torsdag 31. mars 2016

It seems I got a few projects going on

Had to go downstairs this morning. Down in the basement, as I got a few things down there. Things I should have finished off in a few weeks or so. 
It's the boat, you know. Or not the boat, ofcourse, because that's a bit big to get in there. Bits belonging to the boat, it is. Wooden stuff left there to dry over winter to get a nice and fresh layer of oily things some time during spring. There's old varnish or oil to be removed, which takes some time, as you might know. Big things they are, them wooden things. The jib boom (or whatever you call it the long thing protruding from the bow on a decent sail boat) is a quite heavy piece of wood, as it happens. Long it is as well. Just barely getting it inside the basement to get the job done. 
Well, I'm on the task and getting there. Some time tomorrow, I guess. Getting the old stuff off, that is. There's a lot of work still to be done before it's all finished, but I will get there as well. Need some good weather for that bit, as I want to work with that outside the house. Will need some help to carry it outside. 

Seven stones in a row on the beach. Pointing outwards, towards the sea, they do. They point towards the landside as well, naturally, but that's not the important one. It's one of the misserable negatives you've heard about before. The beach is in England somewhere. East coast, probably Yorkshire.

Itching a bit to get inside the darkroom soon. I have been waiting for a new bottle of fix to get here, as my last batch appeared to be stone dead last time I developed a few films. You have seen the results, and there's more to come. Grainy and dull negatives with absolutely no contrast in them. Thick they are, as well. Need some real light to have the slightest chance of shining it through the stuff. I post them anyway, as you know. 
Counted the rolls yesterday. 10 pcs. of 135 film and 8 rolls of 120 film to develop, and then there's a few prints I really need to get done. Looking forward to that bit, I do. I love to do prints, and to see them materialize in front of me. At least when the print turns out to be a good one, that is. 
I got things to do, as you might understand, but luckily one of the things require daylight while the other mission require darkness. Not that the darkness comes at any early hours this time of year, but there's no point in waiting for too long either, as it's not going to help me a lot. It's the different seasons, you know. During the few summer months it hardly ever gets dark up here, at least as long as the weather is good. And I want some good weather this summer. Actually we deserve some good weather this summer, as the last one was more like a very long autumn with cold and damp weather all the way until the real autumn came along. Then there was winter, and now it's spring time. Although, wakening up this morning was a bit like it was mid-winter again. 10 cm of fresh snow had been falling during the night, but it's OK... it always will do this trick anyway, the weather. Most of April is the same way up here. Everything tells you that spring is here, and then it's all turned white again. Bloody irony of the seasons.

Way down in the dungeon of Edinburgh castle. Cold, dark and damp. Not a place you want to stay. Just saying.

Oh... and I have just developed three films, and they looks a lot better than the ones you have seen the last few posts. You will see some soon, if you stay around this place a bit longer. One film from the old Pentax Spotmatic as well, as it happens. Cool?! 

onsdag 30. mars 2016

Home again

Well, not at home as in the house, but rather at the cottage by the sea. We like it a lot better here than we do at home. It has a lot to do with the surroundings and such, and the quietness of the place. The cat seems to love the place as well. I just let her in, and she has already been asking for new food twice plus gone to bed. She's got her own carpet on the floor in a very convenient distance from her food. 
Some wind today. Or it's not windy as such, but having nets in the ocean in the hope of catching some fishy things it's a bit windy when the hope is to get it all into the boat quite soon. Looks like we might get it done, but I will certainly not hold my breath. I'll let you know at some point. 
The snaps today will all be from totally ruined films. Fixer problems, as it happens. I manage to get a very few, but still very bad, pictures out of the things. Will have to do for now, as there are more film to be wasted during the next few days. 

Oh yes, we were in Scotland. He was standing here in his kilt, probably freezing a few bits off. He looked happy enough, no matter what. 

I opened my drawer yesterday. The one upstairs in the cottage you know, the one supposed to contain a few clothes I might need. It's always good to open one of my drawers as they seem to contain stuff I had forgot about. Simple things like yesterdays need of fresh socks made me run into two great cameras, a couple of good lenses and film. Exposed film, which I could not remember having put in there. I knew the films did exist, because my "Notes" I told you about the other day have been telling me that there should be films somewhere that have yet to be washed in some developer. I have had no particular clue on where to exactly find them, though. Well, now they're taken out of the drawer and put elsewhere together with the few rolls I have exposed during last period of work. I might even find that something has sticked on them. When I get to the developing, that is. Ofcourse. 

