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Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day Today!

If the date in your timezone is the 28th day of April, then it’s WPPD. Get your pinhole camera(s) loaded with film (if you haven’t already) and make some pinhole photographs! It’s HIP, it’s FUN and you will LOVE the photographs made!
Once developed/appreciated/printed/scanned you can upload your best here:
http://www.pinholeday.org/

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First Prints

Darkroom Prints

The first prints from my darkroom, drying in the bathroom.

So, the darkroom is mostly completed, apart from getting the plumbing connected up. I have managed to spend a few creative hours testing my skills as a print-maker. I hope to improve with time, but was quite pleased with the results I obtained for my first few prints. I managed not to waste too much paper!

Darkroom Project… continued

Darkest (Room) Desires Revisited

darkroom-to-be-1Ever since, well, a long time, I have wanted to enlarge and develop my own prints… the old fashioned way, in a darkroom, using traditional techniques, chemicals, enlargers, etc etc
A couple of years ago (damn, was it a couple of years ago already?) my friend Paul and a few other friends got together and converted Paul’s kitchen into a darkroom to develop prints for an up & coming joint exhibition which you can read about that & see a time-lapse of the (dim) action here: The Kitchen Darkroom That was so much fun that after that I had all the best intentions of converting a small, unused room at my house into a proper darkroom…

darkroom-to-be-2 This small room was originally intended (by the people who lived in our house prior) to be a small en suite I think, it had a sink and an exhaust fan, but not much more. Best of all it had no external light sources. Of course we used it for ‘storage’ a term that basically is a euphemism for a ‘junk room’…
I had to remove the existing sink and build a suitable bench support for a new, longer sink. I had an old sink from a previous kitchen renovation. I have been told the chemicals will wreck the stainless steel over time, but I don’t have access or funds for an alternative, so will either cover it with plastic when in use or…I don’t know. I suppose I could fibreglass it…
darkroom-to-be-3
Apart from putting the sink in, I also had to make a bench for the enlargers to sit on. I don’t think I will have enough room for any other bench space as the room is a glorified closet, really. But there is enough room for a bench and the sink, with storage available underneath these and on the walls if I put in some shelves… that will suffice. I decided that the cupboard that sat underneath the original sink could be used underneath the new sink, so simply built some supports for the longer length of the new sink. I then started making a suitable bench from some spare timber we had stored for projects like these.
…(to be continued)

Staged Photographs

valley1

I may have mentioned this before, but I like to listen to Radiolab. It is one of the most interesting programs I know of, usually covering an eclectic array of topics with fantastic editing and sound design to boot. I hadn’t listened to it for a while so while the other night my wife was on nightshift I sat back and listened to one of their latest offerings. My interest was immediately engaged because they started a discussion surrounding a very famous photograph called “In the Valley of the Shadow of Death” taken in 1855 during the Crimean War by photographer Roger Fenton, and the search for the actual facts surrounding that photograph by a very determined man named Errol Morris. I won’t go into the whole story as it is so well narrated in the Radiolab episode, but it seems that (as we already know these days) even in the early days of photography, things are not always what they seem. The part I really liked was when the concept of truth as perceived by the photographer came up, albeit briefly. All very philosophical. You can listen to the podcast here

valley2

Negative Thoughts

Drying Time
After finishing a second colour roll of film in my Yashica FX-D camera (the other roll sitting on my shelf for a month or two), I decided to develop some film for the first time in a while… although I wasn’t sure if my chemicals were still viable, so instead of wasting two rolls of 35mm in non-viable soup (thats nerdy film developers slang for their developing chemicals kids) I made a ‘test’ shot to develop. Thankfully that developed OK so yesterday I went ahead and ended up with two strips of negatives hanging in the bathroom, drying & waiting to be scanned in.
The ‘test’ shot, a still life of my guitar, was taken on one 4×5 neg of Ektar using my Big Cheese Razzle.
Test Shot

Out Of My Element

I took this photo with my iPhone and ‘instagrammed it’ – which is basically applying filters post capture to give it some of the characteristics that I love from my use of film & toy cameras (which I did not have on hand at the time) I instantly felt it was one of the best photographs I have made this year… yes, the puffer fish was deceased. It was on the pier at Rosebud, no doubt discarded by a fisherman earlier.

Tales From The Event Horizon

TALES FROM THE EVENT HORIZON (VI)

Into the Vortex! ~ It begins! Having skimmed over the surface of the event horizon we slip lower into the whirlpool of energy that will take us through the horizon and towards the singularity…

*Note: ‘The Event Horizon’ series of images came from some expired packs of SX-70 film that I found – some of the film was sort of OK, some so old the batteries in the film cassette were flat. In a dark room, I broke open some of the old cassettes and manually re-inserted the film into ‘fresh’, used SX-70 cassette (in which the batteries were thankfully still OK). The camera tended to spit out 2 at a time with a distinctly abstract flavour when I took a shot, but the results were manipulable!) I put together a whole series of these expired, manipulated Polaroids to make up a story, which developed into “Tales of The Event Horizon” and uploaded them to Polanoid.net over the course of a few months back in 2005. I was reminded of them whilst reading a thread on the monome.org community forum, so put them together for my amusement. here

Light Leaks and Demolished Factories

Old Factory GateHouse

Old Factory GateHouse in Newport, taken with a light-leaking Lubitel 166 – this factory is now demolished.

Are You Listening?

Finished at around 0:125hrs last night – My contribution to the Monome Community Resampling Project #13 – the one with all the obsolete media. I made a video earlier documenting my attempts at capturing mysamples for this, it was fun, but I would have liked to have completed it a bit more professionally, but I guess that will come with experience, hopefully! Thanks to all the great monome community members who submitted samples and especially to kinetic monkey, our curator for this particular project.

…and here is the whole project compilation: