Tuesday, August 31, 2010

American Gothic

A few posts back, I had the privilege of making some prints of my family from some lost negatives. I don't know how but I forgot to post the best one.

 Like the other images from earlier posts, this image was made in the late 40s early 50s.  I don't believe the person who took the picture was thinking they were mimicking the American Gothic painting. Who knows? Maybe they were? Regardless. I presented this to my mother and she loved it. The copy now hangs in her living room.

Several years ago I picked up a No. 3 Buster Brown Box camera for a few bucks at an estate sale. It was made by the Ansco company and were mass produced in the early 1900s.  The camera is very simple in design with an bulb setting and an auto shutter setting which is somewhere around 1/25th of a second.  Today I decided to make a couple of images with it. I had a couple of extra sheets of paper that I use for printing left over to use as a negative.

ISO 3/ F 5.6 / 1/4 Second exposure.

 Once I figured out the ISO or speed of the paper and guessed at the aperture of the camera I was all set. I loaded the cut sheet paper (3.5 X 4.5 inches) in the camera under a safe light, then went outside and made an exposure.  I then returned to the darkroom unloaded the paper and developed it.( Result was a paper negative. Direct positive paper can be purchased but not necessary if you have a scanner and photoshop.) I like the results.

ISO 3/ F 4/ 30 Seconds

 I think down the road this camera will be useful to make some nice portraits but self portraits are out of the question because of the lenses focal length, one cannot be too close and open and close the shutter.  This exposure is not too bad the sweet spot for this camera looks to be about 7-8 feet by the item just behind my shoulder being in focus and is pretty sharp. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Town Hall

I have been looking for a couple of places to shoot more black and white images. I realized a couple of weeks ago I had been driving by one of them for several months. Just a little over a mile from where we live is the Stockton Town Hall. Originally built in 1877, it is a great place to shoot.  I hope someday to gain access and take a look inside . The hall has not been in use for quite some time. I was told the last time it was used was for voting and basically the only thing inside is voting equipment.

I do not understand the small windows on the backside of the building.  They are just big enough to put ones head through. Ventilation maybe? I will ask around and find out.

 Film grain is hard to beat.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Easy Targets

I got out this morning to shoot a roll of black and white film. The morning was nice and crisp for a change. I ventured out to a couple of places I wanted to visit but have not really had a chance to for some reason or another. 

This self-portrait was made with my digital camera. I am unable to make self portraits with my large and medium format cameras. I need to invest in a squeeze bulb that will give me several feet to make an exposure by squeezing air into a line to trip the shutter. I found this place by wandering around a park with my black and white goggles on. Seeing color is easy for us. Black and white on the hand is not so easy. As I write this entry, that roll I exposed this morning is drying. Once they dry I will be able to make some prints. There are a couple of images from the roll I feel will make good prints.  More to come...

One of the places I visited this morning was a railroad display near downtown.

This wagon has seen better days.  Makes one appreciate how much things have changed in the last 100 years.

As I was leaving the park I noticed some flowers that caught my eye as they swayed in the dappled light. These flowers towered above me creating a great background of  blue sky and clouds.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Burnt Image

In past posts I have mentioned that there is an image of a barn that eluded me due to my own neglect on a winters evening. Since then I have driven past it a couple of times. Last weekend caught me alongside the interstate camera in hand.

While I know that I cannot recreate that winter evening, this image leaves me satisfied.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gently Used

    Last winter, I purchased an old Ricoh camera for twenty bucks. In the camera case was a couple of lenses, flash,  light meter, and some filters. After looking through the contents of the case, I went to town and bought a battery that powers the light meter inside the camera. It worked. The light meter in the camera is like the one found in a Pentax K1000. A simple needle on the right hand side of the frame as one looks through the viewfinder. In hindsight, I wish I would have started photography classes with such a camera. I placed the camera back in the case and placed it upon a shelf in the garage where it sat until last month.

    My daughter, Megan, visited here last month and since we were developing film and making prints, I thought it would be perfect time to run a roll through the camera. Early one morning while Megan slept, I pulled out the camera and cleaned it up a little and loaded a roll of T-max black and white film and out into the yard I went. Here are a couple of results from that roll.

Colorado Blue Spruce.

The Ricoh did okay and I am satisfied with the results. The only drawback I found with the camera is the mirror hits really hard when the shutter is released.  A tripod or monopod needs to be used with this camera. Did I use one for these pictures? What do you think?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Bride

We were leaving. I walked past them. I knew there was only one way to get where they were going. I paused. Click. Done. The whole time leading up to the image once I walked past them. Less than a minute.


Last month my daughter, Megan, came to visit. We had a blast hanging out.

This was a lot of fun. Megan and I went though the entire process from loading film, taking pictures, developing film, and then making prints.

Movie Night.  What a blast. 

Summer Night

A couple of nights ago went out to try to get a picture of the Northern Lights. They had been fore-casted for our area. I enjoyed being out there. I spent about three hours total waiting for a glimpse of something I have never witnessed. So while I waited I made some exposures.


I live about seven to eight miles from town and still have some light pollution. I waited but never saw them. Next time I will scout a better location for the event before-hand. Something with a better view.