mandag 28. november 2016

About cheap things, and very expensive ones

I told you before, but I really love the light we get sometimes this time of year. Heavy clouds, snow coming in and the sun peeking through small cracks between the clouds here and there and a few beams hitting the snow covered mountain sides behind everything. It's light and shadow and black as the night inside one single frame. We had a day like that yesterday, but today is just plain gray. Nothing very exiting happening with the light or anything else, but that's just the way it is. 

Ona, on a gray day last week. Not too much snow out here, as you might notice. Ilford HP5 scan directly from the film. M6 rangefinder with 35mm lens and yellow filter attached.  

Just had a short chat with one of my daughters. She's at school teaching to maybe become some kind of arts and crafts teacher at some point. This school used to be the best in Norway in producing great journalists and reporters back in the days, and they still got this great darkroom down in the basement somewhere. She discovered this some time ago, and have finally found the right person to ask about the possibility to get inside and hopefully make a print or two some day. She really had to look into the deep depths and dusty corners of the school to find the one in charge of the dark places, and hopefully we will find things that still works in there at some point. Can't wait to see the place, to be honest, but can't get myself over there until some time early next year.

While I was out there on the island, walking around having nothing else better to do, I found these things a bit interesting as they were scattered all around the place. I loaded the very light and plasticky Diana F+ with some film and snapped them up. Or at least I tried my very best to do so. Not too easy to know exactly what you manage to get stuck on film as the viewfinder on this toy camera is nothing even close to accurate when things are getting close-up. Focusing is clearly an issue as well, but you get what you get and no reason to get too picky when dealing with this kind of photographic equipment anyway. 

New Zealand businessman Graeme Hart has bought himself another new toy about to be delivered from the Kleven shipyard not too far away from where I live. We are talking about this little thing here, his 116 meters long brand new super yacht and I think the third in a row from the same shipyard. The last one, the 107 meters long "Ulysses" is now for sale should you fancy something like this. 
The reason I'm telling you this is that the new yacht is doing sea trials just outside my front door at the moment. It's a bit hard to avoid noticing, to tell you the truth. 
I just keep thinking about quite a few things I would rather like to own if had such a stupid amount of money laying around... 
Well, it's not going to be anything even close to a problem I would ever see coming, so that's the end of that thought. 

lørdag 26. november 2016

Pushed film

It's usually a nice feeling when you think you actually have learned something, or at least feel like you have moved a step further into something you have been struggling with for some time. I think, for me, pushing film has been something I have had some trouble with earlier. I might still have, mind you, but still I feel like having taken a short leap forward into that area lately. My earlier attempts has been half hearted and inconsistent, but the last few films seem to be more in the line of how I like the end results to appear.
So, what's the secret for me then, you might ask? Truth is that it's nothing big. A small adjustment during the exposure itself (to really try to stay on the slightly overexposed side) when I realize the light is a bit tricky, and finally by adding some time for the film to stay in the developer. In this case  I added around 10% on the suggested time, which seems to be about right. That's to my eyes and my likes, of course. Other people probably have different meanings and ways to do it. And probably quite a few also like their negatives to look nothing like I prefere, which is of course absolutely fine.

Ona a few days ago. I usually take the trip up here at least one time each day, to the lighthouse on the top of the hill. This is looking down from there through a 50mm lens and a Nikon F3. Ilford PAN400 film pushed to 1600 ASA, developed in D-76 (stock).

It's been terrible weather all day over here. Rain in the non-stop kind of way, just as we are too used to see around this time of year. A tiny bit better now late in the evening, but my guess is that it's all just taking a deep breath just to come battering back quite soon. 
Tomorrow I got a few loose plans. Scanning the rest of the few films developed yesterday, and a couple of more things inside the house. It's probably best to keep oneself dry and warm indoors, I guess. 

Walking down from the lighthouse you have to pass this natural formation. The wind can really get some good speed through this narrow gap. Looks more like a venturi thing, actually, and sometimes you can actually feel something reminding you of the effect a Venturi nozzle will create through here when the wind is in the right direction. Ilford PAN400 @ 1600 ASA again. Nikon F3, 50mm Nikkor.

I just started to wright a review of the nice Nikon FM2 the other day. I might continue and finish that one off as well, since it's probably going to be a perfect day to do things like that.
The long term plan was to wright a few lines about the cameras I use, and maybe on a few of the lenses as well at some point. I did the Nikon F3 not too long ago. You can find the few thoughts I have about the beast over here somewhere.
I also did start a draft on a post a long time ago on some darkroom stuff. I might even pull that one out from it's hiding place as well one day. I don't know if it will be worth posting, but you never know. Depends a bit what people are looking for, I guess. It's not going to be deep stuff coming from this head, as you know. I tend to do things a bit easy and not very scientific, as you know from earlier. 

torsdag 24. november 2016

Adjusted some developing times

So. Here I am, just back home from Ona after quite a long day with my traveling shoes on. Up before six in the morning, jumped on the ferry around 7 and further by bus and boat and what have we all. Ended up not too far from home where my wife picked me up and drove me home before she went further on for some more work.
Being home alone I thought I might be better off mixing up a liter of D-76 developer which is the only thing I got in the house for the moment except from some Rodinal. I had this pushed to 1600 Ilford PAN400 film I thought I wanted to see if I could get a better result from than I did at my last attempt, so I dropped it into the tank together with the developer and added a couple of minutes on the developing time for the thing. Looks a bit better right now anyway, so lets just hope I can say the same thing when I get it scanned and maybe even extract a few prints from it.
We will see tomorrow, some time.

You may remember I was talking about the baking course I went through on board the ship the last time I was at work? Well, here you have the teacher himself quite well presented from a frame of film I just stumbled over. It's our night cook on board, and this man makes magic happen inside the galley. Just saying. He even managed to teach me a few tricks about baking bread, which means I can suddenly feed my family with the best of the best of home made bread. OK, it's probably a Norwegian thing baking your own bread these days, but still... it's as good as it gets, mind you.

Here he is, the same man in action. I think this was taken from a film having gone through one of the Nikon FM2's during the last trip at sea. Probably pushed Kentmere 400, but I would have to check that to be absolutely sure. I guess it's all seen through a Nikkor 35mm lens. 

I also had a couple of Ultrafine Extreme 400 films in 120 size ready for development. Last time I dropped that into some developer (I think it was washed in good old Rodinal) I was not too pleased with the result to be honest. Dull and flat, little contrast.
I had forgotten all about it, to be honest, but a bell rang as soon as the first of the two rolls were out of the D-76 a couple of hours ago. Decided to adjust the times for the next one by something like a minute or so, and that seemed to help a bit.
It has to be added that the first of the rolls today came from the Diana F+ camera, of which you can say a whole lot. What you definitely can't say is that it has something like a contrasty lens on board. That could of course be one of the reasons giving a few underexposed and boring looking negatives. But again, we will see if there's something interesting on that roll as well when the thing has dried some time during the night.

So, tomorrow will be scanning day then. Keep checking this space for a few new frames in about 24 hrs. or so :)

onsdag 23. november 2016

Life on a Small Island

I'm here again, out in my tiny paradise way out west into the more or less open sea off the coast of Norway, on the tiny island of Ona. We went out here on Saturday, and were actually due to go home this morning, but after some not so very hard decisionmaking I failed to climb into the car along with my wife. Heck, she's going to be at work more or less 24/7 this week anyway so I might just as well stay out here for a few days more. 
Which means I'm sitting out here in rather total isolation. Just me and a small pile of cameras and no particular plans at all. Out and about to waste some film is on the short list of things to do, but nothing else to be honest. 
I just had a few prints put up on a couple of walls and a few other small things done, but that's about it. 
Lots of eagles out here at the moment. That's just the way things should be, as it is a certain sign that winter is slowly on it's way. Don't expect any great snaps of them though, as my snapping devices are not made for those kinds of snaps. As you might know from some time before.

From Ona in the summertime a couple of years back. This is from where the ferry dock four times a day in the winter, and five times each day during summertime. There's always a few people around in the summer, but today it's dead quiet out here. Suits me fine, to be absolutely honest. Sometimes it's nice to be alone inside one's head, believe it or not.

I went to see and hear a concert back at home Friday night. That was the reason why we did not get ourselves out to the island until Saturday, by the way. I'm sure you all remember the good old movie from the very early 90's with The Commitments. From lovely Ireland as you probably know more or less all about. Anyway I'm quite sure The Good Mr. Michael McNeill over in the more northern parts of Ireland knows what I'm talking about. Most likely a few of my other readers as well.
A great night out it was for sure. Brought my wife along, but also our two elder kids and their girlfriend/boyfriend as well. Just had to make them a bit updated on the Dublin Soul kind of music. Not that they cared too much about it, to be honest, but I think they had a great night anyway. At least the two grown ups did, and that's what counts anyway. 

So, he's not looking to unfamiliar the good old Andrew Strong even though appearing in the movie "The Commitments" around 25 years ago this year. My son just threw out on Facebook that the Telecaster playing guitarist in the background looking very much like good old Kurt Cobain is still into some old nice music. Interesting thoughts around the movie itself is the fact that the artist known in the movie as Jimmy Rabbite's (the manager of the band) sister, is actually one of the great Corr sisters Amanda. Maybe you did know, and maybe not. Great musicians, the Corr siblings. Andrea, Sharon, Caroline and Jim is all appearing in the film somewhere if you like to take another look into the thing from back then :)
Sorry, but this is a snap produced entirely inside my iPhone from the concert. Edited slightly inside the "Snapped" App... as you have to do when trying to keep things straight, sort of...

Sorry for the way too few words and snaps from this side lately, but being on the island makes things a bit difficult on the network connection side of things. I found a way through my mobile phone though, so if everything is on my side for the next few days I might be able to post something. Hopefully a snap or two as well, but we will see. 
Until then, take great care!

onsdag 16. november 2016

Short report

Been a bit busy the last couple of days, as you might understand.
Yesterday was the big drive-stuff-away-day, with the big advantage that the basement again is an area where it's possible to get inside. We have been throwing things away, you see. Preparing for the next step, to put it that way. If we wish to get away from this house and into something else some day, we need to get rid of stuff. That's why we're selling a few things, giving away a bit more and throws away a lot. It's absolutely insane when you look at the pile of stuff nobody wants. A lot of it is actually there because you thought it was a good idea at some point, to put it aside for someone else to pick up when they needed the thing. Well, they never did and probably never will. Luckily we have managed to find new homes to quite a lot, which I do feel good about. 

A darkroom print of "Mary's Church" made a few days ago. This one was snapped in Bergen a few weeks back using the old rangefinder with a yellow filter and 35mm lens attached. Ilford FP4 film developed in Rodinal 1:25, printed on Ilford Classic FB paper 5"x7". 

Among a pile of children toys being spread around near and far there was this dolls bed. Not big, but not very small either. I thought I just break it into pieces and throw it inside the fireplace to get rid of it that way, but the girls had put it into the pile of "giveaway/sell" stuff, so it was put into the wife's hands to organize that. Lots of stuff went hither and thither, but this dolls bed was standing there in the corner kind of forgotten. A bit late in the evening when everything else had been picked up, one father of a 3-4 years old girl suddenly called telling my wife that his daughter could not sleep because of this actual dolls bed. The father and his daughter had seen a snap of it on some fb page a bit earlier in the day, and the girl just could not forget about it. She had this little doll, and now the little thing was not able to sleep because she did not have a bed, and of course the little girl could not sleep either because her little doll was staying awake. 
So what can you possibly do? The dolls bed found it's way inside the car, and off the wife went with the thing. Came back home about half an hour later with tears in here eyes and everything, and the feeling of having done something small but important to someone. Made it worth to take a step back and think, actually.

And hey, while posting prints from Bergen anyway, what about this one? I took a short detour inside this from the outside looking very nice café or restaurant called Roll&Rock, and found this fantastic interior which I just had to waste a few frames of FP4 on. And while standing there trying to make everything fit inside the view of the 21mm lens this waitress came by in a hurry trying to get the customers inside another part of the place served. I just had to do what I usually never will, so I stopped her for a few seconds so I could snap the full scene. I guess you see what I mean... She was more than happy to stop for a few seconds, as you obviously will be when someone suddenly throw a 1960's rangefinder up inside a place like this. It's a bit of a weird snap with a hugely overexposed background there up against the window, but that's what you get when trying to save the best of most of the interior. I think I was down to 1/15s or maybe even 1/8s on this one, so I'm quite surprised it turned out as sharp as I could ever hope for. That's the kind of sacrifice you have to make when turning up with the wrong type of film stuck inside your camera. Darkroom print on the usual Ilford Classic FB paper.

And then I finally made it inside the darkroom a few days ago. Made a few prints of which you see a few examples posted today, but nothing great I'm afraid. 
They came out more like tests prints again, but maybe there's a couple I could try to do some further work on some day. The master plan was to try get a decent print of one of my latest weather snaps, but there's more work to be done before I can call that plan pulled off. Strange contrasts and things inside those snaps, which calls out for some extra work to be done, I think. Bleach is certainly one thing that comes to mind, but I got nothing inside the house to get something like that done right now. Is there someone out there having trying to bleach parts of a print before and at the same time willing to share some information or good links about the matters? I have been watching a few things over at youtube, and might try to follow something along one of the lines I found there. I would need to get some to me new chemicals though.

A print from the tour around my hometown a couple of weeks ago. Pushed Ilford PAN400 (1600 ASA) developed in Rodinal, printed on Ilford Classic FB paper before dried and then scanned. The usual treatment, as you know. I liked the silhouette effect of this lamp towards that boring sky we had that day, and I kind of like some of that negative space sort of thing happening up there on the upper right side of this print. There's also something about the lines in here that made it worth to print in my opinion. I might be the only one though...

And then there's the great World Championship of Chess going on over in New York and all. They broadcast every moment of it live on Norwegian television these days, as our own Magnus Carlsen is trying his best to keep his world champion title for another couple of years. I don't play the game myself, but I must say I think it's brilliant entertainment when they make such great live TV out of it, as they actually have managed to do the last couple of times the championship has been going on. 
The backside of it all is of course the fact that it has made me awake for too long a couple of nights. 

fredag 11. november 2016

Just another new day

See, the sun finally crept over the horizon today as well. Just like on any other day.
Not that we see too much of it, at the moment, as it's winter time and pretty far north where I live. And it's cloudy, of course, so I just know it's up there by the somewhat brighter light than it was a few hours ago. The temperature is a bit on the warmer side than it has been for the last three or four days which have been quite cold to say the least. Around minus ten, and still no snow down here by the sea. That's a bit on the cold side for us here on the coast, just saying. Damp air from the sea mixed with that kind of cold weather before adding some wind will turn the house into an ice box if you don't have your fire wood ready at hand. It's been nice inside here, just to let you know.

From the photo walk just outside the very center of town, Saturday. This nice woman were moving some dead leaves from one spot to the other, but took her time to talk to those of us having the time to stop for a while. She told us a short story about the house where she lives. As any other big house back in the time of WWII this one was also grabbed by the germans for them to use for a few years. There was even a prison inside it, and one of the guys from the resistance group sitting inside in one of the cells at the time managed to escape by jumping from the top floor before running half naked through parts of the town throwing himself into the sea to swim across to the other part of the town where he managed to hide away. There are still a few great stories passed around or the then young boys of the various resistance groups during the times of war. I've heard this one before, but was not aware that this was the house in question. It's always nice to learn something new. I think this was done with the black rangefinder, 35mm lens with yellow filter snapped on FP4 later washed in Rodinal. 

I thought I might get the chance to go inside the darkroom today, but it looks like I have to wait until the evening or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe both, if I'm a wee bit on the lucky side. I had a plan this time, and hope to be able to stick with it. Usually when I have a plan for the darkroom work I seem to get lost and tangled up into something else, but this time I hope to be able to do something a bit on the creative side. You see I found a few old prints the other day where I have been playing around inside the darkroom. Nah, it's nothing to scan and put onto this place, because they are all ruined and in a very bad state. But they gave me a couple of ideas, if nothing else, so I hope to be able to do some follow up on that soon.

