Sunday, November 26, 2017

Post-European Mosquito Hill

On our trip abroad, we looked at a lot of art from practically the entire span of humans making it.  I wonder if it changed the way Mosquito Hill looks to The Populist?

We've been up there twice since our international adventure.

The low sun always creates dramatic lighting. I had to constantly remind myself that on our trip we were from four to six degrees farther north.


Didn't see a lot of Abstract Expressionists' paintings, but I keep seeing Abstract Expressionism hidden in everything.


I thought we were very restrained with the selfies.


Backlighting can make an exhibit look dramatic.



I learned that there's a lot of diversity in what people enjoy as art.  With that in mind here's a scene for the fans of diffracted flare.


Elements in a scene nicely separated by fortuitous light and shadow of the low sun plus that famous infinite depth of field during a moment of unusually still atmosphere.


We went again shortly before Halloween.


Looks like I'm still into the abstractionist thing.


By this time all the autumn color was pretty much over.


The duckweed stays green just about longer than anything else.


It can combine with the other scum in the oxbow to feed that abstractionist urge though.


Although you'd never know it from my pictures, there's a good bit of infrastructure at Mosquito Hill. This little treehouse is down in the quarry. (Farmer's daughter factoid: Many farms had a little quarry. Where do you think they got the stone foundations from?)  Adults not allowed, but they're planning to build a rather larger version cantilevered over the cliff behind me that should make a neat new place to set a tripod.


All with The Populist. .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A moderately telephoto pinhole camera in a plain brown wrapper


I kind of liked the images from the moderately telephoto pinhole camera I made a few months back, but the look of the camera was kind of odd, and it was made by modifying a camera that didn't transport film as well as I'd like. So I edited the template, and made a classic 6x6cm 120 Populist 120mm long.

Link to directions    Link to templates

Because the inner box template is so big, even on tabloid paper, it's printed in two parts and you have to glue them aligned with each other on your cardstock. (It should just barely fit printed on B4 paper - make sure to print 100% and not fit to paper)

I had to go across folds of a 24 can beverage carton to get a piece of card big enough. I'm so over making cameras with random package printing on them, so I made this one with the plain side out.


In the classic Populist scheme, the front and rear boxes are the same depth, but when I got this together, it was almost impossible to get apart, even with the thumbgrips.

I realized I could get a much better grip if I could just grasp the whole box, and I didn't need that much overlap to make it light tight, so I cut it back to where one of those folds from the original carton made a slight ridge. It slides apart quite easily now.

I've edited the template to reflect that.

The viewfinders aren't complete triangles, although I had cut them out before making this decision and it had a neat Spaceman Spiff look, the pointy tips were a snagging risk and I went with William of Occam's recommedation since the shorter line segment defined the angle of view just fine.


You may recall some discussion of the size of the pinhole.  The old camera had a .3mm, much too small for the distance to the film, but with the new camera I drilled a .33mm, a little closer, but still smaller than the mathematical ideal of .462mm. Look at the pictures below and tell me it would be sharper with the bigger pinhole.

This pinhole looks a little ragged at first glance, but if you look the actual edge of the hole, it's pretty smooth and round.

Because the camera's so long and I can't get my hand down to the front, I made a little part to attach the pinhole to and then push to the front of the camera.  It also makes it easy to change the pinhole if I did want to experiment with Lord Rayleigh's equations.


I think it works pretty well. Here's a roll of Lomography 400.

An oak leaf which had attached itself to the side of our house.


Three pumpkins on the bakers rack. Technical note: It's often said that limited depth of field to isolate an object in the foreground is a technique not available to the pinhole photographer.  However if the foreground is still (inside or too heavy to blow around) and the background is "blurry," it's pretty much the same trick visually.  Is it still bokeh when it's caused by motion and not out of focus?


One big pumpkin. More mōshonburā there in the background. Bokeh is kind of a refractionist term.


A small pumpkin and a lemon on the kitchen table.


An enthusiastic potato.


Can you believe I've never photographed the garden at the Paine with a pinhole camera before?

A tree near the entrance to the woodland path.


A pair of chairs on the lawn.


A bench in the event area.


A sculpture fountain in the brand new formal garden.


and, one of the little water features.


I expect I'll be using this camera again.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Abroad: Tuileries and environs

I went out twice in Paris in the morning with my medium format cameras.

The first day, Sarah left for her strategically planned visit to the original Chanel store and sent me off on my own.

I crossed the gardens to get the required picture of the Seine with the Eiffel tower in the background, from the Pont de la Concorde.


Then I hustled up the quai to the Pont du Carrousel for a similar treatment with the Île de la Cité.


