tirsdag 27. september 2016

Here we go!

So, it's yet another RC sail plane post. And yet another one from the film from back in time, as it happens. 
This time we are looking at my father, just to get a brief impression of how he looked this day up on that nice little low hill back in the late 70's some time.
It's the moment of truth, it seems. Seconds away from letting that plane off and into the air. I can calm you all down and tell you it all went very well. I don't think anyone could have managed to break that plane anyway. Not that it was unbreakable, but more the fact that this thing sailed smooth as a bird. No big surprises with this thing, as opposed to that other one I told you all about the other day. 
I don't even think that one lived long enough for anyone to take a decent photo of it. 

This thing lived more or less forever... as it happens. 
Take care, and fly carefully!

Another one I snapped with that old Minolta Hi-matic G back in the days.

lørdag 24. september 2016

Lots of fur on this one!

It's the cat I'm talking about. 
The old lady of the house, so to speak. Not talking about the woman holding the coffee cup, as she's not living inside the same building even though the cat has asked her to do so many times. Good friends they are, the two of them. One would be the angel bringing fish, the other one eats it more than willingly.
So yes, I'm talking about the grey fury one to the left. The fish eater who's seems to be asleep to a point where she's absolutely consiousless and oblivious to anything happening, just to jump up on four feet being very ready in a fraction of a sec. if anyone on two legs should make their move in the direction of the kitchen. 

Sorry for the very bad scan, the bit of underexposure and what have we all. Good friends they are!

She never used to do that earlier in life, but these days it's actually coming to a point where it's incredibly annoying. Have to get the cat out of the house before even thinking about pre-planning a meal. 
My wife seems to have found a very plausible explanation to why it suddenly has become an issue these days, as she some time ago found one of the girls inside the kitchen cutting cheese. The furry thing standing on two feet stretching to get her fair share of the food, as you would if you were a cat... obviously. And she likes cheese, this creature. 

The fur also seem to stick very well onto my drying film at times. But that's another story, of course.

She's a nice enough old cat, though.

torsdag 22. september 2016

We used to throw these things!

Never threw them very far, though. Just helped them getting airborne, so to say, then they more or less helped themselves the rest of the time. At least as long as the batteries for the remote control was still alive.
This was the usual sunday activity for some time during my childhood. We were a bunch of people, some young and some older, finding lots of fun in building aircraft models and throwing them into the air like this. Had to find a place with nice hang winds, usually that would mean climbing up some kind of more or less steep hill when the wind blew in the somewhat right direction. We could fly them for quite some time as long as the wind kept on pushing up that hillside. It was nice and quiet, and a bit interesting for a kid building a real airplane and make it fly. 

On the hang, Vigra sometime in the late 70's. Minolta Hi-matic G

More often than not they would also land softly into the sometimes high grass and heather up on that ridge, but sometimes they would also land in a bit less soft place. If the plane went a bit too far behind the ridge it would easily catch some quite bad downwinds, which usually meant we had to climb down the rocky backside to pick up the pieces. Small pieces, usually. Nothing much to start a rebuild on, but the electronics were expensive back then, so that would be the main task... to find all of that stuff. 

I think my father still have a few bits and pieces of a couple of airplanes from back in the days. I know for sure he got the RC bits, at least. I remember very well one of the last crashes with one of his old planes. The sound still ringing in my ear, kind of. I think he more or less quit after that. Could have killed someone, probably. It was during the norwegian championship of speedflying gliderplanes. He had built this horror machine that could be loaded with lead around the center of gravity to really speed up the thing. Wings up high to really add speed and aerobatic qualities. It was known under the name "Ridge Racer", and was a fantastic "machine". It only survived a few training passes and just almost one full competition round during that day. 
It was a very nervous plane to fly, and we all kind of knew it would not live for long anyway. 
I will never forget the last sound it made though, and that quite impressive pile of pulverized small bits and pieces coming flying up the hill towards me because of the quite strong wind being pushed against the hillside. 

Would be fun to give it a try again, but I don't know. Maybe I'm better off just keep it as a memory of days long gone...

tirsdag 20. september 2016

I like the sea, always. I like details, sometimes

Sometimes we like to fish. And we also like to eat fish. We usually try to catch our own, but will normaly do it from a boat. No big reason for that when we're out there, visiting the island at the doorsteps of The North Sea. Very nice fish to catch just a two minutes walk away from the house. 
We catch what we need, and a couple of small ones for the grey cat, then we stroll back home. I like the idea of catching food that has been living wild in the ocean until the moment you catch it. It might not mean a lot in the big picture, but I still like it.

One of our better fishing spots. Rolleiflex 2.8E and some film. Probably Fomapan 100.

On our way back home we usually pass this point. I have seen this detail a lot. I don't think there's anyone else bothering to waste a film frame on the thing. After passing it enough times I just had to... Mamiya RZ67 on this one. 

These are things I see when at home. 
When I'm at work I see stuff like the thing below. And a lot of sea.
Today I spotted a huge, nice whale as well. I always like to watch the wales when I spot them. I'm not that much on deck or upstairs, so I probably miss a lot of them, of course. But today we had one very close to the ships side. Could hear it's breath and everything. Big lungs on those creatures, just saying. Great divers they are as well. It played a bit around and then went down, never to be seen again. At least not by me. 

Andrew, Block 16/28, UK sector, North Sea. Some 135 size film camera. 

These things are noisy bits out here, but the whales does not seem to mind them too much. They swim quite close to them, but then again there's food to be found around them, I would think. At least there seems to be a lot of whale food around these places. We dive, you know, with unmanned things with lots of cameras attached to them. We see things, down there. Some things installed by man, others have never been touched by anything at all, and will never be. 

