February is nearly at the halfway point, and I’m shooting film like mad! I’ve got the Frugal Film submissions ready for this month, and then there’s my Camera of the Month shots from the Zorki 4. Oh, and I found out yesterday that it’s International Brownie Month, so I dusted off my old Hawkeye and stuffed some Ektar 100 in it. So there are quite a few articles for 02/2022 that will be blasted out here soon! This article discusses my Frugal submissions for the month so, without further ado, let’s get to it!

If you recall last month, I built that little plastic Konstruktor camera for the FFP ‘22. It’s been a challenging camera. Super-soft focus, viewfinder is tough on old eyes, rewinding the film takes eons. But it’s got some perks, mainly it forces good composition. This month, the weather added an additional challenge/opportunity. Memphis got an Ice Storm on Feb 2 that crippled a lot of the city – about 270,000 people without power. My little homestead was on generator electricity and kerosene heat for 4 days. Luckily I had plenty of film and cameras so I was able to get some photos.

My berries were frozen!

The downside to having no power is that I couldn’t scan the images! I had the opportunity to develop them any time, because it doesn’t take electricity to develop black and white film. But without electricity, they’d just hang in the shower until the lights came back on. Speaking of showers – no showers for 4 days sucked. I boiled a huge canning pot full of water so the fam could at least freshen up, but ugh… I’m to fancy to live like a cave dweller.

Ice – 1, Gas Grill – 0.

Luckily, I had a generator and a kerosene heater. I was able to keep our pets and peoples warm and cozy, and the addition of a natural gas stove in the house made cooking (and morning coffee) a non-issue. I can’t even imagine how much life would suck without coffee. It’s how I begin my existence each morning. Anyway, at 9am Thursday the power went out and the kids decided it was time to go play in the ice. Outside was a crystal wonderland, full of crackling trees, then falling trees, then more crackling. We are blessed that we don’t have any big, dead trees looming over our property. Everything was covered in ice. Mailboxes, plants, trees, houses, lawn furniture, even guitars!

The most fun was watching the boy succeed at being a Southerner, born and raised, by stepping outside in his bare feet, then in only socks – yeah, he can be kinda thick sometimes – then finally with his feet slid into the front of his shoes while he walked on his heels. The goofy boy realized the error of his ways when I went to move him into position under a small tree for a photo and he came out of his shoes. I chuckled, sighed, probably called him a dumbass as he ran back into the house for new socks and fully-attached shoes.

Yes, Dad, I have my shoes completely on my feet this time.

Since composition is important, I tried to use the trees when possible to add something dynamic to the photos. I also decided to try some inanimate props, and even incorporate the boy, the inanimate prop, and the two together for some shots. Overall, it was a fun round of photos with the Konstruktor. For all the misery of the ice storm, the photos took some of the sting out of it.