That would be some underwear to stroll around in... huh?! To be honest I think it's a good thing that we have moved a bit forward since the days this was used. Found it inside one of the buildings up there on the hill in Edinburgh. The castle, you know.

Well... I wrote them words you just read quite a few days ago, to be honest. Have had things to do, as you might understand?! 
Not that I have done much, more that I have been out and about and around. It's called life, as you know. 
Today I was up early. Scanned the last film from the trip to England a while ago. You see I can't get it all done in just a few moments. Oh, and I have been to work as well. One month at sea, you know. 
We got some fish in them nets, as it happens. Which was good as we had a fish meal planned. Three cods, one of them quite big, a nice haddock and a couple of good sized pollacks. We made fish cakes (as we do over here) of everything besides the cod. They were turned into a couple of fantastic meals straight away. It was very nice

Up the stairs they go. I tried them as well, and managed quite well I would have to say. It's up there, inside the walls of Edinburgh castle. 

Well, I better try to get a few things done before the sun sets, even though it seems to set at quite late hours these days. At least when the clouds happen to be somewhere else. 
I will try to get a post out a bit more often folks. Need to blame this hickup on the easter and such, I think. 

tirsdag 22. mars 2016

One of those days!

You know the sort, don't you?
Having lined up your working day already the day before, just to make sure you will be able to get it all done and dusted, and made everything in order to go on holiday in two days.
You even wake up an hour early to really get a flying start and be a little bit ahead of the game, because you know it's going to take time and effort, and the extra hour might be your reward when the evening comes, and things like that.
So, that's what you think and plan for, right? And what do you get instead?

See? Wouldn't this be a whole lot of fun to play with? One of our jobs is obviously to check and make sure that all our fire equipment works as intended. There's a lot of stuff on board, as we're supposed to be kind of self dependent out at sea. In between we also try to have some fun, obviously. At least when possible. Testing the water cannons always is. That was until the helideck itself disappeared because of the heavy seas out west of Shetland, ofcourse. Now there's more or less nothing at this spot. No canon, no helidec... but we soon got a new one to be fitted, so stay tuned.

I went down this morning, just to grab a cup of the best coffee made onboard this ship. You'll find it in the engine department, just to inform you should you find yourself on board this lump of steel at some point. I almost got there, but ran into some funny smell, one engineer, two laundry assistants and a couple of ROV workers standing like a mob in the hallway between the engine room door and the laundry door. And that's when I understood my day was totally ruined. 
A bloody washing machine had caught fire, and that will, just saying, mean a few people will need a report on the table. Soon! Sometimes it seems they want the damn report even before the fire is out, but they behaved a bit today, the report readers. 
The report writer suddenly wanted to be home and away, to be honest.

Hellyeah!! I love the feeling of this! Trouble is that I had to get so close to the water because I was stupid enough to put that 21mm very wide angle lens on one of the rangefinders that not only my camera was totally drenched before we had finished this session. I had to go straight in and change clothes. And wipe some water off the camera. Sea water and all, you know. But it's fine. 

Well, it's now 21.25 in the evening, and my report is not only finished and gone but also reviewed and acknowledged by all the top guys on board. Next is the shoreside, which I fear a lot more. Maybe, but only maybe, a washing machine is something they have seen enough times to understand what I'm talking about, but I will certainly not hold my breath.
Each and every time I write a report and send it off to the Brightest Brains in Britain, they seem to come back to me with the most unbelieveable questions. Why is that? I have been thinking a lot about it, and the only answer I can actually come up with is that they are not marine engineers. Not that marine engineers is that bright, that's not what I mean. I think it's more or less the same whatever your profession is. 
Sometimes I would love the things to turn a bit. Make them write reports from their daily work, which I obviously got no clue about, then they send them over to me for review. And I would, ofcourse, not understand a single thing about nothing, and start to ask a million, for them, silly questions. 
Why can't they just try to understand that we are not speaking the same language, and if they want things to be simple they got to have some top shot marine engineer or something similar sitting in the chair waiting for reports sent in by us. I still can't see the point in writing a report that no one understands, and which always seem to end up with a lot of e-mails going back and forth, and in the end they want a telephone meeting to "clearify" stuff. And then, after a week or so, they basically can't find any better question than asking if we're sinking...

