Spring Break Pinhole

Well this was a fun trip and exercise of developing color negative film.

When you live in a rainy state, I always appreciate the sunny getaways when I can. For Spring break this year, my family spent a few warm and sunny days in SoCal.

Self Portrait Processed with VSCO

I brought some film and my little Diana F+ however, I really never got the hang of using it, because of the way the film winds and sometimes I’m impatient with myself without really knowing that I am. I really need to find patience with myself.

Anyway, this was my second attempt at developing color negative film. I photographed using 120 Cinestill film (which I love by the way) I used Arista C-41 developer.

In using my little fun plastic camera, I did some fun pinhole at Balboa Pier and one of my favorite places to get centered which is in San Juan Capistrano.

I think I worked out the kinks with my Diana F+ and can’t wait to do more. As a bonus while with my family in Laguna Beach, I didn’t know I was in the presence of Austin Keene and friends. They sure do make skim surfing easy!

Changes

After a long rainy season, there was a break in this gloomy month of January with a little warmth from the sun.

I’ve been M.I.A. in my photographing in the new year, due to a few life changes. Who knew menopause plus a job loss would rock my world. I’m still suffering through anxiety, depression and figuring out where I fit in in this big old world, but I continue to find holistic relief where I can. One of treatments being pinhole. This slowed down process lets me find joy again and reflect what my goals are for the future as an artist while possibly leaving a career with no growth behind me in the rear view mirror.

I want this second stage of my life to be better than the first.

5 minute exposure

I would say most people resonate emotion with art. Why is that? We go through these changes and try to make sense of these fragmented times in our lives.

Taking my pinhole camera out about for a walk on Cottage Lake, loaded with three sheets of film. I wanted to see what I could capture in this beautiful breezy moment. For me it’s cathartic.

6 minute exposure

Here is to healing days ahead with the help of a good clean diet, exercise, some film, developer and fixer.

Pinhole

Ah pinhole.

What an awesome phenomenon of the camera obscura. I must admit I have been intimidated by the process and I am not sure why that is. Maybe its the exposure timing or maybe the developing process. Either way, I’m glad I did this patient process.

I made some notes for the lighting conditions, time of day and exposure times. So the next time I experiment, I hope to get a more clear picture.

5 minute exposure film

I was over ambitious with attempting to try and do pinhole astrophotography. Although I didn’t get the results I wanted, (which I’m not even sure what that was). I set up for an 6 hour exposure and come to find out I didn’t have enough developer so I got this funky bubble art.

6 hour exposure

Overall, I am so happy with the images. I find pinhole to be of a beautiful haunting result of an art that gives a powerful feeling and longing.

 

Film Obsessed

My family and I took a day trip to visit other family members in Sequim, WA on probably one of the hottest of days with the harshest of sunlight. I sometimes forget when shooting with film, it’s a different result.

A ferry ride and winding scenic drive with my hassey, lots of film and bottled water, I think I rediscovered my latest film obsession. Kodak Ektar 100.

I think I’ll be shooting with this film for a while.

 

 

A belated May Day

May Day known as Anarchists’ Day

Sixteen days into May and a little late on this blogue, but it took forever to get my film back from the lab. When I mean it took forever, it took 8 whole days! Lately there has been a surge on film development, another story for another post.

I’ve lived east of Seattle for about 20 years and this was my first year I was in downtown Seattle for work on the May Day protest. Leaving work about 2:30pm that afternoon, I needed to catch my bus ride home, and I have never seen such a crowd that early. I always bring my Rollei everywhere I go, because I never know what will inspire me. Well, not only was I inspired, I was very much confused over this kerfuffle going on. So many causes from Anti-Government, to Free Speech to protesting Day Light Savings (I’m not sure on the last one, but it wouldn’t surprise me). This led me to do some research on the evolution of the original May Day.  Here’s to the industrial workers in the late 1800’s for demanding that 8 hour work day. I can’t imagine working a 10-12 hour day. Ha! I won’t get into debate or opinion over the issue.

