Category Archives: Kenzmyth Blog

General posts about the site and contents.

A New Look at Film… negatives and such.

I segued into digital photography in early 1995. I was probably one of the first commercial photographers in San Francisco to early adopt the new digital media full time. Since then, I have made innumerable images with a number of digital image capture devices and cameras from BetterLight scan backs to Canon and now Sony full frame cameras.

I did not totally give up on film in 1995, but I stopped shooting film for commercial paying clients. I continued to shoot color Polaroid for transfers, Polaroid PN55 in medium format and 4×5 format for personal portrait projects and 8×10 Polaroid for a couple of art projects. I also, occasionally, shot Kodak Ektachrome 35mm and 2-1/4″ medium format for art projects. I even made a few images with a Gundlach 11″ x 14″ view camera. But, that all stopped in about 2003.

In 2014, I got the bug to shoot B&W film again and bought what had been expensive cameras for quite cheap. I got a Pentax 6×7 with 75mm, 135mm and 200mm lenses and a meter prism for about $500. I purchased an RZ67 with 65mm, 110mm, 180mm, 250mm lenses, 3 film backs, meter prism, and eye level viewer for $500. I picked up a Fujica GM670 camera for $300, a Bronco RF645 for $400, a Speed Graphic 4×5 with 90mm lens for $200. I was just gearing up and did a few shoots when we decided to sell our house and move into retirement. I sold everything.

Three weeks ago, I bought an RB67 with 90mm f4 lens, WL finder, one 120 film back and speed grip for $450. I still had film from 2014 and started shooting. I found my wife’s old Olympus OM-1 with an Olympus 50mm f1.8 lens. I had a Canon EOS 1N film camera and a 35mm f2 lens I’d been using on my Sony A7R2. I also have a 6cm x 6cm, fixed lens, non-focusing, 2 aperture, 120 film format camera from the Ukraine.

I have been shooting Ilford HP5, FP4, and Pan F in 35mm and 120 formats. I am amazed by the detail, acutance and exposure latitude in the HP5 and FP4 and the incredible detail in the Pan F 35mm.




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The Billy Bullet Guitar

Billy Dunaway has given me some project guitars that he says he won’t get the time to finish. The first is a Fender Bullet 1 body from the 1980’s.

That’s it, just a body manufactured for a Strat tremolo. I filled the tremolo routs with vertical grain fir and finished the filling with Bondo.

Of course, I had to have an inspiration and decided it was Billy. Susie said, “It has to be all black”, because that is Billy’s general daily clothing color palatte. So, that’s where I started, but soon was venturing into a layer of antique bronze satin over the layers of flat black. Then, some gold spatter, more flat black, a clear coat, then some “relic” work that left dents and a few gouges followed by some wet sanding, another clear coat, some racing stripes in soft gold and more spatter, more wet sanding and, finally, more satin clear coat.

I had purchased some gold foil mustache mini-humbuckers on EBay and a wiring kit from EMG, but decided to do my own wiring and cannabalized a 5 way switch, a single coil middle pickup and some 500k CTS pots from a Fender set up I had removed from a 1979 Fender Stratocaster hard tail back in 2003 or 2004. I got a black string through non-trem bridge and modified it for body through stringing, wire wheeled some of the black off and mounted it on the body.

I needed a pickguard and had one Billy had given me with another Fender Bullet body and Aria The Cat II neck as a start for a rebuild. The pickguard was mint green; of course I painted it black with a gold/bronze spatter after I made a mess of opening up the pickup apertures with a Dremel tool. I went online and found some Flat Black pickguard material, so I needed a routing template for this new custom pickguard. I bought a Rikon 10″ bandsaw and it is amazingly well constructed and designed for a 199.00 saw. I made template, but was not confidant in my skills to create accurate pickup apertures so I bought a 24.00 single coil rout template from Stew-Mac and 25.00 mini-humbucker template from an EBay seller. Both were perfect and the apertures I routed with my new Makita palm router/trimmer turned out like factory.

I bought a 27.00 Strat style neck that was painted black and did a little road wear work on that, then added Wilkinson locking tuners and some Kluson string trees.

Assembly went fine after I had lined the body routs with aluminum tape for shielding.

I tuned it up, hooked it up, cranked it up and surprised myself that I could make such a good sounding mongrel git-box.


