tirsdag 20. november 2018

Finally back home, thank you very much!

Actually been home for a few days as it happen. I've just been a bit busy, and have not had too much time for the things I really like to play around with. 
That said, I'm just out of the darkroom after finally getting some spare time to kill, and it's 01.32 in the morning. Time flies when you got stuff like that to do, but of course you know everything about that already. 
Also I've had a few films developed some time last week. Most of them seem to have come out good enough for my standards, so that's great really. 
Printed a couple of the latest negs this evening, but I'm rusty as heck to be honest. Made all sorts of beginner mistakes with both filters, apertures, timer and what on earth have we. 
I'm sure it will be better at some point tomorrow. 

I'm also working on this new darkroom timer. I'm not absolutely sure I can make it, to be honest, because it involves some sort of damn micro-controller-puterthing-programming... and I'm not too sure I can cope with it. We will see, but I might just invest some time into the thing as I'm also investigating the possibility of installing leds in my enlarger. In that case I need to program the damn micro controller no matter...
Anyway, it's not going to be a showstopper for any printing as I already got a very useable enlarger using the normal bulb and the condensers. Would be great to be able to use it as a diffuser as well, but as I said... we will have to wait and see. Probably for some time...

Nothing much more to say right now, as it's too far into the next day already. 
I give you a scan of one of the recent films just for now, and hope to see you again very soon! 
It's a lousy snap of a castle we've seen before, and the development of the film didn't flow well either, by the way. Got some sort of bubbles of foam inside the tank which obviously did do some harm on the film surface itself. 
It's not exactly the end of the world, though. 

Oh yes, we had a couple of grey days there over in Scotland. We're pretty used to it though, so no big deal at all. A nice pile of stone, this one!!

onsdag 7. november 2018


Not that it's particularly hot or anything. It's the ship doing what we call steaming, towards shore and Rio de Janeiro and me going home. I will not even try to ask any of you how good you might think that is, as I don't know any of the fully right expressions in english to properly describe the feeling to give you a decent answer anyway.

It's been one of those days, for some blokes reason. Can't and won't even start on that on here. You would get bored, and I would probably get into some sort of trouble. So I leave it be, but still it turned out to be one of those days. You know. 
Didn't even get the time to snap a single frame, I think. Only dealing with stuff related to the above, and then pack my bag which is extremely small and go grab my laundry from downstairs. Oh, and I also went to the bridge to get my passport. They keep them up there, probably to really make us feel trapped for seven weeks. No reason to bother thinking about getting anywhere else as long as your passport is hidden well inside a blue door somewhere tucked down in a cardboard box, is it?

The snaps in this post has no other function besides breaking things up a bit. They are all terrible scans of negs taken in a rather windy place over in Denmark. It was good though, like all windy places near the ocean tends to be. At least that's my experience. Nice beaches as well over there.

I packed my cameras as well. Checked the fridge for the last time, and came to the same conclusion as last time. I need to bring more film for the next trip to work. 
Ordered a bunch of empty film canisters yesterday, from over in England somewhere. Ought to be good I hope. At least they should be better than my old Ilford cans as they really start to show signs of too much use these days. I wanted to try plastic this time. I know I used to have a few of them back in the days, but they must have been thrown away somewhere years ago. At least I can't find them anymore, but then again there's a lot of other stuff I can't find anymore either. That's the sort of things happening when you move around a bit up through the years. Things tend to disappear. 
Some times it's nothing to worry about, other times you'll just be happy for something getting lost, and lots of times you don't even know things are missing until years have passed. Other times you come back to it from time to time and start wondering again and again where it might be right now. I have done that enough with the film cartridges, and my old film loader. They are gone! 
I loaded a few rolls of film some time ago using only a dark room and a thing to hold the bulk spool of film. Worked out well enough, but it's cumbersome and a bit tedious work. You have to measure out the length of the film in total darkness of course, which is the trickiest part of the fun. Nah... I have given up that sport and bought myself a new film loader. Besides, it is of course the only way to find your old one, to buy a new. It has not happened yet, though. 

Another one from the same area as above, but a bit further to the north and east this time, but not by far. Nothing is far in Denmark, as you might guess. 

