Monday, October 24, 2022

Out again with two cameras.

Recently it seems I've been either film testing a camera, or documenting roadtrips in 35mm, all of it with a single camera along. It's been awhile since I just grabbed two cameras of different angles of view and set off with no objective other than to to take pictures for fun.

The camera on the left is a 30mm 120 Populist. In order to teach somebody how to make a camera, you have to make one. This is the demonstration camera for my recent workshop at the Trout Museum of Art. It was made in less than two hours including drilling the pinhole (on the first try). I didn't record what size it was. I remember saying something like "I can live with that" and going on to guide them through drilling their pinholes, which they also both got nearly perfect on the first try. I made the viewfinder triangles after I got home but that only took about a half hour. This is the first roll of film through the camera, but I can't say I'm film testing it. It's just that it's not properly pinholy to make a camera and not take some pictures with it.

The other camera is the Little Mutant, the prototype of the Compact 45mm. Steve Wittman's V-Class Airplane, one of the photographs from my day at Pioneer Airport was just accepted into a juried art show in Green Bay, so I thought the camera deserved a little more film.

What set me off this particular day were the billowy textured clouds. We've had lots of featureless either cloudless or totally cloudy conditions recently.

Lake Winnebago was my destination but I got impatient and stopped next to that reliable one-point perspective subject, the railroad, and pointed up to the sky despite the power lines and the severely converging verticals.

Down the block, the Little Mutant straightened out the verticals of the Noffke Lumber Company. Experimental Pinhole Photography Question of the Week: What are those little round spots at the left side of the building with the streaks trailing them to the upper right?

This tree on the corner of the playground of Emmeline Cooke School seemed like a good foreground for the dramatic sky. This was just about the time school was getting out and I was surrounded by cars waiting for children, lining the street for a block in all directions. I'm surprised no one raised an alarm.


Took the opportunity as soon as I got to the lake, looking north on South Asylum Bay.

From the Ames Point breakwater looking back at Oshkosh.

A shady grove of trees in Menomonee Park that I never see because they're behind the maintanance garage.

This gnarly old trunk was right at the corner of the garage.

The previous week just before my workshop, I discovered the Appleton Farmers Market was just in front of the Museum. I could pick up some vegetables if I went a little early the second week. As I was selecting some tomatoes, I looked over and saw someone with a DSLR just a few inches from the end of the row of produce. When she looked up, we recognized each other from the Fox Valley Photography group, pursuing this month's challenge, street photography. She agreed to pose for me.

Back to the park on a day with a completely clear sky. This boat hasn't been in the water all summer. I used to think having a boat like this might be cool until a former sailboat owner told me it was like standing in a 50 mile an hour wind and throwing money in the ocean.

Another shot of the Ames breakwater across Miller's Bay in a pretty high wind. When I was setting up, the tripod blew across the trail and I had to hold it down to make the exposure.

Under the bleachers at the softball field. It didn't occur to me when I made the exposure, but when we drove through the rural town of Seymour recently, Sarah and I simultaneously had the same thought.

Is this street photography? I recently heard someone define street photography as "evidence of the human." That sounds really frightening but the story of continuous use told by the antique door with the machine-folded vent next to it is the kind of thing that really gets to me. Nice trick of the lighting to reveal those crossed creases which stiffen the sheet metal,  the bottom one serendipitously parallel to the shadow of an overhead wire.

Another day with more plain but slightly rippled clouds. Looking back toward Monkey Island and Miller's Bay.

The Jackson/Oregon Street bridge is still up. I wonder which side is broken - the one that's up or the one that's down.

We went to Mosquito Hill for the first time since the pandemic and I exposed a bit of color 35mm film. I've only taken black and white photographs at Mosquito Hill once for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day a long time ago. We sat in a slight drizzle while the camera was sheltered under a railing for this five minute exposure of the iconic view of the oxbow.

Another stack of pumpkins from what I think will be the next blog post.

Another unsuccessful attempt to make the roses on the arbor look really dangerous.

After a bit of rain, the cabbage captured a few drops. If you saw my Facebook post about tripodology,* this is the picture.

Going back into the house with the 30mm camera on the last frame, I noticed the sun beaming my shadow and the camera's on the doorway. It reminded me of noted street photographers Vivian Maier and Lee Freidlander.

The 30mm Populist probably has a .23 to .26mm pinhole. The Little Mutant has .27mm pinholes, on the axis and 15mm above the axis, 45mm from the film plane. Both have 6x6cm frames. The film is 100 semi-stand developed together in Caffenol.

* for those of you still familiar with an asterisk foot-note, here's the tripod feat I referred to.

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