Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Manic Expression on the road

Ready for some rollin’ pinholin’? I set off the next morning on my bike to continue my therapy.

I only got as far as Merrill School. This little tree on the playground that didn’t make it through the winter seemed to be an appropriate metaphor for the year.

Here’s a treat for double exposure fans. It’s rare that I do it, and even rarer when I admit to it. First Presbyterian over the Raulf Hotel.

A nice little illustration for a travel poster. I’d been trying to get a cloud reflected in these windows for a while.

The back of an elaborate Italianate fire station by ubiquitous Oshkosh architect William Waters.

The back entrance to The Brooklyn, recently closed for good. The last vestige of the original name of the district.

The camera had been mounted on the little Joby tripod attached to handlebars of my bike. For the next scene, I decided to use the full-size tripod. Trying to unscrew the Joby, I pulled the nut right out of the bottom of the camera. For the next two pictures the camera was just balanced on the top of the tripod without being attached.

The great white almost-windowless hulk of the north wall of the Miles Kimball building.

The back wall of the Miles Kimball building.

Ardy and Ed’s drive-in, which employs roller skating wait staff.  Hand held against my handlebars.

The brilliant white Wonder Bread bakery, recently ceasing operation lately as well. Also held against the handlebars.

Did you ever wonder where those military vehicles that showed up in your town last month came from? They’re made by Oshkosh Corp. At least 10 very large parking lots next to factories all over the city are full of them. Several large vacant properties around town are occupied by hundreds of them.

Known locally simply as “Truck,” this is their main plant. The world headquarters used to be here, but they threatened to leave and the city sold them half a golf course to build a new one.

Those two photographs were done with the camera held against a light post.

South Park Middle School, held against a tree.

A little further forward, with the camera on the shadowed table in the right foreground above.

These were all very short exposures. In order to keep from moving the camera during what would be a significant portion of the exposure, I held my finger against the shutter, opened it and then made the exposure by moving my finger away from the pinhole. I think I did this one with the camera held against my forehead.

And then I ran out of film.  It had taken me just over 24 hours to finish the roll. Toward the end I ruined a few frames and advanced farther than I should have a few times.

I feel much better now, but I still have the need, ya know? I have more film.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Manic Expression in the Garden

Working with color again was fun. However, I kept wondering if every shot I considered was the best photograph of the 21st century and worthy of the investment of a frame of 120 color film. There’s only one cure for that kind of thinking - Manic Expression.

I loaded the Manic Expression Cube with a “36 exposure” roll of Lomo 100 and tried to shoot it as fast as I could.

As luck would have it, this occurred during the mid-June flowering of a lot of perennials. It was also shortly after a rain fall, and quite still. So down the garden path again.

A basket on the bench just outside the porch door. The black petunias kind of disappear.

The daisies are just wild.

Elwood’s corner.  I should have turned him on for the picture.

Four years ago our former neighbors tore out the privet hedge, poured Roundup all over the ground and truncated the fence to just the corner of the house using a variety of agricultural fencing held together with baling wire. The new neighbors just had this much, much less ugly corner installed. Still would like to get a vine to grow on it though.

A mandevilla blossom holding still by leaning against the house.

This year’s papyrus, joined by a branch from one of the oak trees.

A progression of peony blossoms.

Rosebuds waiting in the wings.

A peony with a fern draped over its shoulders.

An exuberant peony.

Arugula, lettuce, parsley, onions and a strawberry that survived the winter.

Looking down a tomato cage.

A peony bud and some snow-on-the-mountain blossoms, a restricted invasive in Wisconsin.`

The weigela.

White peonies among the phlox.

A very watercolory white peony.

It rained again so I had to stop.

Spenser slept through it all.

And that’s only half the roll.  Time to hit the road.

The Manic Expression Cube has hand drilled .17mm pinhole.24mm from a 24x24mm frame.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Seventeen degrees in color

I quite enjoyed my adventures this spring with the 17 degree angle of view, 200mm front of the Variable Cuboid. As the trees leafed out and the flowers bloomed, it occurred to me I hadn’t exposed any color film with it. Ironically the air temperature was about 17 degrees Celsius as well.

Dappled light on a picnic table by the lake. I was just off the main walking path and at least a dozen people came by and gave my cardboard box camera a quizzical look but nobody said anything.

This is almost exactly the composition of a photo of the bridge done on a previous outing with the long camera. I might go all Claude Monet on this view with different light and weather.

I occasionally get asked about how I point the long thing and get what I want in the picture. Using traditional sighting triangles, about two-thirds the time I get exactly what I think I’m pointing at, as was the case with the previous two photographs. The rest I don’t get precisely what I want. That leads to some random compositions that produce a different image than I was planning on. It’s like there’s someone else composing the picture. I’ve come to think of this as “discovering my negatives.”

Crammed into the corner, the top of this building has an anthropomorphic personality that I hadn’t foreseen when I was taking it.

I had to set up and point the camera and wait for the clouds to line up with the building. I waited at least ten minutes and kept adjusting the pointing as clouds moved by. A fortuitous combination occurred without much warning and I made the exposure without checking the viewfinders.

Irises are usually big sails at the end of long stalks that are hard to photograph with long exposures. This one had a short stalk mutation and blossomed nearly at ground level. Despite a fairly stiff wind it was scaffolded by the Creeping Charlie around it. A sunbeam was shining directly on the flower when I opened the shutter. Just as I went to close it after a five second exposure, a cloud obscured the sun. I left the shutter open another 30 seconds to pick up some shadow detail.

A Coral Bells' leaf in a similar situation supported by some Creeping Charlie.  This was in deep shade and the exposure was about 10 minutes. You can see the yellow leaf on the left is fluttering in the wind,

Later in the afternoon the chair and pillow were illuminated by lighting I’ve seen somewhere in the Pictorialist movement. This was a two and half hour exposure. Sarah and I were both in the room during the majority of that time and never bumped it.

A prismatic windchime refracting light, filtered through the curtain in a west window, on another late afternoon.

Chocolate chip cookies cooling, even later in the afternoon.

Looking through the porch of The Waters (originally built as the Yacht Club).

The former train station at Oshkosh, now an office building. It still sits next to the very busy rail line through town, just to the right.

One of the facilities of the Winnebago County Department of Human Services, formerly the world headquarters of Oshkosh B’Gosh.

A small cloud exchanging pleasantries with the Raulf Hotel as it drifts by.

The Variable Cuboid has a 6x6cm frame.  The 200mm front has a .5mm hand-drilled pinhole (f400). The film is Lomography 100.