Monday, September 28, 2020

Low September Sun


Low sun and pinhole are a good mix.

I love backlit scenes like this, so you can expect to see more of them as the sun goes ever lower as the year end draws nearer.

Leonardo 4 x 5 pinhole camera, Catlabs 80 sheet film dunked in caffenol.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tree Portrait


Leonardo pinhole camera with Catlabs80 film.

Dunked in delta caffenol for 8 minutes....stirred not shaken. 

The Leonardo pinhole camera is a 4 x 5 box made by the late Eric Renner of New Mexico. This one was sent to me from a friend in New York. It's nice to have a native new Mexico camera back in New Mexico.

I have since bought another one.  They are great simple boxes and this particular model shoots fairly wide as it has a 2.5 inch focal length. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

No rush...that's all I'll say


all the way from Belarus, a converted 8M Smena.



Sandstone bluffs, near Grants,NM.  Arista 100 dunked in caffenol.




Old slow growing trees posed for family portraits.


Friday, June 19, 2020

We begin with Lichen and end with a bear....

This is a jar full of lichen I picked up off the ground in my yard. I made photo developer out of it.  
I added tap water to the lichen and let sit out in the sun for two days.
BTW- this is 16 oz. filled to the rim.

It smelled very green! Refreshing! Lichen sun tea! But don't drink it...use it for an eco friendly film developer.

After two days outside in the sun, ( I added a bit of water due to evaporation), I strained the lichen water into a bigger jar. I tossed the leftover lichen into my compost heap. Eco all the way!

Next, just because I like to know, I tested the pH of the lichen water. It read 5.5, acidic.

Then I mixed up the developer.

I added
4 teaspoons washing soda 
1 teaspoon vitamin C powder 
to the room temperature (70 F) lichen water to make 16 oz. of developer.

 The mixture looked a bit cloudy, like this. It still smelled green and fresh.

I tested the pH again...and it read 11. If you are familiar with caffenol recipes, most of them range around 9 pH. I didn't worry too much about the level being higher since this was just experimental.

I'm mostly interested in seeing how well something I found in my yard works for developing film with the addition of a couple of easy to find ingredients. 

Using the recipe above, I developed a sheet of Ilford Ortho Plus 4x5 sheet film for 10 minutes. It's in the fixer in the photo below.

Here's the scanned negative. The photo was made in a homemade pinhole camera that I made out of a leftover priority mailing box. 

That's not a great photo, but you can see the developer worked fine. I developed for 10 minutes, then stopped with water, fixed as normal, rinsed and let air dry.
Here's another photo made by scanning one of the 120 negative pinhole shots in the same lichen developer.

and one more 120 negative scan of some lichen....

I need to back track a bit and mention that right after I loaded the first 4 x 5 sheet of film in the developing tube I saw a bear in my driveway! They wander around looking for water and food. I scared it off with an air horn.

Back to developing with lichen...
I wound up developing a total of five, Ilford Ortho plus 4x5 sheet films and one roll of 120 Ultrafine 100 ISO medium format film. Each for a time of ten minutes.

The last sheet of 4 x 5 film I developed was pretty weak and thinking about this now, I'd say don't use it for more than four sheets of 4 x5, or two rolls of 120.

I've been using caffenol for about seven years so this was not too far a leap to make using lichen. I've also used pulverized juniper berries and it was very aromatic. 

Have fun! 
Be fearless!
Watch out for bears!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

did you miss me?

it's been a year, almost. no excuses or reasons for not posting, so let's just get on the horse and go again. at least for a while.

currently I'm making a sun tea out of some lichen I found out in the woods behind my house.
I'll let it brew today and maybe tomorrow, depending on how the "tea" looks then use it to mix up some eco friendly developer for a paper negative that i'll probably shoot in my pinhole camera. Lovely stuff!

Here's what the lichen looks like sitting out on my deck in the sun. It's rather pretty don't you think? After a good rain, and we had one yesterday, it gets soft and kind of fluffy after being brittle during the dry times. It smells like fresh air and greenery. 

The pinhole camera arrived yesterday. I found it online for a very reasonable price. It had never been used so that had to be fixed pronto.
Here it is!

It's three inches deep, so it shoots wide and is a dream to use. Nothing to break or fail. It's like a little piece of furniture. It's an f/211, so the exposures will be about 5 seconds or so in bright light with 100 ISO film sheets. Oh and yes, it uses sheet film holders which are super easy to use. I just love simple things. Especially now.  

Here's my first test shot out of it from yesterday afternoon in the back yard. 

It's nice right? The area is a place I'm clearing out that has too many scraggly little trees struggling and arguing for sunlight. It's kind of hidden away in the woods and will make a nice refuge for birds and little animal critters. Even bugs!  The shadowy area on the right of the photo was me futzing around with the shutter. I don't use a light meter and just think about the light and how the emulsion reacts to it, so initially I had the shutter open for 8 seconds...then decided to reopen it for a little longer since it was shady and let it grab 5 more seconds of the forest.

so that's it for my first day back blogging here. Come back once it a while to see what's going on.
Thank you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Just when you think it's over there's a resurrection....

I've been in hibernation as far as blogging goes.
And not that this is a total re emergence, here is a little pinhole photo I made last week with a converted pill box that I held down in the grass to get a bugs eye view of the world.
It's kind of neat to think about this perspective.

 Above is the pinhole camera with a little paper negative I did as a test. As you can see it's a true pocket sized camera..!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Skynet's Northern Perimeter

4x5 Pinholes on paper negatives made with an old Santa Barbara pinhole camera and a fancy schmancy grafmatic back.
I like the grafmatic back since it holds six sheets and makes it easier to manage a few shots on a hike.