Quite a big space, the oceans...

mandag 19. september 2016

A few from the 70's

As you probably know by now I used to bring my camera, the old Minolta Hi-matic G, to school and to school trips during the few years from around 1976 to 1983 or thereabout. 
Here's a few from a trip we did to an island called Runde, some time around 1977 or 78. We stayed there for a full week, as it happens. It was great. Learned things, and all that.
I like Runde. It's an island Way out West, just around where I'm quite known to find some peace when I need it. I think I might had the same feeling back then. Some things never seem to change that much. 

I got no particular idea where this might be, but my guess is some place called Torvik. In that case it's the place where the boat came to pick us up. It may just as well be the place we had to go with a very small ferry. I see the old school ferry quay sitting in the middle of the picture more or less. It's just the way they used to be around these parts of the world at that time. Things have changed now, just saying. And there's an old Shell oil tank as well. It's a cool snap, actually, when you start look into it.

This is from the trip back home. Nowadays you can easily drive from my home town down and out to Runde in just a few hours. Tunnels and bridges and not too many ferries these days. Back in time when these snaps were taken you had to go by boat. Or, you didn't have to go by this particular boat, but there were a few ferries and stuff you had to take to get there. The service was quite poor, and there used to be a lot of time spent on quays like this one back then.
My father loaded a few films into me bag for this trip. Positive color stuff. Slides and such, you know. I think I might find them inside some kind of box some day. We will see. I might even know where to look...

Ah, and here she comes, the one we were all waiting for. The Hurtigruten, old "M/V Nordnorge". Black and white on the outside, full of nice polished wood and brass on the inside. They don't build them like this anymore, that's for sure. Lovely lines on these old ships, I must say. See, my class mate Ann Kristin used to have a real posh vintage 70's flight bag as well, back in the days. That's cool! At least I know for sure that this is Torvik, because that's where the Hurtigruten used to go to pick up a few passengers, and one or two cows, three hens, a basket of eggs and a cat or two to be shipped to relatives further up north. Or to the butcher or wherever such things ended up back in the days.

The Hurtigruten is still in traffic nowadays as well. They got a new fleet these days, mind you, and should be perfectly well suited for a nice cruise up north the norwegian coast should you have such a wish. They might still have one or two of the old ones in traffic, but I'm not quite sure. It will take you from Bergen and all the way up to Kirkenes, and back to Bergen if you like. I think that's something like 11 days on the boat, if my memory's still with me. It will not be cheap, believe me!

A close-up then, of the old one. The new "Nordnorge" looks quite different. The usual floating "brick" we're getting used to see nowadays. 

I might run into the darkroom when I get home and try to print these. I like to print old negatives. I probably took these snaps for a reason, so it might be worth to put them up somewhere, some day. 

søndag 18. september 2016

Expensive fog (long and boring read, probably).

Fog, as we know it.

The good fellow Michael over in North Ireland posted a nice set of snaps from the West Lighthouse over there a bit more than a few days ago. One of them snaps were showing a nice device used to detect fog, and that led me to think of the old discussion going on for decades over here in Norway a few years ago now. It was all about where to put the new big airport, and I think the first political decision about the matters were done already back in 1972, then a second one in 1988 before they finally made a third and final decision in 1992.

You see, we were badly in need of a new and centrally located main airport in this old country, as the old one in the middle of Oslo were really getting too tiny to accommodate the rapidly increasing air traffic.  Discussions were going back and forth between the many politicians wanted to have their saying into the matters, and a lot of words were spoken from all corners of the country, in addition to old rich businessmen and maybe a few women as well for all I know. After all this was happening over a few decades, which would make it all add up to a lot of words.

Anyway, to make this extremely long story a bit shorter they came up with three different ways to get things done, and with three different locations to vote between. One suggestion was to do a nice makeover of the old one, which none of the folks in the position of deciding things really seemed to opt for. And then there was a suggestion to build out the existing military airport at gardermoen, and a third suggestion at a place where no airport existed from earlier. All three locations would be fit for the purpose in one way or the other.
And this is where the battle really came to stand. Between the "Gardermoen" and the "Hurum" locations, as the old Oslo Airport on Fornebu was out of the question more or less from the start.
A lot of strong reasons were put on the table suggesting that Hurum was the best choice and the location most suitable to put the new airport. If you look at the combined benefits for the country, that is. If you had a look at where the strongest politicians lived at the time around when the decision was about to be made, the answer would be Gardermoen.
The weather was an issue and something to really take into consideration, and the discussions went on for years about where they would have the overall best weather of the two locations still discussed.
After some time without getting any closer to an agreement, they decided to bring in experts from the National Norwegian Institute of Meteorology to actually do observations. Lots of stuff were measured, and fog was naturally a very interesting matter on both of the actual locations.

At some point, just before the final voting was about to take place, it became evident that the fog measurements had been really tampered with. I mean tampered with Big Time! Vaseline or something similar had been smeared onto the lens on the measuring device. The objective was to fool the desicionmakers, and probably the norwegian people as well, and lessons could and/or should be learned from this.
For some reason the foggy days in the area of Hurum had exploded to a level where it just had to be questioned, and people did just that. The whole country was led to believe that there was nothing like one day in the year without fog around the place, and somebody would have to answer for the measurements. 
A very well known engineer at the time were working to find evidences that someone had tampered with the instruments, and had therefore been doing a lot of digging into the matters. He claimed to have found the answers he had been looking for, and was determined to give away names on people trying to fool the government into choosing Gardermoen instead of Hurum, and also to give away the strong reasons they might have to set up the whole plot. 
Strange things happened in this case, and one morning he was found dead, naked in the street in Copenhagen having fallen through a closed window just a few days prior to be ready to tell the truth about who was acting like a mafia to make the decision process a bit easier for the government. The Danish Police were extremely quickly jumping to the conclusion that we were talking about a suicide, and did not want any more talk and chit-chat about the matters. A lot of others were thinking, and maybe rightful, that the dead engineer was not the kind of man you would suggest being able to commit suicide. In addition the circumstances were a bit suspicious, and maybe should call for a bit further digging into the matters.