I kind of like this little spot on Brunholmen, Ålesund. I like the lines of the narrow road and that wall there, and those old Art Nouveau buildings on top. Our entire town center burned to the ground in 1904, as you might know, and that's why more or less all buildings popped up with the same looks and style during 1905. It's a bit ironic actually, at least seen in coincidence with the above story from the time of war, that the help from the outside world to get the town rebuilt after the big fire were coming from the Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. He was a true friend of Norway, and played a big role in persuading King Oscar II of Sweden not to attack Norway after we managed to repeal the union in 1905. 35 years later I guess nobody could ever hope to persuade the germans in either direction, but that's another story. Ilford PAN 400 pushed to 1600 ASA then sloshed in Rodinal, through Nikon F3+85mm lens. 

As you might see I've scanned the films from the photo walk we did last Saturday. Underexposed, just as I told you, even though these seems to be OK. All sorts of things were done here anyway, so it's impossible to be absolutely sure where the biggest mistakes came from. Pushed film and limited experience from developing the Ilford PAN 400 at all might be one of the pits I fell into. 
Well, there's always a new day. 
At least I think I might learn this film one day, as I got a bunch of it waiting in my drawer to get used in the time to come. And there seems to be more where it came from. I might also stock a bit up on both HP5 and FP4, or maybe even some kind of Fomapan film. All good films and nothing much to worry about there. We will see.

onsdag 9. november 2016


Watching, with some degree of interest, the coverage of the election over the sea tonight. 
I'm not equipped with a right to vote, as you probably understand, so will not even think about commenting any of the candidates here on the blog. 
I did not have the right to vote during the big referendum in Scotland in 2014 either, and therefore did not comment it. At least not inside the public room. 
I do keep an eye on what's going on anyway, and do have some ideas around what might be the better choice and what's probably not. 
It's going to be a long run towards tomorrow morning, and I'm going to stay tuned for a few hours yet. I think. 
Whether we like it or not, the US president is a quite important person meaning a lot for a lot of people around the world the next few years. United Nations comes to mind quite quickly...

I ran a very short film (12 snaps) through a Voigtländer camera a while ago. I snapped it inside the camera so had to open it inside the darkroom to get it out of there. The film had been used before, and was full of double exposures. This was the only one that looks like a single exposure, but as you see the shutter did not quite follow. It's nice though, with the clouds, mountain, the sea and the sun and everything. Don't know if I'm going to run it through the enlarger to get it onto paper though. 

I have also been scanning some negatives during the afternoon. Not too happy with some of the exposures done with the Nikon F3 lately. I had a feeling that this would happen, as I have been trying to keeping an eye to the automatic exposure going on. It's easy to get fooled by the automatic things going on inside cameras, and I very well know that from before. Underexposed negatives is quite typical in some situations, and that's just what I got on quite a few frames. Seems like the center weight light meter works in a bit different way than on the FM2, and we know from manuals that the F3 is 80% - 20% center weight contrary to the 60% - 40% on the FM2. It might make some difference, and maybe to some visible degree in some situations. I will still look further into this, of course. 
And I went to the post office to pick up a packet from the UK. Film, as it happens.

mandag 7. november 2016

A weekend out and about

Oh yes, I've been on the move sort of, more or less the whole weekend. Not that I have been doing a serious lot, but there was a few things going on for sure.
First of all I went to this photo walk in the center of town for a few hours from Saturday morning. It was a fine day, and it was kind of nice to walk around with people sharing the same interest. Not that there was anyone else carrying real cameras of course, but they were still snapping in all kinds of directions just like myself. I think there were around ten(ish) of us doing the walk, which was just about the right amount of folks I would say. 

A print or two to show you today, made inside the darkroom on Ilford paper a couple or three days ago. It's from last weekend when we suddenly went off to Bergen. This is a church in the middle of town, the Mariakirken, or Mary's Church, if you like. A beautiful building from around 1180 or so, and the oldest still standing building in the city of Bergen. I only manage to snap the top of the two towers, as you see, but the rest is worth a look as well if you find yourself walking in this area some day. 