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Epiphone EJ-160VCe John Lennon Resurrection

Billy Dunaway gave me this Epiphone EJ-160VC and though it was in playing condition, didn’t look too great. The original electronics were gone and someone had botched the finish while installing a new bridge. I decided to resurrect it by removing the thick polyurethan sunburst finish, smooth out the soundboard and refinish it and add a new EMG active pickup and pots along with a separate under saddle piezo and soundbox mic system with tuner. It is a great playing and very nice sounding guitar. Oh, I also added Grover locking tuners. I had to sacrifice the gold foil John Lennon signature on the upper bout in the re-finish. I am very happy with the result and play this guitar more than my cutaway Martin or resonator guitars.


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Insect Macro-Photography

Long time since I have posted. Not because I haven’t busy; I have. Macro or extreme close up photographs of things has always fascinated me, but I haven’t really done much of it because of the other many image making projects I have worked at and on over the years. I recently decided to give it a go and initially shot some images with my Sony FE 24-70mm f4 zoom lens, not realizing it did have a modest macro focus mode. Then I bought some inexpensive tube extensions so I could focus closer to my subjects. Then I started buying some old macro lenses on EBay and extensions. Ultimately, I bought a Sony FE 50mm f2.18 Macro lens. At any rate, I have shot with 5 or 6 different lenses with varying degrees of “success”. Some of the early images are in this short video called “Bees in Lavender Samba”. Enjoy.


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Benefits of Republicana Theocratica

Republican Theocracy

Let’s see; what are the benefits to the average middle class and working class Americans offered by all the Republican policy changes promised:

  • Repeal Obamacare – 33 Million lose Insurance 20K die
  • Cut Medicare – 11 million people lose benefits 15K die
  • Cut Soc. Sec. – millions of seniors eat cat food, live in boxes
Abolish the EPA – the planet goes dark in 60 years
  • Abolish Dept. of Educ. – children become dumb Christians
  • Re-do HUD – yet more families under overpasses
DACA & DAPA repeal – Go back where you didn’t come from.
  • Build a wall – alienate allies and displace immigrants
Ban Muslims – create more ISIS warriors and Muslim hate
  • Oil Pipes across America – the hell with Natives and you
Nuclear Arms Build Up – planet goes boom real soon
  • Get cozier with Russia – Hooker pee breaks for all
  • Ditch Nato – Who need Europe anyway?
  • Send Feds into Chicago – Help shovel snow?
  • Defund Planned Parenthood – Not my baby, not my baby.
  • Defund NEA – Art serves no real purpose, fuck art.
  • Defund PBS – F#@k Art, watch Fox.
  • Corporatize the Internet – dear leader will run everything
  • SOS/Oil Department – ExxonMobil Diplomacy, for sure.
  • AG/DOJ – Non-Whites Beware: Cracker at the wheel
  • Rust belts get rustier, coal mines keep their coal
  • Minimum wage is still MINIMUM wage so head down to the new Republican Cardboard Boxhouse Agency to buy your own cardboard box home to put under the underpass… OR, live in a two bedroom, one bath apartment with 9 other working adults, 7 toddlers and a hamster.
  • Rich get Richer, but the poor don’t get richer and the middle class get to put Humpty Dumpty America back together, again.

Thank you, mine hair furor. America IS GREAT agin.

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My Facebook Account is Blocked(temporarily, I hope)… So here comes a rant.

Rant on Pence, 2/17:

Mike Pence – why do you care so much about the reproductive systems of my children and their children? Why are you so stone like in your heart that you would have a female child die rather than be allowed a chance at having an adult life. Why would you rather an unwanted child be the ward of a society that you won’t support and will destroy if you and your anti-human republican crony haters have their way? Is this the love that your “good book” teaches? What about your neighbors, the ill, the meek, the dispossessed, the immigrant, the lame, the unemployed, the unemployable, the mentally deficient, the drug addled? What about the good people that do want their government to be of the people, by the people and for the people? Why do you want it to perish from this earth to be replaced by a collection of oral narratives told by ignorant desert nomads and transcribed generations after their inception and codified to reveal a hateful, spiteful, vengeful, capricious, unknowable, secret, nameless, moral dictator who would rather you be punished with a sea of fire for not believing in it and rejecting any other philosophy because you are born with the sin that condemns you and that means all zygotes, foetuses, and babies are doomed if they die before they can talk? Okay, this was a waste of time, but I feel a bit better, Pence on Fire.

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Women’s March in Santa Rosa, CA on 1-21-2017

We had sun and rain and lot’s of friendly women, children and men… at least 5, 000 and up to 7,000 estimated by an SRPD Sergeant at the rally and march. Attendance around the world, according to The U. Conn. professor who put together a spread sheet of rally-ers and marchers was in the 5-6 million range.

There’s lot’s to do and say in this new Era of Resistance and now you know you are not alone and in fact you are in the majority of voices to be heard.  Here is a short video of the march and rally in Santa Rosa, CA.

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