Wednesday, May 29, 2013

and the ugly ducking now....

Not quite up to swan status, but quite a bit better after a trip to the shed and a vigorous scrub with acetone, some light sanding in spots, then a light mist with satin finish polyurethane.

I'll build a shutter later, maybe this weekend--but until then I"ll just use the dark slide or my finger as a shutter.

Here's the after shot!


I adopted a 4 x 5 pinhole camera from the auction site and the adoption package arrived today.

As you can see, this little guy ( he's 4 x 5 ) has been abused with tape so I hope to get the residue off and then take him out for a spin.

If anyone has a good tape remover idea, I'm all ears!!!

This pinhole camera is VERY similar to the 4 x 5 Palomino I built last year, so I guess this one will be the step brother.  Or maybe the Palomino is the step brother since other pinhole cameras of similar build were already in the world before I built mine...but then how many ways can you build a light tight box with a tiny hole in it I wonder?

I need to make a few parts for this one, a shutter and an extra dowel in the back to hold the filmholders in place, but that will only take a few minutes out in the shed and we're good to go adventuring!

All kidding aside, the focal length is the same so I expect similar results to what the Palomino shoots.
Come back soon and see what the verdict is...maybe I'll do a side by side and share that.

Have a great sunshine in your face day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Old Dogs, Young Dogs

Several Stupid Dogs. Please Drive Slowly.

This pinhole shot was made with that found tin I picked up in Texas earlier this month.
I really like shooting with it, even though it's a one trick pony and I have to reload it after each exposure.

It has a wide field of view and I like that too because it gives a lot of context to what's going on. Plus a sheet of 4 x 5 photo paper fits in easy without me having to trim it.  Nice!

Harman Direct positive photo paper exposed for 45 seconds and then marinated in caffenol for about 4 minutes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

long weekend...

Today is the start of a long weekend and marks the unofficial beginning to Summer.

I'm going to chill out for a few days, have some fajitas, watch some fast cars and just take it easy.  I hope you do the same and if you have to be on the road, drive safe.

There's some people out there in a big ass hurry to get where they're going and they'll run you plum over!

I'll be back in a few with some new stuff to share and talk about--- but until then...

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

lately, I'm all about trees

Actually I've always been about trees.
They are favorites to make pinhole photos of because they graciously stand tall and still and never complain about it.

Not that any of my other subjects complain...

Here are a few pinhole shots made over the past month...if I dug back in my archives, I could post a tree photo every day,. but that would get old and you'd stop visiting and I don't want that to happen so I'll just share a few of my favorites.

This first tree is one I call the "Turnaround Tree" because it's in the middle of a turnaround area near the railroad tracks in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  A photographer friend introduced me to this tree and as you can see, it's quite a nice one! I want to shoot this one again with snow on the ground.    I made this photo with a Holga that I converted to pinhole.

This one is a tree in Texas that I like to shoot every time I get near it.  It's on an old ranch I visit and is nice and shady!  I made this photo with the converted Holga to pinhole camera too.

Here's another group of trees.  I used to camp under these trees a long time ago...and yes that's a rodeo arena in the background...I don't think it's used much anymore. Converted Holga to pinhole camera.

And the final photo is another group of trees in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  These are near the train station and line the historic avenue that has a few interesting buildings and an old hotel which you can see on the right.  Holga pinhole converted by moi!  
All of these were shot with Fuji Acros 100 film and developed in caffenol. Most of the shots were about 2-3 seconds long.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pinhole Portraits

A few posts ago I mentioned that I wanted to make a pinhole portrait of someone other than my self, but only if I had engaged that person in conversation.

If you think about it, it's kind of difficult to make a pinhole portrait of someone that you haven't talked with because they need to be still for about 6 seconds or more to make it work out....thus the conversation.

While I was in Texas, I met a cowboy, an honest to goodness boot wearin, hat tippin, horse wrangler type to be exact.

Oh and a SAG card carrier as he sometimes moonlights as an actor in westerns.  He played the Sheriff in the Kevin Costner flick, "Wyatt Earp".

Anyway, I met "Sarge" on a ranch as he was working some horses and getting them ready to move to another pasture for feeding.

He was very friendly and we struck a conversation about horses and horse wrangling in general.
I had horses as a girl growing up so always take advantage of horse talk whenever I can.

I had my Holga that I converted to pinhole with me while I was on the ranch and asked Sarge if he would mind posing for a pinhole photo.  He obliged and stayed very still for the required 6 seconds it took to make the image.

After I closed the shutter to end the exposure this is what turned out...  Wow!  He was very still!

He came closer after I ended the exposure to look at the camera and wanted to know more about pinhole and said he'd never seen a pinhole camera and wanted to know how it worked.

I told him I would demonstrate it and he could see the pinhole, but warned him it would be making his photo as he watched.  He grinned and said "let's go for it" so I placed the camera on the fence railing, opened the shutter again and explained the process while he gazed intently into the teeny aperture.

After six seconds I closed the shutter and this is the result!  Isn't that just the greatest cowboy face?

I'm pretty happy with these and a big thanks to Sarge for being such a great first portrait!