I should have gone a bridge up for both of these river views,  but I had limited time. However, this was one of several times I had the transcendent feeling of how cool it was to walk as fast and far as I felt like.

Crossed back into the courtyard of the Louvre. If you go between the two colossal lines (This was at 10:30 am) you can get fairly close to the pyramid for that famous transparent view and not get your tripod in anybody's way. I saw several people quizzically look over Supper Club Shorty on top of my Manfrotto, but no one ever said anything.


Right near the museum are an arrangement of palatial garden standard geometrically trimmed hedges. I was initially put off by the green n'entrez pas tape, but then thought it gave it a bit of distinction in a John Pfahl sort of way. I was approached by a young woman who asked me where I was from and told me she was from Crimea.  She was, she said, soliciting funds and petition signatures for a Deaf School in Paris. "I have a deaf nephew," I told her.  I wouldn't be surprised if this was a beggar's scam, but I gave her two Euro. She never said anything about the camera either.


I was really impressed about how much stuff was still blossoming in October that far north, but then, the personnel that it took to maintain these places were usually visible somewhere in the park. They do a really nice job. It was interesting to see the ancient wooden rolling scaffolds to trim those hedges with. Didn't hear one gasoline power tool, either.


  Speaking of the workers who keep the garden neatly trimmed.


I passed this variation of the Farnese Hercules. I felt a sense of inclusion that there was an old man among all the nude sculptures.


Isn't this color bizarre?  It looks to me like infra-red.  But that's what it really looked like.  Again, kudos to those folks working the gardens.  (I moved the chair in the middle of the path)  During the exposure Sarah texted me that she was done and I scurried back to the hotel to hear the story.


The next morning, before they opened, we went past 31 Rue Chambon just to take a picture.


It was an unusually still day (Pinholers always notice the wind). I'm amazed that they keep these giant palms alive this far north, but it's a milder climate than we have in Wisconsin.


A tree I just thought looked French impressionist.


I'll conclude the whole Abroad series with two from Wisconsin to finish the roll.

The cats didn't destroy the house. Spenser was particularly clingy for weeks after we got home.


Sarah's treasures - safely home in the uniquely 31 Rue Chambon boxes - not destined to become cameras anytime soon.


Some with Supper Club Shorty. .27mm pinhole 35mm from 6x6cm frame on Kodak Ektar 100.  The rest with The Evil Cube. .3mm pinhole 6cm from 6x6cm frame on Kodak Portra 400.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Abroad: La Petite France

I only took my medium format cameras and tripod out a couple times while we were abroad.  One of these was in Strasbourg.

Virtually every street on the little island of La Petite France is an iconic historical European city view.


I remember the first time we were in Europe in 1981 practically every vertical surface was plastered with layers of posters of one kind or another. I didn't notice this at all this time except for this closed little shop.


One of those little grocery stores with the produce out on the street.


Florists also have displays on the street.


A particularly quaint and charming shop entrance.


The first photo with Supper Club Shorty. .27mm pinhole 35mm from 6x6cm frame on Kodak Ektar 100.  The rest with The Evil Cube. .3mm pinhole 6cm from 6x6cm frame on Kodak Portra 400.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Abroad: A Room with a View

I took two medium format cameras with me to Europe: The Evil Cube, and Supper Club Shorty - supported by my Bogen/Manfrotto 76B.

I only took them out with me on three occasions, but I used them for photographs of or out the windows of most of the places we stayed.

In Prague, we booked an AirBnB that had been the studio of prominent Czech painter and sculptor Zdenek Sputa, dominated by this great northern skylight.


It was full of artist tools.  He was very multimedia. These scissors were hanging from nails in the window sill.


More art paraphenalia: a few chunks of architectural stone and a frame leaned against the desk.


Sarah channeling the creative vibe.


Another AirBnB in Vienna, right across the street from the Ministry of National Defence and Sport, and again on the top floor of the building.

Looking directly across the street in the late afternoon.


Looking northeast later that evening.


Looking northwest the next morning in the rain.


We had a lovely view in Munich, but I only made one exposure and didn't pull the shutter all the way out and blocked three-quarters of the frame.  Sigh.

In Strasbourg, there was a bakery just across the street and just before sunrise, their workroom above the store, with several busy chefs, was the only light on.



A narrower view to the right a few minutes later that morning.


In Paris we had a great location, but the view out the window was of the interior courtyard, which did look nice from the breakfast room.


The Evil Cube was loaded with Portra 400.  Supper Club Shorty with Ektar 100.  I'll leave it to you to work out which was which.