tirsdag 12. desember 2017

Busy days in the Snow

Back home again, just in time to get the first real and serious snowfall straight in my lap. I was really busy enough without having to use a lot of hours getting rid of that stuff as well to be honest. 
I'm on the move, as you might remember. Moving up to the tiny island to hopefully dig myself down inside the darkroom to produce some prints, or at least waste some of the darkroom paper which seem to keep on adding up in piles. 
I just turned the milestone of 50, if you didn't know. Since no one would ever think I needed a new enlarger for my darkroom, I had to go buy one myself. Which I did. 
Huge thing, don't you know. 4"x5" Durst Laborator 1000 sort of a beast. OK, I've seen them bigger, but at least it will take a small large format neg if presented on the neg carrier. Which might just as well happen some day soon. 

Sure, from the Island where I'm soon to be living. This stuff is all over the place, so one can only try to do the best out of the situation. This one's from one of the Mamiyas snapped on Ilford FP4+

I had this telephone call coming my way a few weeks back. The Big Boss of the library in town asked me if I would consider to produce a few photos to hang on their wall for a month or so. My initial thought was "no way", which I also told her... but then she started talking me into it, and now I need to come up with something really bright before summer ends. 
The Wall inside the library is brand new. Or, The Wall is not new as such but the idea of using it as an exhibition area for photographs is brand new. She's a bit into photography, the new Boss of the library. Got a great collection of nice books on the subject, and everything they do.
Enough about that. I decided to go for something else this time. Or at least I want to try to go for something else. I just made a couple of (what I think might be) rather wide angled pinhole cameras, and hope to give the locals a totally new view of their home town. 
4"x5" Foma Retropan 320 and Fomapan 100 film is on order and expected arriving tomorrow, and with the cameras also in place I hope to run a few tests with paper soon before I load some film into them and start the mission towards glory, fame and fortune. 
I'll do everything myself, of course. From the camera making to the prints themselves. I'll make sure I post whatever might come out of it.
If everything fails I can always put together something else. At least that's what I keep on telling myself.

I don't know. Some sort of road sign crash... snapped up with the Rolleiflex a few months back when there was still some sort of daylight present. Right now it's like the dark ages over here, but there will be light again some day. I'm quite sure.

And by the way, I got a few prints hanging on exhibition right now inside the old factory thing. I had them all printed inside the darkroom and everything, then some bright dude decided to print them on dead paper with ink instead... via some computer?! I found myself gasping. Loudly!
Anyway, the prints are there for folks to grab should they feel the need. Which they probably will not. 
On the upside I'll get rid of a few of the original darkroom prints, since there's people around wanting them for Christmas. Which in turn means that these sheets of ART300 paper were not wasted, for a change.

søndag 5. november 2017

Nice lens mounted on that old Rolleiflex!

I was here just a few weeks ago, at the Fitjar island a bit down south and western part of the country of Norway. I always seem to find myself somewhere along the coast line by the way. This time we were laid up with the ship for about a week in between a couple of jobs. It was somewhat boring, to tell the truth. Got a couple of snaps done with the Rolleiflex though, so that would still mean it was good for something. 
I sort of like the one with the collection of abandoned road signs for some reason, to be honest. I might even find out why some day for all we know. 

 A tiny jungle of roadsigns leaned towards a steel wall. Looking at them now I can see a couple of them fitting rather well inside the engine room of the ship. I'm glad I didn't see that possibility that day, after all :))

We had a couple of other ships laid up alongside the same quay at the time. They've been there for a while, I think. Bad times for the industry, you know. 
As we were parked here for a bit of time my engine crew was appointed to take a good daily inspection round on board the two other ships as well, just to act as a support for the guys who usually have to drive for a couple of hours to get the rather small job done. 
The outer one of the two ships were a breeze to go through. The inner one not so. Not at all, as it happens. You will not believe me if I started to talk about it anyway, so I leave it be. 
Let's just say you're never completely all alone on board that one... Freaky thing, it was for sure!

