Monday, October 15, 2012
Monday Morning Coffee: Plan B -Take 1
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.