I ordered paper as well, as a matter of fact. RC paper this time. 8x10 to hopefully get one of my big projects for 2019 started. My so called "archive" is really falling to bits. Not that it has ever been good or anything, but the last time I wanted to print a neg I had to search for a couple of hours or so before I found the right one tucked well away inside one of the too many folders containing old memories. So, I'm going to take some time to start doing contact sheets of the lot. I got a few of that sorts from earlier in life, but I have not been making them for a long time and I know I have to start somewhere to get where I want. Contact sheets are definitely something that will help me. I also have to try date my films the best I can, but that will not be the easiest thing believe me. I might still be able to make out the chronology, which will of course be better than nothing. 
And then there actually are parts of the "archive" dated and numbered, but far from all of it. 
I really like to use contact sheets, but usually when I get the time to slide inside the doors to the darkroom I want to start printing, not doing the boring stuff. And then I forget all about making a contact sheet at the end of the session, of course. 
But now I will be starting the big job for sure. The good thing about it is that I probably will find a few nice and maybe printable negs in the process which might be worth honing my skills at in the darkroom. 

Same pile of old concrete from a different angle. At least I guess they didn't have to travel far away to find enough sand to build that thing.

Well, my camera bag is packed at I have already told you. It contains three cameras, two of them which is already loaded with film. There are also two passports and a seaman book hidden away in there. There's a few rolls of exposed films as well, and probably an extra wide angle lens for the rangefinders, and some other bits and bobs. I will keep the two loaded cameras ready at hand as we travel to the airport tomorrow. It might be worth it for all we know. 
The blog will probably not be updated the next couple of days. I can't see me bothering writing anything on the airplane unless I'm getting really, really bored. It's a 12,5 hrs. flight from Rio to Amsterdam though, so you never know of course. 
Still I will probably struggle with the uploading, so I might just as well leave it be. 
I'll be back some day soon though, so please stay tuned and I see you around this place then. 

tirsdag 6. november 2018

Strachan 3 --->

Sometimes when doing the sorts of work I'm supposed to do, you find yourself laid up for a few days in something which on a good day might go for a walking distance away from a town or a village or whatever. Sometimes this day may fall on a Sunday, and sometimes you got nothing better to do but go for a walk all by yourself just to get away from whatever is going on at work. Sometimes you just have to go for a walk anyway, even though the ship seems to be just about to flip over and the work is piling up in loads in front of you. 
That's just what happened this day, as far as I remember anyway. It's years ago, actually, but I still remember this stroll along dead streets quite well believe it or not. It did me good.

This one has never been printed, and never posted anywhere either. I was looking through the archives to find something interesting, and came up with this one. I got no particular idea why, but I think it might be because of the patterns of the shades of gray inside it. You might see what I'm talking about, or you may not. 

And I got no further comments about this one...

And yes, it's from up there in Peterhead, Scotland. Of course. 
I've been there a lot, and got one or two snaps of the place. This happens to be one of them. 

mandag 5. november 2018

See, they listen

I'm a member of the local photo club. Or camera club, or whatever.
It might sound like a confession of some sort, and partly it is, but I also got a reason or two for doing it. First of all that's all I "do" when I'm at home. OK, a truth with quite a few modifications, but at least that's all I'm doing that most people would be able to refer to as a slight proof of me trying to have some sort of social relationship with somebody else but the closest family. That's also a truth with quite a lot of modifications, but still I'm probably not too visible to most people when I'm at home and away from the sea. Nobody I really know are making a big fuzz of it either, as they know my job requires not only a few sacrifices through a normal year. Many, as it happens.
Anyway, to get my back ends out of the house sometimes I thought I might just as well join the photo club rather than the gardening club or something like that. Just so I would have a slight idea about what to answer should anyone think it would be wise to throw a question into my direction or something. 
But enough of that, and over to more of the same.

