Colorado and Utah in April: Yashica-D photos

San Miguel Peak covered with snow
Still covered in spring snow, San Miguel Peak anchors the San Juan Mountains just south of Trout Lake on Colorado State Highway 145. (Daniel J. Schneider)

In late April of 2012, I borrowed my father’s Jeep and packed my cameras into flight cases for a whirlwind tour of the southwest (Colorado and Utah, and The Navajo Nation) with Kate. I took my Crown Graphic 4×5 press camera, two Minolta bodies (an SR-T200 and the XE-7) and the Yashica-D 6×6 TLR. Kate took my dad’s old Pentax ME-Super, which he and mom pawned off on me last Christmas.

I packed Fujichrome Provia 100F for the 35mm bodies, Kodak Professional Portra 160 for the medium format and three different 4×5 color transparencies: A brand-new box of Provia 100F, a box of Velvia 50 that expired in 1994, and box of Kodak Ektachrome 64 that expired in 1978. My goal? Give landscape photography a more serious try than I have before.

Seen here are some of my favorite frames from the Yashica-D.

A look back at the San Juan Mountains
Looking back at the San Juan Mountains as we left them and headed toward the Elk Mountains and Sawatch Range in west-central Colorado. (Daniel J. Schneider)
The Sawatch Range
The distant Sawatch Range in central Colorado as seen from the northwest downslope of the San Juan Mountains somewhere north of Telluride (I think). The sky is so blue. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Colorado National Monument entrance
A look back down at the entrance road from atop the mesa just inside the Colorado National Monument. (Daniel J. Schneider)

I encountered one technical problem: I think the Portra must be thinner or have thinner backing paper than the other 120 films I’ve used. The Yashica’s automatic film counter advanced past the first 2-1/2 frames of film, and as a result the 10th exposure on each roll was cut in half (with a tape mark across the middle, too), and frames 11 and 12 were taken on blank backing paper. I was disappointed to find 18 frames ruined or missing due to a technical glitch.

Rabbit Valley Interchange bridge
The Rabbit Valley Interchange was fabricated by Denver’s Burkhardt Steel Company in 1974 and was the American Institute of Steel Construction 1974 Prize Bridge. It spans the Grand Army of the Republic Highway (Interstate-70) in Mesa County, Colorado, just a few miles from the Utah border and offers access to the Rabbit Valley recreation area and the start of the Kokopelli Trail that winds its way through eastern Utah. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Utah Highway 95 after the snow
On our second day in Utah we were caught in a freak snowstorm in Utah Highway 95. It moved in, pushed visibility to near-zero, and almost as quickly, moved out. It left in its wake brilliant sun and steaming pavement just east of Natural Bridges National Monument. (Daniel J. Schneider)

Nearly all of the medium format frames I made were in Colorado because we were more focused on covering ground once we got back to Cortez and plotted a course for Denver. The 4×5 is too tedious to set up for most side-of-the-road shots, I think. The TLR does nicely, though. While in Utah and The Navajo Nation, I used the 4×5 more than the Yashica.

Hotel Del Rio sign through window
The weathered remains of the Hotel Del Rio’s sign are inside the dilapidated and window-less building, seen through a broken pane of glass. The Hotel was on Central Avenue and North 4th Street in Dolores, Colorado. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Another view of the San Juans
A different angle on the San Juan Mountains as we leave them and head toward Montrose, Colorado, and the Elk Mountains. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Remains of a Rico, Colorado hotel
The remains of a hotel, now apartments, in the minuscule town of Rico, Colorado, along Highway 145 in the San Juan Mountains. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Abandoned cabin in Rico, Colorado
A large, abandoned cabin at the corner of Mantz Avenue and Commercial Street in Rico, Colorado. The San Juan Mountains rise in the distance. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Looking ahead to the Elk Mountains
The Elk Mountains lie ahead and some of the Sawatch Range to the far right. Looking north on Highway 145 from somewhere north of Telluride, Colorado. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
The last frame on a roll, a quick look at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison as sunset nears. The Gunnison River is barely visible in the bottom center. (Daniel J. Schneider)

So these were obviously taken with Kodak Portra 160, developed by Englewood Camera and scanned on my Epson Perfection V600. I made especially sure everything was clean when scanning these, but still had a few specs of dust that I removed with Photoshop. The hue and saturation are untouched, and the exposure nearly untouched.

I hope to find time to edit and post a few of the 4x5s and some of the 35mm frames before too long. As you can see, I’m working with a 4 month backlog right now.

  • ” Kate took my dad’s old Pentax ME-Super, which he and mom pawned off on me last Christmas.”

    And here I thought I gave you my best film camera for your collection of classic film cameras.  And so no one is misled, it was not a Christmas gift, it was just one of the few times you were at the house.  .3

    • Sorry, I didn’t mean it to come off quite like that. And yeah, I was me taking things out of your over-stuffed garage, not a gift. It did a fine job and took nice pictures (would’ve been nicer if the film had been better, I think). I’m quite happy to be able to offer it a good home!