Friday, January 12, 2018

Excusado con La Cámara de Laboratorio Estenopeica

Ironically, the room in our house with the most beautiful light is the bathroom.  It's a small room illuminated by a single window which faces directly south overlooking our neighbors' roof.

Part of the beauty of the light are the myriad surfaces that reflect the light around. Almost everything in the room is at least a little bit glossy. From the high shine of the porcelain, to the low sheen of the tiles and walls. Even one of the fabrics, the tied back curtain, is satiny, as well as translucent. There are two large mirrors. And it's all light colored - short exposures (well, for interior pinhole anyway). Depending on what kind of weather is illuminating that window, there are a million variations.

Key to my current pinhole needs, there are several level surfaces, near the edge, to place a camera.

I think it looks like a Renaissance palace. The walls are beautifully and credibly marbleized.  This is all Sarah's doing.  When we moved in it had yellow walls, blue and purple plastic tiles and two fluorescent tubes that buzzed and flashed on either side of a generic mirrored cabinet above the sink which was supported by hexagonal chrome pipes. Boy, that woke you up in the morning.

And there is the appeal of the classical Weston reference.

It is also inside and out of the wind.  As I write this the temperature is going back up to seasonal levels but that's still fairly cold around here.

Sounds like a good place for some ground-truth testing with the Pinhole Lab Camera.

Links:  Original Description    Construction    Feeding and Use    Link to Templates

I'm going to quit referring to these by their sizes and just describe the format. Long and short distance to the pinhole; rectangular, curved panorama (which can come in regular or large), or square.

We'll begin with an overview of what we're working with.  This was with a super-wide large short curved panorama using the on-axis pinhole, with the camera supported by the window sill.  You can just barely see it on the right side of the door mirror.

Here's my attempt at the Weston classic.  Short vertical rectangle.  Rising front pinhole.  It's not completely on the floor. I put the Kleenex box under it. Not a curved format, but the frame of the mirror is a little bowed by a paper curl.  Pinhole fun, huh? The verticals are parallel though.

Long curved panorama with the rising front pinhole.  Hardly looks curved, does it.  You can see the camera on the cabinet, just slightly higher than the bottom of the mirror frame, but close enough that if the on-axis pinhole had been used, it would have been right in the middle and therefore straight, but now it's positioned near the bottom by the rising front.  If you look at where the sloped wall meets the ceiling at the right you can tell it's curved.  The top of the frame would have been really curved if it was in the picture.  But it's not, so to the viewer it doesn't exist.

Short square through the on-axis pinhole. Camera is sitting on the toilet tank with it which is only about 8 inches deep.

Short curved panorama with the rising pinhole on the top of the cabinet.  You get the wide angle in this one, but since there are no obvious straight horizontal lines, the curve doesn't really dominate the composition.

Long vertical rectangle. falling front. Camera is on the toilet seat.

Short square format with the on-axis pinhole, camera on the sink.  Again not a curved format.  Look how straight the verticals are on the right, but the paper was a little curvy at the top left, (well, in the lower right of the camera, but you know what I mean), so more pinhole fun.

One of the neat things about the square format, depending on which side the camera is sitting on, you can have both a rising/falling option and a right/left shift.  Here's the short square format with a rising front and a shift to the right, this time with the paper really flat in the camera and nicely square to the opposite wall.

I know you're thinking that there's no place to put a camera over there. If you look at the first picture, hanging over the doorknob is a headband Sarah uses to keep her hair back while she washes her face.  The camera is hanging in that.

I did these with three separate cameras, often making exposures at the same time.  In the photo from the door knob, you can see the camera sitting on the toilet seat (it wouldn't stay level near the edge of the beveled cover), Again the short square with a rising front and a shift right.

Short curved panorama with the rising front. The camera was laying on it's back on the tile surround and was kind of jammed between the wall and the tub.

Long rectangle with the on-axis pinhole.  Camera was sitting on the corner of the tub.  Looks like it got bumped, but it makes for a bit of dynamism. Pinhole fun, eh?

The short rectangle with the on-axis pinhole.  Nice bit of resolution test with the pouf made from netting. How about them instant, larger than optimum pinholes?

Now you're thinking, wait a minute, that's from the middle of the tub, there's no place to put a camera.  It was supported by a stack of the stand from the toilet brush with the Kleenex box sitting vertically on top of it - here portrayed by a short vertical rectangle with the rising front, behind it on the bottom of the tub, this time with the camera tilted up a little.

I needed two tries to get the closeup.  I had a little code of placing a bit of tape on the outside of the camera so I knew what format it was loaded with.  The first time on top the stack it looks like I forgot to change it.  This exposure is with the negative in the back of the camera as for a long rectangle, but exposed by the on-axis pinhole on the short side.  I think a sunbeam may have been reflected in the shiny Kleenex box.

Many beginning pinholers will choose the ground for their camera support, so here, for them, is a short vertical rising front, with the camera right level on the floor, without the floor filling the lower half of the composition.

And to finish, another large short curved panorama, with the on-axis pinhole, with the camera lying on it's back on the floor.

I have to say I didn't have any surprises from the camera, they were kind of fun to use, I think it showed some of the possibilities it offers, and I like these pictures.

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