Found Photographs & Lost Memories

I have a place where there are two flat file cabinets, one with five and the other with four drawers, where I can rummage through for the next several hours, searching among salvaged photographs, negatives, transparency slides and even a drawer filled with an array of papers and a few random letters.

There I stood feeling as though time was running out and I had quickly piece back together the families that have been cast aside into all directions and retrieve as much as I could from being permanently lost.

My urgency has been accelerated since my post Generations Pass in Silence Before Me, as I see a major shift in what I find in these drawers now, but also because of a recent second trip to San Francisco, visiting the Pier 24 Gallery, who’s current exhibition features found and second-hand photographs.

Yet each visit to these two flat file cabinets does not necessarily produce a harvest as my last visit, in which I have found a complete photo album with only one missing image, or another set of a particular family from whom I already had some earlier photographs, only to discover a few more to deepen the mystery of who they were.

The images are carefully sorted, others are added to another box because they are to be scanned for a specific eBook/iBook project currently in the works. The letters that I found will have to wait, besides I need to go back and see if I missed any, for it appears there are numerous missing pages of correspondence between the mother and her son.

For now let me share with you what I managed to bring home, in the hope of telling their stories, real or imagined, in the years that are left to me.

In the back of this photograph was written the following:

                               March 6 − 1942

With Love

To Uncle & Auntie Perosimian
     Sarah & Dollie

                     Sincerely Yours
                     Rosie Kachadurian

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

First Friday of the Month - Yosemite HipstaPak

I first visited Yosemite when I was 14 or 15 years of age, but it was another 20 years before I returned to explore its beauty and very soon I hope to return. Before going into any detail about the Yosemite HipstaPak, allow me to first provide a little informational background on this magnificent national park.

Yosemite was populated by Southern Miwok people, with Central Miwok people utilizing the northern quarter of the park and it is the Miwok who named this beautiful land Yosemite, which is surrounded by large granite mountains and tall growing Sequoia trees and in 1864 became the first protected natural park in America. The reconstructed Indian Village of Ahwahnee, today is located behind the Yosemite Museum in Yosemite Valley and features a bark houses, ceremonial roundhouse, sweathouse, pounding rocks, cabin, acorn granaries, and chief's house, which represents the structures of the Sierra Nevada Miwok village of the late nineteenth century.

As parts of the beautiful land was being exploited, conservationists urged President Abraham Lincoln to protect the land and in 1864 he signed a bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to the state of California. It was John Muir, naturalist (1838-1914), who sparked the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890.


Images from Hipstamatic

While Hipstamatic has travel the world these last few months by presenting us with HipstaPak’s named for various locations, this one was specifically designed for landscape photography according to Hipstamatic and judging by the sample images provided by Hipstamatic one cannot help but to agree. Yet let us see what results were achieved with our test and how it compares to the samples.

The Muir lens described as ‘offset vintage saturation,’ followed by a quote of the naturalist John Muir, “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Follow his advice and keep this lens by your side, adds Hipstamatic. They continue to say, as for the Sequoia film, a borderless colored texture, they state it is ‘inspired by the beautiful, giant, ancient trees,’ and ‘this film is specifically tuned for nature photography.’



          Lens and Film Test

In previous test Hipstamatic lens and film tests, I used a random method in selecting other lenses and films to be paired with the new combination. This time, I decided to take an image that was shot using 6x6 with no effects and adding it to Oggl, where I already had installed the Yosemite HiptaPak. This allowed me to see what might be the best lens and film combined with the Yosemite pair. I also decided not to include any Black & White film, as there were no real changes to those types of films.

Here are lenses and films selected and their order as they appear in the review:

          01: Muir+ Sequoia

          02: Muir + Blanko BL4
          03: Muir + Blanko C16
          04: Muir + Blanko Noir
          05: Muir + Rasputin
          06: Muir + Rijks

          07: Foxy + Sequoia
          08: GSquad + Sequoia
          09: Lowy + Sequoia
          10: Vincent + Sequoia
          11: YUЯI 61 + Sequoia

Lens: Muir - Film: Sequoia

In the first image we see that the sky is much darker then in the other three and that the oak tree (top right) has a shift towards magenta, including in the upper right of the sky. Yet the two bottom, both photographs are pleasing, we see a warming of the tree, by being more reddish, including the foreground.

As we continue to assess other images in this test, please note that the direction of the sun plays a significant roll in the way the colors are effect in the images final outcome. Mostly the sun’s direction will be from the side or from behind me and it is never in front of me.

Lens: Muir - Film: Blanko BL4

Once again the lens Muir darkens the sky in the upper left image more, while in the other three it is marginal. I do remember that the sun was slightly to the right of me and in the second image it is to the left of me and at about 11 o’clock and not causing any lens flair.

When Muir is paired with Blanko BL4 film, the results are mostly pleasing and almost coming very close to the sample images provided by Hipstamatic. Of the four samples I show, I prefer the bottom right and here the sun is over my right shoulder at about 5o’clock.