Gardermoen, at the time, used to be the location of the biggest military airport in Norway. Some have suggested that someone wanting the Royal Norwegian Air Force to become weaker would have strong enough reasons to get the deed done, while others thought maybe business and money was the reason why the highly respected engineer Jan Wiborg ended up dead and naked in the backyard of a hotel in Copenhagen early in the morning on the 21st of June, 1994. 
We will probably never get the full answer to why all this happened, but a book came out in 2014 where the author seems to have very good reasons to believe that Jan Wiborg did not commit suicide. 

Anyway, this is not the full story by any means. There is probably a lot more out there on the web if you like to do a search. What we do know is that this was one of the biggest political questions in Norway throughout history, so there was a lot of political prestige into it as well. 
So, folks, stay away from a fog measuring instrument if you see one! It might do a lot more than you think it does... 

lørdag 17. september 2016

Then we went south

It's already well into another weekend on board, the second one out of four if everything goes well and according to all plans. We just moved from an area a bit north to way further south. 13 hours steaming straight south to get there, but I got no idea where we are at the moment. I just hope the guys responsible for navigation have a clue about that.
I might go upstairs and have a look outside a bit later to find out.

One day early this summer out there on Ona. You see the old beach down there and all, and the small chapel on the graveyard. It was a very quiet day, just the way I like them.

Oh, and as this is the digital age it means you can leave what you have written, hide it away for some time just to come back and find it saved for you somewhere out there in cyberspace. We happen to be in the middle of the Brae field, somewhere Central North Sea, as some navigator dude try to explain to me a few minutes ago. It was rather easy to find as well, he told me. Had to be, I would say, because even he managed to actually look it up all by himself.
You might even wonder what it looks like out here by now? Just relax and give me a few weeks to sort that out. You see I was just outside with both the nice little Olympus Mju-II P&S thing, and the Nikon, and also I brought my phone. The sorts that will give you pixels thrown onto a screen in more or less the right order. You know everything worth to know about just that, I guess.

Ona again. This time i snapped the somewhat smaller lighthouse standing just beside the bigger lump of steel up there on the hill. There never seems to be any snaps taken of this little thing.

I have been thinking about it for some time now, to maybe do something digital every now and then. If I want to move a bit along this route it has to be done in a certain way if I'm going to bother at all, so I have made myself a scetch with a few rules in that respect.
You see, I asked myself what the worst thing about them pixelcatchers is, and there are multiple issues to be found when you start thinking about it. I have been writing a lot about just that inside this place allready, but a few small things is probably worth saying again.
First of all it's all the time I feel I'm wasting when using digital. Not by actually snapping the snaps, but all the computerwork really scared me away from them last time I was known for using that format a bit more than I do nowadays.
Then you have the files themselves which is sharp and impersonal and cold and not very pleasing to look at in any way, at least not from the cameras I have used to own. And the colors I got out of them files also did help a lot to scare me away.
The bigger the sensors seem to grow, the more clinical sharp and ice cold the files seem to get these days. So I have been looking into the direction of the tiny phone, and I also got a smallish fujifilm digital shooter back home. I might put that one into some use when I feel like it, or have other reasons to snap some electronic images. Which we all do from time to time anyway.
On the positive side it's not exactly a secret that digital is both easy, and convenient, and that you still get snaps out of the things just as you get snaps out of any film camera. They are different in very many ways for sure, and the final way to use the two formats will be very different, but as for now I think I might try to run a test program just to see if I can get any answers out of it at all.
There will not be much printing done from my digital files, to put it very simply.

A fantastic very late evening on the beach at Alnes, Godøya. Oh yes, I was a bit shaky at the moment of truth, but then again I used quite a longish shuttertime on that old Rolleiflex, so keep that in mind.

So: all editing will be done on the iPhone only, and if it takes me more than half a minute to edit a file it will not be done. Period. I will NOT in any way once again in my life be found to have snapped the same thing a million times over, which means I will give myself one try and that's it. In other words I will try to behave like I do when snapping stuff onto film.
I will still concider myself a film snapper, analog geek, filmwaster or whatever you call them, but with the only difference I might start doing a bit more digital from now. I mean, I have almost not snapped a single digital photo since God knows when, with the only exeption of a very few on my phone for instagram use and that sort.
So that's the reason why I thought I might do a bit more of it this winter, and see where it takes me. But The Rules have to apply, and I will not move away from them. Small sensors, no new cameras, all editing on the phone, and only for posting in places these things can be posted which would be all around the interweb more or less.

Nothing close to home this one, but I really like this rusty lump of steel very well fastened onto the northern pier in the harbour of Peterhead, Scotland. I might get the chance again in just a few days to snap the thing with a somewhat decent camera. Maybe the light is a bit more in my favour then, for all we know...

But rest ashured folks; this place will still be a pixel free zone as long as there's not anything I feel I have to post to make my point clear, or need to post a snap of a nice old film camera or some other obvious reason to snap a digisnap and throw it out here.
For this reason I started another blog about a year ago. I have not touched it much at all since I started the thing, and have really been thinking back and forth if I should go for it or not, but today I posted my first digital post on there just to get the feeling. It was weird, to tell you the truth. Like doing something I should not have done, or something illegal... Strange feeling, and I kid you not!

You may like to have a quick look at it, or you may not like that at all. That's up to you, of course. It might be a strange thing to do, but I feel this might be the only way I can do it if I'm going to do it at all. 
After all this has been an all analog space all the time, and I just could not touch this place and do something I probably would regret at some point a bit later.
And another thing, this will still probably be The House of My Thoughts in more or less the same way it has been from day 1. The other place might function as an addition of some kind, in a stand alone way. I don't know yet. I even don't know if I'm able to run two blogs, but we will see. It depends a lot on how simple I can make the other one, I guess.
Take care, and really hope to see you all here in the days to come as well :)

torsdag 15. september 2016

Days getting shorter

It’s late at night out here in the ocean. It’s getting dark quite early these days. Been rather dark all day, to tell you the truth. Gray day, foggy, rainy and not too nice weatherwise. I heard there’s a bit different weather on the land side both in Norway and over here in the good old UK the last couple of days. Sunny, with a heat wave and all. Way beyond summer temperatures and what have we.

