Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Early Edition

It's over.
Tomorrow,  go back to the daily grind.
I actually like my job so I'm sort of looking forward to it!
Okay, not the first week which includes two days of meetings and such but the week after when all the kids come back and I get to test out all the new forms of diabolical torture I've been planning all summer long.
Which includes pinhole photography.
The second to the last camera I'm going make is a Large Format (LF) camera called so because it takes pictures in a 4x5 size:

The top two thingys are film holders, the bottom two are meant to do Polaroids, or in this case today, Fuji FP100c film and the yet to come New55.
More on the New55 later.
If ever.
So anyways, this camera is designed around those film backs:

Which makes it the easiest camera to make: basically a box with a pinhole in it.
No film transports to think about.
The film backs all have different stack heights:

So figuring out how to attach them takes a bit o'thought.
Which I haven't done.
Think about it I mean.
I just came up with this:

Simple clamp using some drawer knobs I got at the man store.
I'll probably do some kind of hinged thingy or a swinging hook, but again the problem is changing the height of the clamp to accommodate all the different holders.
Anyways, this is the front:

The width of the camera was well, wider than the precut wood I'm using and I did glue two pieces together to cover, but I didn't like it so I decided to use some black plex to cover the front.
I kinda like it in a Darth Vader kind of way and I like how the shutter sort of 'floats' on the front.
Anyways, you get your Fuji peel apart film, in this case FP100c, and you load it up in your film thingy and you put the film thingy on the back of the camera and you open the pinhole and take your picture:

The first picture taken from my lanai.
Then there were a whole bunch of fails cause I don't know what the hell I'm doing.
So I did some mods and stuff and yesterday I got this:

Kids at football practice taking a water break.
The pics with a real camera:

It was warm out yesterday.
So I'm still thinking about whether or not I'm going to shoot real film with this thing as it involves getting a whole bunch of new stuff like film tanks and holders to develop seeing as how the film is so well, large.
It's also not very cheap.
The film I mean.
Neither are the peel aparts for that matter as they run about a dollah a shot.
The black and white film that is no longer being made runs about two bucks a pop.
On the other hand it s LF so I suppose the added expense can be expected.
Sort of.
If I do go with real film then I guess I might as well get a real LF camera and those aren't too inexpensive either.
Well compared to the ones I made I mean.
So anyways, let me go out and enjoy my last day of freedom, the last day of my summer vacation.
Off I go!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stealing Time

So I went out with the FT96 to try some night shots again.
I made some mods to try and take care of the light leaks and did some testing before going out into Prime Time.

Both of those exposures were about six to eight minutes long.
Which is the interesting about pinhole photography: the length of time you need to take a picture.
You sit, or stand there waiting while the shutter is open watching time go by:

It became obvious to me in that photo above.
Instead of capturing that one split second, you have a chance to document a rather large, in photography, chunk of time.
Not just freezing a moment, but a substantial block.
This is new.
To me anyways.
Back to that picture above.
It intrigues me that it contains six or seven minutes of time.
Time that has passed, time that I captured.
Or stole.
So with that in mind, and with a bit more experience with this long exposure business, out I went again:

First the tech.
I think I permanently fixed that light leak I was getting.
In some of the images, I can't believe it was taken with a camera with no lens!
Pretty sharp if I do say so myself.
I need to get my tripod thingy going so I can take the camera off the ground, I got a thing coming in that should help.
What kind of light makes a huge difference in the exposure.
Intensity and direction etc. must be taken into account and adjustments made.
In all those images above, I tried to capture folks walking about.
As in any long exposure, most moving things disappear, they don't stay still long enough for the camera to catch an image.
Or the light is not intense enough to leave an image.
Movement in photos in some cases are the only way to mark time.
The photos only look like snapshots, and not the long exposures they actually are.
A problem I need to solve.
Anyways, the FT96 is working great!
Now on to the next great thing:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oh Yeah!