As it turns out, Sarge is moving back to New Mexico so we might wind up being neighbors so you might be seeing more of him in future posts.

Adios amigos, and have a great day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

another day, another box

Today I worked on finishing up a cigar box pinhole camera that I started working on a few weeks ago.
The box is very nicely finished and has a cool sliding top!

It's made by the "My Father Cigars" from Nicaragua and according to the box the cigars are totally made by hand..but aren't they all?

I'm not a cigar smoker, but I do appreciate the boxes they come in and often prowl cigar stores looking for cool boxes to convert  into pinhole cameras.  You can often find a really nice wooden box for a buck or two depending on the box and how much the guy behind the counter wants for it.

There's a nice cigar store in my area where the owner knows what kind of boxes I like and puts them aside for me.  He thinks it's pretty cool that the boxes have another life as something else.  I do too!

This box was on that popular auction site and I only paid 2 dollars for it.  Shipping was 4 dollars so I've got 6 bucks invested.  Not bad for a finger joined box that would have taken me half a day to build!

The box is perfectly sized for a 4 x 5 sheet of photo paper or film to lay inside and with the addition of some black foam-core as a light tight liner--it's ready to go!

I drilled a 5/8 hole in the lid and then taped a teeny pinhole inside the lid that I had hand drilled in some brass shim-stock.  Viola!  Pinhole camera!

The box is about 3-7/8 inches deep, so with a .018 pinhole, that works out to about F/215.
With Direct Positive Paper my exposures are going to be in the neighborhood of 60 seconds.
Tomorrow, I hope to take it out for a test drive, and of course I'll post the resulting photo here.
In the meantime, here's the box.  I love the design on it.

I'll probably just use a piece of tape for a shutter for the time being.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

a little challenge

While I was on the road last week, I made myself a little challenge to make a pinhole camera out of something I found at the place I visited and to make pinhole images with it.

I found a lovely little tin can at a second hand shop for 49 cents and promptly went to work making a couple of pinhole shots around the area.  ( I had looked in a couple of dumpsters, but only found rotten food and some busted elected to go the thrift store route.)

So I made a hole, loaded it with some paper and made the following shots.

Luckily, the tin can held a 4 x 5 sheet of paper perfectly!  

The tin measures about 5" tall and is about 3.25 " diameter.  It's marked "Meister" Made in Brazil on the bottom. I have no idea what might have been in it originally, but it is a nice size! 

I don't know what the f/stop is and I didn't bother painting the inside black but did find some black felt to line part of the tin can with to avoid glare and internal reflections.

All of these shots were about 45 seconds long and the paper is Harman Direct Positive developed in Caffenol.

All pinhole photos were made in west Texas.  A few I had to balance the can on fence posts and a couple I just set down on the street or pavement.

                                                 Old truck found in Marfa, Texas.

I should add that this camera made on the fly was not one of my favorites to use in the field.
Mainly because it is a one trick pony.
After exposing each sheet of paper, I had to unload and reload in a dark bag. This really wasn't a problem since time seems to move extra slow in west Texas, but it was time consuming.

I do like the final image this little tin can makes, so will probably keep it around for a few more adventures.
I also like the fact that the f/stop is a mystery.  Sure I could scan it and find out, but don't feel any urgency in doing so.  It makes images, and for me that's good enough.
Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, May 13, 2013

back from the wild, wild west...

I'm back from an 8 day trip to Texas.   True, Texas has parts that are still wild and woolly, but for the most part it's very civilized.  maybe too civilized.
Anyway, I took a bag of pinhole cameras with me and some packs of film and cut photo paper and made so many pinhole photos it'd make your ass hurt!

The interesting or maybe not so interesting part of taking a bag of pinhole cameras on a long road trip is that I only used 3 of them.

Two of them were standouts in the field, so I'm probably going to "cull the herd" so to speak and will only use 2 or 3 for the remainder of the least when I travel because they were the easiest to use.

One was a special edition pinhole I made on the road and I'll talk  more about it later too!
A couple of the boxes that I love to use around here, just didn't cut the mustard on the road.

I took a lot of images and will start dunking and dipping and marinating in caffenol sometime this week so check back in a day or two to see what I've rustled up.

Oh, and I made my first pinhole portrait that wasn't of me!

I made myself a few rules for making pinhole images and stuck to them.

One of which was to not make a pinhole image of a person unless I had engaged them in conversation, and man, let me tell you, my first person was a doozy!
More on that later!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Taking a Break

Before I take a break from blogging for a few days I wanted to share these Limonata" pinhole shots.
The Limonata is just a converted Holga that has a piece of cut aluminum from a Limonata can used as the pinhole.

These were all shot with Kodak Ektar film which I love using for pinhole and regular cameras too.  For pinhole it's great because there is not much color shift.

Here's another one.  This is an old rotten hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico that if I had unlimited funds, I'd buy it and turn it into studio spaces.  It's next door to the depot, so it's got a great location and the view isn't too shabby!

This building is across the street from the old hotel and is quite nice in its oldness and derelict-ness. When I look at this photo, it's kind of hard for me to realize it is a pinhole shot.  It looks like an ordinary Holga shot to me.  What do you think?