Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Like Lichen!

I've always been fascinated by Lichen.  You know that fuzzy-mossy-hairy stuff that clings to the sides of trees.  Sometimes you will find it growing on rocks and old fence-posts too.  I've seen it growing on old barns out in the country.  Just open your eyes wide and you will start to notice it!

It looks like alien growth in some instances and seems to thrive on air.
The thing is, lichen only grows where the air quality is very high.  You can eat most of it and a lot of animals depend on it to survive.  Don't eat any of the yellow or orange lichen though, it's nasty!
Actually don't eat any of it.  I'm not an expert so don't call me if you get sick.

I decided to make some Lichen "tea" to use in developing some films and this is my result and recipe.

Bushy Beard 'Lichenol'   ( I had to make a word )
1.5 cups of dry lichen, the most common in my yard is the Bushy Beard variety seen in the photo above.
I gathered it directly from the trees and tried to not disturb the tree bark and only took the lichen.

10 oz. water --or enough to cover the lichen in small plastic covered food container.

Set out in Sun for 3 days and let it make "tea" on its own time.
Strain lichen to collect about 6 oz. liquid

I measured the ph of the lichen water each day.
Day 1=    6.5
Day 2=    5.5
Day 3=    6
Since day 3 seemed to be headed the other way acid wise, I decided to mix it up with some Vitamin C powder and Washing soda.

3.5 teas Washing soda mixed well  in 6 oz. water
½ teas Vitamin C powder added to the washing soda mix above
Combine the above washing soda/Vitamin C mix with the lichen "tea" and mix well.
The ph of this combined mixture was 10.
The smell was something like a musty Earth/ wet forest floor kind of smell.  Mossy scented and very refreshing! 

Not overbearing, curl your hair odor like the caffenol mix always smells.

I used it to develop a sheet of 4 x 5 Harman Direct positive photo paper exposed in my found tin can converted to pinhole and it turned out pretty good.
Here's my rough notes and the 4 x 5 pinhole shot I made with it.

It has a nice tone to it and this is right out of the 'Lichenol' mixture.
It was stopped and fixed and  rinsed like normal developing.

Nice to have organic supplies growing in my trees!
Try it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Super Moon

The Super moon came and went but I caught it as it slowly trekked across the sky June 23.

I used a Holga Wide Pinhole camera loaded with Kodak Ektar 100 film and let the exposure run for 6 hours!
Yes, 6 hours of exposure!  From 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning.

Luckily the sky was clear and I got a good track recorded.  The spaces or gaps in the track are from clouds passing through and blocking the moon's light.  Pretty cool don't you think?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome summer!

Pinhole solargraph of the track left behind by the summer Sun.

In truth, I don't like this time of year.  I'm a winter solstice kind of girl.  Even though it's considerably colder during winter, I prefer the longer nights.

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

VLA in infrared

This photo was made with a 4 x 5 pinhole and some EFKE infrared film with an R72 filter.
The exposure was 45 minutes long, and let me tell you, that's a long time to sit out in the hot Sun.  I thought I was going to melt.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Infrared Pinhole

Just because I have a small stash of 4 x 5 infrared film sheets and I like to take pinhole shots....

Here's an hour long shot of a school yard where I helped with a star party Saturday night.  There were people wandering about and walking through the area during this time, but as you can see...none of them hung around long enough to leave a ghost.

I even stood in front of the camera for about 5 minutes while explaining the photo in progress.  Cool !

Hope you like it!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

keeping it simple and recycled!

Here's my super cool recycled pinhole camera and camera assistant in action!

Sometimes it's the simple things that make life easier!

The soft drink holder was free and the tin that the pinhole was made from cost 49 cents at a thrift store!

This is the setup I used to take the "Bee Tree" shot in the post below.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

busy like a bee

I know I've been slacking in posting, but I've been busy.

I'm getting a hive of bees very soon so I've been making room for them.  I kept bees as a youngster while growing up and decided it was time to get back in the bee biz.  Nothing commercial mind you, but just enough to make the bees and my yard and my neighbors yards a little bit happier.
It seems bees are in decline, so I'd like to do whatever I can to help them along.
No, this doesn't have a cotton pickin' thing to do with pinhole and I'm not making excuses for not posting, but yet I am.

Anyway, here's a pinhole I made just yesterday afternoon of the tree that the bee hive is going to live under.
It's a nice old Cedar and it will offer shade and some protection from the elements to my dear bees.

In other distractions, I'm often asked how I set my pinhole solargraph cameras out.  I mainly just use a small metal strip of "pipe tape", or "hanger iron" and then tape the small pinhole camera to that so I can put wood screws through the strip to mount it on a tree like in the photo below.

It works very well and keeps the camera steady for a long time!  I've had cameras mounted like this for 12 months, so if you tape the dickens out of it, it will remain in place.
The only problem I have had with these, is that Crows sometimes like to peck at them. If you can place yours in such a position that a Crow can't perch and get at it, you should be safe. 

My other distraction has been the baby birds fledging this time of year.  We just had a nest of 5 baby Mountain Blue birds take off for flight school!  I can hear them peeping in the trees to their parents in the mornings and late evenings.  They are so cute!

We also have several other nests of birds in the yard.
One is the "messy bird" that makes a hideous nest of old rabbit fur and pieces of animal hide.  I think it's a Thrush of some sort.  I haven't seen the momma long enough to get a good I.D. on her but here's the babies so far.  See that messy nest! Good grief!  I bet the babies grow fast so they can get the heck outta there!

And then there's the Nuthatch nest in the Bar-B-Q pit.  Yes, the BBQ pit!  We were going to make fajitas a week or so ago and discovered the nest, so no fajitas in the pit.  We had to grill them on our hibachi!
The momma Nuthatch climbs right down the smokestack to enter the pit and has the neat little nest made in the smoker box part of the pit.  Quite smart if you ask me.  But not so smart if we hadn't noticed it in time!  Anyway, here's a cute baby Nuthatch waiting for momma to come with big juicy bug.
Just look at that little mouth!

Now you are all caught up on what's been going on around here.  Hopefully I can get back in the pinhole saddle and post more photos in a day or two, but in the meantime, take it easy and enjoy your day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

gettin down with a funky remix...

A few years back I converted an old leaky bellowed Polaroid to pinhole.
The bellows were beyond repair, so I cobbled together some things I had and made this!

I used some colored epoxy resin to replace the front and to hold an old film reel tin in place of the now gone bellows.
It looks funky, but it does work!  It works because you just can't go wrong with pinhole.  Pinhole wants to be!

Here's a shot out of it.  I made this earlier today and as you can see, things are a little confused around my house.  My Christmas Cactus thinks it's the winter solstice coming up and not summer.
The camera has a hard edged vignette, but for now it's going to have to stay that way.

Hope you enjoy your day!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hanging around town

Here's another tree portrait.
These trees posed for me while I was out and about in town last week.  Right nice of them to stand still don't ya think?
Holga converted to pinhole
Fuji Acros 100 film dunked in caffenol for 8 minutes

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Billy the Kid was here....

I made a road trip down to Lincoln, New Mexico yesterday, otherwise known as Billy the Kid Country.

Lincoln is a nice quiet little town, a lot quieter than the days of the Lincoln County Wars and Billy the Kid era for sure!

There are quite a few restored buildings along the main road that are open as part of a walking tour.  You can easily spend several hours there enjoying the atmospheric setting and talking to the locals about Billy!  I highly recommend it!!!

Today's pinhole offering was made with an old Holga I converted to pinhole.  Fuji Acros 100 film marinated in caffenol for about 8 minutes.