Around halfway through the trip one of the elder guys suddenly became aware that my camera seemed to differ a wee bit from the others in the area, and to be something he seemed to recognize from some years back. Eyes widened and questions started to fly around for a little while. That's always great I think, at least when people have an open mind about it all. And why would some of them not? As a matter of fact a few of them was even a few years older than me, and should quite well remember what they used to load into their cameras some years back. Cool thing is that some of the guys had even been thinking about it lately, to grab their old cameras to do something on film again. They probably had different reasons for having thoughts like these, but nostalgic reasons might be just as good as any other reason for wanting to try this method again. 

Another print from Bergen, but this time from way above the city itself. It's from a small mountain called "Fløien", which is very accessible because of the nice little train thing that will easily take you to the top. Nice walking area from where this was snapped and into the deeps of the forest behind me. I kind of liked this perspective with the goat and the traffic way below. I changed to the 105mm to get the background a bit closer. I think it worked, kind of.

This was meant to be some kind of a meeting in the local camera club. I have to start a new membership in a new club for 2017 as the club I used to be a member of has been shut down due to very low interest. I used to be a member of this club (far away from home) just to support it in some way, and to automatically be a member of the Norwegian mother club (NSFF) to get a few publications in the mail each year, and to be able to throw things in for evaluation and things like that. Not that I have ever done so, but anyway. It's always nice to have a chance to do so, should you feel like it some day. To become a member in the national club again I will either go to this local club, or to another club not too far away from here. I have not made up my mind about which of the two it's going to be yet. Rumors say they got some darkroom equipment in the local club, and there should be at least one member doing some film stuff. I did not get any more info during the walk on Saturday, but I will find out a bit more within a few weeks from now I guess. As I know a woman in this club since years ago I might even get the chance to have a quick look at the darkroom as well, just to get some idea what's in there and what it looks like. I mean if there is at least one other guy doing film it's kind of worth to test a membership for a year just to see if it's useful to either me or somebody else. I can always make an evaluation at some point through the year anyway and either stay or move to a different club. 

fredag 4. november 2016

Photo walk tomorrow

Good evening followers, I hope it's a nice one wherever you are at the moment.
Tomorrow the rumors say it's going to be some kind of happening involving a photo walk in town. I thought I might pick a camera and go along just to see what people are thinking and doing. More like a study of people than actually study the town, maybe. At least that's the thought for now, and we will see in the morning what actually happens. 
I actually thought I might bring one of the big Mamiya's just to see what I can get out of one of them on such a walkaround. I had an idea involving a tripod and some longish exposure with red filters and stuff, but I might have to call that off. You see I can't find this quite important part for my tripod. You know the bit you attach to the camera to make it fasten on top of the tripod thing. Nope, not possible to cheat it by connecting the camera directly to this stupid tripod I got. I actually knew where the thing was just a couple of weeks ago, but now it's like gone with the wind or something. I might find it before tomorrow, and I might not. 

I show you a night time snap of my working place, the Subsea Viking, which will never again be the same. I just heard today that the owner of the ship, the company I work for, have decided to flag the ship over to something cheaper. That would mean that most of the norwegians on board will never come on board again. They will become a number of the way too long list of Norwegian sailors who have lost their jobs the last year or two. I hope to keep my job, but you never know for how long that will last these days.

If I can't find the tiny but important bit for the tripod I might just leave the Mamiya at home and bring something a bit lighter to carry around for a few hours. The F3 or something like that, maybe. It's going to be a film camera, at least. I don't know if there's anybody else snapping film in this photo club, but then they will at least get one visiting tomorrow.
I might get looked at, maybe even suspiciously, but I take the chance... Hopefully I will have a snap or three from the event to show off some day soon. 
A pity that it's a Saturday walk, actually, because there's a few places around town I would like to visit on a regular working day. That would have to wait until another day, but that might be just as well as it's easier to get the right snaps when walking alone. 
I am a loner when it comes to photography. Then I can do everything in my own tempo and speed, and I don't have to stick with the feeling that I'm slowing down anyone, or run from things I find interesting before I have finished off the place. But then again it might be good for the brain to get together with other people sharing the interest from time to time to get new impulses and things like that. 
Can't hurt much, I guess. After all it's just a few hours of my life we are talking about, and no one can force me to stay for longer than I like. 
I might just as well show up with a positive mind and try to get something out of the day. 

A review, sort of, just posted

I just finished writing quite a few words about the old Nikon F3. You can find it over here, if you like and have the slightest amount of interest. 
Today I have been a bit busy inside the darkroom. Made a small bunch of 5"x7" prints, and a couple 8"x10" just because I felt like doing so. On warm tone fiber paper from Ilford they were printed, the big ones. The small ones were done on the Classic FB sort of stuff. Nice paper that as well. 
It's a good thing, I thought again today as I was standing there in the dark, that there still is such a dedicated company left making this stuff. 

Don't know how this appears on your screen. Looks a bit darkish and slightly muddy on mine, but that sort of reflects the weather this day. It's from the same roll of Tri-X as posted in my last post. I might print it onto some fine paper some day even. If so I think I need to try highlight that snow in some kind of way.

Tomorrow it's off with the car to get the winter tires on and to get a couple of other things fixed on the thing. What we actually should do is to get it changed out with something a few years fresher. The thing starts to fall apart, and that would normally mean the time has come to start testing something else. 
I like to test new cars. My wife not so.
Most likely I will have to do that on my own some day, and sooner rather than later preferably. 

I remember looking carefully through a photo book a few years ago. I had lost the name of the artist somewhere along the way, but today I did a search on the net with a few key words I actually remembered to try find out who and what. And the usual search engine did not fail this time either. The name is Alexey Titarenko, a russian dude taking the most beautiful long exposures on film, with both a nerve and loads of feeling inside. I remember I thought about political undertones as well when I first looked at his work in this book. 
Have a look at this interview with the man himself. At least there will be a couple of fine prints to glance at, and some great russian music to listen to in the background. 

onsdag 2. november 2016

Old film, new snaps. And some camera talk again

OK, so following that tiny step backwards because of the failing Nikon FE2 during the trip to the beach of Alnes a few days ago, I'm all back with something close to a positive look at most things.
I just came back home after a couple of weeks at the cottage, but will return there as soon as possible I guess. Either there, or maybe even Ona. Time will show.

As I searched my bags for unfinished films the other day I stumbled upon a halfway snapped film in a couple of the film backs for the RZ67 cameras. One of them kept the sticker from a Tri-X on the back of it, so I finished it off and had it developed yesterday. Turned out that the first 5 snaps was all of the youngest daughter. From the 17th of May, by the look of the clothes and all. All taken indoors, but the light falling on her face on this one was particulary nice, me thinks. It's a fine film, the Tri-X, but it twists and turns, curls and folds like nothing else. Kind of irritates me... 

I have been continuing my search for a different camera to use for the full year project in 2017, and I think I might have found the answer (again...). 
The big question seemed to be to which extent I think hauling a big camera around all the time would start to feel like a drag, or if I might think I'm quite comfortable doing so.
Usually when I leave the house I seem to carry at least one bag with cameras anyway. Maybe focusing only on one single camera and one single lens for most days and situations could actually become some sort of a relief in some way. Sometimes, at least.

I have still not made up my mind, but at least I have loaded one of the old Nikon F3's with some film just to see how it works. It's a wee bit on the heavy side, as we know, but it's a very well balanced thing after all and does not really weight you down in any noticeable way. I mean we're not talking about the RZ67 kind of weight here, just to make that clear. That thing would quite quickly become a real drag!
It's not that one of the small and neater FM2's would not have been able to do the job, but I think it's about time I try to learn the F3 to know a bit better than I actually do. I have snapped quite a few rolls through them things before, so it's not that I don't know how to use them or anything, but I have never been at a point where I have chosen the F3 in favor of the FM2.
Don't ask me why, because there is no very good answer to it. Probably it all comes down to old habits and that I know I can trust the old manual things, so why go for something else?
Well, time to throw things a bit around, I think. If you asked me today, I would probably say I'm going for the F3. Let's see, I might have a different opinion in a week or so.
The F3 used to be a real professional camera back in the days of the eighties and nineties. In fact Nikon did build this camera over a period of 21 years from 1980 to 2001. That's something to have in the back of your head when you see the speed they change the models coming out these days. 
They built the F3 with a few flaws, of course. They always seem to do just that, for some odd reason. I will not use time on that right now, but rather save it for a rainy day as I probably will need something to wright about then as well.  

