Friday, May 26, 2017

Experimenting at Mosquito Hill.

It was early May before we got to Mosquito Hill.  BTW, no cane, no using the tripod as a cane. Woo Hoo.

I also took my new snotty attitude to let pinhole be pinhole and don't get hung up about camera and subject movement.  It was actually pretty windy.

Right away just behind the interpretive building, we came across a half eaten snake carcass.


A lone bloodroot clinging to the side of the hill.


One good thing about rocks is they really hold still well.  The bottom of the exposed rock at the switchback. This spot never gets any sun and is always wet.


After watching Twin Peaks, this image seems more significant than it did before.


I think this is the top of the groove where the ski jump was.


A tiny tunnel where a rock fell against another ledge.  Geology in action.


At the cliff where the North Path runs around to the south side of the hill, a rock face.  Actually  I see about six faces in this photograph.



There are rocks at the top of the hill I'm sure didn't fall out of the sky.  I supposed they were moved here during the ski jump era.


Can you tell what scale this one is?


It's actually about three inches across.  The Populist was stuck inside one of the tufts of regular grass that dot the hillside.

At the top of the hill, that most common cliche of pinhole, pointing the camera up into a tree.  My intent here was to illustrate that the trees were just leafing out, but the sky and the general composition turned out well.


A stripe of blue sky woven in with the trees, clouds and mayapples in the woods on top the hill.


On the north side of the hill there's this stripe of maple seedlings about twenty yards wide that goes from the top to the bottom of the hill.


Jacks-in-the-pulpit like to hang out at the lower end of the curve around the switchback.


They're kind of up the hill and over a rut from the path, but if you collapse one leg of the tripod and hold it against the hill with one hand, hold down the other two fully extended tripod legs with your feet, and fully extend the elevator, you can get close enough for a portrait.


These didn't turn out that different than what I usually do,  Oh, well. I tried.

All with The Populist. .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Experimenting at U Club

I may have mentioned that lately I've been enamored of some of the more dynamic aspects of pinhole photography. It turns out, just about every time I take pictures at U Club, it's of this "experimental" nature of just letting subject and camera movement do it's thing and see what happens.

I'm not sure what possessed me to stick the camera on the bar (on its desktop tripod, so it's not exactly incognito). During most of the exposure I had to explain what I was doing to the bartender esteemed mixologist, a retired biologist, there on the right, who wondered if it was on automatic.


Just in case you were wondering how this differs from what I've been doing lately, it was a slightly coldish may day, so no one but myself and an architect (married to a theater director) toughed the patio out, and talked how I got into pinhole (he asked), while I did this architectural study of the patio door.


Meanwhile, on the inside, it was time for the annual business meeting.  All the officers and board members were willing to serve another year, so no elections!  This was at least a five minute exposure and the guy with white stripey shirt moved in front of the camera only during the last minute or so spilling his photons all over my composition.


Since the camera was already sitting on the bar, when this faculty member (I can't remember who this was-it could be one of two or three people.) seemed quite engaged in the conversation right in front of it, so I opened the shutter to see how long he would hold still (not very long, it's a very thin negative).


All with the Populist. .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Experimenting at the March for Science.

In addition to trying out my new steel knee before I was officially allowed to by the doctor (it was fine), I decided a March for Science was appropriate to do some experimenting while I participated in the march.

One of my favorite pinhole photographs is a hand held shot taken by my son of an open air concert on the Boston Common, that has always reminded me of Renoir's painting Le Moulin de la Galette, and I've been intrigued by some of the work I've been seeing lately on Facebook by Kurt Norlin deliberately handholding images and using oversize pinholes.

In addition, if you're using a cane to walk, the last thing you need is to keep track of a tripod as well (although for years I used a tripod as sort of a stealth cane)

So I tried some hand held shots with the Populist. It was a sunny day so the exposures were only about a second or two.

The march began in Roe Park in downtown Oshkosh.



It's right next to the Oshkosh Human Services building.



I used the cane as sort of a monopod for some of the shots.



That seems to have been pretty effective.



It's not really an experiment unless you're comparing things.  So here are the three different treatments.

My standard technique of using the desktop tripod held against a lamp post. Not a really good comparison because I was reaching as high as I could get and had to keep from losing the cane with my other hand while I did it and couldn't get my finger I used to slide open the shutter out of the way.



Holding the camera against my face like it had a viewfinder.


And supported with the cane.



The Populist's sliding shutter isn't the best thing for this kind of work.  I'm thinking of trying this again when the summer Farmer's Market starts on Main Street again in a month.  I've been meaning to make a 35mm Populist with my new template, and I think I'll put some kind of swiveling shutter that's easier to open and close while holding it against my face.

