Archive for December, 2009

December
2nd 2009
Pinhole. Slightly meh.

Posted under Photography

Developed a bunch of black and white film the other day. It was mostly stuff from vacation, including all of the black and white 4×5 negatives that I took with the Exposed pinhole camera. There are a few issues. First of all, it seems like I got a light leak on about half of the photos along one corner.

Arches, with flair!

Not exactly sure what happened there. I’ll just have to do a test seeing what’s better to use – my cushy backing or my non-cushy backing. (Cushy pictured below) I used the non-cushy for the test shots I took before we left, but the cushy while actually on vacation. Maybe it’s better left un-cushyfied.

Back of the Exposed Camera

Besides the lens flare and my occasional developing FAIL (there is no good that can come of stuffing too many sheets of 4×5 into the dark box), I wound up being just a wee bit disappointed in the pinhole shots.

Remains

Park Avenue?

They’re just too mundane. Too normal. There is a slight softness of focus that I like, but I think my problem is that I used too long of a focal length. I should have cut it in half, at least. Sure, that would have made the camera unstable to the point where I’d probably have to use a little tripod with it for every picture, but then I would have started to get some of the weirdo distortion that I really like in pinhole pics.

The only one of the pinhole pictures I took with this camera that actually starts looking like a pinhole picture is this one:

Flower and lake

And, eh. It’s okay. Not spectacular.

My other problem with these pinhole pictures are what I was taking pictures of. As always, I got overwhelmed by scenery and cameras and was all, “Ack! Must take pictures!” without actually putting much thought into what I was taking a picture of, and what camera I was using. Pictures of distant scenery taken with this pinhole camera look pretty much like pictures of distant scenery taken with any camera.

More at Arches

(Although probably any other cameras wouldn’t imprint alien comet streaks on the picture).

Pinhole pics have the really cool ability to focus on things that are both up close and far away at the same time.

Willow with leaves and flare

And of course, for the most part, I completely forgot this while I was on vacation (except in the above photo with the flower and the lake).

So, in short, I’m kind of a dumbass. But even with all of that being said, I still do like this camera. I’m not going to tear it apart to build a more distorty one – I’ll just make another camera that’s more distorty, since this one works fine. I really do like the softness of it.

Docks

Also, I haven’t developed any of my E6 4×5 pics from this camera yet. I took a bunch, but I probably won’t get enough new E6 developer in until after Christmas. So it’s entirely possible that the slide pics taken with this camera will be rockin’ like Dokken. The only slide pic I’ve taken with it so far as been of Poe:

Poe trial

As much as I like Poe, I’m not sure that’s a good indicator or how mountains and mesas are going to show up in my slide vacation pics.

The black and white pics were taken with a combination of Arista.edu 100 and Kodak Tmax 100 film. I developed them using HC110b that I mixed straight from the syrup (for the first time!). I think I underdeveloped most of the film, though – everything came out a little low contrasty. That’s not that big of a deal, since all I had to do was adjust my levels a little in Photoshop. I think the reason for this is that I was working at a low temperature – the developer was about 64 degrees, and I think I need to jack that up a little for next time. It’s winter, and we’re keeping our thermostat at a little higher than that, so maybe next time I develop black and white I’ll bump the thermostat up to about 70 during developing time. It’ll be like summer!

And speaking of HC110b, I ran across this page that was chock full of information about the developer. That’s where I got the numbers to use for mixing the B solution from syrup, since making up a big batch of the concentrate is just kind of a pain in the ass. More interesting, though, is the suggestion near the bottom of the page that HC110 can be used in a monobath to develop film. I’ve never experimented with anything like that before, but it basically develops *and* fixes at the same time! Lunacy! Anyway, I want to try it. I don’t have Ilford’s rapid fixer, but I may give it a go with what I have. The note says it may be beneficial when developing old films because the fixer would give it anti-fog action. I currently have some older films I need to try and develop, so…

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