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.
This is a digital shot I made a coupla’ weeks back using my old Pentax 330GS.
The image was converted to black and white using Photoshop, where I also increased the contrast a bit, and inverted it to make a negative. I then opened the file in Illustrator, scaled it to around 8″ x 10″, then printed the image on acetate using our old Samsung laser printer.
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.
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.