Archive for March, 2009

My Oldest Camera.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by yammerman

As a member of the rather fine Rangefinder forum have been taking part in a One Camera One Lens Challenge. This involves using only one camera with a fixed focal length for a period of two weeks. This provides a discipline that I and I suspect many other members of the forum rarely indulge in. I can move from digital to 5×4, from Nikon to Bronica all in the space of one day. So to use exclusively for two weeks, just one camera and lens is indeed something of a challenge.

For my part after much agonising I chose a camera I have had sitting on the shelf for at least a year. My research shows it to be a Rolleicord I Model 2 from 1936 making it the oldest camera I own. I bought it despite already owning a Rolleiflex 3.5F because it was going cheap as the owner wasn’t sure if it was working. When it arrived I dismantled it thinking it would die in my fumbling hands but it was of such stunning simplicity that even I couldn’t screw it up. I think I just gave it a clean and mumbled a few incantations and back to life it came.. I put a couple of rolls through but couldn’t figure out how to wind on the film correctly and became dispirited. I came across it recently and it always gets me thinking as I hold it, what pictures it may have taken in its life. This time I bothered to Google “loading a rolleicord” and photo.net provided the answer. As this coincided with the Rangefinder challenge I decided it would be my chosen camera for the next two weeks.

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I’m about half way through the challenge now and I’ve shot about 5 rolls of Ilford HP5+, all around Penarth and the Pier. Only got about six shots on the first roll because of a quirk involving the counter. It will not count if I am focused on infinity when I wind Judging by the first roll, the film still winds but because the numbers don’t move you have no idea where to stop. I’m not sure this is a result of my fixing or just the way it works. Anyway since understanding this everything has been grand and I’m getting 12 lovely 6×6 frames per roll. One of the rolls has some creases in the film which is a pain and I’m not sure if that was an in camera or processing fault.

I’ve been developing them in Xtol 1+1  8mins @21 degrees and then scanning at 1200 on an Epson V700. I messed about in PhotoshopCS2 and Lightroom 2.2 last night and by midnight had discovered portrait/landscape cropping option of the 6×6 frame. Anyway here are  some of the shots I’ve been messing about so far.

rolleicord3352

                                                                                                                              I have discovered that the Rolleicord is very unobtrusive and have taken more people pictures  than I would have expected. I like this but   I wish I hadn’t crashed the bench into the bottom of the frame. The Rolleicord screen is somewhat darker than the Rolleiflex  and in certain lighting conditions I’ve found it difficult to frame.

rolleicord354Who can resist a reflection in a puddle.

rolleicord348 I discovered I could put the Rolleicord down  and gain stabilty.

rolleicord3772 Took this yellow lines in the same vein 

 

 Hope to shoot a few more rolls yet and at least the process is teaching me to use Lightroom and the dark art that is scanning negatives.

Thats me done.

Works In Progess

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2009 by yammerman

mb-logoPrompted by my successful uploading to this blog I thought it was time I did a little bit of work on my website  http://secretidentity.co.uk/. I am a somewhat reluctant occupier of cyberspace as having spent 10 years fixing computers I have an aversion to sitting in front of a screen, unless it involves spending money on secondhand cameras on Ebay.  Had a site for several years and it did  function in a kind of way but I managed to screw it up in a moment of inspired administration.  I have music, drawings and photos that deserve a monument, so that future generations can marvel how such talent could have been so tragically ignored in its own time.

I set about understanding the process for the 3rd or 4th time as my mind appears to have a half life of about an hour as far as any software is concerned. My host is http://www.1and.co.uk  who have been taking my money for years while sniggering up their sleeves at my lack of use.  All the software is there to build a website but its like building with lego while wearing mittens. It has an autosave feature that I trusted when I went to dinner last night only to come back to find it had chucked me out and whoops forgot to save my work. If when reading the music section you detect some tension and lack of my usual humour it is only me failing  to recreate the masterful prose of a few hours earlier. It would seem I might have to invest in some web design programme not written by the kids who finished bottom of the class in computer studies.  All in all I’d rather be bathing under red light and listening to the taps gurgle  in the darkroom.

But no matter I continued to upload and battle the unintuitive Website Builder until at least part of my musical history could be available to the masses online. Reports back suggest that while it works for me my fanbase may experience some problems gaining access to these pearls of wisdom.  Still if the grimreaper allows me sufficient years I may yet knock it into the definitive record of my creative life.

The Pictures section is a tad light and at the experimental stage. I am currentlly scanning negatives a chore of major league tediousness,  in the hope of putting a few of my Projects online.  First though I thought I better figure how to stick one on here so this is a section of door.

door

This was part of my Jubilee Lane project but don’t worry this didn’t make the final cut as I found more interesting doors  than this.

A Beginning

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2009 by yammerman

A dilettante finds a new thing. Perhaps it could become the perfect monument to a mind and body that drifts. Here’s to the half cock, half baked and half arsed creative soul. I have indulged in all manner of imaginative pursuits with much enthusiasm and all the skill of a slapdash technocrat. Hear the songs see the pictures read the words and understand the tottering house of cards that is my creative process.

I currently investigate alternative photography and am assembling a rather fine library of publications. The latest being “Pinhole Photography by Eric Renner” a rather glossy publication as was “Spirits of Salts by Randall Webb & Martin Reed“. The chemicals used in these processes if not handled correctly could shorten your life or lead to blindness. The fact I put salt on my strawberries yesterday instead of sugar is a small clue that I may be at risk in this area. I am currently researching respirators and goggles.

Naturally at this stage I imagine the grand art I am yet to produce. Those immaculate prints full of tone and beauty that harp back to the pioneering days of Fox Talbot and others. When in reality they are likely to be smudged, out of focus and the subject barely discernable. While all the time I wonder what that strange rash is that I am developing on my arm. Ah but the process will be such fun.

Before I start its tea, toast the Guardian and Charlie Parker truly I am a genius.