Last winter, I ordered up one of CameraFilmPhoto’s 120 Film Advent Calendars, and picked up a bunch of black & white film that I’d never shot in 120 before. Most of it is still in the fridge, but I took out two rolls a month or so ago, and Rollei RPX 400 was the first up.
I shot the whole roll, nearly, at the Airfield Park Conservation area, where the my darling, adorable wife and I went to look at Tarrant County’s largest waterfall.
The park, and falls, sit next to the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, formerly (and, for me, always) known as Carswell Air Force Base or just Carswell, a combination Navy/Air Force/Marine Corp./Air National Guard flying wing and reserve base, and Industrial park (Lockheed makes F35s at US Air Force Plant 4 there).
The other side of the park and falls is a new, and rather uppity-looking neighborhood…. I mean, if you’ve seen where I live, you know that I’m one to talk, but these houses, sheesh. Huge, ostentatious-level lots; houses bigger than the (if-they-weren’t-all-custom-they’d-be)-McMansions in my neighborhood, bigger by a factor of two or three. The paths of the little park are interrupted by gates with number codes and lined with high, chain-link and barbed wire fences on the Carswell side, and low, decorative barbed wire fences on the fancy neighborhood side.
I would say “must be nice,” but I don’t think it would be: the grass is plenty green where I live.
To call this park a “conservation area” is a bit disingenuous. Sure, there are native plants-a-plenty, all nicely planted in careful rows; the trees (mostly) weren’t cut down, not recently anyway; the fork of the Trinity river here wasn’t diverted too much, too recently. But it’s also a rather manufactured and manicured park. It opens with a parking lot and loads of sidewalk that lead under and around, a strange statue-thing that looks like a big drone, made of airplane wings and tail fins and metal. (You can see part of it in the image above… I tried to get a better picture of it, and maybe I did, but I lost many in a film loading/camera error with the Wardflex, so who knows.) There’s some sort of building that may house a restroom and/or info center, and an area where there might be public performances. The trail that winds through it has been carefully planted and pathed with fresh concrete, if not entirely manicured. There are some benches and trash cans.
The path branches to go across the top of the falls, where it dead-ends into the neighborhood; the other side goes up next to the Carswell fence and then links up with the Trinity Trails system. And you can swim in the river here, if you like… So to call it a conservation area, I don’t know.
But you’re not here to read about this little corner of Tarrant County.
Now… if this is the tallest waterfall in Tarrant County, well, the county is rather flat, like most of North Texas. Still… it looks a bit puny to me.
And, of course, my darling, adorable wife remains darling and adorable.
The Rollei RPX 400 handled well, at least as well as its 100 speed, 35mm stablemate, that I shot through 5 rolls and reviewed of several years ago. I haven’t really shot enough of the 400 to form an opinion, and my current scanning rig really needs a rebuild, so I don’t have much of an opinion.
It came out with nice contrast and pleasant grain from standing around in some 1:100 Rodinal for an hour or so, and I might shoot it again, though for 400 speed b/w, I don’t know… HP5 is hard to beat.