Thursday, April 30, 2015

La Aurora

Pushing boards through the table saw makes me happy.
Pushing boards through the table saw to make pinhole cameras makes me even happier!

I don't know if it's just the sound that the blade makes when air whishes past it, or if it's the smell of sawdust that does it, but it's all good.

I didn't really plan on making a camera today, but decided to after looking at a nice piece of pine that's been calling to me for a while in the shed. Pine smells like vanilla when it goes through the table saw so that's a bonus!

Scrap wood smells stinky when it is cut, so having the scent of vanilla wafting about was extra nice.

There are not a lot of photos from the building stages today, but you know how it goes... there's cutting and gluing and clamping and nailing and painting.

The front of the camera is made from the lid of a cut up cigar box.                             

The interior looks as good as the outside....I like that! Beauty inside and out!

If you haven't guessed, this is for a 4 x 5 film holder.

It's pretty shallow, with a focal length of about 2-1/8 inches  so the exposures will be fairly short and the view will be wide....just what I need to photograph Texas next time I go!

Have a great day, and as always thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A break from social media....

If you are one of my fb contacts, then you already know I'm taking a break during the month of May.

I'll still blog here but won't be cross posting anywhere else.

I need to catch up on reading and writing and just taking it easy. Being unplugged and just thinking on my own without too much outside influence is the plan. I also want to draw and bird-watch and do some astronomy.

Pinhole photos will still be made and posting here will still happen...but not on any schedule.
It's just time to be AWOL for a while and eating tacos...

Hasta la Vista!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Foxy Mouse, World Wide Pinhole Day and Los Cerrillos

Worldwide Pinhole day began as a soggy, sweater weather hugging kind of day.

Chilly, damp air and a very shy sun made the morning doubtful so I made a few digital pinhole shots with a Wanderlust pinhole cap on my Lumix GF1. Yeah, I know digital pinhole is considered by some to be impure, but a gal's gotta do something when the weather frowns rain on your head.

After making a few digi pinhole pix, the weather seemed to be improving so my husband and I drove up Hwy 14, also known as The Turquoise Trail, and headed for Los Cerrillos.

Los Cerrillos is one of my favorite spots along this road and is listed as a ghost town on some online sites. It is far from being a ghost, but has the markings of a former fast times boom area during its heyday as a bustling get rich quick mining town.
It was founded in 1879 but has a history older than the little hills it is named for.

Signs of former businesses still greet the curious traveler with a few shops offering goods for sale.

Our first stop was the Catholic Cemetery. It is out of town about 2 miles and well worth a visit.
It looks like a cemetery right out of an old western movie, complete with cacti, rocks and wild rabbits. It's perched on one of the little hills so the view is nice and peaceful. Many names on the headstones remembered people that settled the area and whose ancestors still live here.

The photos below were made with a Holga Wide pinhole camera on old film and developed in coffee.

The next photo is of The Casa Grande Trading Post in Los Cerrillos.
It wasn't open today, but I've been inside in the past and it's a wonderland of old mining stuff, rocky rocks, curious curios and lots of things that I'm sure some people just couldn't live without. They also have an enormous collection of vintage bottles...of which I'm quite enamored.

This photo was made with my newly made "Foxy Mouse" mentioned in yesterday's post. It's made with Harman Direct Positive paper, so it created the print you see me holding without any contact printing or hocus pocus. What you see is exactly what came out of the developer.

I get all gushy when I pull one of these out of the developer! Developing negatives gives me a buzz too, but pulling a fresh print is beyond cool!

Here's another little pinhole of the trading post made with a little Ghirardelli chocolate tin with a paper negative sloshed in caffenol.

I like how this little pinhole camera distorts the landscape.  This shot was made the same distance as the one from the "Foxy Mouse".  Fun stuff!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Foxy Mouse

Just for fun, I decided to build a little pinhole camera in honor of William Henry Fox Talbot. A quick trip down the rodent prevention aisle in my grocery store provided the materials, which I promptly made inoperable...but ready for their next life as a camera.

Some cutting, gluing and clamping

Three Foxy they just need to be loaded and taken out for World Wide pinhole Day.

*** I made the Foxy Mouse on the right a couple of weeks ago so I could use it at Hill College for my pinhole workshops last week and it worked great!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

on the way....

On my way to the workshops at Hill College I drove through and stopped in a couple of small towns last week to make a few pinhole images.

I like stopping in towns with astronomical names and the first place that caught my eye was a small bump in the road kind of town named Vega.

Vega is located west of Amarillo and is on old Route 66, so this was a double treat since I'm a big fan of all things about the "Mother Road". I've driven Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles over the years, but somehow missed Vega during these adventures.

Vega is also just about at the midway point on Route 66 between Chicago and LA.....but the city of Adrian has that official distinction and is about 10 miles away.

This first pinhole photo is a 4 x 5 shot of the Vega Motel.

It has the distinction of being one of the rare surviving intact motel complexes left in the small towns of the Texas Panhandle. Next time I drive through here, I'd like to stay in this little place.

Amarillo has several Route 66 motels, but only three are documented as intact survivors outside of the city and the Vega Motel is one of them. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

The next pinhole photo (also 4 x 5) is the cafe across the street from the Vega Motel. It was packed the day I was there....too bad I didn't have enough time to eat there.  Next time I'll make it a priority!

I also think I might need to start shooting color in this 4 x 5 pinhole will show off these amazing skies that are so hypnotic!

Thanks for visiting and tagging along on my adventure. I always appreciate the company!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Here and There and Back again!

