave up. It was still insufficient. I next tried a 65-watt GE Reveal bulb. This bulb is sold as one with a lot of blue light, and the bulb itself is certainly a purple color. It was also unacceptable, however, as a printing bulb. After an hour of printing, it still produced a print that was underexposed.

I next tried a 100-watt R-40 halogen bulb. I turned it on with my timer and turned to clean up something in the darkroom. When I looked back at the printing frame about 30-seconds later, I could see the paper under the clear film edges turning brown. It appears that proper exposures will be somewhere in the 5-10 minute range with this bulb, which makes is acceptable to me.

Other folks build huge arrays of UV florescent bulbs that cost in the $100 range. Others have found UV light sources discarded by printers. It appears with these first tests that the 100-watt halogen bulb works just as well as the more expensive UV arrays at a cost of only a few minutes time. The bulb itself costs less than $10.

More Police Monday, November 14, 2005

What's with me and the police? Saturday, Doug and I were at Evergreen Cemetery here in Jacksonville - a public place that's the site of at least one visit a year from the Jacksonville Camera Club. I was setting up to take a panoramic shot when a little jelly bean shaped car shot up to me.

On the side of the car was a sign, "Evergreen Cemetery." Inside was a balding man in a short-sleeved shirt and tie. He demanded to know if I had gotten permission to photograph there.

"Permission? From where?"

"From the office," he answered.

"I didn't know there was an office."

"Yes, there's an office. It's been there a long time," he said, obviously getting annoyed.

"Well, I didn't know it was there. Why do I need permission? This is a public place."

"You have to get permission to photograph in a cemetery." He was beginning to sweat.

"I've taken photographs in public cemeteries all over the country and have never gotten permission. It's a public place."

"Well, you do here."

"There's no sign."


"There's no sign saying you can't take photographs here. I'm not a mind reader. How am I supposed to know this place is different than every other public cemetery in the country?"

"Well, just get permission next time." Looking over his shoulder at Doug he said, "Tell him, too."

Cemetery cops. What else?

Police Again Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Once again, the police don't like my huge camera. I was shooting at Cumberland Island, Georgia on Saturday. I had taken a shot with the camera set up just beside one of the area's picnic tables, so I sat down to write down my exposure information. A friend who was also photographing walked up and sat down with me. We were talking when a Chevy SUV suddenly sped across the open area and pulled up beside us.

A Park Ranger got out and stroad over to my camera, looked at it, and then questioned us about what we were doing. I guess neither of us made any furtive move because he left his gun in his holster. We began to grill him about various things at the Park - where the horses were that time of year, how long he had been there, whether he got to live on the island. I guess he got tired of being questioned as he quickly drove away. Ha.

Typewriters Monday, September 26, 2005
In addition to photographing, I also write.  Computers are efficient machines for communications, but seem to disconnect me from the soul of a story. Typewriters, as Ernest Hemingway once wrote, write like people talk. Over the years, a lot of typewriters have come into my possession. As a pack rat, a lot of them are still in my possession. I've posted some comments and photos under the Typewriter section on this site.

New Host Saturday, September 17, 2005
There's a new host for Simmons Photos -

Blog Archives

Jacksonville Camera Club

Large Format Group (NE Florida, SE Georgia)
Jeff Dilcher
David Kudley
Joffre Swaite
Van Huyck Photography
Jeff Zeitlin

Mr. Pinhole

I buy my film here

I buy my chemicals here

Photo Sites and Blogs

Polaroid Sites

Alternative Processes

(c) 1968-today j.e. simmons