I am more or less re-using a small bunch of snaps for this post. Not for any special reason, but they might fit the theme a bit, and they are not bad either. At least a couple of them isn't. I got no idea from where I snapped this, to be honest, but it could have been on a ferry on my way to Ona a few years back.

Well, out here in the middle of the North Sea it’s dark anyway, and 
cold, and we got no internet. Nothing at all. Stone dead. You see there was something happening last night that made all our puters totally useless. Some kind of disasterish virus has found it’s way through each and every fire wall built on shore, and further creeping into one or more of the typewriters connected to the interweb on board this floating piece of steel, and rust. 
Don’t look at me, as I was asleep at the time of the incident around 2 am last night. 
So, this means I’m writing this piece on my own private offline computer at the moment, hopefully able to transfere it to some other machine some time tomorrow and get it posted. If I feel there’s anything to post at all, that is. We will see…

It's from somewhere in Wales. It all looked more or less the same this day, so could be anywhere I suppose. I know for a fact it was somewhere north on Anglesey, but not the exact location. Snapped on some kind of Nikon, I think.

Did I tell you it’s dark outside? And we’re clearly heading for autumn and all? Well, we are! And when it’s getting dark outside and I feel like the first days and nights of autumn is here I usually start to play some music. I always seems to play the same stuff during these days, year after year. It’s like other people playing their Christmas stuff when we’re getting closer to yuletide. I kind of do that thing as well, but I seem to have a bit different approach to what I play around that time of year than most others. Enough about that… now we are talking about my «dark autumn nights music» and it will go on for a few days, I know that from experience. 
You might wonder exactly what we’re talking about, and it’s rather simple actually. It’s the absolutely fantastic jazz album made by Tom Waits decades ago, simply called The Asylum Years. 
But I need dark evenings to even concider putting that thing on, and I need everything to be quiet around me. If I were at home I would definately have poured myself a double whisky. I might not have completely emptied it, but I would have to have it standing there by my side while listening. And I would have closed my eyes and watched the movie on my inner eye as the album evolved and the stories went on. 
It’s not a movie as such, but rather a quite long series of stills snapped on some heavily over cooked and pushed Kodak Tri-X. You know the style from before; very grainy, extremely contrasty, dusty, unsharpish, deep black shadows and bright white streetlights. 
For there are streets, and people and cars, and there’s whisky and beer. There’s the wings from a dead magpie and one or two scarecrows. There are wheelchairs and broken bones, and quite a few broken hearts. And it rains. A lot. And the raindrops are creating «Diamonds on My Windshield, Tears from Heaven», and life is not exactly on the brighter side to any of the characters inside this long series of snaps. But then again, life is not always on the good side to all of us anyway, and sometimes we might need a reminder on just that fact. I don’t know why I seem to need it, this reminder, as my general mood is nothing like the stuff you hear on this record. Still I like to listen to these words being spoken from the deeps of the man himself every now and then, and I find the snaps I seem to attach to them to be extremely strong and make me think on serious stuff for a moment or five. 

You have seen this before as well. Snapped from the island of Godøya in the direction towards where I live these days. And yes, this was a gray day as well. Mamiya RZ67.

Well, nuff said about that I think. Let’s hope the weather is a bit on the brighter side tomorrow then :)
We are located very close to some oil rig at the moment, and I thought it would be about time to go outside to see if it seems to be any point in wasting a few frames of some HP5 I got loaded inside the Nikon. I threw it in yesterday as the Kentmere 100 was all done for during the baking session. I even cranked the ASA a few steps for this one just to see what kind of stuff that would give me. I guess we will find out soon enough.

OK, so I went out and snapped the big thing. I think it’s the Brent Bravo platform, but I need to get that confirmed some time tomorrow. It’s at the Brent field, anyway. I think I got a daytime snap of it done a bit earlier today as well, or yesterday. I don’t know, as the days more or less gets mixed up and blended into one another out here. But I know that daytime snap was done using the 105mm f/2.5 lens I found somewhere deep down my bag. Tonight it was a bit too cramped to use the 50mm, but I still snapped a few with it anyway, and more or less quite fine to use the 35mm to get all that steel inside the picture frame. But, I had to improvise bigtime with the shuttertimes as it’s pinch black and only some light from the rig itself. That means B setting and count to five, then to ten-ish on the next one and then we will see in about a month if it «comes out». I’m quite sure it will not, but you never know. It will be blurry. I know that much from experience. I mean handheld at around ten seconds isn’t the easiest thing to pull off in any situation, but on board a ship at sea there’s no point in putting your camera on anything sturdy to use as a tripod anyway, as the whole thing moves quite a bit, as you should know well enough. 
With some luck I get something flashy and stylish out of it. With the normal luck there’s nothing much to print anyway. I think my wife wanted a rig thing for one of the bedroom walls, so I have to give it a try. 

At least it was not raining.

tirsdag 13. september 2016

Time to write something

Hi all!!
I just thought it would be about time to write a few words again, as there's nothing much else to do on board this rusty thing at the moment. I finally got a heads up for next yard stay this morning, which seems to be just before Christmas, starting on the 5th of December. At least that's the latest plan, but we will see what we end up with at some point. They usually decide the dates a few times before anything gets settled, so I'm not holding my breath this time either.

Did I tell you I went down in the mess to learn how to bake my own bread yesterday? Or, I sort of know how to bake bread already, and I really love to do it when I'm back home, but I seem to do something wrong at times, and I really wanted to find out what. So what's better than join a short training course with one of the best baking guys around, at least out here in the middle of the North Sea.
So I joined, and I think I learned at least a couple of very nice things to know. Let's just hope it's all valid for the kitchen back home as well, as the last times I have been trying this on my own I have ended up with bricks good enough to kill horses, if that's at all useful to anyone.

