The Man of Steel and Other Such Heroes

This evening marked the kick-off of Long Shot, the Photo Centers NW annual fundraiser in which hundreds of photographers from around the world shoot for 24 hours, and later the prints are auctioned off.

I had grand plans for the 24 hours when I signed up a month ago, but my life seems to have run away from me again and I am spending the 24 hours of Long Shot with my in-laws. and so I grabbed my iphone with it’s toy camera app, and my wife’s camera with the hipstamatic app and the Holga lens filter/ adapter for the iphone, and am spending the next 24 hours taking photos of my 24 hours with the in-laws.

First stop? The comic book store. Where I got some fun shots, and picked up Kick-Ass 2 while I was there. Lesson learned? Find inspiration where ever you can.

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It’s good to have friends who like the same kind of coffee I do…

while I wait for my film to be developed (I spent the weekend finally finishing up test rolls for film for 2 old cameras), I am spending some time continuing to go though and organize film and photos. The more I spend time with the roll of film that I soaked in baking soda and boiling water and ran through the 35mm holga, the more I am attracted to the effects. Here is a shot of the typewriter I gave Jonathan, with a can of chicory and coffee in the background. That sounds mighty delicious, so I think I shall go make myself a cup.

Southern Fields

“Within the scope of a couple of generation prior to 1870 much of the southern cypress and lowland cedar resources were laid to waste, mush of it never to be regenerated to anything approaching the virginal state. It is still possible in secluded coves in parts of the Appalachia to see the outlines of walnut and chestnut stumps that stretch the imagination, to conceive of the massive trunks that once sprang up from the woodland floor. Many of these decaying shells linger as grim monuments to the ravages of man and his wanton fires.”

– The Greening of the South, P.6

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Well, I have chosen 18 images which I am willing to work with for this project. When my cohort returns from her latest globe-trotting, we’lll see if she agrees with me and we can proceed, or we’ll sit down and hash out the images together. We are already having a healthy debate on sizes, so it only makes to add another. She wants 6-8 80×80 prints. I on, the other hand, want 6 60×60’s with 9 20×20’s. We shall see, we shall see. In the meantime, here are 4 of the 18 I am contemplating. The scans aren’t great by any means, but they will have to do for the time being.

A few months ago I picked up a 35mm Holga BC on a whim (because, you know, having anything less than half a dozen Holga cameras just isn’t in my nature…) and have been running around snapping pictures in 35mm. Which I haven’t even used in the last few years, but it’s fun and damn cheaper than developing 120. Here’s one of my faves from the film I’ve shot in the camera in the last few months.

Cougar Mountain (Holga Pinholes)

Old railroad tracks and river at Cougar Mountain

Pinhole photograhy always fascinated me. To strip down all he bells and whistles and simply be left with a container that is otherwise light tight, apart from the light that enters through a hole that was made with a pin, and to be able to make images from such a primitive apparatus, is pretty effing cool. We don’t need lenses to make a photography, we just need patience.

See, because the hole a light must pass through in a pinhole camera is so small, patience is a must when shooting. Exposures in bright light can take 4-7 seconds, low light can take up to 20-60 seconds, ad night photography? Well, that’s whole other ball game. If you are lucky, your pinhole might be comparable to an f-stop of 64 (you can generally achieve this by using a beading needle if you are making your own pinhole camera) and you could use a light meter to get a estimate on your exposure time. Sadly, that’s not often the case and exposure times can be a bit of a guessing game.

Perhaps later we shall discuss the mechanics of making a pinhole camera, but today I simply wanted to share my latest adventure. I finally took the plunge and started shooting color in my Holga pinhole. Don’t ask me why I’ve only been shooting black and white film all these years, I really have no answer… but when the first really nice day of late spring hit the Pacific northwest, my wife and I went out to Cougar Mountain to hike the old railroad, which has long since fallen back into natures clutches, and is barely discernible. We hiked for 3 hours, and went less than a mile. That’s patience.

Waterfall at Cougar Mountain. The orange is from the iron in the area left over from the railroad work.

It ain’t all analogue…

This weekend we went across the mountains to the eastern side of the state. and I mean waaaaay eastern, like, almost Idaho. I packed my 35mm Holga, and a 120, but alas, the trip was so sort (we were only in town about 30 hours…) and we were working (well, I was volunteering) at Spokane pride, we didn’t get a chance to explore or hike or even stand on the bridge at the falls, and I didn’t even get to shoot one analogue picture. What I did end up getting was a wicked sunburn (on one side of my body) and one picture taken from my Hipstamatic app. So now I look weirdly pink on one side, and I have a nice little picture from our trip.

Near Moses Lake, WA. SXSW, Pistil.

While I don’t use the Hipstamatic for anything but my own mementoes, as I think the quality is to poor for any prints of a decent size, I do think it’s a fun photo app for the iPhone, one of the best for “iPhoneography,” and I hope it makes people interested in the vintage and toy cameras that inspired the app.