All with the Populist. .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

My pinhole day.

I have been having such fun lately with the Evil Cube that I decided to continue with it for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, with a few insurance exposures with The Populist. My general impression is that I did a lot of nice safe academic compositions.

My first shot in the morning. I had noticed this backlit leaf the day before and I knew the weather (ergo lighting) was going to be about the same on Pinhole Day.


The weather was cold, rainy, windy and dark, but you take what you get so I ventured outside.  I took a picture of this gazing ball at dawn one year on pinhole day, but it was a little later in the morning this year.


I had to go through the back porch to get outside and noticed these pansies waiting for the weather to be decent enough to plant them.


I knew I could trust the ceramic bunnies to hold still in the wind and I'm surprised that being on the screened porch was protection enough that the fern held still as well.


Spenser's passage. I thought I was being really careful about making sure the film was tight, but looks like it was warped a little.


A display of fruit on the kitchen table.


You'd think after all that time and film expended up there, I would have avoided the upstairs all together.


On a dark day, if it makes sense to work near the window, you might as well just photograph the window itself. Justin has been promoting the slogan "Action against refraction," but maybe there's some chance you can work with it without compromising pinholiness.  The beveled glass in the front door window. Not an oriel window, but as close as I could get.


You can also modify the light coming in with variably translucent materials.


I was trying to avoid really long exposures so I could keep shooting, but since I wasn't using the Populist as my primary instrument, I used it to get this two hour exposure in the garage attic for insurance.


As long as I was out there retrieving it, I picked up a quick one in the garden.


I've already blogged about my stereo solargraph attempt, and as I predicted, it turned out not to be my submission to the WPPD gallery.

The image I eventually chose to submit was from the middle of the day in the garden, a tulip coming up through a rose bush.


I mean it's really sharp (ha, ha). It is notable that this tulip was braced by the fairly rigid rose bush so that it didn't flutter in the wind.  Here's another example of the illusion of shallow depth of field. There were several pretty stiff gusts during the 20 second exposure. (Kodak Portra 400) The globe flowers in the background fluttered quite a bit rendering them more softly and looking for all the world like it was done with a large aperture.  Sarah thought it looked a little like a bird attempting to take flight. I guess I saw some sort of metaphor for the struggle for existence.

A couple additional notes.

Sarah did an incredible job with the Chaneloflex.  We added pearl viewfinders to it for this year. Here's her submission.  


Sorry, Justin, more toying around with refraction. Does this make it an animalmorphic lens?

I think I win the pinholiness award because I took the picture of the Evil Cube to accompany my submission with the Populist.  Anybody else take their camera picture with a pinhole camera?


And lastly, from the Populist mounted on yet another tripod, what our living room looked like the morning after. I used all five tripods at some point in the day.




Thursday, May 4, 2017

An attempt at stereo solargraphy.

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible.  I just screwed it up a little.

I put the camera out on January 1st, and closed the shutters after sundown on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.  It's probably not going to be my Pinhole Day submission.  I just picked up my film and it looks like I've got lots of other choices.

It's set up for crossed-eyed viewing. (How to view crossed-eye stereo images)



I guess it's OK in 3D.  What I screwed up was that the paper in the right hand chamber (the left as set-up for crossed eyes) was a little big on one side and warped, so the sun trails don't follow their normal curve.

I was hoping I could tell that the sun was farther away than the trees, but since it seems to have overexposed through the skinny tree branches, and the aforementioned distortion, it kind of screws up any 3D illusion. The rest isn't bad.  The negative density is a little low contrast, about what I'd expect for 4 months in winter

The camera's a one pound 45mm Oaks candy box with two .3mm pinholes, so two about 4 x 4 inch images. There's a piece of black foam core taped to the top and bottom that's dividing the chambers.


It was mounted on the side of the garage underneath the roof overhang so except for the windiest storms it would stay dry and that seems to have worked.

What did surprise me is I've always thought of myself as pretty far north, but really I'm just slightly south of halfway between the equator and North Pole.  I was surprised that the overhang cast a shadow on the camera this early in the year, so no more sun trails.

The other surprise was that the sun trails were kind of slanted to one side.  This wall faces absolutely south, but if you've seen a noon analema, it's always tilted. I think the equation of time explains this, but I really don't know.

In August when the noon sun falls on the camera again, I might do it for another couple months.  I'll be careful to make sure the film plane is flat this time. Will the sun trails be slanted in the other direction after the summer solstice?

It will be interesting to see the difference from the leafless snow scene and the fully leafed out trees and garden..