This is more like the day has been like for today. Reading manuals, writing small words into the margin of papers trying to sort out useable stuff among all the other things you're not that interested in at the moment. This is not me, mind you, but an old snap of one of my earlier first engineers. He used to snap some himself as well, but on a pixel collecting level, of course. A great guy still. No idea what camera used for this one, but could easily have been a rangefinder with 35mm lens...

Hey, I even brought a camera down there to the galley as I thought I might get the opportunity to snap a few of someone actually doing something on board this thing. Some Nikon loaded with Kentmere 100, so we will see how that perform in some low light conditions at some point. When it's developed and all, as you should know all about by now. 
I brought another camera as well this trip. I had completely forgot about the small thing, but a while ago I was visiting my mother in law and found this nice little P&S in one of her drawers while looking for a knife. A real Olympus Mju II... kid you not! 
So I dropped a new battery into the thing, and threw it inside a drawer back home to pick out some other day. And forgot all about it until the day before I was going to work. I was looking for some kind of adaptor for a pixelcollector, but when I found the Mju I forgot all about the little adaptor thing. So now it's here, loaded with some film... I think maybe FP4+ or something similar. We will see when I pick the finished roll out of the thing.
I have even snapped a few, and it seems to work allright. A bit annoying that the flash starts directly in auto, but I hopefully will get used to just that. Need to press the flash button two times after turning the thing on to get rid of the flash firing constantly... but that's the way it was built, and I'm not going to open it to find a fix! Just saying...

By the way: Snaps shown today is totally random stuff I just happened to stumble over somewhere. Sorry and such if they have been seen at some point before around this place!

The last trainee in the engineroom, Michael from old East Germany. He even recognized my ORWO film as something he remembered seeing around his grandfathers house before he moved to Norway some years ago now. Great lad, this one :) We got a new trainee these days, but it's a bit early to bring snaps of him... and he never seems to be sitting still long enough to get something decent either, but some day it will happen for sure!

Ah, and the Nikon I happened to bring got this lovely, nice old 35mm f/2 lens attached. Don't ask me why I'm not using it more often that lens, but it somehow seems to go under my radar all the time. I mean I love to use the 35mm length on the rangefinders, and it sure is a great focal length to use on the SLR's as well. And the lens looks absolutely as new, at least on the glassy sides of the thing. A few scratches and stuff on the exterior, but that's just the way it is, and nothing to worry too much about. Even the focus ring is tight and nice and feels like new, and just as is the aperture ring. The only downside of it would be that you really need to twist and turn your hand to focus the thing, because it's almost a full 360 deg. turn from shortest focus to infinity. But then again it foucus all the way down to below 30 cm. It's actually an old non-AI lens, which at least means it was released some time before 1977, but it has been converted at some point and most likely by someone who knew what he/she was doing. Very professional job with the right spareparts used and all. According to this useful list (at least for anyone owning old Nikon lenses), my lens is from a batch started march 1975 ending in 1977.
It's still a great lens, but I use it to rarely. That's why I dropped it into the bag for this trip, to try make some good use of the thing. And used it I have, so just wait for all the masterpieces to appear in about a month or so, when I get home and get some film developed. I got hopes of something not that ordinairy, but then again you will never know until you see the result hanging from a string.

Look at this!! I have even managed to snap the wife at some point without her sensing what was going on and being able to hide away super fast. Looks like I had to use a bit longish shuttertime on this one, but I might even try with even more time added at some point. If I get the chance, that is...

Well, I got something to read more of before I go to bed. You see the mate of the North East Liberties of Coleraine of Northern Ireland has posted something historical from his place over there, and you need to read it at least twice to get hang of what it's all about. History, you know. It's not the kind of stories that always end like you thought they will. So I'll jump over there, and see you again soon!!

søndag 11. september 2016

Thoughts around why the heck I'm using the expensive rangefinder system

For the first time in years I'm at work, not bringing a single rangefinder camera. And it's a weird feeling! I never thought I would miss it, but I must admit I do. 
I have thought about it for a while, to write a few words to try to explain to others, or maybe to justify to myself the reason why I at some point thought that the most expensive rangefinder system you seem to be able to get for money would be something I needed. Or, I don't think I ever felt that I needed it, but I have to admit I was way more than just a tiny bit curious to what the fuzz around them was all about.
So, let's just jump inside and start digging to see what we might find.

Leica M3, Summicron 50 on Kentmere 100 film developed in Kodak HC-110. Abandoned oil rig east and north of the Great Yarmouth area, UK sector. 

And yes, to call the thing by it's own rightful name for this occasion, we are talking about Leica's. You know the old ones marked M-something into where you would load good old film.
Some of you might want to puke and look the other way, and some of you may dream to get hold of one at some point in time just like I did for many, many years. You may like it or not, but I'm still going to wright a few words about the matters.
You see, there is no way you can both be above averagely interested in photography and never have heard of, or read something about Leica anyway. So I just want to add words to the already considerable number of reviews available out here on the interweb.
The only difference would be that this is from my point of view, and using my own experience of the phenomenon that Leica acually is.

Leica M6 with a dead battery, as usual... Summicron 35 on some kind of B&W film, probably Kentmere 400. This tiny building is still standing after all these years. I have not seen it since the ferry used to dock right here. It stopped doing so some time in the early eighties, and the place became more or less abandoned. 

First of all, let's get a few minor things out of the way right here and now. I am not a "Leica man" in the right and true sense of the word. I know a couple of that sorts, and you might know a few of them as well. You might even be one of them yourself for all I know, and if you are just that you would probably know it by now anyway.
If I were a Leica man this blog would be full of brand spesific stuff, some of it true and some would be nonsense, and I would of course own only Leica's and I would use a lot of energy to justify whatever Leica think is a good idea at the moment. There is a huge difference between just being a Leica owner and being a Leica man, or woman for that's sake.
I have nothing bad to say about Leica men, or women, at all. They may, or may not, be like any other person you meet on the street or wherever. Most of them are great people, just like you and me, and some are... well, different. You go figure it out.
Now, with that stuff out of the way let's move on.