It's a great collection of snappers among the members in there, even though the majority are only busy collecting pixles when pointing their cameras all around the place. The only person I've been talking to yet, who is also having a bit more than just the usual historical interest in working with film, would be the polish girl. A young individual of the sorts she is, mind, but that just makes it better me thinks. I like young people trying film, and I can't deny that little fact. 
There's a meeting in this club every first Monday each month, but I miss most of them, of course. Normally I will maybe attend 3 or 4 meetings each year, which of course is not very good if you're still thinking this is the only time I'm close to having a social relationship with people. I assure you again, it's not the entire truth about that matter. 
It's a great club, obviously, because members are winning nice prizes and such. Getting their names mentioned in big books and all sorts, which is great I think. I have not had my name, or any of my snaps for that matter, printed in the book yet. 
First step is to enter something, obviously. I never really even get to that point, normally. One day I might find something I feel like throwing in, should I at any point find myself to have made a decent enough print, and then it will be the issue with work of course. There are time limits, you know, and good old Murphy's law will most likely also have a finger deep into that matter. I'm over 50 now, so I can assure you I'm old enough to be able to say something about things like that. 

So what do I do to look important when I finally attend one of the monthly gatherings every now and then? Well, I try to listen to a few of the things being said or told for a start, and then I usually put in my vote for the best picture of the evening. I never seem to vote for the right one though. A different snap will always win for some odd reason. 
And I usually bring a camera. This time when the snap below was snapped, probably a year and a half ago or so, I think I brought a Nikon F3 or something like that. At least it was a good one no doubt, and I snapped up this trio. A trio of artists, to tell you the full truth about it. It's the polish girl, the lawyer and another guy which I'm not at all quite sure about the origins of. But he's a great photographer anyway. And I mean great. The same thing goes for the lawyer as well, selling big artsy snaps combined with paintings stuff sort of things. 
And then there's the polish girls snaps, which are just in a league of their own in my opinion. I don't know if she's won any prizes either, but she should have I can assure you. I know for a fact she won a very nice stipend over in Poland some years ago. Oh yes, she's educated in this field we are talking about and everything. 
Anyway, I sort of dozed off and looked away from what was going on up there at the podium, and used about 1/60 sec. of my life to make this one. 
It's not going to win any prizes either of course, but at least I got it saved. Right there inside my archives, on some film or the other.

See? They Listen!

søndag 4. november 2018

Saturday night (not at the movies though...)

And still out here in the middle of nowhere. Makes your mood a wee bit darker than it will be one week from now, I hope. 
I found this snap dug deep inside my archives somewhere. It seemed to fit pretty well, to be honest.

Diamonds on my windshield...

I managed to almost fill up my roll of Rollei 120 format film, factory oomphed to 400 level, with snaps during the day. Actually I think there's only one single frame left on it, but by tomorrow evening I would think it should be all gone. A good feeling for sure, as if you don't know that already. I used the Diana F+, as that's the only camera around this ship using that sort of film at the moment. Actually there's a few pinhole cameras I could have loaded up, of course, but bringing the exposed film home from Brazil is only going to give me a lot of hassle on the airport, so I leave it be. 

Talking about pinhole cameras; Years ago, maybe 5 or so, I bought a few "precision drilled" pinholes from somewhere. Probably on the foreign auction site on the interweb or something. 
Well, whatever! Today I thought I'd just turn my small traveling bag for photographic related stuff on it's head and have a good look through it, and whaddayaallknow and such... there they were. Neatly and very well hidden inside some totally secret pocket or something for sure, but still there they were after all those years. I might even go home and have one or two of them tested, if I don't manage to throw them away by accident before I'm on the flight from Rio to Amsterdam wednesday evening. 
I'll make sure to let you know if they work. The holes, that is.
Oh, and I just gave myself a promise to clear out the internals of all my photo bags every 5 years or so from now on. There might be other gems hidden, for all we know. 

lørdag 3. november 2018

It's late, again

It's late Friday evening. Soon the last weekend on board the ship is gone, and I have to get my stuff together and leave for home. It's a lovely thought to just hang on to for a few moments.
The last few days of a trip is more or less only routine work you need to get done to make life a bit easier for my back to back. He who is soon about to pack his bag and leave his nice little home out there on one of the many Faroe isles and head south. Good luck with that, may I say.

Somewhere in Scotland a few years back. Seems like a little lifetime ago sitting on board the vessel over here in Brazilian waters. I would rather be up there, walking the abandoned country roads, camera in hand talking to stray sheepdogs and snapping outbuildings like this one. Different surroundings, very different people. And different dogs too, just saying.