I spent last week in Texas and it was an amazing time!

Texas is home for me, or at least my growing up years were spent there so I get homesick for it and the people and the food and the good times.

I was invited by my good friend Tom Sale to be a guest pinhole/caffenol/solargraph workshop artist for 3 days at Hill College in Hilsboro, Texas for his art classes.

We talked about solargraphs, making pinhole cameras and then I demonstrated homemade developer made with instant coffee, vitamin c powder and washing soda. We made pinhole photos and then developed them in the coffee concoction. The classes were great and the students made teaching easy!
I also had a pop-up pinhole show at the art building Thursday evening!

Texas is muy grande big and it was a long drive, but the Bluebonnets were blooming profusely so the roadsides were awash in royal blues for miles across the state. The Bluebonnet is the state flower and if you're from Texas, then you know how special they are.

This first pinhole photo of Tom's art students was made with a Whataburger Spicy Ketchup container I converted to a pinhole camera. The little container is made of black plastic which turned out to be light proof. To make the camera, I just carefully peeled back the top and removed the ketchup, then loaded it with a little piece of photo paper and then taped the thin mylar top back on with black tape.

I didn't make a "proper" pinhole for it. Instead I had the students and Tom pose, then poked the top with a needle to make the pinhole and made a minute long exposure.
To end the exposure I put a piece of black tape over the pinhole and developed the paper in caffenol.
It's almost scary how much detail and information is in this little photo. And who knew Whataburger was giving away cameras?

The photo below was made with a quart size paint can pinhole camera on photo paper and shows the tranquil backyard view at the lovely guest house I was staying at. Sitting quietly in the afternoon sun soaking in the lush grass and grazing cattle across the pond was the perfect end to a busy day of workshops. I loved this place, but since I'm such a desert creature now and used to seeing mostly shades of brown and tan, the lush green kinda made my eyes hurt!

This next photo was made while I was doing a pinhole and caffenol demo for the Friday morning art class. This was a spur of the moment decision. I set up one of my homemade pinhole cameras in the classroom and aimed it at the rabbit with the onion on the table across the room and left it exposing for about an hour and fifteen minutes while I taught in the next room and the darkroom.

I like this one. It was made on Harman Direct Positive Paper, so there is no need for reversal or contact printing. This is a one of a kind original! I love this paper....too bad Harman doesn't make it any longer.

After the workshops at Hill College were done, I drove down to Houston to visit my Dad and spent a few days with my sister and her family. It had been 2 years since my last visit so we had a lot of catching up to do. My Dad had triple bypass surgery in February, so it was great to visit with him and see that he is doing great and back to driving and being ornery!
February was really a scared as shit month, but things are immensely better now!!!

This is an illy coffee can pinhole camera photo made at my sister's house done with a paper negative and dunked in coffee. She has a pool and a beautiful beautiful that she often gets yard of the month honors.

I'll have more photos to post and stories to tell later...right now I need to get busy and catch up on my weeks worth of laundry...see ya in a few!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

a few sample shots out of the new box

nothing too exciting as these were just samples to see how the photos look out of the new box I built yesterday.

Pretty sharp and contrasty as I cooked the film a bit warmer than needed.
This is on the library grounds .

Dinosaur in the shade around the other side of the library.  This won't be my goto pinhole box as I like the 4 x 5 format better, but now I have the option of using my long dormant roll film back!

Don't forget, World Pinhole Day is coming up!
April 26th.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

It's Spring and there's sawdust in the air....

That's right!
I got the itch to build a camera yesterday so went out into the shop and dug through my scrap wood pile and found a few old boards and made a pinhole camera.
Here's  some initial gluing and clamping for the box.....not too exciting...

Here's another view with some more gluing and clamping going on...and now you can see what the pinhole box is for...a #23 Graphic roll film back.

Another view of the clamping and gluing business.... there's a lot of that going on to build a simple box....

Then there's some more gluing internal pieces for stability and light-fastness....I probably overbuild, but the day was nice and I was in a nice working groove with the table saw.

The box is shaping up nicely, so a coat of flat black paint on the insides to prevent glare and internal reflections...  The sun was bright and warm and made for quick drying outside...

Viola!  A new pinhole box for the roll film back!  Yippee!  I have a few pinhole boxes for 4 x 5 sheet film, but never built one for my roll film back....
This is going to be fun!

Stay tuned for photos!  I took the box loaded with some 100 speed black and white to Albuquerque today and shot the roll ( only 8 exposures) around the library on Juan Tabo.

I just developed them in caffenol, and the negs look pretty good so far....I'll post them as soon as they are dry and I can scan them....

Thanks for looking and indulging my sawdust craziness!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Busy times, fun times!

Had an amazing time talking to the alternative process photography class of Carol S. Dass at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs last week.
I talked about solargraphs, pinhole and my mini moon project and then did a caffenol demo. The students were fantastic!
The Heller guest house was my home away from home for a couple of days and it is a beautiful art space.
This is a pinhole photo of what I refer to as the Sun Room, although there was no sun on this day. But just look at those windows! Perfection!

Another view of the sun room at the Heller guest house I stayed at last week in Colorado Springs.
This is a 4x5 pinhole negative I developed during the caffenol demo for the photography class of Emma Powell at Colorado College. Thanks Heather Oelklaus for the invitation to talk about solargraphy, pinhole, mini moons and to demo caffenol. The students were great and I had a blast!

This is no excuse for not posting more often here...but I've been kind of busy.

World pinhole day is April 26th.