To me, the Leica rangefinders are smoothness delivered in a light tight box. I love them for the way they seem to disappear and not shouting out what they really are. I like smoothness, and I like things that are reliable and easy to operate. And I very much like the silent operation of the rangefinders that you will never find in a SLR type of camera, because of the flapping mirror operation inside of them, of course.
And yes, I know there's quite a few other rangefinders on the market that will deliver the same stuff as a Leica do. You don't need a Leica to have all or most of this inside a tiny box. I know.

Leica M6, Summicron 35, on Ilford HP5+ film. An old part of the Devold factory still not touched by any workers. I don't know what the plan is, but we will see at some point. Hopefully.

So why did I personally decide to go for them, and not a Contax, a russian FED, or a Voigtländer Bessa or something a bit cheaper and probably just as good or maybe even better depending a bit on how you look at things.
Well, the truth is that I am not 100% sure, but I might find out some day.
Looking at the different cameras, at their exterior only, there's no doubt that the Leica is the sleekest and best looking object compared to more or less anything made to snap pictures with. There is something about the design and the fit for purpose of the thing that really calls out to me. Engineering stuff, maybe.
Then there's the history and the legacy of this camera system that sometimes seems to be coming from another world. When you pick up a Leica M3 for the first time you feel something you, or at least this was valid for me, have never felt when picking up any other camera.
Then it will become a bit more natural to pick the thing up as the days goes by, and you get a bit down to earth about the whole razzamatazz and will at some point realize that it's more or less like just another camera, but still a small part of that first time feeling never seems to totally let go on me.
It's a fine camera in every sense of the word, and there's no doubt about the fact that it's a camera which oozes out high quality and at the same time is extremely easy to use. There is nothing extra on the surface of or inside the box, and that is what makes this the perfect tool for me, I think. The user friendly and sleek operation of the camera got to have something to do with the design, and that's probably why Leica still produce cameras looking exactly the same today as they did over 60 years ago when the first Leica M3 was put out on the market in 1954.

Leica M3, Summicron 35 on Kentmere 100 film. Inside the old Edøy church located on Smøla, the island where my mother grew up. I like this church...

Any other camera will have this tiny little thing with them that is not always annoying, but things you have to remember to do before you snap a picture, or things that will be in the way or simply never used. I got perfect, or at least close to perfect, SLR's as well. Take the Nikon FM2 for instance, which is a brilliant camera in more or less any way you look at it. I have used them now since the mid 1990's, but I still sometimes forget to pop out the film advance lever to release the lock of the trigger, and the shutter speed adjustment wheel on the thing is not always the best one to operate with one finger while looking through the finder. Then there's the focusing issue which is a bit different to whatever lens you got mounted at the moment. You certainly learn to use them as time goes by, but nothing is as intuitive and easy to operate as on the Leica.
If you carry a Leica rangefinder around your neck and is a bit on the alert side, it should only take you the time needed to lift the camera above the level of your nose to snap a nice enough picture of the scene in front of you. That's if aperture and shutter time is kind of pre-adjusted, of course. Like it will be if you're on the alert side of things. Having the focus ring readily adjusted mid ways will leave you with three choices; either to leave it be, pull it a bit to the right for closer focus or a bit to the left for further away. Depending a bit on the chosen aperture settings and the amount of available light you will most likely have a good enough focused snap saved onto the film. Even to adjust the shuttertime a click or two can be done at the same time if needed, as everything is there right at your fingertip and easy to both reach and operate as you lift the device to your eyes to compose the snap as you like it. It's like a P&S camera, but with the possibility of fully manual adjustments to be made. And when you press the shutter the picture will be taken no matter how much or how little light there is available. Nor will any other warnings be given to you in any way. It just does what you ask it to do, when you want it to be done, and that's it.

M3, Elmarit 21 on Kentmere 100 film, again. The old church at Edøy, exterior this time. Nice, huh?

And there's more as well. In addition to the easy operation and sleek design you also get the nice possibility to change the optics if you so like. And I like that. The brilliant thing about the lenses for the system is the fact that they don't take up a lot of space inside any bag. 
I got quite a few camera bags laying around the house, and the smallest one of them all will fit my entire Leica equipment. That's two camera bodies, three lenses and a few bits and bobs... and three or four rolls of film in addition. All this joy cramped together inside a quite tiny green web messenger bag. 
And the lenses themselves is of course another reason why Leica has become popular. They are simply great, they cost a fortune, and are probably not worth the price you will have to pay for them. Period.
The nice thing is that there's a bunch of sollutions to this issue, and I will have a short look into that point as well. 

M3, Elmarit 21 on Kentmere 100. Still the same church. Crop from a little bit larger photo... 