Lens: Muir - Film: Blanko C16

When I made the initial selection of alternative pairing lenses and films, I was surprised that through Oggl, the selection of Blanko’s various films dealt best with the Muir film. 

Once again we see a darker sky as in the previous samples and the oak tree shifting ever so slightly towards a magenta tint. Still the upper right sky of the second images we see an upswing towards the magenta in the blue, and as in previous other samples the bottom two are most pleasing.

Lens: Muir - Film: Blanko Noir

When the lens Muir is combined with Blanko Noir, we see in the upper left image, that the building’s color appears more truthful, including a sky that is not overly dramatically darker. Though the oak tree’s green leaves are tinted towards a magenta tint, while we are also picking up more detail in the dried grasses and seeing a pleasing blue sky. As with the bottom two images, both are also well saturated but not overly saturated and so pleasing to the eye.

Lens: Muir - Film: Rasputin

Without fail, the Muir lens has darkened the sky in a way that it is unnatural in the top left photograph, while also tinting the foreground with a layer of magenta. It should be noted that the film Rasputin does have a tendency to add a layer of magenta and by adding it to a lens that also adds a shift towards magenta, the combined effect is a little more pronounce. This is also evident in the image on the bottom left, where the foreground is of a very reddish color, yet marginally in the bottom right photograph.

Lens: Foxy - Film: Sequoia

On the other hand, when the film Sequoia is paired with the Foxy lens, we experience random color shift that are from one spectrum to another, making this combination the least pleasing and so would be mostly rejected, unless one wanted to demonstrate prolonged exposure of a print to sunlight and its’ effect.

Lens: GSquad - Film: Sequoia

When using the GSquad lens with Black & White film, one usually achieves dramatic and contrasty results, even when combined with a few Hipstamatic color films, some wonderful results are achieved. Thought in the samples here, color shifts remain prevalent, while also brightening the overall photograph.

Lens: Lowy - Film: Sequoia

I have said it often enough that the Lowy lens is the sharpest lens Hipstamatic has created and also a lens that is mostly truthful in rendering a scene. These four examples certainly prove this. It also reveals that when Sequoia film is paired with the Lowy lens, once results will always be almost perfect, since we do see a very slight and minor sift in color that appears as fading.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Sequoia

While there are many lenses still to be tested with the Sequoia film, Vincent lens proves to be another fine example with which to pair this film with and while the tonal shift are marginal, they do express a feeling towards cooling down the colors just slightly.

Lens: YUЯI 61 - Film: Sequoia

We come to the last lens to be tested with the Sequoia film. It should be noted that YUЯI 61 is part of the Rasputin combo set named Sochi and that it too injects a little magenta into the image but not as much as Rasputin. We also need to note that once again the sky in the upper left image is not only darkened, though not to the extreme, it does show the blue sky having been infused with magenta. So depending upon the sun’s angle and time of day, be prepared to have this darkening of the sky happening to you. Otherwise this combination of pairing the two, though not great, is still acceptable.

The following images are all taken with the Muir lens and Sequoia film.

Lens: Muir - Film: Sequoia

So what are my final thoughts about the Yosemite HipstaPak.

It feels as though as Hipstamtic is going the direction of developing lenses and films which appear to emulate current applications like VSCOcam or AFilter. While there is nothing wrong with this concept, it is duplicating that which we already have on our mobile phones. I wish Hipstamatic would focus more on creating various Kodak, Ilford or Agfa films, including other not well known types of films, including lenses that are portrait or play a significant roll in the development of photographiy’s history. Never-the-less, the Yosemite HipstaPak does have value, more than the last three releases, such as Jordaan, Södermalm, and The District HipstaPak. Thought The District did emulate very well the Black & White printing of photographs in books dating from the 30s on through the mid 60s., it was rather limited in how it would apply to general photography.

The reason why I say this HipstaPak, the Yosemite, is that it has more value in the way it renders the colors in scene, even though there is a slight to moderate and occasional extreme shifts, the tones remain almost truthful to vintage prints in the first stages of fading or shifting in colors due to exposure to direct day light. Depending on the colors in the scene, their can also appear shifting or toning of some of the colors towards, something that happens often when prints are exposed to the natural rays of UV light.

The Yosemite HipstaPak is a finely tuned lens and film combination and for many of us, it will bring back memories of childhood, when our parents took pictures that we now look back upon with fondness.


Found Photograph - Lost Memories 
Yosemite, California c1935-1940s, Egmont van Dyck collection

Yosemite's strong environmental stewardship has taken shape through key historic events. The park plans to honor its heritage through a series of anniversaries.
  • June 30, 2014:  150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant
  • Sept. 3, 2014:   50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act
  • Sept. 28, 2014: 30th anniversary of the California Wilderness Act
  • Oct. 1, 2015:     125th anniversary of Yosemite National Park
  • Aug. 25, 2016:  100th anniversary of the National Parks Service

Yosemite National Parks Service website

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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