Tuesday, February 25, 2020

While bathing

One weekend it began snowing on Saturday evening and was still coming down Sunday morning.

It was rather dark and blustery. The internet said it was going to continue until late afternoon.

When asked how one deals with the long exposure times required for pinhole, I usually say that you just do something else while the shutter is open.

I decided it was a good time to soak in a hot bath.

There are a limited number of options if you want to be able to reach the camera to close the shutter.

The view from in the tub.

I forgot the shutter was still open when I got out and performed my après le bain toilette.  Maybe I should have marked this as not safe for work since there technically is a nude man in front of the camera.

The white tree remains undecorated in the bedroom because Stewart is devoted to sleeping under it.

Putting on a fresh change of clothes.

The snow stopped earlier than forecast so I did have to go out and shovel.

Does this indicate the beginning of a new episode of manic expression?

All with Neville.  .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.  Lomography 100 film.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Cameras at an exhibition

The Oshkosh Public Museum’s Then and Now exhibit will include a selection of cameras from the Museum’s collection.

The collection is rather small and nothing is particularly valuable but it does include a few items of interest. Until recently they were generally uncatalogued. Since I spent most of last year working with them, I was asked to choose what would be included in the exhibit.

I went to retrieve them from storage with Neville and my new little Joby tripod.

Waiting for the elevator on the third floor.

Most of the artifacts are stored in the annex which was the carriage house of the Sawyer Mansion. To get to the storage area, you have to go through the well equipped museum shop.

All the photographic technology is stored in compact shelving.

Everything that will fit is stored in boxes, but some items, such as this wooden 8x10 studio camera and its massive stand, are too large and sit on the shelves by themselves.

Some of the boxes have quite a few items in them and the box has to be nearly emptied to get to the right item.

As I got them out I put them on the bottom shelf of the cart.

Back on the third floor, here they are all opened and ready to be cleaned and prepped for exhibition. (n. b. I made use of the magnetic feet on my new little Joby tripod to just attach the camera to the metal cabinet door)

They are, clockwise starting in upper left hand corner:

  • An 1895 Telephoto Cycle Poco 5x7 view camera which folded up so you could take it on your bicycle.
  • A 1931 Zeiss-Icon Orix 9x12cm plate camera which was owned by Lewis Hine, famous for his ground breaking work on child labor, who grew up in Oshkosh. I saw a picture of Ansel Adams with one of these this morning.
  • A 1937 Soho 4x5 SLR, very similar to a Graflex. It was used until the 1960’s by an Oshkosh commercial photographer who had studied with William Mortenson, who Ansel Adams hated. (I’m currently cataloging his extensive makeup kit.)
  • A mug shot camera custom made by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab which was used by the Oshkosh Police Department.
  • A 50th Anniversary Kodak box camera, half a million of which were given away to children who had their 12th birthday in 1930.
  • A bakelite 1932 Baby Brownie Special - pretty much a little box camera but with an Art Deco look.
  • A turquoise Vest Pocket Kodak Series III from the early 1930’s
  • A falling plate Adlake Magazine camera from about 1880 which could be pre-loaded with 12 glass plates.
  • A post-war Exacta 35mm SLR which was owned and used by the Museum.
  • And a “portable” Speed Graphic.
The Museum doesn’t have any pinhole cameras.

Neville has a .15mm pinhole 24mm from a 24x36mm frame.  Lomography 100 film.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Together for Yule

Andy and Kristin came to visit for Yule. Neville was up in the rotation to document the action.

Their flight arrived in the late afternoon. Jeremy got to stay at the doggy resort back in Massachusetts so we took advantage of being in Milwaukee. We had dinner reservations at a fancy French restaurant but not for a few hours, so we visited the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The view from across Lake Drive.

What looks like a pyramid is part of a giant set of wings that open and close three times a day.

The view of the Milwaukee skyline from the walkway over Lake Drive.

A serendipitous double exposure of the lobby beneath the wings and a sculpture in one of the galleries which consists of a cascade of rocks suspended from the ceiling.

A more conventional view of the galleries.

One afternoon we visited a local Oshkosh microbrewery.

We got two flights to sample all their brews. Interesting simulation of shallow depth of field.

A typical 21st century family hanging out.

I was given a new little Joby tripod with the magnetic feet for Yule so I tried it out on the chandelier in the kitchen during breakfast.

Breakfast back at MKE before the one decent restaurant in the terminal lobby opened.

Neville has a .15mm pinhole 24mm from a 24x36mm frame. Lomography 100 film.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Bimodal Stereo

A dozen of my stereo photographs are going to be included in the Oshkosh Public Museum’s Then and Now exhibit. I was reasonably happy with the first two rolls and the curator was kind of excited to have some sort of hands-on experience for the visitors. We’re going to put the Then image on one side of a stereo card, and the Now on the other.

The result of my hyperspace cha-cha experiments were intriguing enough to try again. This time I used Goldberry, with her 80mm “normal” angle of view.

It helps to flatter your host institution by including them in the show. They’re using a very similar image for the exhibit poster (not by me). Instead of my little string, I just used a crack in the sidewalk to keep the camera movement parallel.

As usual, set up for crossed eyes (click here for how to do it) and for red/blue anaglyph.

Algoma Methodist is a very recognizable structure just down the block from the Museum. The angle of view was a little too wide from across the street, and from the other side, was too narrow to fit the building in the frame. I was limited in where I could put the camera because of the necessity to have a big enough clear spot to move the camera between exposures while keeping it perfectly level. I chose to go with the bell tower for the tight crop.

Oshkosh High School burned in 1901 and was replaced by this Modern/Greek Revival mashup, now housing City Hall and missing its original monumental stairway.

I wrote down the address “Main and High” and remembered the archive image as a line of buildings. When I got there, I assumed this block was it. I should have known since the street names change on the other side of Main, this view would have been “Main and Waugoo.”

Another mistaken address, the corner of Pearl and Osceola. What is now Pearl was Warren Road until they curved Pearl a block south to go around the University a few years ago. I remembered this about half way through the second exposure.

Then I decided to give the 45mm stereo camera another try as well.

I went back to Algoma Methodist to see if I could get a more dramatic image. I admit that I concentrated on the side entrance just for the extreme 3D. This was one of several places that a giant pile of snow was exactly where I needed to put the camera and I nearly fell over and bent one of the tripod legs setting up on top of it.

It was the first sunny day in weeks. When I rode around the building I noticed the shadows on the trees and the little turret in the corner for a foreground 3D object with a nice clean driveway to place the camera on.

I wasn’t thrilled with the view of Dempsey Hall from the first roll, and again taking advantage of the sun and shadows, thought this view would pop a little more in 3D.

This is where the corner of Pearl and Osceola was when the archival image was done.

And here the correct view from Main and High, now Opera Square. Again from atop a giant pile of snow except this time I had to get up on it right over the curb next to the busy left turn lane on one-way High Street. I’m surprised nobody called the police.


It turned out that I chose eight of the twelve which were done with hyper stereo cha-cha and four with the stereo camera. That may have had more to do with taking pictures with the stereo camera that didn’t have matches in the museum archive than any preference for one method over the other.