Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Windfall

Remember when I said I'd post some pin-hole photos? Has it really been nearly 5 months?

Well, I just got a bunch of my negatives printed. They are, of course, from a variety of my toy cameras. I love it. There is something so... reassuring in having a print in my hand, a physical representation of a memory, a place visited, people I care about, some experiment played out. . . It is like catching hold of an emotion, change, or some evolution mid-process. You can look back and trace your personal history, how you've evolved as a photographer or person in general, have a witness to how things were (with some flattening and distortion), recall places you've been, or glance back at the seasons as they've marched on.

I'm getting all mushy and nostalgic, but that's how I get about my toy cameras. Maybe it is because I put more of myself into them, I modify them, paint them, I stake claims. There's also the process itself: it is slower, and as a result, I have to slow down, be more methodical and aware of my surroundings as a photographer. (Thereby imprinting the memory of the place/moment more fully upon my mind.) Or perhaps it is that the images themselves have a more romantic nature-- All full of soft focus, vignetting, color shifts, and happy accidents. (Light leaks, buckled film, surprise double exposures...) Then there's also the memory of what it took to make the photograph happen that attaches itself to the images. It isn't always as simple and point and shoot. There is the construction and modification of cameras, finding where to place a pinhole camera where it will stay still for seconds at a time, and recalling some of the odd looks you get from people that might wonder just what it is that you're wielding about.

Whatever the case may be, I am completely and utterly in love with my little photographic experiments. So I hope you like me sharing some of them with you.

The following is a photo of two of the cameras used in the production of photos in this post:
Whew, that was a lot of p's...

The Holga at the left has had its lens temporarily removed and replaced with a pinhole pierced into a bit of Pepsi can. I set the shutter to the "bulb" function, which means it will stay open as long as I keep the shutter pressed down. It is a great function for long exposure pinhole photography, but you need to remember to switch it back to normal when you're done (or like really shaky photos.) I ran a roll of black and white 120 format film through it.

The minty-pin on the bottom right was also enlisted in the documentation of my adventures. It has a very short focal length which actually makes it better suited to close-up shots. I didn't really pay attention to that and just went and had fun. The minty-pin began its life as a Small Altoids tin and I converted it into a 35 mm pinhole camera.

From my minty-pin I got these images, to share a few:

Accidental Double

I really didn't mean for this to be a double-exposure, but I like how it turned out. I also heart the light leak in this one.

Waiting To Play

That playground sure looks lonely, but I couldn't seem to find an opportunity when there were children just sitting there nice and still.

Cactus bloom

These next shots are from my pin-Holga. I didn't properly tape up the back of my Holga (which has a red acetate window to view the paper-backed film as it rolls through) and light leaked in. That is what contributed to the grainy images as well as the fact that if you look closely, each picture has dots emblazoned onto it. The dots are most obvious in the dandelion scene below.

Sunset From The Point Of View Of A Field Mouse

Train Rest

Photo taken by my friend Jeff Hansen in Nevada. I'll mention here that while this was black and white film, the images all came out with this brown-black and white effect. So fun. To me, at least.

Desert Mystery

Next to the Tree of Utah sculpture. I love how the foreground is all crackled and dry, and how dreamy it all looks.

Afternoon In The Garden

This place was actually full of colors the day I took this shot. The sky was a brilliant blue, and all around were several shades of green from the trees, bushes, and grass, as well as pink, cream, and purple flowers in bloom in the beds. Maybe I could have pulled off a dreamy feel to it if I'd taken a color photo, but I didn't. And you know what? I'm glad I did what I did.

Grasping At Memories

Someone described this photo as looking like "a half-forgotten memory." I felt it was an apt description. It is a photo of the Bonneville Salt Flats. Don't you just love the fluffy clouds floating overhead?

All of the above photos (minus the one of the actual cameras themselves) are examples of pin-hole photography. If you stop at think about it, isn't it grand what what one tiny little hole can do?

The last that I'll share today are from my dearly departed Windsor. I shared some scans in my last post, but these are scans of actual prints. Yay!

Delicate Arch

Indiana Forest

The trees are so softly focused that they look hug-able, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Developing Ghosts

So I developed a bunch of my Holga and Windsor shots. Some date back to February. Yikes. But I'm finally doing it. And it makes me happy. I got 5 rolls of medium format film developed and one roll of 35mm. They are all images from my "toy" cameras.

I just had the film developed, not printed. I like a lot of the shots, so I'm going to have to get some of them printed out next.

At the moment, I have a small preview of some of the photos. They are the scanned and manipulated negatives which is not so pretty to look at, but, it'll give you an idea of what's next.

At the Wave, February 2009

The above photo was taken on my now deceased Windsor camera. Before it decided to warp out of functionality, I happily toted it around along with my Holga.

I've discovered that the Windor's shutter works just fine, so I've hacked and sawed what was left of my little plastic baby into pieces. I'm hoping I can salvage the shutter mechanism and Frankenstein it into some kind of working camera again.

Mostly I just need to find a new lens. I can build a camera body fairly easily... but I'm daydreaming and will stop now.

The following two photographs were my first foray into night photography with my Holga. They just so happen to be photographs of the Fourth of July fireworks in St. George and Washington, Utah.The first is more easily recognized as fireworks, but I like how the sparks and trails of lights line up in the second one. (The second photograph is a double-exposure.)

4th of July, Holga style

Holga doubles your holiday fun

Lastly, I've included a few more scenes that my Windsor captured. They are a triptych of Indianapolis, Indiana. This was from my excursion walking around downtown Indy alone, so I didn't venture too far with a plastic camera hanging off my neck. The locales are probably all within about ten blocks of one another.




Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunless Sunflowers

I stumbled upon these little lovelies while taking a night walk around Provo, Utah. In the daylight, they would have just been gigantic sunflowers. Big, sure, but just sunflowers. But seeing them at night, with the inky blue-black sky as a backdrop, that was magical.

Towering Giants

Sunflowers at Night

Sunflowers and Stars

Evening Bouquet

The tallest flowers were over seven feet in height. They were a quite impressive treat.