See? These are the simple things we deal with every day. Nothing like rocket science at all, as it happens. Foaming up a helideck is easy enough I would believe, even for a hot-shot technician on the shoreside. I wonder more about how I managed this snap without foam on the lens. It was pretty darn close on a few occations there.

Well, enough vomit for the day. It's just the fact that it has put me a bit off. I did not need this only a couple of days before I'm going home, but I will make it. I always seem to do, no matter what :)

I will need to talk about pictures some other day!

mandag 21. mars 2016

Getting closer!

To the end, that is. 
Well, not the end as such I truly hope. More like to the end of this very long line of pipe out here at sea. We have surveyed the majority of it now. Just need to do some checking of risers and stuff out here where the old Schieallion FPSO used to stay. That old barge has finally been removed now, and we are currently waiting for the replacement thing, named Glen Lyon to get finished off and sent out here. 
You can read a little bit more over here, if you bother... All I can tell out of it is that it's a fairly big project, but then again my ship has been working more or less non-stop on this field for 13 years. Wouldn't do that just for fun, I would believe?
We did lots of the dirty work of dismantling things between mother earth and the old Schiehallion thing, but it seems like my vessel, the Subsea Viking (I know, looks like shite here, but that's what the area west of Shetland do to a vessel...), is getting swapped out by a newish vessel soon. The old beating west of Shetland has taken it's toll on this old lady, but I think there's no doubt that we would manage to put the new FPSO in place as well, if we ever were given the chance. After all we got some good competence and know-how on board after all these years. 
Well, it's not in our hands, or heads, to decide things like that. We got brighter brains ashore to do the thinking for us. At least such kind of thinking...

OK! Not what you by any means would call a great photograph in any way. Case is that the thing in the middle never was too good looking anyway, so doesn't matter to much I would say. But it lasted for a while out here in this area, and believe me when I tell you that the weather you see in this picture is not exactly the usual state of the sea west of Shetland! I have no idea of which camera, film, lens or developer used. Probably Rodinal, I would say.

Anyway, seems like we already have a contract for some work waiting for us when we are due to leave the west of Shetland area for good some time this summer. Early june has been mentioned, but I have stopped listening to rumors of dates long ago when it comes to this business. We shall see. 
We shall also see if this is the last they will see of us up at this field, because after all bringing a new ship on this contract might not be as easy as the bright heads ashore seem to believe. 
Then again, it might function alright for what we know :)

One more then, of this giant of oil production for the UK up through the years. This is history now, and I can at least guarantee you that these snaps are among the last taken of this thing on film, And if there are later snaps on film of it, I'm the one who got them somewhere in my files. Not to many souls out here dealing with film anymore, as you might have guessed. Would have been nice to be the first and last one to snap the Glen Loyal on film as well, when that one is into postition, but looks like someone else might get the chance. Not that anyone would bother... 

søndag 20. mars 2016

Portraitlike kind of snaps

Snapping up people. Making them fasten on film.
Sometimes it's quite easy, other times you may seem to struggle forever, and still miss to capture something even close to what you had in mind.
It's still fun though. And interresting to see how different people behave in front of a camera.

I have learned that people generally get used to it. And I have somehow learned that some never seem to get used to it.
The younger generation just couldn't care less should you put a lens, or even a double lens of a TLR, straight up their nose. Worst you'll get is a couple of flickering eyes after the deed is done, but most of the time just nothing. No questions, no nothing. The reason might be that they usually seem to use a lot more energy looking at some screen than take on board that they just were snapped onto some good old film. So, the youth is quite OK to work with if you want to test things. Test you know the film, light, what works and what's definately not working. Things like that, use the youth if you like to make things simple.

I could probably get closer if I wanted. The bad thing about these snaps is that it's more or less impossible to get eyes on film. It's all about that center of the universe, the screen, you know! Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we removed all these phones for a day or two... 
1957 Rolleiflex 2.8E on some well outdated early 1980s ORWO NP22 film. 