From the same film as above, but taken just a few days ago when I discovered the unfinished film. We had some light and shadow passing by rather quick, so I made the old RZ67 ready outside to be able to quickly step out to snap a few should the light shine in a nice way through them clouds. It certainly did, but I never were quick enough. It was cold as heck outside, so I did not want to stay out there either. This one seems rather nice, though. There's one or two others as well... might post them another day :)

Today I did nothing much. Baking bread, scanning a few films when time allowed, went to a funeral... and that was about it, I think.
Tomorrow will not be anything close to that interesting, probably. I might find something to do in or outside the house, or I might also put up the darkroom and get things done in there. I got a few things I need to get done, but nothing urgent. Which is good, by the way.
I seem to have to get ordered a small bunch of 8"x10" paper one of these days. Will not do that from any norwegian shop! Just checked the price for a 100 pack of stuff from Ilford... and well. AG-photographic over in the UK have the same paper for well under half the norwegian price. Just saying.
I should probably call one of my friends from the ship, see if any of them would be willing to hand carry a pack or two on board for me. That would save me a great deal in norwegian taxes as well, but no matter how I do it I would save some money it seems.

tirsdag 1. november 2016

Don't develop your film this way

I woke up this morning and quickly decided it looked like a very nice day to get a few films developed. In other words it was not a nice day at all. At least not on the outside of the house, if you see what I mean. Rain came in like thrown out of huge buckets, and it came horizontally. A bit breezy, as we also call it.
So I fetched a few films, mixed some D-76 to throw the film into, went into another room to get my can containing 5 liters of fix... and went on with the work. 

Ilford Pan 400, testing the first film of this batch. I could obviously have been a bit more lucky with the development of the stuff, but you have to read about that below. The snaps taken outside seems to be nice enough. All snaps done on the old german rangefinder. This is the 50mm lens, it seems.

First film developed, fix in for about ten minutes as I usually do, then a quick rinse before I open to check that everything looks good. 
Well, it did not look good at all to tell you the truth. I'm just seeing some kind of grey haze, and in a split second I am thinking exhausted fix, and throws the film back into the darkness before I empty the 5 litre can to mix up a new one. Everything good so far.
After a short while I'm ready for a new round of fix. Throwing in the new solution and starting the watch for another ten minutes. 
Then, somewhere halfway into the process I realize the disaster! My can of "Fix" is very clearly marked, at least at four different spots with the text: "Ilford Multigrade Paper Developer".
Well, that works a bit different than fix normally would do, I would think?!
So, I finished the fix bath and checked the film visually for a few moments. Does not look too bad, actually. I'm in the process of scanning it right now, so you will see a couple of examples around here. 

See? People are whining about on all the bad weather they have in Bergen all the time. Rain and wind and nothing good at all. It was fine here on this day, but then again it was during the very long dry period we just had. We see nothing of that now, as it happens. I guess the water basins are soon to be quite full, again...

Worst thing was probably that I threw away 5 liters of fully functional fix, and 5 liters of absolutely fresh multigrade paper developer. 
Some days you should just have stayed in bed for a few more hours, I guess. 

I kind of liked this one. The snap, that is. I just had to stop right here because of the people you see right there. How come that people have to shout loudly to each other when being out in the perfectly silent nature on a nice day? I guess these folks are about 6 meters apart, or something like that. Even so you would hear them from a very, very long distance. Not only could you hear them, but you could also very clearly hear what they were talking about. 

Next thing I screwed up was the development of a film I was absolutely sure was a medium format roll of HP5. Well, turned out to be the "Ultrafine 400" I told you about a few days ago. The one they say is nothing like HP5 at all. I have not been studying that one yet, but there are information visible so I guess I'm getting something from it anyway. 

We walked up here for a while. It was quiet (for the most part) and the terrain was easy to walk in. I even thought of snapping a few trees, as you see. It was a nice day with the suns rays finding their way down through the branches and everything. 

A not too fine day then, but I guess stuff like this will happen every now and then. After all it's nothing worse happened than a couple of wasted films. I seem to do a lot of that anyway, so this is not going to give me any sleepless night :))