Friday, October 26, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Last week suggested that photography changes were being considered. Pinhole photography was a possibility and a couple of examples were offered. Results looked good, so on Saturday, off to give it a go.
Returned to Spiceland, Indiana. Been over a year since last visit and discovered that changes have been made. Former Bank building - now city offices and library - had been repaired and re-open for use.
Nice new brickwork along with tasteful landscaping presents a clean - in keeping with the original design - upgrade. Community should be very proud.
Above photograph taken with digital camera of choice - Panasonic G-3. Result is exactly what was planed - fine color, good detail and sharp image. Traits that are important for me.
Converting the color photograph to black and white yields:
Still good detail, sharp and fine range of tones. Again characteristics that are valued in black and white photography.
Using a pinhole camera, the result is:
Way different. While the tonality is still rather acceptable, the good detail and sharpness are gone. This is, after all, a pinhole camera. Not good nor not bad, just different.
When photographing need to consider the subject and exactly what is important for its presentation. Among the many decisions are lens or lens less cameras, color or black and white; clarity - detail and/or sharpness - or not. Choices so that a "best" representation can be achieved. No one way for all.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Last week wrote about investigating new/different photographic opportunities. Suggested looking to the past to provide direction for the future.
The past week with its low temperatures and rainy days, gave time to consider the past and come up with a few ideas for the future. One result was not photography related and another was.
Went looking for some photographic film for one of the cameras. Now, have a great deal of black and white film in a small freezer. Probably more film than I can ever use - never know/be prepared and all that! Opening the freezer, found more ice than film. Time to defrost. This means every thing must be removed, freezer turned off, ice chipped loose and removed. After all that, the inside needs to be wiped down and allowed to dry. This drying is an overnight thing.
Decided might be a good time to see exactly what film is on hand. Over the years have used various sized formats. Hence, after sorting out the collection, there were piles of 35mm, roll, large format - 4x5 and 5x7 film. Photographic film is dated so that results can be assured. If the film is kept under cold conditions, its useful life can be extended. Much to my surprise, some 4x5 film was dated 1989 - over twenty years ago!! Good Grief. Was this stuff usable? Only one way to find out - try it and see if it works.
O.K. - How and in what way to test it? Recall- past leads to the future. Recall - keep it simple, direct, and honest. Answer: pinhole camera.
Note: a pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens and with a single small aperture –a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. Because a pinhole camera requires a lengthy exposure, its shutter may be manually operated, as with a flap made of light-proof material to cover and uncover the pinhole. Typical exposures range from 5 seconds to several hours.
Saturday afternoon there was a break in the cold/rainy weather, loaded a few 4x5 film holders and went off to test the 1989 film. First stop Rabbits Welding Shop. A standard - for me - testing site. Arrived, set up camera, measured light, determined exposure - 10 seconds - and made an exposure.
It worked! One of the "joys" of pinhole photography is the softness of the image. Some refer to it as dreamy. Needs a certain kind of subject to be effective - here we're just testing the film.
A bit further along the road and into the town of Economy, another chance to test out the film.
Again it worked. Might be something to this: use the past in the future.
Freezer is up and running again and filled with film. Keep out a bit if the 1989 film and loaded it into 4x5 film holders. This Pinhole Photography could turn out to be Plan B.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Monday, October 08, 2012
Summer is certainly over. The temperature this morning at the Today's Image World Headquarters was in the high 20's. Fall has arrived and winter seems not far behind. The wood fireplace is cranked up and heating the work space.
Time to plan for the coming seasons. Wandering around the Midwest is fine for the Fall. Will continue to photograph in the area as long as the weather holds up. Several new places on the travel list, as well as, returning to a few earlier locations.
When the weather changes - i.e. Winter - time for plan B. Usually this is when reviewing, organizing and editing images takes place. Also a good time to return to the darkroom and print images gathered over the summer months.
Winter is also a time to plan and prepare for the coming Spring and Summer. Whether to continue the ongoing project - Midwest - or to bring it to a close. Whether to investigate and perhaps begin new ventures.
Most of the recent photographs have been content driven. The subject is what is important. How and in what manner the communities and people of the Midwest are changing or not. Yes, there is decay but there is also growth. This decay/growth has been the driving force behind much of the recent images. Content driven, not materials or equipment driven.
Images can be material/equipment driven. This could be simply whether the image is black and white or is color. Whether the result was produced by analog or digital means. Each representation has its strengths and weaknesses.
Now photography is changing - big time. Cameras are being left behind. Smart phones, I-pods and hipster programs are common replacements. Photographic prints are rare. Images are viewed on an electronic platform. Don't see this changing. Rather believe that it will continue to expand.
Might be a time for some "Row Boat" thinking. In a row boat you make progress by looking backward. You don't see where you are going. You see where you have been.
Time for Plan B: Stop, Step Back and Rediscover. This could take many forms. Change content, materials, equipment or process. Return to an earlier way of working and expressing. For some this would mean - dare I write it - Old School. Not in a romantic way, but rather in an honest, direct and clear manner. Today with yesterday.
Have several directions in mind. Need to process and decide which path to follow. Still tuned, more to come.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Monday, October 01, 2012
On Sunday the bad news is that most stores and offices are closed. Am left looking in from the outside. Saturday finds most - if not all - businesses open.
Decided to return to Union City. Now this community sits on the Indiana and Ohio boarder. A part of the town is in Indiana and another part is in Ohio. For what it is worth, a single post office serves both sides. Go figure!
Not much has changed since my last visit. Being Saturday, a bit more folks/ traffic about. Stopped a couple of times by people asking what I was doing, aren't the buildings nice, are you working for the newspaper, and must see so and so, as well as such and such. About then recalled why Sunday was a "good" day to photograph. Oh, people have good intentions - the Midwest polite way - just tend to break up the photography.
Around mid-afternoon, enough already! Needed a break, and food seemed to be the way to go. Looked around then noticed a "Abarrotes Y Taqueria".
Mexican food is a favorite of mine. Walking in, it indeed was the real thing. Dark interior with no fancy lights, tables, or other wall hangings. Just a typical store/restaurant that could be found in rural Mexico. Heaven.
In the back was a grill staffed by a woman who spoke no English. Ordered in my limited Spanish. She looked at me, walked away, and found another woman that spoke English. Repeated the food request in English to her. She spoke to the cook - in Spanish - and told me would be ready in a few minutes.
Now a few minutes could be a few minutes or it could be several minutes or it might be longer. Time is not a constant, rather - depending where you are and with - time is a variable.
Opposite the grill a television showing, in Spanish, a Mexican League Soccer match. While the language was pretty much a mystery, the action on the field was not. Immediately absorbed by play on the field, trying to catch a few words of description, forgetting about food, time and photography.
Suddenly, from the cook, SENIOR!
After taking the food package, walked to the front, paid the English speaking woman, and headed for the car, thinking I would eat as I drove to the next location.
Opened the food package and immediately realized that there was no way to eat and drive. Too much food. Pulled over and consumed half of the order.
I have never had a better quesadilla. Might be something to this Saturday photography, especially if I return to Union City, Indiana/Ohio.