Then you got the tiny bit older ones. Say around 30 or something. This bunch is usually, for me anyway, my colleagues at work and a few figures back home. They can be tricky at times, wondering and asking questions. You know, why they were snapped and what use you think the final thing is going to get. Internet? Facebook...? I usually leave the answer a bit blowing in the wind, prefereably underlined by a more or less noticeable shrug of my shoulders. On a few occations I hope they stay away from searching the net for any blogs I may have written at some point. People in this category will be able to find out if you did this or that, which can be good and bad. Weird thing is that they may feel it's quite OK to put more or less anything on facebook, but in the same time feel that you have done something close to horrible if they find out you have posted something they have not seen before onto some odd web page no one has ever heard about.
Anyway, the guys at work has stopped noticing when I silently walk around with some camera. I have done the same thing now for years, and they have not seen anything on the web they did not like as for yet, so they just leave me to it, probably thinking that the film is not working or something like that. Weird, huh?

Easy! This guy got used to my behaviours with a camera through the years we worked together. A swedish master of the karate sport, so I would think I'd find my cameras in bits and pieces some day if he thought it was not OK. Then again, these karate guys got an extremely long fuse to burn out before they pop! I know stuff like that. Don't ask, please! Here he's testing his mind and patience on some unsolvable puzzle. He made it in the end though, ofcourse, finished the puzzle off and everything. He got another job not to long ago. The puzzle thing was found to be burnt just after he left...

The majority of people shots, or portraitlike snaps I've done up until now, has been of people I know and who has been very aware of me snapping away in their direction.
Then I have also been out there walking the streets with my camera ready, but never really got to it. Not in a real way, if you see what I mean. I have taken photos, but have not been able to get anything special out of them. They need to look authentic, somehow. They need to tell me something, but I have not been able to do just that. As for yet, anyway. I am curious to the process, and need lots of more training to get it right. If I ever get it right. We shall have to wait and see, obviously. I think you will need to look at things with the right eyes, and I think you need to pick the right sort of people and situations. I also to some degree think you got to have it in you, or you just will not be able get it done in a good way.

Then it's the elder sort. Not necessarily old, but a little bit older than myself. Let's say 65 and older, just to have a starting point. As always the limits of where you go from being middle age to old is very individual... just saying. And it's tricky, because it seems to move a bit along with your own ageing... 
Well anyway, this category is a bit different. The majority of them would not be able to find their photo unless you printed it and really forced them to have a good look at it anyway, so no danger here! They never seem to think you would use the snap for anything at all, and would act more or less like the youth. Oblivious to the whole thing. Well, not in all situations and maybe that's just as well. We want to capture some kind of expression, don't we?

I love this one! It's part of a series on a few snaps I was able to get a few years back. I was sitting very close to him, wearing a FM2, or maybe the FE2, and a nice old 50mm lens. I am quite sure this was some Delta 100 film. Not my favourite thing, but that does not matter much. One have to use what one can fish out from somewhere when needed. He was a bit curious in the beginning, but after a few comments around film and such, he found better use of his time and started chatting like I hoped he would. Turns out this is one tough guy. Throwing himself on a bike pedaling like 5-6 hours more or less every day. Participating in long races he does as well from time to time. The Trondheim-Oslo race is the longest one in Norway. Some 540 km in one go. Crazy man...!

OK, and this will be the bottom lines and my conclusion of it all, I promise. Best snaps of people will usually be the ones done when people act as normal, more or less, or when you get some sort of expression you're after. And I think part of my conclusion is that people at all ages will be able to do just that, but not all of them. Not with a camera lens stuffed up their field of vision. Some people you will never be able to get a decent snap of, no matter how hard you try, while others will be an easy match. 
But you will always need to be in the right position there and then, everything ready set to just hit the trigger at the right moment. And that's the tricky part. Some times we make it, more often not. And we need to practice to nail it. It's as simple as that, really.

Nice, huh...?

lørdag 19. mars 2016

Stuff protruding from ground level

I got nothing much to say today. You're probably very happy, me thinks, as I more or less only have bull to throw out anyway.

