Saturday, August 31, 2013

Road Trippin' on Route 66

The long weekend was put to good use!  I made a short-ish (200 + miles) trek over to Grants, New Mexico and made a few pinholes along the way.

This one was made with the homemade 8 x 10 at an old roadside stop in Budville.

8 x 10 photo paper negative
exposed for about 2.5 minutes
dunked in caffenol for about a minute.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

oh cool! I'm in another show!

My pinhole photo looking off the back of the train was selected for the "Holga Out of the Box" show in Longview, Texas.

I'm really excited about this because Ted Orland was the juror! He was an assistant to Ansel Adams and is a very good photographer himself. I'm pretty honored to be one of the chosen.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ondu Kickstarter Pinhole camera review

Yesterday I took delivery of my Ondu Kickstarter Pinhole camera.
I was #47 on the list, so I was one of the lucky ones to get their camera early.

There were several models offered, but I selected the 35mm size since it was advertised as a pocket size camera and I don't really have a pinhole camera that small.  This one is 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 1 5/8 inches.  A nice compact size and easy to take along anywhere!
So let's get to the review.

The box arrived and at first look I was a bit concerned.  Look at the photo below and you'll understand why...

But I really wasn't too worried because how much damage could happen to the wooden pinhole box inside?

The next photo shows the packaging (which could have been a bit better in my opinion) and the camera looks like it is undamaged.

The camera itself is quite nice and well built.  The Walnut and Maple go well together and I selected a light face with dark trim.  Some cameras have dark faces and light trim, but I like mine better.  A hand made camera is a thing of beauty and this one does not disappoint.
Front view.

Front view with the shutter open.
The shutter mechanism is probably my favorite part of the camera because it's one of those simply elegant things you come across every so often.  The shutter pivots on a screw and then snaps in place with the magnet.  There's no jerking or tugging it open or closed- just butter smooth action! This is a real nice feature.
Top view.
The winding knobs are nice and work well.  I will probably file some grooves in mine to give them some extra traction, but more about that later.

Back view.
Nice maple back.  No complaints about that!
Bottom view with the tripod socket.
Let's take a look inside.
The back is held on by 3 very strong magnets that are indexed so the back will only go on one way. Inside is a folded instruction page that describes details on operating the camera.  The instructions are easy to understand and have small photos for clarification.

A deeper look inside.
It looks good initially...but how about that shiny brass piece that the pinhole is drilled into??
It's okay, but I went ahead and put black tape over that to cut down on internal reflections that might bounce around inside.  This is a small extra step that could have easily been done, but hey, for the price of this camera I'm not really going to complain, plus I like to dink and all is good.

Oh, and before I forget, since I build cameras I'm pretty picky about the pinholes being clean! I'm not uptight about the size, but I'm a stickler for the hole being clean and round.
I used a 10x loupe to inspect the pinhole and it looked pretty good. It had a few minute bits of debris, maybe dust from packing and shipping, so I used some canned air to blow it out.  I also took a needle point and delicately twisted it around in the hole to clean it a bit more.
Other than that, the pinhole looks nice.  I can't see any tooling marks, so I'm guessing it was made with a laser..but don't quote me on that because I really don't know.

Okay, here's the blacked out insides.
I used a fine point Sharpie and drew a small circle around the teeny pinhole so I would NOT tape over it.
You can also see the film take up canister that comes with the camera. I wondered about this, and wondered why the camera would work like this and not with just a spool.  I figure it's because if the back does happen to come off the camera while in use, you have only ruined a couple of frames and not the entire roll of film.
The screw inside the right chamber serves as the pivot for the shutter on the other side.  I was going to paint it black, but since it's under the film cannister when the camera is loaded, there's no need.

The included instructions tell how to load the film and also state to wind the film 1.5 turns to space the frames apart to not have overlap.
I think this is a bit too much, and as you can see from my test strip below 1.5 turns is more than enough. Next time I'm going to only turn one rotation between frames and see how that works out.  This will be a trial and error type thing, and I plan on making little index marks on the winding knobs so I can see when a full rotation has been made.

And now for a couple of test shots.
I used Fuji 200 color print film.  The instructions have tables for different film speeds and times but since I am a "I am the emulsion" type shooter, I just loaded the camera and took it outside for some fun.
It was late afternoon and the Sun was pretty low so I made my exposures about 5 seconds long.

This first one was directly aimed toward the Sun and I must admit the fringing is pretty good!  I like the rainbow effect and can see it being used artistically in the future.

This next one was also 5 seconds long.  There was a light breeze blowing so the out of focus fuzziness is due to that.
Another shot aimed toward the Sun.
Once again it was breezy, so the Sunflowers were moving a bit.  The Sun flare is nice too!

A few thoughts on the camera follow:

It's nice and worth the cost for a handmade Walnut and Maple pinhole camera.

The magnets are really strong and will keep the back on no problem.  I don't know if they are strong enough to keep the back on if the camera suffers a sudden impact, like dropping it, but I'm not too worried about them failing.