Before the Leica M bayonet became standard with the M3 model (even though it was invented and patented already back in 1948) Leica would use the M39 screw mount on their lenses. The old Leica lenses can be found, sometimes with a nice price tag, and will fit with an adaptor to be used on any more or less modern Leica M camera. Also, and this is quite cool, you will find a bunch of old Soviet era lenses using the old M39 screw mount, giving you the oportunity to make something really different. Run out and have a good look for a nice example of a Jupiter 3 or 8 lens, and you might be up for a quite nice surprise. I say might, because I have heard a few different things about the stability during production of these things up through the year. They will not cost you anything close to a fortune, but then again they are not been given away either these days.
I don't own any of the Jupiter lenses, but I really would love to get my hands on one or two of them. Prefereably the 50mm and 35mm versions, which would be either the Jupiter 3, 8 or 12. There might be a handful others that will do the trick as well, but it's all out there for you to find on the web if you would like to go down that road. 
Then you got all them fine Voigtländer lenses. They come readily fitted with the M bayonet and all, and is a breeze to use on any Leica M, as they will click directly into place, ready for use. 
Some would probably want to start discuss why you use a Leica camera but not their lenses, but that's the wrong way to look at it, at least from my point of view. 
Their old cameras is by design the best thing ever happened to manual photography, and if you can find a slightly beat up camera house going for a good price it might be worth taking the risk. After all, form and function is what we are looking for here and now. 
Their lenses are great, but comes with a price tag making people think twice before buying. And there is no way to come around that fact, and no way you can start a big discussion around it and come out as a winner. Their lenses are too pricey, and that's a fact. Still they are being sold, every day, around the world. But then again, Leica is also selling their new digital M bodies every day around the world, and that's even a bigger mystery to me. But enough of that, as that is far outside what we are talking about here and now. 
If I were to buy a good and reliable as cheap as possible film M camera today, I would aim for a slightly rotten but fully functional M2, M3 or M4, or maybe even the ugly duckling, the M5. 
The M5 is the exception from the rule and the exeption from the template from where all other M cameras were made to fit. It still is a very good camera, and some even claim it's the best one of them all. I don't know, but I know you can get a good one for a fair price out there if you do your search. It even got a light meter, if that's something in your area of interest.

M6, Summicron 35. Summer solstice late at night at Ona, Norway. 

To try sum it all up then, I chose this particular system as my rangefinder line because of history, legacy, the user friendliness and the sexy looks of it all. And because of the fact that it really fit my hands. I might be an easy man to fool, but if so I'm certainly not the only one falling into that category. 
The thing is, I don't feel like being lured into anything, and I still think I got the best rangefinders in the world to play with when I use them.
I have thought about it a bit lately, which cameras to keep if I had to sell most of them for some odd reason. The natural thing would be to get rid of the ones easy to sell for a nice price, but I have to admit that the Leicas would probably be the last ones of the 135 sized cameras going out the door. 
Just because they are some damn good cameras made to fit exactly into my (and a lot of others) hands, and the fact that I can get anything out of them, any time. They are not in the way, but just there when you need them... if you got the slightest idea what I'm talking about?
If not, go try one for a week or two...

lørdag 10. september 2016

Back at work, or in my second home

So, here I am again. Out in the Big Blue to earn a few shillings, as most of us seem to be in a certain need of these days. Went to Lerwick in Shetland yesterday, and came on board around lunch time. Nothing special happened on the trip, besides of waking up way too early of course. I am not built to wake up way too early, obviously. I had a very good sleep this last night, though. Didn't even notice we were leaving the harbour around 4 o'clock this morning. 

Right now we are staying just off shore of Shetland, as we seem to have some testing to be done on one or both of the ROV's on board. I got nothing to do with that as my only job is to see to that there is light and power available to anyone in need of such. Easy, as the engines seem to work fine at the moment (knocking lightly onto some wooden shelf stuff mounted inside my cabin...).

A few weeks back, the last time I was on board this thing, we went southwards. More or less into the old english channel, we were. 
We found this abandoned rig, remember? Well, I snapped it both from this side and that both with a decent camera and with my phone. 
I just show you what it looked like with the aid of some kind rangefinder and a roll of Kentmere 400 ASA film. I kind of liked this film, but I think I like the 100 ASA version a bit better, to be honest. Not that I'm automatically dislikes any 400 ASA film, but there was something a bit weird about this one compared to a lot of other stuff out there. I must say HP5 seems to be something I like a bit more, to be honest. And Kodak Tri-X as well. Good films.
Anyway... here's the snap. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. I will be back with more nonsens in a day or two, if everything goes around well on board this forever rusting thing. 

torsdag 8. september 2016

The son borrowed this camera...

Nothing new here for a few days, I know. Sorry and all that, but I had a few bits and pieces to get done before I go to sea again tomorrow morning. Very early morning, as it happens. Need to be up, but luckily not smiling, around 04 am. That's a bit early to any normal person, so lets hope the alarm bell will wake me up in time to get away and over to Shetland in due time. 

He has been out walking the woods and mountains again, it seems. He does that a lot, the son. The father used to do it a lot back in the days, but has grown a bit lazier through the years. I know I should do it more often, but then you need time to do just that. The youth seems to have a bunch of it. Time, that is.

I'm scanning a few negatives at the moment. You see I'm lucky enough to have a son, and I handed over a camera loaded with film to him a week ago or something like that. Maybe it's even two weeks ago now, I'm not sure. Anyway, last night he came over for a cup of coffee, and we had his film developed. He needs to learn how proper photos is being made, you see, as he's got no idea at all of how to get the stuff done. 
So we mixed a bath of Kodak HC-110 to get the roll washed in, and went into a very dark place to open the film canister and roll the delicate thing inside onto a plastic spool. As you do when film is going to get developed... you know. 
He actually managed to do most of the work himself, but I was there to check that everything was alright as he was not too sure he could really do it all on his own. 

He obviously went this way as well. I got no idea whereabouts, but somewhere in Norway for sure. The weather seems to have been as usual...

Then the developer was thrown over the thing, and things turned and twisted a few times before the fixer went in. Five minutes of that fun, and we were able to take a short peek just to check that everything looked alright. Properly fixed and such... you know. 
Well, it looked smashing so we poured some water over it for 20 minutes or so before hanging everything to dry over night. 
And here it is for you to check out before anyone else get the chance. My sons film debut. 
Or, that's actually not absolutely true because I got a half roll or so which he did on my old Minolta Hi-matic G back in the days of his early childhood. He don't remember he ever snapped that film, so I will give him a surprise one day. 

He saw this pine... could have been anywhere, actually. He snapped it with the Nikon. Quite nicely, I must say.