Just a few quick snaps today. Both would be of a couple of areas of interrest. Well, not that graveyards are a particular interrest, but maybe it's the towerish thing they have put up on this place. 
Towers put up in more or less low terrain really draw me towards them, either if it's a lighthouse, or like in this case the very small bell tower of a graveyard on a small island on the norwegian coast facing the North Sea. 
I don't know why this attracts me, and what it's all about, but could have something to do with the misfit in some way? And don't make the wrong conclusion please. Misfit in a good way, it is. Like in that the thing don't belong here naturally, but looks great even though protruding like a fallos or something up through the landscape. You might even understand what I'm talking about, for all I know...

Small house to hide away stuff belonging to the graveyard, and to go inside to ring them bells, when needed. I remember snapping this one, because as I approached the place the light was absolutely fantastic, and the tower appeared to be whiter than ever. A few minutes later it looked like this, and never got any better. Typical north western norwegian weather! So, I would need to stay there, I guess. Armed with the heavy Mamiya RZ and some good old film, and just play the waiting game. This was snapped with a fine Sekor APO 250mm lens, fitting the afore mentioned Mamiya RZ system. A lovely lens, but no lens could save the dead light I suddenly experienced here.

Bhut... not only towers housing small church bells sticking up from the ground in this area. There's the lighthouse, ofcourse, which you have seen a hundred times before. And there's a few poles and pylons. Loads of them, to be honest. At least compared to the size of the place. No pylons down towards the graveyard area of the island, as it happens, as there's nothing else down here but bells which would be powered by some human effort. And a nice sandy beach, there is as well. I will snap that some other day.

From the very small island of "Ona" towards the nearby island of "Husøya" where the churchyard is located a bit to the left of everything you see inside this snap. Oh, and the pylon...! It's a good looking one, don't you think? You may even see the small lighthouse over there on the top of "Husøya"? It's a modern thing, mind you, far from as nice as the old thing just above and to the right of me when taking this picture. I got a much better snap of the same scene, captured directly onto some great old Agfa B&W darkroom paper. You may have seen it somewhere in here before...

See, here's one. The Pylon. Placed just below the "Onakalven", which is the name of the small hill upon which the lighthouse is placed. Made in 1867 it was, of cast iron and painted red. They had a good few months of repair done on the old thing a couple of years ago, and when they were finished and removed the tarpaulin it became evident that they had used the wrong color! Or, it's a bit difficult to tell, to be honest, as the red paint will probably fade into the right shade in a few years time. But then again... who knows? We might have to live with this ugly type of red in a lifetime to come, for all I know. Scares the heck out of me, it does!

No post from Ona would be complete without the lighthouse!! This was taken from the stairs of my summer house, or my part of the house to use the more correct wording. It's more or less the view from my kitchen window. You know, morning coffee and such. Looks good, huh...? Mamiya RZ67 and probably that same Sekor 250mm APO lens as mentioned earlier. Got no clue about the film as for now. Probably some cheap China stuff...

fredag 18. mars 2016

Funny feeling

Sure is!
It's a funny feeling writing a blog. You have absolutely no idea who you're writing for, and who is going to look at the pictures posted and all. OK, you know a very few of them, but all the others are well hidden more or less spread around the world in no particular order.
Suits me quite fine, actually, but it's still a funny feeling.

I give you some old stonework to look at today. Built some time in the early 1900's not to far from where I live. This old thing used to be the main road to town for all those living on the other side of it all the way up to 2004 when a new bridge finally was finished. It's a nice bridge, the old one. There are actually two of them, as there's a smaller but very similar one just a few yards further from this one. Don't know what I snapped this on, but had to be either the rangefinder or one of them FM2 japanese things.

I am still in the process of going through Phil's blog, in addition to reading new posts from the other ones I'm following. I try to have a good look through things if I find something that interrests me, meaning I have to go through it all. Years of posting, but that doesn't matter. It just take some time, that's all. And sometimes I got some spare time, even when I'm at work. Not during the working hours, obviously, but as the evening comes one got to do something that will not make you go totally nuts out here at sea. Reading good blogs is a great activity. At least if they contains some great photos as well.
I like good photos snapped on film, and I like a few words written around the things. What I don't like too much is when a blog only tends to circle around tech stuff and the million things you seem to "need" to get the business done. I like it every now and then, but not in every single blog post. I'm more into short stories, and let something to be left to the reader to find out on his/her own. I have to say that I'm a lot more interrested in the final result, the photograph itself, than how to get there. At least that's the norm. Some times I want tech stuff, but then I will find it. It's quite easy, actually.
Then again, we are different all of us, and there usually is something to find for most of us, so instead of letting the anger build up, you may just as well turn around and find something different to read for a while. There's always something, it seems.
I just hope my own blog is a bit of both, but then again it could be only me and a few handful others that want it this way. Well... who cares anyway? I write what I write, and let people themselves decide if they want to read it or not. That's probably the best way to look at the matters.