This is what I'm talking about Willis!
I added some felt around the cover area and that did the trick!
No more light leaks.
Sort of:

I need to set the camera down or against something; I can't shoot it hand held.
Actuating the shutter causes the shakes:

Feeble attempt at a two second exposure.
Speaking of the shutter, I kept it simple:

Wow! look at them tiger stripes!
Oh boy I love maple!
I always wanted me a tiger stripe sunburst Les Paul, and this might be as close as I get!

That's an inadvertent double exposure in there.
Apparently I don't know how to count.
Okay, I'm all ready to take this thing into prime time!
Along with some reciprocity tests I did this week to get used to the film, in this case Ilford Delta 400, I should be ready to go!
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flat Tire 96

So on Sunday I started a new project.
Riding the laurels of the Flat Tire 66 camera, I decided to make one in a 6x9 format.
Gathering the goods:

The design is basically the same, just longer width wise to accommodate the spools and the longer format.
I decided though to change the film transport to make it one piece and top loading:

I'm using maple by the way.
The one piece transport means I can load the film outside the camera then stuff the whole thing in and go!
Makes loading and unloading a lot easier:

The focal length is 50mm which is longer than the FT66, to accommodate the wider format.
I put on a prototype shutter and off I went!

Serious light leakage!
I got like laser beams in my camera!
Okay, I thought it was coming from the frame indicator window in the rear; I should have inspected the negatives before doing another test roll.
I put a slice of red plexi in front of the window and off I went!

Still leaking.
The straightness of the leak has me worried.
There's also a bit of symmetry in some of the others that has me more worried.
So I need to light proof the camera and set up a permanent shutter before I take it out again.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Early Edition

So last week I did some experiments with the ole pinhole camera.
Mainly long exposure night shots.
Sort of.
Rolling out:

I put the pinhole camera in the trunk and carry the rest of my stuff in my bag and strap my tripod to the handlebars.
That's a lot o'crap!
Anyways, this whole thing about reciprocity comes in for this  pinhole business seeing as how the exposure times can be as much as something like 84X normal.
So a 1/15 second shot becomes 3.5 minutes:

Longer even depending on what kind of film I'm using.
Which is normally the wrong kind.
So the problem becomes how much to add to the exposure besides the normal time; should I go 3x or 4x or what?
Then there's all the down time, the waiting for the exposure.
I learned a lesson: bring snacks.
I tried a bunch of different times, 2x which was wishful thinking and 3x.
Second shot:

By this time I'm just taking random shots with my other cameras to kill time:

More of the random stuff later.
Let's see what I got:

Not too good.
I was under exposed in all these shots:

Then I stopped off here:

Only to get this:

You can just barely make out the Flat Tire Earth Machine.
Okay, I need to adjust the exposure times.
Like increase them.
A lot.
I'm also going to try a different film, a faster one with hopefully less reciprocity failure.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Surf's Up!

Or at least it was up.
Last week.
Around Thursday.
I was going to ride my bicycle but I needed the Big Momma so I drove down to the beach to catch the latest summer swell.
Not too shabby:

Some dude decided to park his bicycle right in front of me:

When it gets bigger like this the lineup out there actually gets less crowded.
Only the experienced need apply.
If you know what I mean.

Folks were getting barrels left and right!
I mean the bowls over at Kewalos and Ala Moana were both firing off!
It was fun to watch!

I don't know where these dudes came from:

That has Coast Guard Search and Rescue written all over it!
Thankfully they were coming in, not going out.
It was sort of intimidating, even from where I was standing as the swell was coming in from a weird angle and the waves were just crazy:

Better to watch and enjoy from someplace safe:

Using the long lens opens up a lot of possibilities.
You can use different angles and set up your shots differently and I sort of dig it.
Except that the lens is like carrying around two bricks and I like to travel as light as possible since I carry around a lot o'crap.
Especially now since I got pinhole fever.
More on that later.