Saturday, August 27, 2022

This is why we film test cameras.

Film testing another camera for my mystery project revealed that the summer sun was strong enough to bludgeon it's way into the film chamber despite a double layer of cardstock and template everywhere. 

Not all cardboard is sufficiently resistent to the passage of photons to make a successful camera. White cardstock seems to actually amplify the passage through the camera walls. Most brown or grey packaging cardboard with printing on the outside, combined with a decent print of the template will make a camera light proof. If the printing on the cardboard includes large areas of white, it's a horse apiece whether it's dense enough to be truly opaque under the summer midday sun. I've made cameras where the box had a lot of white that were perfectly fine, and some with the areas printed in white showing up on the negative. In relatively dimly lit situations, you can get away with some of this, but the bar for a camera is set pretty high by the prolonged full onslaught of a nearby big star. 

It took a while in the sun to create a base fog that was bad enough to create an unrecoverable negative, so I got some exposures.

Beginning with a refreshing beverage on a hot day.

When I was on the Lensless Podcast several years ago, one of the photographs they liked was an arrangment of glass decanters under the Tiffany Lamp. Inspired by the Frick Collection's video series Cocktails with the Curator, we've gotten a more expansive display, but it's still very sparkly, and once again, the exposure made while we were having lunch.

Reading the analog Sky and Telescope on the lanai.

The base of a buttress at St. Mary's Church (now Blessed Sacrement Parish).

St. Francis Cabrini School next door has been converted to apartments. One of several collections of HVAC units and a door six feet off the ground, complete with porch light.

The back door to the pool room of Boot's Saloon left open on a warm summer day.

For years I've said if I run into someone I know when I have a loaded camera with me, I'll ask them if I can photograph them. Just as I entered the Farmers' Market, I encountered Annemarie (on the right) and her sister-in-law Helen. We worked together during the pioneering days of on-line distance education (she was very young). She said they love to have their portrait done and held still for a minute.

Emboldened by this success, I thought it worth the try when I encountered the market board chair and volunteer photographer whom I'd met before. He complained he couldn't get people to hold still for a few seconds, but he posed for me for sixty.

The only vendor whose wares weren't shaded by an awning was Allenville Farms. The milling crowds make it look like steam rising off the vegetables.

Another thing I've learned is that four dense coats of flat black spray enamel will make anything opaque. The camera is lightproof now, so continues as part of the mystery project.

It's a standard 60mm 120 Populist. .35mm pinhole 6cm from a 6x6cm frame. The film is 100 semistand developed in Rodinal 1:100.

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