Thursday, August 17, 2017

Smaller pinhole and more discipline with Tri-X in the Oshkosh Populist.

Earlier this summer, I started to use up some old rolls of Tri-X by experimenting with them in the panoramic Oshkosh Populist.  It did not go well.  I learned that you can't overexpose Tri-X the way you can color film.  

So in order to make it easier to physically make the short exposures,  I made the camera about a stop slower by replacing the .27mm (f130) pinhole with a .2mm (f175). I also made a point to actually measure exposures and practiced trying to do sub-second exposures by holding a piece of black card over my sliding shutter, opening the shutter and then removing and replacing the card, which I can do much faster without shaking the camera.

It worked fairly well.  I think I got better results.

It wasn't my intention, but I ended up doing more skyscapes than landscapes.

I intended to point the camera slightly down to get this line of little sailboats, but the sky looks pretty good.


Turning around, there was kind of a storm building over Menomonie Park.


When we were over on the west side of the state, we climbed to the top of the hill on Sarah's family farm.


And my favorite is this shot across Millers Bay.


One thing that really has struck me, and it may be just my innaccurate exposures, but Tri-X really seems to have a lot less latitude than the color film I've been scanning lately. Most of the time I can pull some detail out of shadow areas by using the Dodge tool on the Shadows setting in Photoshop, but with these I seem to just make a grey smudge.  On the Facebook post about that earlier blog post, someone made the comment that this increased dynamic range of color film was because it was designed to be used by unskilled amateurs, like that was a bad thing.

I still have about four rolls left, so I'm going to give it another go.  I've got a lot to learn.  I think I'll wait until I get a dark cloudy day so I can get exposures in the multiple second range which I can perform with a little more accuracy.

All with the Oshkosh Populist. .2mm pinhole 35mm from 24 x 72mm frame.  Tri-X developed in Microphen 1:3.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Roadtrip: Scenic River, UFO Days Parade, and back to the Joynt

Drove with Andy and Kristin down the scenic river road to Pepin to go to the Harbor View Cafe. This is the harbor they have the view of.


There are many scenic overlooks along the river so we stopped at one on the way back as the sun set.  I had no intention to do it, but I did two exposures pointed slightly different directions so I edited them together to give you a panorama of Lake Pepin.


Elwood is a small community nestled in the Eau Galle River valley.  In the mid-70's a veteran police officer reported seeing a UFO hovering and flying off over a hill east of town,  followed by numerous other folks reporting similar occurrences. Ever since, the local summer festival has been known as UFO Days.

In the parking lot of the local supermarket, one is greeted by this little fellow with it's flying saucer.


We came to see the Grand Parade on Sunday. Before the parade, other than the inevitable carnival rides, there wasn't much going on except the inevitable beer tent, so we sat down to await the beginning of the parade.


For some reason, the only thing available were several brands of light beers.


The parade began with just about every emergency vehicle in Eastern Pierce County.


Most of the parade consisted of floats pulled by a variety of tractors and pickup trucks promoting the weekend festivals of all the other little communities in Pierce and St. Croix counties featuring six or seven young women with titles of Queen or Princess.  About the most colorful was the somewhat generically named Hudson Fest.


It's been a long time since I've attended one of these local parades, but nowadays one of the main attractions is tons of candy thrown from the floats and scrambled for by the local children.


We asked if there were any sights relating to the UFO landings and were told that the only one was the aforementioned flying saucer, but there would be lots of others in the parade.  Alas, the only one we saw was mounted on the back of Elmwood's own float.


After the parade we opted to skip the pig wrestling event and country music concert, and proceeded to Eau Claire, where Sarah and I met, to meet up with Gene and Laura and let Kristin experience the Joynt.


Andy's high school friend Katie, who works in Eau Claire,  came down to join us.  She is one of the eleven people who purchased a paper copy of The Pinhole of Nature.


While we were there, the owner of the Joynt, Bill Nolte, stopped by. Frustrated with his academic career, he bought the 322 Club and from the mid-70's until the 90's got many of the greats of jazz and blues to perform there in between gigs in Chicago and Minneapolis, now pictured on the walls behind him.


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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Roadtrip: The Weisman Art Museum

Andy and Kristin flew into Minneapolis in order for Kristin to experience Andy's ancestral homeland, western Wisconsin. As long as we were in the Twin Cities we thought we'd take the opportunity to visit a museum we had never been to, the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota.

The building is designed by Frank Gehry and is reminiscent of some of his other metal clad structures such as the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.


In case you're wondering what those reflections are, it's located right on the Mississippi River with a fine view of downtown Minneapolis.


Their flight arrived at 8:45 in the morning, so we got to campus before the museum opened. Coffman Memorial Union is right next door, so we had a cup of Starbucks while we waited.


An unexpected exhibit was the world's most beautiful top fuel dragster which was built in the 70's, stolen (how do you steal a top fuel dragster?), found in decay in 2005 and restored it to it's original condition.


The building is almost as unique in the interior as it is outside.


After viewing the rest of the exhibits, we walked across campus over to Dinkytown to go to the elaborately decorated Loring Pasta Bar for lunch.


One of the highlights of the Loring Pasta Bar are the unique restrooms, but the zen of pinhole intervened and I ran out of film.

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The New Glarus Populist

When I did the new templates for the Populist, I was a little obsessed about the 120 versions, and have to confess, I never tried the new 35mm template. I've finally gotten around to it. With my new obsession of utilizing the printed surface of the card stock the camera was made out of,  this one was made out of a six pack of New Glarus Beer. (Probably Spotted Cow, but it doesn't matter which one since they all come in the same carrier.)


The design is a little large scale for a 35mm camera, but I was careful to use the Wisconsin Brewery Guild label for the shutter, and the horses from the beer wagon on the back. It strikes me that the New Glarus package design isn't terribly obvious and it sort of looks like camo at first glance.


Instead of gluing the printed viewfinders from the template, I cut triangles of the right shape to give a little depth to sight down rather than the two dimensional line, and it does give it a cleaner look.

Making the box with glued flaps seems to make a bit more of a rigid box contributing to a cleaner look.

I mentioned in the post about measuring pinholes with the Teslong USB microscope that I needed a .15mm pinhole which was for this camera. I haven't tried to drill a pinhole this small since developing the original Populist in 2007.  I am pleasantly surprised how well this one turned out.

I also coated it with about 5 coats of clear Krylon. It got caught in a little bit of a rain shower, and that seems to have worked.

The cardboard, although it looks brown, is actually white and not opaque at all. I intended on light proofing it, but forgot and loaded and shot a roll of film in it and as suspected it wasn't opaque and left a vague impression of the printing on the box on every frame that wasn't totally exposed. The sun is a vengeful benefactor.

I covered the interior with 3M 235 black opaque photographic tape and that of course worked great.

I know you're thinking a tour of microbreweries would have been the thing to test it out, but I'm afraid it's down the garden path again.


On first glance the results don't look too different from the Gilder electron microscope aperture I've been using for years.

A monarda mixed with the phlox.


Spiky purple cone flowers are a good choice to test the pinhole


A couple of wet lilies.


Close up to a white rose.


And getting as close as possible to a white lily.


It looks like the new design works.  You should make one and try it out. This world could use a pinhole in every pocket.