The winding knobs are kind of tought to wind once the film is about midway through the roll.  I think this will ease up over time.  If it doesn't than pliers or some grooves cut into the knobs for better traction might help. Only time will tell on that one.

The instructions are adequate.  Actually they are nice, and more than what I anticipated.

I think the internal packaging could have been better.  Maybe some bubble wrap and not just wadded up paper.  The paper was fine, but there should have been more of it.

Having the magnets indexed on the back and back cover is nice.  You can't put the back on the wrong way.

The final sanding could have been a touch better too.  But, I work with wood and this is just a picky point on my part.  I think the camera will develop a very nice natural patina from the oils in my hands after use.  This will  just make it that much more personal.

It's a fun camera!
Here's the link to the Ondu Kickstarter page if you want one of your own!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

from the ground up...

I'm still getting to know this converted Agfa Viking pinhole camera, but so far, it's working out well.

I wish it had a tripod socket, and once upon a time it did, but I had to do a socketectomy in order to put a pinhole in it...

Oh well, not really a problem especially for a shot like this one where I just placed it in the grass and aimed upwards through some wild sunflower plants growing in the front yard.

Harman positive paper exposed for 7 minutes then marinated in caffenol for about 5 minutes.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

raining, raining, raining

Rain is good!
It's great actually since I live in a very arid place where water is precious.
I even heard frogs last night it rained so much.
However, rain is not good for pin-holing, so I'm going to share an older shot from a few years ago.

This one was made near Moab, Utah during a road trip around the area.  The photo was made on 4 x 5 sheet film in a homemade 4 x 5 camera.

Sometimes aiming a pinhole directly at the sun will lend some interesting effects, so I give it a shot every now and then.  It's good to break the rules of photography sometimes!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My oh my how times flies!

I'm not sure how time gets away from me so fast lately...

One way has been that I've been out each clear night watching for Perseid meteors and that I've been unsuccessfully trying to make photos of them.
I should know better!  For years I've been trying to catch some meteor streaks with my camera, and for years my camera has been the great meteor deflector!  I can see meteors zip across the sky but my camera always seems to be aimed in the opposite direction!
Oh well, the Perseid shower has subsided for this year and I'll torment myself with it again next year when it returns...but in the meantime I need to show you something pinhole related right?  I mean that's why we come here, to see something about pinhole.

I had an old Agfa Viking folder camera that had holes in the bellows and a stubborn shutter so I converted it to pinhole.

As you can see it's kind of rustic looking!  I removed the bellows and shutter and then just cemented the front closed.  The camera will never open again, but it will take photos again because I hand made and then installed a pinhole where the tripod socket used to be.

I spray painted the interior flat black and then painted the exterior metallic black.  The handle is a braided piece of macrame type cord I had around the house and the makeshift shutter is just a magnetic business card cut to fit.  Viola!

It works fairly well for a hack job camera.  My first shot is above and it was made with an expired piece of Ilford photo paper.  The exposure was about 30 seconds in party cloudy sky and then the photo paper was developed in home brew caffenol for about 4 minutes.

I can still use 120 size rollfilm in the camera since I left the spool holders intact.

This has quite a bit of vignette, but that's fine with me.  Anytime a camera can be recycled and make photos again is good in my world.

Have an amazing day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

"through these doors"

is a pretty good pizza!

Took a coffee can pinhole with me to the UNM area for a pizza yesterday and made this of the front doors.

I like doors, especially if they are interesting and inviting and extra especially if there's a good pizza waiting behind them!

coffee can pinhole camera
Harman Direct positive 4 x 5 paper negative exposed for 3 minutes
marinated in caffenol for about 4 minutes

Monday, August 5, 2013

not missing, just busy these days

Well hello!

I've been busy and not posting but all is well in Palomino pinhole land!
My latest distration has been testing a 13 inch telescope for our local astronomy club and it has taken time and concentration away from my walking around time with a pinhole camera.

Sure the telescope testing is during the dark hours of the day, but...well there are not buts.
I've just been distrated, that's it plain and simple.

To get back on the pinhole horse, how about I show you my latest creation?  It's an 8 x10 pinhole box that I scribbled an elephant on a week or so ago.

I built the camera out of scraps in my shed and then free handed the elephant with some Sharpies.
I decided to put the elephant on the box since they are slow and thoughtful creatures and pinhole photography is similar in nature.

                                                        Here's a shot out of that box.

I used an 8 x 10 inch sheet of black and white photo paper for the negative then developed it in a home brew of caffenol.  I had to invert it in photo-shop to make it a positive.

I think this box will work out alright and I'm looking forward to more adventures with it.

p.s.-  that show I mentioned in my previous post is going well! The opening was this past Friday and it was a hit!  I heard someone say (via e-mail, since I was not at the opening) that it was the best show they had ever had, so I'll be walking around with my big hat on! ;-)  Truly  honored to be selected.