Seriously, it is hip to be square…. One of the main problems I faced with the camper last year was keeping the fridge in operation at all times, no easy feat as the propane mode of this 3-way fridge required the truck to be as close to perfectly level as possible.
So a few weeks ago, Sarah and I decided that for critical things to be kept cold like food and now expired and rare Kodak High Speed Infrared film , a new system was a must. Also purchased are a new Morningstar MPPT 15 charge controller with the RM-1 remote meter for detailed analysis of all aspects of charging.
The charge controller has been moved to the inside of a dead space in a storage cabinet and the remote is on the panel along with the other instruments. The now watt output feeds a new Sears Die Hard Group 31 deep cycle marine battery with a higher amp hour rating. There is a temperature sensor hooked to the battery that gives this information to the charge controller for optimum charging. Another upgrade are 4 40 pound capacity pneumatic springs, two on each end of the camper that greatly help with both lifting and lowering the roof.
This is a great upgrade considering the weight of the 85 watt panel, storage rack, two electric fans and the occasional load of fresh snow on the roof. So the fridge install, charge controller and remote meter install were a breeze, the fabrication of the slide out mechanism took some more time and certainly more thought. I thought of coming up with some form of tilt mechanism for the watt panel, but simply removing the panel and using an extension of the commensurate gauge of wire seemed a better bet.
I used connectors from this supplier , good price and great products. So the panel can be both slid out when parked or just removed completely and plugged in via a 12 foot extension cord. Two casters mounted upside down on the brace keep the panel sliding smooth. While driving, a piece of foam hose insulation is stuffed between the panel and camper underside to prevent it from bouncing on rough trails and crosswinds.
To keep sticky fingers from walking off with the panel, a lock replaces the front pin and can be used in both travel and active modes. The freezer is simply luxurious. We ran the fridge for nearly two weeks straight and the freezer was always perfect while the fridge temp never lost more than 2 degrees when opened in regular fashion. This would have saved tons of headaches in the last two years that I was shooting the Kodachrome Project.
The off setting turns off the interior light but you can still check that the unit is getting power from the green LED that is always on as long as there is power. We also stopped by to visit our friends at All Terrain Campers to show them the upgrades and stock them up with Pepsi. Here are some pics of the panel and fridge: Another upgrade was the acquisition of the new Fuji X digital camera. As much as I would have loved to get an M9 , the price to performance ratio just did not make any financial sense to me, especially given my Leica 35mm 1.
Life is good, my wife and I are planning our year anniversary wedding day and will celebrate 8 months of a wonderful partnership in just a week or so. Now…I have to confess, even though I have some 35, photos shot on the film, I miss Kodachrome! One of the more well thought out editorial pieces by New York Times writer, Arthur Sulzberger has recently been selected to be the basis of a screen play written by Jonathan Tropper for a yet untitled and unscheduled film by Shawn Levy in connection with DreamWorks Pictures.
In these early reports, it would seem writers are setting the primary hook of the story by creating a character set of a Father and Son duo and and the narrative of their adventures while on the road to Parsons Kansas. Now the images and films remain, some old, some very recent. Over the years since starting the project in , I have been on the lookout for Kodachrome memorabilia consisting of older packaging, odd things like coolers and other Kodachrome-esque goodies.
I was stunned, they were incredible visual treasures dating from to So in short, I paid a fair bit for a very nice large format Kodachrome of Hollywood star, Ruth Hussey. I got the film today and it is indeed incredible to view, staggering in size for a film I have only been used to seeing as large as mm medium format. I doubt I will see many more of these come up for purchase so I am glad I went for it…..
I had to put the entire box in a garbage bag to avoid condensation…and it worked. Kodachrome is history now, all that remains are the many photos and movies that were made on the fine film. Tonight, I took a quick glance through a box of slides sticking out of one of the boxes it was shipped in and found one of the rolls of underwater scenes of tide pools in Acadia National Park I had shot, scanned one in..
So this is not over yet and the site will actually morph from being a project to a way of thinking in terms of creating tangible photography that gives honest narrative of the lives we will live beyond our dance with Kodachrome.
I am also planning a possible annual photo workshop that surrounds the ideal of how to best achieve what a Kodachrome should be about in terms of honest photography… What a Kodachrome should become now and from here on out is an ideal that no matter what medium you are using, if you see a great convergence of light, color and moment on the back of your digital camera or your iPhone, well, that is a Kodachrome, a little window of truth in that not only do you not have to do anything more than print or show it, you really ought not to.
Just let the moment and the way you chose to frame it simply be. That way, we continue to hand down through the generations to come an honest portrayal of the way we lived and what we really saw. There has always been a place for honest narrative and artistic license in the same world, there is nothing wrong with that, it adds depth and variety to our expression as human beings.
But let us not lose the respect of the real moment as it happened. For no matter how great an artist any person can be, the totality of all life through the voice of life it self will never be topped by us in any form of art we may create.