Something new(ish).

Blue boy.

Back in February I attended a Cyanotype workshop at a local art center and by May I’d assembled the chemicals and miscellaneous tools and materials needed to get started.

I’ve made cyanos using bits of nature, cyanos of original geometric designs, and cyanos using digital negatives created from photos – old and new – picked from the archives.

These are the latest four photo-cyanos…

B’s reel
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

Ol’ Glory
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

ARS
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

Whirlwind
6″ x 6″ on 9″ x 12″ Canson Bristol board
Original image

What’s cool?

It was a much simpler time.

Yup. That’s a pony, my sister, and I on the driveway of our home, sometime around 1961. It was summer, I’m pretty sure.

Pretty funny now, but very cool when we were kids.

We lived on Fairwood Street. On the corner at Cedarwood. I was eight, maybe nine, my sister five or 6 years old.

A guy, his pony, and a big camera and tripod wandering the streets of suburbia, leaving behind bucket-loads of memories in his wake.

These pictures are precious to me.

Little did I know how obsessed with photography I’d be later in life.

Circle. Square.

circle-square.jpg

Yet another photographic obsession.

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.

Here’s a montage I put together of 16 faves.

I also assembled an album with 88 examples of circle/square on Flickr, check it out…

Flashlight.

flashlight-1080.jpg

Used nightly.

Taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100, using the Dynamic B&W setting. It. Is. Awesome.

Handy tool for taking Annie out back at night.

I’m clearly drawn to round or circular objects centered in a square. I’ll dig through the archives and see if I can’t put together a montage.

Kismet happens.

texas-kismet.jpg

Feelin’ lucky?

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.

Sometimes, kismet happens.

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.

Rusty shutters #36.

0000-pinholaroid-35mm-f140

Pinholaroid.

September 2008.

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.