A couple of snaps taken with the Rolleiflex, obviously with the aperture thing more or less fully open just to add some separation inside the frames. Seems like I missed the exposure a bit. I think the faster shutter times on that thing is a bit slow to be honest, but I've never got it checked or anything. At least it's getting a tiny bit better when adding a yellow filter as I did here. 

lørdag 4. november 2017

Too big for the scanner!

Getting rather close to midnight over here, and I'm just out of the darkroom. Seven prints done, where at least four of them will be on my list of prints heading for the jury deciding which ones are going to hang on the walls over at Devold towards Christmas. 
Having a quick look at things I would say I'll get a bit disappointed if not two of them will reach the wall, to be honest. To tell you the truth I'll also get a bit disappointed if one rather special one will not get sold at some point through the exhibition. 

Sorry for the pixels and everything, but the end product is as analogue as it possibly can get. 

Oh, and I also got rid of one of the blacksmith prints this evening. The man himself bought it, and I just realized I had another quite good neg lingering inside my archive so I printed that one as well. Turned out to produce a fairly nice print it did, so I might send that one off to the exhibition jury instead of the first one. I have to think about it, of course. As one does, sometimes. 
He's doing a blacksmith course this weekend, so I hope to be able to get there to maybe snap a few with one of the Mamiya's, or something. I might even just bring the Rolleiflex, for all we know. If I'll go I bring the print as well, of course. At least if I can find the time to have it selenium toned, dried and spot checked before Sunday afternoon. 

Oh... and they don't fit inside my tiny scanner, I'm afraid. That's why I only can bring you lousy snaps from my telephone thing, as most people do these days anyway...

torsdag 2. november 2017

A legend in swedish photography

I just felt I had to show you this thing.
It's a brand new documentary sort of film about the legendary photographer and darkroom printer, Jean Hermanson.
Born 1938, died in 2012 with a huge amount of negs archived and a massive printing job still undone. It's a bit hard to take in the fact that such an important and fantastic and productive photographer died rather poor, without enough funds to even buy the paper and chemicals needed to keep on working through his projects.

I just had a lot of stuff written about the film, but it all went south just because of my own stupidity with computers... I know, it's my own damn fault!
Anyway. You'll find a quite photographer, and a man truly not speaking too load about himself. You'll find passion, poetry inside pictures, and you'll find empathy. Bucket loads of empathy.

Following the death of the photographer, the maker of this documentary is being given his huge archive of negatives and prints. He decides to try to track down some of the persons in the portraits from back in the days, and actually succeeds in finding some of them who then gets to see their portraits taken decades ago for the first time.
There's also a few minutes dedicated to a series of photos of the late Swedish Grand Man Mr. Olof Palme some years before he became the Prime Minister himself. A truly remarkable series, and nothing like anything you could get on a few frames of Ilford FP4 today no matter what politician we're talking about.
The happy ending of the film is when a museum finally decides to take all the negs into their custody, and to agree to make a permanent exhibition showing this fantastic material to the people. It's about time, I would say, after so many years having been hidden away from the public.

Oh... and another one of my swedish photography idols is in the film as well. Mr. Micke Berg (who's blog you can find right here, should you wish to have a look...) was invited to say a few words about old Jean Hermanson, as he knew the old master very well. He is also seen when printing one or two of Jean's negs inside the darkroom, showing off his old printing skills even though he has not been printing inside a darkroom for years.
He is still doing a few photography workshops every now and then, old Micke Berg. I have been thinking about joining one or two of them if time and money is to be found somewhere. I hope I will, before it's too late.

tirsdag 31. oktober 2017

A few new prints

Been rather busy, as you all should know by now. And things are getting worse the next few days, just saying. Going out to do some sort of payed photo shoot tomorrow, and I'm not exactly looking forward to it. It's going to be digital stuff, as most folks do today. I'm probably going to bring a couple of film cameras anyway, but don't tell anyone. 

Anyway. I was just dropping by to show you a small series of three snaps from the ballerina show I went to last week. Not that there's much more to show from that event, to be honest... but I sort of liked these. 
I don't know who she is to be honest, but she might either be A Prisoner of the Night, or maybe even some sort of Dancing Queen... for all I know.  