More stone. Same bridge from the other side. Probably the same camera, as the two masterpieces was found on the same strip of film...

I got a few prints back home. I need to get them framed and put on a wall soon. They are lovely things made over the sea, but I'm not 100% sure of where to put them as for yet. I got plans for them though. Just need to get everything sorted out first. I got a few of my own which need to be framed and hung as well. I'll let you all know when it's done and dusted.
It's half the point, almost, to put them on display for all to see. There's nothing much that beats a good old darkroom print. Just saying, even though I've said the same thing lots of times before.

Well, heck... why not? I give you the ghost man of York, at least if you look extremely closely. He's wearing a cloac and a hat, were pointing in all kinds of directions and was very good telling old ghost stories from the area. I carried my Diana F+ camera, and my wife was this close to go totally mental because of the clicking of the film spooling device on the thing. I might I need to open it up and "repair" it, because in any other respect it's a great camera, as you definately see proof of here...

I keep notes. They are not very accurate at all, but they may still be used to vaguely determine what's on which film, and inside which camera the given film was exposed to a small dose of light. The reason I had to start doing it was the fact that I got a bunch of cameras, and such had no idea what to expect when a roll had been sitting for too long a time inside some box somewhere without having been treated in some developer.
When I first started taking notes I did not know what I needed in particular, so they tended to be too accurate. Nowadays it's more like every film get their unike number, and into which camera they go. I might also at times put a few notes down on where and when, but it's not accurate at all. I have found this to be a useful tool as it also helps me to keep track of what kind of film lurks inside any given camera. Sometimes if testing a lens or something I will take a short note of that as well, but that's quite rare. I tend to think I will remember what I did when I do something out of the norm... I never do, ofcourse...!
Reading my notes from last year it looks like I need to go home to dig out a few of the forgotten ones there at the back row of the pile. I obviously got a few rolls with five or six snaps done in there somewhere. At least according to the notes. That's too bad, don't you think? 

torsdag 17. mars 2016

I noticed this morning, today is The Day!

During the opening my blog list this morning I immediately became aware that today is The Day! St. Patrick's day, as it happens, with everything that may involve to anyone out there. To some probably not that very much, but to others around the world it's a very big day for sure!
So first of all; to Michael, Van the Man, Sinèad, The Edge, Phil Lynnot, all the ones I simply have forgot about here and now, and to all you other irishmen out there; A Happy St. Patrick's Day to every single one of you!

I found this Celtic Cross outside the old St. Magnus Cathedral one day I was walking around with my medium format 6x6 Rolleiflex TLR in hand. It's not by any standard close to the large format shot made by my friend over in Ireland, but it's one of the few I ever have snapped on film, thus this is going to be the one I post, on this St. Patrick's Day. I might even have some very well dilluted celtic blood in my own old veins, so I feel it quite justifiable to put it up right here. It's snapped straight towards a totally uninterresting sky, mind you, hence the very light background. Not the best of exposures, to tell you the truth...

You see, it's a big day, St. Patrick's day. We are talking National Day type of thing here, and the irish people seem to have been quite good at keeping this good old tradition alive up through the years. We all know that there's irish people all over the world, and that there's a lot of them! Any town with any respect to itself would have a decent irish pub placed somewhere close to where everything happens. 
We even got a few scotsmen turning irish for the day on board this vessel in the middle of nowhere. They might have some irish heritage to take care of, though. I don't know, to be honest.

Anyway, The Day is being celebrated more or less all over the world these days, and I must say it seems like a good thing to do. After all, norways national day is being celebrated on the most unthinkable corners of the world as well, but that's a totally different thing! St. Patrick's day seem to be a bit different kind of celebration, by taking a quick look around different media. Looks like lots of fun, to me anyway.

