Frame Works? There Are Two Sides to Every Story

Description: An ostrich fern frond in early summer. 

Fern Frond

Background: Having just enrolled in a darkroom class, I needed film to develop and print. Not long before this image was taken, I bought a set containing a Minolta 400si and three Maxxum lenses. I didn’t want the 400si but very much wanted the 1985 Big Beercan 75-300mm and 35-105mm lenses. I considered the 400si a throwaway item and used it mostly to justify my contempt for it. I had been out shooting the facade of an old Kodak lab with the 28-100mm. I then did a few shots with 75-300m. Running out of subjects, I remembered the ferns because they were so lush and had spread so much, so quickly. For that shot, I felt a close up was in order and used the 100mm f2.8.  

Technical: Minolta Maxxum 400si, Maxxum 100mm f2.8 Macro, Kodak Tri-X 400, developed in Ilfosol 3, scanned withEpson v600. (Correction: This was initially listed as commercially developed, but was actually developed and printed in my darkroom class then later scanned by me)

Frame Works?: Yes, but not for the reason you’re thinking. I am quite pleased with the symmetry of the leaves. The way this frond stands out from the background is also precisely what I wanted. The 100mm f2.8 macro and Tri-X lived up to their reputations, capturing the fine details in the small leaves with just the right interplay between shadow and light. But there is more to this story than lush, bountiful ferns resting in summer shade. You see, I planted a single ostrich fern three years ago. I like ferns and didn’t bother to read the fine print. The ferns are invading my hostas, and the hostas are losing — badly. Now, ask the ferns how they’re doing, and they will say,


“Never better!”

But, get the hostas off by themselves, especially the Halcyon and the Fire Island, and what comes out of their mouths will make you blush. 

This is a mug shot. 

As the saying goes: There are two sides to every story.  

(BTW, I still have the camera.) 

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