All three prints done on Ilford FB Warmtone paper, snapped on the Mamiya RZ67 using a rather slow wide angle 50mm lens on Ilford FP4+ film. All good stuff, as you all know. 

søndag 29. oktober 2017

After a few days inside the darkroom

I've been working a bit inside what I call my "darkroom" here at home in our house for the last few days. Some of you will know already that I'm actually referring to the family bathroom... but that's just how it is. I was planning to build a real darkroom last year, but plans to sell the house started to materialize, and my plans were abandoned. No need to build something great for no one to use after the house has been sold off.
So, I'm just using the bathroom.
There's this exhibition event coming up closer to Christmas, where my photo club will show pictures from the old Devold Wool Factory. I've been there a few times before, as you might remember.
We just had a session snapping ballet dancers for a few hours. That was great fun, I must say. Very tricky lightwise, but I decided to throw any wish for sharp snaps out the doors and try my best to make something stick to the film anyway. I brought a few rolls of FP4+ and HP5+ plus a couple of Mamiya RZ67 cameras... while others were playing with high ISO pixel collecting sensors. I say nothing more about that fact. 
Oh, and I brought rangefinders... and a couple of films for those as well.
We were all having a good time though, and a couple of the negs might be worth taking a bit further. I've even made a few test prints inside the previously mentioned "darkroom", and they look promising... I think. I'll give you a couple just to give you a taste. And please don't mind the dust and the light leaking into the blacks... it's a scanner issue, not bad darkroom work this time. 

A couple of test prints from the ballerina sessions @ Devold, Langevåg. Snapped using the RZ67 handheld in a sideways and strange manner to be able to shoot through some very dusty and dirty windows installed inside this building. I would have brought the prism finder if I knew this could become an issue, but I didn't. It weighs a quarter of a tonne, and I certainly prefere to work with the waist level finder, even if it means I have to look even more stupid than usual to get what I want.
Printed on Ilford ART 300 paper, snapped on Ilford FP4+ on rather longish shuttertimes. 

I also went to Ona last week. We were celebrating the 150 years anniversary of the lighthouse, and it was a grand party for sure. Lots of interesting stuff to listen to, but nothing much to snap, I'm afraid. There is of course a few pictures from that event as well, but nothing much has yet materialized into prints. Nothing much will be either, but there is three or four I plan to print. One is already partly decided to go to the family now living in the lighthouse keepers house, as a gift for arranging the whole anniversary thing. It's a detail from inside their house... and it looks smashing when printed on some ART300 paper. At least the print itself is looking good. The scan of the print is not up to standards, I know. It's me and my totally useless scanning skills again, plus the laziness of not cleaning the scanner glass before I start...

The lower part of the stairs leading up to the upper floor of the lighthouse keeper's house out on the island. I might print it bigger as a gift, but we'll see. This is a scan from a print of 5"x7" size on Ilford ART 300 again. Snapped with a RZ67, 1/2 sec. in rather bad lighting on Ilford FP4 film.

I've been developing films as well. At least twelve of 120 size, and three or four 135 films. Still got four or five 135 films to get done, but I'll get there. I developed all of them in Paranol S from Tetenal, a to me rather new thing. Bought it over in England this summer, and it's not a bad developer at all. I really like the result when developing FP4+ with this stuff, anyway.

The plan for the week to come is to take a trip up to where my parents live. The wife is joining some sort of conference not too far from there, so we'll use their house as a base for that thing. There's work to be done up there as well I heard, so I better bring a few tools and some elbow grease. Might come in handy, you know.
I'll bring cameras, of course... but I don't know to which extent I'll get the chance to use them.

Oh... and I finally got around to print a series of three prints for the living room wall. They are already hanging there, looking good. From the Yorkshire coast, they are.
This sums up the last week, at least. And nope... no time for scanning any of all the new negs I'm afraid. Which means you have to be patient for a while if you like to see a few more of the ballerina snaps or anything. I'll post them as soon as the scanning is done.

onsdag 18. oktober 2017

This Blog might be in danger!

