Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Studies in black and white.

One result of all this camera making lately is I feel the need to run film through them and actually try to experience what it's like to use them.  This is how I learned about using two layers for the shutter to make it stiffer, and not to trust the template print and card stock to be totally opaque.

But, I've always been the kind of person that can't just fire off a roll of film without wanting to get the best pictures I could, and I'm also a little impatient to see the results, so I find myself in the not unpleasant situation of approaching the task as a student of basic black and white photography again. And I'm not unpleased with the results.

You never know what you're going to find at the farmers market.  I've been finding myself calling to vegetables a lot lately, and it looks like they're responding. Obviously one way to study something is to emulate the classic genres. According to his Daybooks (which come to think of it I emulate a little in this blog), before he took the famous funnel photograph, Weston held on to that pepper and kept photographing it for a week until it almost withered. I still haven't had the nerve to cook these two entwined carrots, but the other two have already been in the other kind of soup.  

Here are the cameras I've been talking about. Obviously the camera that took this picture is not in the image. It's a little different and there will be another post about that camera eventually

The one on the left is The 10-year-old Populist.

The 60mm black one on the bottom right is what I used to take the snowy day pictures and the test with 6 different pinholes - note how the black top layer of the paper on the front has torn away by taping all those pinholes to it.  It's also got the single-thickness middle layer shutter which is too easily bendable. The one on the left on the bottom is a 45mm which I discovered needed more light-proofing when I tested it with a strip of paper.  The 60mm one on the top, made out of the same Cheerios box card stock, I just finished a roll in, and the three coats of paint seem sufficiently opaque, but I haven't scanned the negatives yet. 

One thing interesting about photography mentioned by Henry Talbot in The Pencil of Nature is how the same Bust of Patroclus can look different when illuminated with different angles and qualities of light.  Here's the corner of the sun room in the afternoon.

And just after dawn in the morning.

Looking for a new angle is sometimes all you need. I've done a million pictures of the dining room from the kitchen door and from the living room, but I don't think I've ever put the camera on top the piano.  This was just before sunset.

Taking advantage of the weather is a strategy. We had one extremely foggy day, but it was also misting pretty heavily.  Not the weather you want to expose a paper camera to but there are ways around that.  Our magnolia after it was ratted on by a neighbor for blocking their view from backing out the driveway (funny it never blocked my view) and was forcibly pruned by the city.

A classic genre for me is the sun coming in the south kitchen window.

The 7th hole on the yellow disk golf course at the Winnebago County Park. The sun is only maybe 15 degrees above the top and shining straight onto the camera with no flare. This is the first pinhole I've ever tarnished with Liver of Sulfur. I only had a little lump, but I've bought more and look forward to experimenting with it.

All with Arista.edu 100 developed in Caffenol with a .28mm pinhole 45mm from a 6x6cm frame.

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