The best part of the 30 minutes waiting for my bus was the fact the younger people there saw me photographing with my 1954 Rollei and thought it was an antique looking modern digital. Basically, I felt cool in the moment, as lot of photographers documenting the harsh words of people debating ended up asking me if they could photograph me and my camera. I should’ve given them my information. So hey! If any Seattle peeps were there that day and happened to photograph me with my Rollei camera? Let me know!

Here is your 2018 May Day anarchists that was much ado about nothing.

A Great Big Thank You Seattle PD for keeping all safe!

Kodak Ektar Rolleicord
Seattle PD photographed on Kodak Ektar

Super Grain is Super Good

The beauty of film is in the eye of this beholder. It looks like I’m turning that well known phrase to suit my persona regarding this particular film of Ultrafine Xtreme. I have shot with Kodak TMaxx, Ilford HP4, HP5 to name a few popular black and white films and will continue to do so depending on the look I am going for.

The first time I tried this film, I don’t know if it was the film itself or the scan, even though it has a moiré pattern, I love love love the result, the direction of the light draws me in to the subject. To me it’s a very haunting image of a time long ago but was taken today.


However, in this specific case, I wanted to try this super grain film out again and oh boy, do I love it. I have been working on a mini series of “farm life on film”, not as easy as I thought it would be, farm animals especially chickens move fast, but you never know what you’ll capture.

I mean, don’t these images just make you happy? Film and the smartest goat jumping through a hula-hoop!

Thanks for stopping by! Have an awesome day!

Trial and Light

We finally had a brief sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest and low and behold, I’m hunkered in the makeshift darkroom (laundry room) developing and drying film.

In this session I used two different sheet films and two different developers.

For the sheet film, I used Rollei RPX 400 and Atomic-X 100. For the developer I used Ilford DD-X and the FF No.1 Monobath.

I admit this was a struggle as large format is not like digital and developing times are different. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, but rather throwing myself into the fantastical process of analogue.

I study the time of day and where the light falls. I remind myself in large format film you need a well-lit environment, and I am a fearful of underexposing.

I sit back and reflect on the one photographer of the 19th century that I can’t help but relate to. Julia Margaret Cameron.  Here she was a woman of her time, paying no mind to the critics on her soft focus, scratches, thumbprints and other flaws, but her portraiture is beautiful. She was 48 years old when she received her first camera from her children and immersing herself in this new invention of photography, she was fortunate to have Sir John Hershel as her one of her many posed subjects and teacher. Of course it helped that he was a champion of her works.

I am 48 years old (proud of it too) and somewhat on my own but I’m lucky to have those few peers in my life that I can bounce questions off of.  Interesting enough, when I share with folks that I do large format film photography, I have been questioned over and over again as to why I am wasting time and money doing this alternative process in this digital world. I don’t mean to sound cynical, but I know there is value and I will continue to create and make mistakes, as long as there is breath in me.

Going back to my notes, the film I am using is very much different. Rollei RPX 400 is very thin and I think I over-fixed it or that the fixer I used isn’t compatible. It started stripping the emulsion right in front of my eyes, the cruel part of chemistry. Oh the crushing heartache!

Distroyed Negative

Off the bat, D-DX is not compatible with the Rollei RPX sheet film. I switch over to FF No. 1 Monobath. Yes!!! Success! For the Rollei RPX, I’ll have get developer and fixer that is compatible like Rollei RPD developer or Supergrain and more experimenting and creating art.

Atomic-X sheet film developed with FF No. 1 Monobath is definitely compatible. I was tempted to use the DD-X on the Atomic-X sheet film, but thought better. I’m sure someone has already attempted to due to the fact there were no developing times anywhere to be found and didn’t want to blow anymore film than I already have.

My take away?  I will try the Rollei RPX sheet film again and use the correct supergrain developer & fixer. The Atomic-X and FF No. 1 Monobath will be a staple ready to use at anytime!

Thank you for visiting. Until next time, keep photo’ing…..

Caldwell_Sisters_Film-web
Rollei RPX 400

Portraits
Atomic-X 100