The underwater gore-fest that BP is airing live on their web site would be a lot more fascinating to me if I could divorce it from the horror they, in their myopic greed, have visited upon us all.

Anyway, I like mechanical stuff and almost always prefer shooting it in black and white.

Equipment at Atlantic Yards. Canon L1, Cosina Voigtlander 35mm Ultron, Tri-X, Diafine.

The grain accentuates the grit in this photo. I push Tri-X to 1000/1250 in Diafine and the grain is definitely more pronounced, but in a way that I like.

Disused pier crane, Brooklyn. Leica C3, Plus-X, Diafine.

Shooting against the sky is always tricky–you have to decide what you’ll let go to complete white. In this case, I used the flash on the C3 (an autofocus pocket camera) to fill in the underside of this monstrous crane so that I wouldn’t have too much contrast between the darkest and lightest bits. In the end, it’s not the sky that goes white, but a couple of the reflections.

Tappan Zee Bridge. Yashica Electro 35 GTN, TMX.

And in this photo of a bridge, the contrast issue is pretty extreme. The sky did blow out to white in the negative, but I adjusted the levels a tiny bit before posting this here in order to beef it up a little. When the sky goes white, the lighter parts of the structure get lighter, and the bridge looks much less substantial. The Electro 35 is an aperture-priority camera, so if I had wanted to adjust the exposure, I would actually have had to adjust the film speed setting, which, while not difficult, is not recommended while driving. Nor is taking photographs, for that matter.

Garbage truck. Leica MP, 35mm Summicron, Tri-X, Diafine.

Here, again, that Tri-X, pushed to 1000, gives a good texture to this gritty subject. If you look at it close (click the photo to see it larger), you’ll see that the guys running this truck have glued some odd little toys to the side.

Makeshift fence, Atlantic Yards, Brooklyn. Yashica Electro 35 GTN, Ilford Delta 100 @ISO80, Diafine.

Another study in texture and compositional graphics. This was shot with a much slower film than those above–Delta 100, which I actually shot at ISO80 in order to develop it in Diafine. It’s one of the few films that doesn’t get a natural push in Diafine. I like it in Diafine much better than the previous formulation of TMax (which is a similar film). I have not yet tried the new TMX (TMax 100) or TMY (TMax 400), and I probably will not. I’m sure I will try TMZ (TMax 3200) again and again in my continuing quest for the largest grain possible.

Good luck, BP. There’s a special place in hell for you regardless.