I checked the fridge in my cabin earlier this evening. Only two rolls left of 135 format Ilford FP4+ in there. I will probably load up one of the rangefinders for the trip home, leaving only one roll left in there. Looks like I need to bring a few rolls next time then. 
There were plenty of 120 format film hidden in there however, so I loaded up the Diana F+ with a roll of some 400 ASA Rollei film I got a while ago and walked down to shoot a couple of snaps in the engine control room. I'll save the rest of the frames on the roll for the next couple of days. See if I can find something half interesting on the bridge or somewhere. Maybe on deck, or in the ROV control room. There's probably always something happening to waste some film on, somewhere. Even out here.
I very rarely use Rollei film for some reason. Never really got the hang of the developing side of that stuff. I brought with me a slow roll of it when snapping a set of wedding pictures not too long ago. I mean what in the world was I thinking? Luckily I also had a couple of rolls of FP4 in the bag, which sort of saved my back end of course. Sometimes you would be far better off by attaching your brains to the rest of your body before leaving home, actually. 

Here they are, the happy couple. Snapped on the english film, not the Rollei Retro thing. Done with the huge Mamiya camera and everything. Not the best of light conditions under these trees, mind you, but they got what they wanted even though I should have taken a couple of extras just in case. But they will be happy with the prints anyway. I promise!

I'll leave you all to it. You're probably asleep anyway, most of you.
And if not, at least I'm sleeping quite soon, by the feel of this aging body. 
Take care!

fredag 2. november 2018

Looking for that little something, again

There's probably at least a couple of ways to do this.
You may either choose to sit down and wait for something to happen, or you can actually try to find it floating around somewhere.
Inspiration, that is.
You probably know what I'm talking about, because from what I hear and read it seems to be a thing we all seem to lack from time to time. Some more often than others, of course.
Me, myself, I'm looking for something doing some sort of "kick-my-bottoms" thing while at the same time I'm holding a camera.
It's not the easiest thing to find around this place, on board a ship for seven weeks in a row. Not that I'm looking for something to snap a lot out here at sea, but it would be nice to have an idea of a decent project to start when you get home. A loose plan like, you know.

They decided to drill a huge hole in the mountain a few years ago. Just as well, me thinks, because the center of town used to be filled up with cars and noise all the time. Nowadays most of them just disappear into the hole, being kept away from the streets. Most of them, of course. Not all!

Some tiny but maybe nice little idea crept into my brains about a week ago, and I've been trying to think a few things through since then. I seem to have filled quite a few pages inside my notebook about it and all. Not that my words will help me much in the end I guess, but at least it looks good in some sort of strange way.
You see I've been listening to some music lately. Of course I have been listening to those same records more or less since I was 10 or 12, so it's nothing new believe me, but this time it might be different anyway.
Oh yes, you got it. I somehow felt like I might use some of the words and chords inside a few of these records to actually do a small project with snaps. I know it has been done before, so it's nothing brand new in that respect, but still a bit fresh to me anyway. I still have to narrow it down, of course, and I also still have to think a bit more about what to do and how to get it done, but I might get there some day. And if not, it's not like it's the end of the world, or something.
I'll be perfectly fine even if I end up finding I made a total failure of the whole idea.

I don't know, but there was something about the bending roads, the lights and the flow of it all that cached my view. I can't see it that clear in retrospect, to be honest. It's from the same hole as above.

I had a message coming through on Facebook a few days ago. A woman I know from way back wanted me to put photos up on a few of the walls inside her little, but quite special and to my standard rather well visited gallery at some point next year. I have yet to respond in a somewhat clear language, but it's a bit tempting... If I can get both myself and a few prints together that is, of course.
I want nothing like the last minute stuff I had to do the last time I had prints hanging on the wall of the bigish library in my home town for a month. There should have been better stories told, I think. And then I think the lines were not falling together as I'd have liked them to. It was more like they were falling apart... which is no good, truth been told.
But hey, that's learning by doing, isn't it?  I might even find some inspiration in that little fact, for all we know?!