But that's 18 years ago, or something like that. This last film was finished off yesterday.
Kentmere 100 ASA snapped on a Nikon F3P with a lousy 35-70mm zoom attached. I got a few examples of just that lens, and for some reason he went away with the worst one. The focus ring seems to be living a life on it's own, but apart from that it's a quite good set of glass, actually.
Enjoy, before I send them all over to the rightful owner :))

The last one on the roll is easy enough. Just outside our front door before he went in to get the film soaked in this fluid and that. It looks a bit dull, I know, but I have not touched any of the files at all. Just scanned them and posted. As I'm about to fly away tomorrow morning I better get myself around to pack and things like that. It's past nine pm already, so I better start doing something useful...

tirsdag 6. september 2016

The new school

My parents built this new house, and we moved in there around christmas time 1974.
There was no school in the area, because all the new houses were built too fast for anyone to think of the place as something getting popular enough to be worthy any kind of infrastructure before it was a bit too late. Well, it was not too long after our house was in place they had to think of something. The first two years I lived there I had to walk for quite a long distance to get to school, but then in 1977 the new school was finished. I went there for three years, through 4th, 5th and 6th grade, before it was time to move on to the next level and go by bus into the center of town for three years.

Here it is, the evidence that we are getting close to Christmas. Three out of four lights has been burned at the front desk in the classroom. We also recognize the fact that yours truly has been positioned on the front row for some reason, and way away from the windows even. That's not the place anyone would have picked out by himself, just saying. I am even more baffled when I look at other pictures from inside the classroom to see who's sitting far up against the back wall this day... It must have been a bad week, for me anyway, sitting at the front furthest away from the windows... I got no idea what might have been going on during the days before this snap was taken, but something no good it was for sure. I also see that this is not our usual teacher, so there could be a link for all I know.

The new school was kind of finished when we ran through them doors for the first time. A modern square block of concrete, 1977 bomb proof style. We had never seen anything like it, but it soon became apparent that it had it's flaws. Like any other building, of course.
They had forgot about the fact they might get wheelchair users in there at some point, but luckily that was very quickly sorted out. The rest of the building could quite easily accommodate the occasional wheelchair user, so it was just a matter of doing a few small tricks at one of the main doors to get into the building itself.
The school was located on a very nice spot, but there was marshland all around the place, and it was far from safe. A big pond on one side, and marshland on two of the others.
We were forbidden to go there, and the teachers at the time might even have thought that this would be enough to keep us away...
I think most of the boys had to stand inside the headmasters office one or two times during the first couple of years at that school. I was there a lot.
Two times I even managed to go straight through the ice out there on the marshland during the same winter, but I managed to get up and out of it with some help both of the times. It's a very cold experience having to walk home from school on a cold winters day to hopefully find your mother at home so you could get inside to change clothes. Just saying.
I was not alone going through the ice, but I think I was the only one managing to do it two times the same winter. That might say something about the slow learning curve we went through at that school. Luckily things went a bit better as the years came to me.

There you see! This bunch of boys had probably been a bit more lucky during their raids a bit earlier on than I was. A few of these guys would definitely be more frequently placed down on the front right side than I ever was. Nevertheless, that was where I was placed for the moment... and back there they were, on this very day in my life anyway. The boy to the left, with the ball? Well, it could have been written books about him. That's not my job, anyway, so I will leave it for some other to pick up the challenge. There's also a fair amount of decorations and work having been put up on the walls inside the classroom. We obviously did get something produced then, after all.

The teachers were not all new to us, as quite a few of them were moved out of the other schools we had been using in the meantime as the new school was under construction. Looking back I just can't understand how a grown up person could possibly volunteer to move with our class to any school, either new or old. A majority of the boys would probably have been diagnosed something if this was today. Back then they were just impossible to handle, and that's it.
So there was a lot of noise, and not the best place for learning. But we got a million stories to think back on, instead.
I also have to remember telling you that all of the boys grew up, got themselves a job, and many of them are still living more or less in the same area today. I speak to some of them every now and then, and we all seem to have calmed down a bit these days compared to the days back in the late 70's.

The 70's for sure. I think this boy pulled me out of that ice cold water at least once. He was probably to find inside the four walls of the headmasters office a couple of times as well. Today he owns a fair bit of land, and a gas station and a garage and probably quite a bit more. I think this is the guy anyway, but I could be wrong... after all some days has passed since this was snapped one winter day in what I think was 1978.

mandag 5. september 2016

Vintage basketball match

It's a few years back now since this happened, quite close to 40 as it happens, and the result of the game is since long forgotten. By the look of things it seems to be a match between the girls of my own class at school and the other 5th or 6th grade bunch we were in some kind of constant fight against during these years. Football, handball, volleyball, and in this particular case - basketball. 

Action, as you clearly can see. I managed to freeze the ball in mid flight, as you see. Everything else seems to be quite blurry, though. As it would be when taking the old Minolta indoors to snap any action. 

I obviously found it to be a nice day to bring the old Minolta Hi-matic G to school, and I got a few snaps out of it. We are probably set back to 1978 or 79 here, and it was just a few days before christmas. I can tell because a few of the other snaps on the film quite clearly suggest so, but maybe you'll catch a glimpse of that a bit later... you never know.

And my team obviously scored at least one goal measured by the hands in the air celebration thing. Different clothes were used as well, as we see. 70's, you know. 

I was up north, to where my parents live these days, this weekend. Found a couple of negative books and started a small search for stuff I thought had to be there somewhere. 
Didn't find the ones I was really looking for though, but some I can't remember to ever have laid my eyes upon I did stumble over. How cool is that, you think?
I will need to take another sweep at some point, because I'm quite sure there's more there, somewhere. 

The boys in the other class, the enemies, here cheering for a recently scored goal obviously. I just hope they did not win, even though they probably deserved a win. I know for sure they never won any of the very many football matches we played. 

These days I just wonder why I didn't do this more often. Bring the camera to school, that is. Because it's great stuff to have a good look at these days. And lots of good old stories comes to mind. 
More of that in the future, some time.