First of all I'm very sorry for the huge hole in the blog. It was nothing I wanted, just saying! 
Some bright minded person in the IT dept. of my company have found out that google (and everything attached to it... which is a lot, I can tell you) just has to be taken away from the list of stuff we may have access to when at work at sea. Serious amounts of 0's and 1's are being downloaded, you see, without any of us knowing it. 
In short terms this means I'm no longer allowed to log on to my google account, which also takes away my possibility of posting anything on my blog, check my mail, google anything I might like to find on the web... well, a lot of the fun stuff disappears as you might see.
I got no idea how to overcome this obstacle right here and now, but I'm open to suggestions and advice of course.

Something we stumbled over when moving all over the southern english countryside this summer. A nice tiny little home for a few people, I guess. I think this frame came out of one of the german rangefinders, but I'm not at all sure about it. 

I'm more or less just out of the darkroom. As you might remember I blew the bulb on my enlarger the last time I was in there, and had a real hard time finding a new one. Ended up buying a piece with a bit different specks than the old one, but everything seems to work fine enough with this bulb as well. I might just as well buy another 10 of that bulb, since it was a cheap solution compared to the original bulb. I guess you never know when the next one going south... or, in fact it will of course go black with some sort of bad timing. Murphy's law, you know. 

Anyway, I was in the darkroom and made four prints 30x40 size. The wife have been asking for them for some time now, so couldn't wait for much longer. It was good, I can tell you, to be inside the dark place again printing for a few hours. 

There was quite a few White Horses to see when traveling around the countryside. This one's from a town, though. Oxford, as it happens... And I know about the lack of sharpness and all that, but the exposure was fine though, don't you think? It was not a place known for it's great light conditions, to put it that way...

More news! You've obviously heard a lot about Ona on this blog, the tiny little skerry in the ocean where we got this tiny little place we use to stay every now and then in weekends and stuff. 
Well, this tiny little place is now going to sort of be our home for the next few years. My wife applied for a job up there not too long ago, and she got it. She will have to use the ferry to get to work every day, but that's not a bad thing compared to what she's going through every day in her current job sitting in the traffic jam in and out of town. There's no such thing as a traffic jam out there, with only a very small handful of people living there. 
It's going to be nice to finally get the chance to stay there a lot more for a period of time. I say a period of time, because the job she got is in the administration for the small county up there, as the head of school and cultural dept. 
The small county is going to be merged into a bigger unit in a couple of years time, which means she will probably get a choice at some point to either stay put up there to do her work, or move to a bit more central place to do her job. We will see... but as for now we're moving up there. From new year, that is. 
We're going up there this weekend, by the way. Friday afternoon at 16.54 it's the 150 years anniversary for the lighthouse up there. Of course there was a building period prior to this, but at least that was the exact time the light shone from the tower for the first time. So it's party time, of course. A little bit of partying, but also a bunch of what I'm hoping to be very interesting lectures about both the lighthouse history and other stories from back in the days. I've seen the program for the weekend, and it looks great. So we decided to join in to celebrate the old iron tower for a couple of days, and we're looking forward to it. 
I'm also bringing a few bits and pieces up there. I got this darkroom out on Ona, as you might know. Probably one of, if not the most remote darkroom in Norway. OK, I know there's a small one in Longyearbyen on Svalbard too, but that's in a different league I guess. Almost on the north pole, and everything. 

From one of my walks on the quayside around The Clyde, Glasgow and Scotland. Oh well... I guess it speaks for itself, to be honest. Nikon FM2, or maybe one of them rangefinders. I know I carried both sorts this day...

Well, I think I need to run. I promised this guy that he could borrow one of my Mamiya RZ67 cameras for a while, so I need to pack the thing down and ship it away. Need to decide what lenses to ship along as well, since I certainly need a few of them myself as well the next few days going to Ona and everything. I'm also joining the camera club for a shooting on Tuesday next week, and my plan was to bring one of them beasts with a good lens or two. We'll see. 

I don't know how many of you are still here to check the blog, but hopefully there's still a couple of you around.