The arc of progress.

arc

Old, but not dead.

Over the past three weeks I’ve been checkin’ out the #ShittyCameraChallenge tag on Twitter and I’ve noticed that folks are using any old shitty camera they can get their hands on, including ‘vintage’ digital.

I still have my old Pentax Optio 300GS. It’s a tiny compact digital camera I bought in 2003. It’s a whoppin’ 3.2 MP, uses a 128 MB Compact Flash card, and it runs on AA batteries.

It’s not really shitty, but it is old.

It’s not really shitty, but it is old. And after 17 years, the sensor has a handful of dead pixels.

So, yesterday I walked around the house, garage, and backyard shooting whatever caught my eye.

These two shots had a similar feel, seemed meant for each other. A wagon wheel, and leaves from one of the Pride of Barbados plants out back.

It’s that time again.

brownie-trio

Shitty, shitty, shitty.

The Shitty Camera Challenge is happening soon. It’ll be a little different than last year, I think, as it’s being touted as the “Quarantine Special” this time ’round.

It lasts from June 1 to August 31, 2020. Not exactly clear about when to post, but I’m sure that’ll all get figured out as time progresses.

I looked on eBay to see if I could find some camera that’d be adequately awful to use, but found zero inspiration. I was about ready to throw in the towel.

Larry found it in the garage when they moved into the house…

Fiddlin’ in the studio I came a cross a handful of old 120 spools, mostly plastic, but one of them was metal. It has the words “KODAK FILM” embossed on both ends. Pretty cool.

It reminded me that I have a 50th Anniversary Kodak Brownie that a neighbor in the old ‘hood gave me. That old thing had a roll of Verichrome Pan in it, which I developed using D76. That’s where the spool came from.

wp-brownie

Of the three pictures that turned out (see top of post), two looked to be from the seventies and one looked earlier, maybe late fifties or early sixties.

Larry found it in the garage when they moved into the house, held onto it until late 2007, when he gave the camera to me.

I also have two rolls of expired film to use, a March 1968 expired roll of Verichrome Pan plus a June 2008 expired roll of Plus-X. The camera shoots ~6×9 so I’ll get 8 shots per roll.

 I’ll probably rig something up so I can compose and shoot horizontally…

Today I dusted it off and cleaned the, uh, viewfinder. It’s really not much of a viewfinder, honestly. I’ll probably rig something up so I can compose and shoot horizontally… you know, landscape.

The little red window that’s supposed to show the picture numbers has faded to a fairly transparent orange-ish yellow, so I made a little flap out of a piece of gaffers to cover-up between advancing shots. Should help.

I think it’ll do. Funky, fun, and free.

WPPD2020

8banners-mc.jpg

#4, #4, #4.

Today is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.

I’m planning to get out with this guy – my 8Banners Mc – but it’s gonna be a bit of an adventure.

It has a roll of 120 film in it. The first roll I loaded actually, exactly 10 years ago.

The only clue I could find about which film I’d loaded was in a Flickr post for WPPD in 2010. The plan then was to shoot with the Mc, my Zero Image 6×9, plus a Polaroid Colorpack II I’d hacked into a pinhole. I noted that I was using Fuji film in all three.

Yup. As previously noted, there was a roll of Fuji Acros 100 in the Zero Image 6×9, and that leads me to believe the film in the Mc is the same. That roll in the Mc is on picture #4.

I’ll probably bring my Panny GF1/Pinwide combo, too. Just in case things go south with the Mc, I want to make sure I have something to show for the day.

It’ll be perfect weather for shooting ISO100, sunny and low 80s. I plan on avoiding people as much as possible and not wander too far from home.

Like I said, it should be an adventure.

The Blue Set.

Check your settings.

I make mistakes. Some big, some little. Consequences vary, but I always learn from them.

Take for instance these half-dozen shots made back in early 2011. I used my Panny GF1 and a c-mount lens, the SLR Magic Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4, to make a few pictures around the neighborhood.

Love that swirly bokeh. But the blue was a bit of a surprise.

Anyway, as I noted in comments made about the portrait on Flickr “…the blue cast is from my not remembering to switch back to AWB before I headed out for a walk around the block. The Tungsten setting casts blue in daylight. But I think it works in the handful of pictures I posted this afternoon. A lesson, of sorts.” The unusual portrait got a good number of views, a coupla’ faves, and a handful of comments.

I seem to recall noticing what I’d done about 6 pictures into my stroll and changing back to AWB. Oh, well. Interesting results.

The lesson? Check your settings.

 

The party’s over.

 

March 2020 FP4 Party: A few final observations.

It was quite the experience.

I enjoyed every aspect.

It got me out with film cameras, new and old.

I tried a film new to me.

My skill at loading 35mm and 120 film on the Paterson reels continues to improve.

Developing with D76 yielded excellent results.

I found a groove every week.

Looking through Twitter at the #fp4party hashtag for the past 7 days to see what other party-goers posted was a treat.

Followed some new folks, gained a few followers on Twitter, IG, and Flickr.

Thanks to the FP4 Party hosts.

Here are my 7 submissions, last-to-first…

the-gate.jpg

The gate
Georgetown, TX
Saturday, March 7, 2020
ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 7

sprinkles.jpg

Sprinkles
Georgetown, TX
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 6

used-cars.jpg

Used cars
Thorndale, TX
Friday, March 6, 2020
Hasselblad 500c/m, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 5

bridge-to-nowhere.jpg

Bridge to nowhere
Georgetown, TX
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 4

the-bucket.jpg

The bucket
Round Rock, TX
Monday, March 2, 2020
Hasselblad 500c/m, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 3

nine-right.jpg

9 right
Georgetown, TX
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 2

mid-century-emptiness.jpg

Mid-century modern emptiness
Taylor, TX
Friday March 6, 2020
ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 1

FP4 Plus Party, Dev Week part one.

smena8m-fp4plus-35mm-27.jpg

Smena 8M + 35mm.

This was my first time out with the Smena. It’s a quirky little Russian camera. Plastic. Toy-like, if not for the fact that it has apertures and shutter speeds and a cocking shutter.

I put gaffer tape over the seams on the lid to the film compartment just in case of light leaks. The viewfinder is pretty close to useless.

Results…
– 27 shots out of a 24 shot roll. Cool.
– 1 accidental double exposure.
– A few underexposed, a few overexposed.
– A handful of not perfectly exposed.
– Bunches not quite framed up the way I’d intended.

Can’t really tell about focus, but there are probably a few keepers, and I’ll know which to submit next week once I run them through the scanner.

Tomorrow.

This is an iPhone shot of the negs, cut and slipped into a negative preserver, placed on an LED light pad, inverted in Photoshop.

Today I’ll tackle the 120 film development.