I made four instant shots in-between setting up and shooting with the pinholes.
I was quite happy with one particular instant and posted it on my film IG, @dogbonesoup
The other three didn’t seem to capture the story, how I feel, or what I liked about this location and vantage point.
This was back in July 2019. Over a year ago.
This past week I’ve looked back again at the instants from that morning – they’re in a stack of various sized instant shots on my desk I need to organize and store – and what caught my eye this time around was a different shot that was a little overexposed and somewhat blown out.
My position in relation to the sun had changed, and when I moved I lost the shade from the structure.
My position in relation to the sun had changed, and when I moved I lost the shade from the structure. That also means that a couple of these instants were overexposed because I didn’t change the settings on the camera accordingly.
Anyway, today I scanned the two that illustrated the point I’m trying make, here…
Looking at the two scans side-by-side, I am drawn to the dream-like feel of the overexposed shot.
The good exposure, while nicely composed, looks a little tame. Staid. A well documented structure. Very little emotion.
In contrast, the overexposed instant has so much more going for it. I holds a story. Feeling. Nostalgia. Mystery. A sense of wanderlust.
I love that this shot has a toy-camera vibe to it. I guess stepping out of that shadow proved to be a good thing.
This is my first attempt at using Hamish Gill’s @pixllatr.
I used my iPhone 8, hand held, to make the image. The light source was my 9×12 Artograph lightbox.
I used a mask that I made from chipboard to block out any extraneous light (I’m already thinking of ways to make that gizmo and process a little smoother).
I transfered the shot to my Mac Mini via AirDrop, opened the image in Photoshop, converted to black and white, used the Transform/Skew tool to square it up, then adjusted levels.
The results look pretty darned good. An absolute success.
Side note… I made this image back in 2006 with my Holga 120N using Ilford HP5+ 400. The shot was made in downtown San Jose, CA in front of the convention center on West San Carlos Street, directly across from the main office of The Tech Museum of Innovation, where I worked at the time.
The film was developed by Calypso Imaging, a Santa Clara company that went under not long after these negs were developed. Like many companies at the time, the advent of digital cameras was disastrous for the film industry.
I started developing my own black and white film soon thereafter.
In my travels with cameras, I discover a lot of round or circular objects, and since my fave and probably most frequently used aspect ratio in photography is the square, I’ll center these objects and make a photo.
We celebrated our 5th year of Texas Life back around mid-June. A milestone that prompted me to look through the many TtV shots I’ve made so far here in Central Texas, picking out these 9 faves.
That simple exercise got me thinking about photography and kismet.
Fate, I believe, is a more powerful force than luck.
What’s the famous quote about luck? Samuel Goldwyn said “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” He was right. Being prepared is always an advantage.
Luck runs out. Fate doesn’t.
Fate is always peeking around a corner. In your face. Even if you don’t recognize it, fate’s knocking on your door. Tapping you on the shoulder. Fate is the wrong turn you made. The person you met. Fate is the walk you took.
Years of looking through a viewfinder has taught me much, but the one thing I know for certain is magical photos are made when least expected.
I’m a fan of routine. I like patterns. I like consistency. I’m okay with repetition. Finding a groove is cool by me.
Every morning I get up at the same time, go through a long list of gyrations – set-up my daily log, check the temp out back, plug in the coffee maker, check my blood pressure, take my meds, and pour a cup of coffee – all before I sit down at the computer to post daily glimpses on social media.
By the end of that cup of coffee, I’m much more awake. By 7:30-ish Annie and I head out the door for her walk. After that, breakfast. Then I set my agenda for the day.
My routine was much the same before, but since March I feel like my routine has morphed into scenes from Ground Hog Day.
I was given this old Argus Autronic I by a friend, who tells me it belonged to to his dad.
It was produced between 1962-65. 50mm ƒ/2.8. For a 35mm camera it is huge. And it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 2.77 lbs, including the fan-flash, half-case, and strap.
He also gave me the original manual, a bit tattered but intact.
First thing I did was open up the back, crank the film advance and checked to see of the shutter opened. It didn’t. I tried a few more times, could see the the shutter leaves moving, but no light was coming through. Bummer.
I’m gonna make a wooden stand for it, counter-sink a hole on the top of the stand to accomodate the case knob – so the camera sits flatly on top of the stand – and another hole on the bottom of the stand for a short 1/4-20 bolt/washer to secure it.
I’m thinking I’ll decopage/collage the manual pages to the stand and glue a chunk of felt to the bottom.
It’d be cool to find an old, unused M-base flash bulb, as I’d want to open up the fan-flash while on display and having a bulb in it would be a nice touch. I’ll check eBay.
I have an adapter that allows me to use old manual-focus Minolta lenses on my micro four thirds cameras.
I made this particular lockdown garden shot – one of three Bulbine’s we have in pots on the back patio – using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and a Minolta MD Rokkor X 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens that I’ve had for years.
I shot it square, there’s no cropping, but I did run it through the Urban Acid action, adding a few personal tweaks.
A twilight shot, the camera was pointed into the sun-less early evening sky, I shut it down a bit to get more of the flower and buds in focus – plus a smaller aperture allowed me to move the camera in closer. No flash, all natural light.
Titled “Yellow Bulbine,” I like this shot bunches.
Oh, and sorry about the really poor Mason Williams reference. Sometimes I just can’t help mysef.
Modified Polaroid Colorpack II – 35mm @ ƒ/140. No batteries required!
After removing the lens and shutter, I lopped off a good portion the front, then fitted a neatly cut and trimmed piece of black ABS to cover the resulting hole. This made for a shorter distance to the film plane and a wide angle of view.
I measured for center, then drilled a 4/16″ hole through the front plate. The shutter and shutter-stops came next. I measured for the shutter location, drilled a pilot hole, then attached the shutter with a small brass screw, washer and nut. The stops were super-glued. Super-simple operation.
I cut a 3/4″ square piece of soda can and used a very small sewing needle and a sheet of binder paper folded up a bit and placed beneath it to punch the hole through the aluminum, slowly, sanding the back of the puncture to smooth it out. The pinhole is attached to the inside of the camera with gaffer tape.
I turned the camera upside down and added a viewfinder, using a simple 200 degree peep-hole from Home Depot. I used ABS for the viewfinder support, drilled a hole to accommodate the peep-hole and super-glued the bracket to the camera body. The viewfinder placement is dead center above the pinhole.
Having removed the original Colorpack II viewfinder – which is now on the bottom of the camera – I cut out 6 of pieces of ABS that mimicked the shape of the Manfrotto tripod mount I use, each slightly smaller than the next. I glued them together, then drilled a hole for a 1/4-20 sleeve to attach the Manfrotto mount.
In a stroke of good luck, the pattern on the ABS was a close match to that of the Colorpack II. I finished off the Pinholaroid by painting all the exposed ABS satin black.
A fun little project. I even have a decent stash of Fuji pack-film to use with this camera.