24 May 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

Have been busy of late.  Hustle and bustle and all that.  Got a few rolls of film done since we last spoke.  Will only include a few samples here, but will link to my Lomography.com site at the end.

Samples from black and white:

Here's some from another color roll (fuji 200):

And here's a couple from a DIY redscale roll that Victoria made for me:

Now, on the last two rolls there I'll be rescanning the negatives myself.  I learned something at my local lab this week and that is that their machines (no matter how big, expensive, and fancy) aren't that great.  I may have to go back and scan all my negatives (let's face it, i'm a crazy control freak, i'm going to scan my all of them myself) to see what all is missing.  But, on these last two rolls there's shots cut off and shots completely missing.  So, these were the best i could get out of those.

I learned this from a guy named Jim that works the counter at my Walgreens lab.  He actually was kind enough to let me come behind the counter to see what was going to be scanned.  It was a learning experience.  He was also the first person to participate in my new photo project.  Since the Diana Mini will shoot half frame, I decided to load another roll of Kodak TX-400 and shoot in half again.  But, this will be very specific pictures.  I'll be shooting "mugshot" style shots of people.  So, i'll take a head on shot, then take a profile (turn to your left).  Not sure what I'll gain from this endeavor, but my biggest gain from this will hopefully be mustering the courage to ask others if I can take their picture. 

As promised, here's my lomo homepage.  Also, will be getting an article published through them this week.  More piggies toward my sprocket rocket! 

11 May 2011

The Click

The last time I shot film was in 2002.  Since then I progressed through increasing megapixels, culminating in a 12 that I tried to create lo-fi-esque photos with.  I only ever shot with the pinhole "format."  It's a special setting under the "magic filters" of the Olympus SP600-UZ.  I photochopped them to have vignetting and cross-processed like looks.  De-saturate for age and filter for texture. 

Then, I discovered lomography.  These plastic cameras that create something wholly unique.  What you see in the viewfinder is not necessarily what will come out in the print.  What you see with your own eyes may not be what comes out - light leaks and double exposures and splitzters and the dreamy look of a plastic lens capturing life.

I bought my first lomo camera (Diana Mini).  I shot my first roll (Fuji 400 exp2002).  I shot my second roll (See first roll). I ordered a 2nd camera (DIY Recesky TLR).  I built a camera (Pinhole).  I'm eying more.

After that first roll, my wife and I discussed this phenomenon and what it all meant.  Why was this more fascinating?  Why was I so engrossed?  obsessed?  And it hit me.  It came to me as if in a dream.  Call it clarity:

Film is visceral.  Film is tangible.  Digital is instant gratification.  It's pristine, glossy, hospital steralized, perfection.  It beeps when it's done.  Automatic.

The sound of a shot.  Click!  The shutter, violently thrashing within the body.  Capturing the essence.  "Taking" the picture in that it takes something - grabbing it and pulling it inside.  That sound is like magic.  It's satisfying and refreshing.  It assures me that something happened.  I don't have to look at the screen to know that the shot happened.  The click tells me so.

Gears ticking.  When you advance the film you know it's moving, working.  You hear the sprockets rolling, physically spin the wheel yourself.  Sometimes I like to slowly advance the film tick by tick just to hear it.  It's reassuring knowing that there's more on that roll of film.  The tick, a whisper in my ear - encouraging.

The anticipation.  Some people like to shake their presents before Christmas.  I quite enjoy the wait.  Not knowing what will turn out and what won't.  Thinking back, considering if I focused properly or if I left the shutter open too long.  Imagining what the images might look like.  Trying to remember what the hell I shot... 

Thank you camera.  Thank you you wonderful thing.  Thank you for allowing patience in this mad-dash, two sheets to the wind world.

08 May 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Need to send off the B&W roll.  That means going to Fairview and that would require putting on pants, effort... the lot.  It'll have to wait for the weekend.  Shot a roll of new Fuji 200 at the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis on Mothers Day.  Got some really great shots and miraculously every shot turned out.

I know I said all the shots exposed, but these were the keepers.

In other news, I'm on the brink of finishing my first pinhole.  Used a build write up from Chris Keeney, inventor of the "Mintycam" and will hopefully finish it tonight.  This experiment could go one of two ways.  Hoping for the positive.  Ordered my Recesky TLR and it should be here in time for the wedding.  Looking at the Sprocket Rocket or the Supersampler next.  Two completely different cameras with completely different final products.  Also on the wishlist is an Epson Perfection 40.  Not exactly "analogue," but as I primarily upload my images and seldom print them out it works.  As well, Victoria has gobs and gobs of negatives she'd like to digitize for keeps.

Anywho, that's that.  Going to load and prep my tin pinhole and will post the photos as soon as they're developed.  Then, I'll post photos scanned with the scanner we get, as the shots should go to the sprockets, but the 1 hour place can't scan past the sprockets.

04 May 2011

Second Post and Recesky

The second roll shot with the Mini is another (and my last) roll of expired (2002) Fuji 400.  Pictures are less of the work site and more of the city I live in and the city I work in.

After I shot this roll of film I was saddened to hear that Wal-Mart doesn't do 1 hour developing any more.  Yes, I know that sounds bunk.  Yes, I know that using a 1 hour service isn't "artsy."  But, I'm impatient.  The other thing I am is poor.  So, after realizing I could send off to this place in New England for half the price of 1-hour around here... well it's a different game.

Have expired Fuji 400 b&w loaded now.  Using strictly half-frame format.  Have a couple overlay panoramas I'm anxious to see. 

Yes, I've only had this camera for a few weeks.  Yes, I'm already looking at another one... 

I've been obsessed with TLR cameras for some time now.  Finally, I've found one that's not really expensive.  The Recesky TLR is a plastic, toy camera much like the Diana Mini.  Only, this one comes in pieces and I get to assemble it.  It has the top viewfinder and everything.  The only catch is it will only shoot in vertical 35mm.  Unless you turn it on it's side of course.  So, my plan is to create a mask of some sort and force it to shoot in square format like the Mini does.  It will take some thought.  But, I found them on eBay for 20 bucks/free shipping.  So, if I decide to perma mount a mask in the obscura box I could always get another for fairly cheap.

After sating the TLR bug, it will be on to finding something that will shoot on the sprockets.  Also, the wife and I have been looking into a negative scanner.  It has to have the capability to scan medium format film as that's Victoria's format of choice.  But, I think we've found a suitable candidate in the Epson Perfection v500.  Not too pricey, and in the long run will end up saving us money.

Anywho, off to bed.  Happy shooting!

02 May 2011

First Roll.

The first roll I took with the Diana Mini was a roll of Fuji 400 that expired in 2002.  I have two of these rolls of film from shooting way back when with my friend Mark.

The shots were a bit experimental.  I was just playing with the camera to figure out how it worked.  Not all the pictures turned out.  I learned the hard way that interior light isn't enough to get a good shot and that's what the "bulb" setting is for.


The last panorama here was a bit of an accident, but I think it's still pretty neat.

*Edit:  Shot 4 and the last shot were shot by my wife.