Not trying to give the impression being an expert in Celtic heritage and symbols here, but I would certainly think that this might go for a Celtic Cross as well?! Outside the St. Magnus cathedral in Kirkwall this as well, as you might be able to tell from the thing in the background there in more or less focus and everything. Same camera, same film whatever it was I snapped them on. 

That's it about St. Patrick's day for now folks! I simply don't know enough about the matters to bring you the whole story, and that's probably not the point either. Just wanted to make you aware, if you were not so already. 

onsdag 16. mars 2016

What a day at sea!

Must have been one of the most beautiful days west of Shetland ever! 
You could not possibly have smoother waters back home in your bathub, and I promise you that's not any everyday experience out here in these waters. 
A lovely norhtern light yesterday late evening, as you might have seen if you're a member of this facebook group, and the sea state like a mirror all day long since the early morning. And we could see far, far away! I have never been up here at the Clair field being able to see all the way down to Foula. Today it was just like we were just a few miles off, and the silhouette of the island was very visible towards the clear sky. I could see Shetland as well, very clear. All the way from north around Ronas Hill and southwards down to Foula and the southern parts. Eshaness as well, even though that bit of the land looked a bit low and not very rough and tough at all. A bit unlike being there when the weather is battering the cliffs like it usually do out there. 
Well, not an every day experience, so just had to tell you all about it!

I don't know what you call this... We call it a "naust" over here. The orcadians call it a "noost" or "noust", which is basically exactly the same word and pronunciation we use over here in Norway. Then again, they were a part of this country not that long ago. Well, it's a while ago, but old language seem to be nothing they throw away very easily. I printed this inside the darkroom a while ago. On very nice paper and all. Ilford Art300 as it happens, and I kind of liked it. It's a weird paper at times, but I tell you a bit more about that some other day. 

And, being a reader of a few blogs, I was lucky enough to find a link to Phil Bebbingtons photo blog a few days ago. In here somewhere I found it, inside Andrea's blog. 
Case is that I have gone through around half of it now, and still can't stop. There's just something there, tangled up inside this mans pictures, that makes it worth the while it takes. Hey, he has even made me want to give color film a go again! That will not happen every day, so just be warned. 
But it's not only the colors. There's something to do with the use of lines as well, in a way that please my eye obviously. Not often you see square snaps made inside an old sweedish camera composed in such a delicate way. Just saying.
And the feeling of loneliness inside the frames. More or less never a person, or living life at all, to be seen. I wonder how he managed to travel all over the US, taking all them photos, and never get a single person inside the reach of the 6x6 frame of that Hassy? 
Then there's a few blogs I think I need to stop following. Some Hi-tech digi stuff I obviously thought was something completely else back at some point. Something I thought was personal blogs which turned out to be commersial crap in the end. Well, you still learn something new every day, I suppose.

Albert Street in Kirkwall it is. You may drive here if you feel like, but only in one direction of course. It leads up to Broad Street just a couple of hundred yards in the oposite direction of where I pointed my huge Mamiya RZ67 this one day a few years back. Looks like this might be some sunday morning by the looks of it. I just started looking at that line there, painted on the narrow road. Why bother at all, me thought. I even think it's hand painted... or I might be wrong about that.

And, being one day closer to crew change day I can also hand over to you a report of the weather back home today. No wind, around 16 deg. C and a spotless sky. May it last for a long time...! Knowing my bits of the weather back home though, I kind of know what to expect in a few days time.

Time flies when you have fun!

Time really went away this evening. I had an idea for a post a bit earlier, but I will certainly not start going down that line here and now! One need some sleep as well, as you might be aware of allready.

We used our time well today, finishing off the stuff we did out east... whatever that was, and moved westwards over to the west of Shetland fields where we are right now. Have got the ROV's wettened and all, which means we should be on our way searching for whatever we are searching for along the pipe thing down there at the sea bed. It's tedious work, I tell you!

I'm kind of back to my habbits, posting totally random photos. It was just that I found this nice portrait of my father, probably snapped some time during the mid 90's. See, film was the big thing back then as well. I remember these spools, and as a matter of fact I still got a few of them. Old Ilford spools they are, and used to be great because you could quite easily re-use them if you were a tiny bit careful during the opening of the little can. So that's what we did here. Rolling our own film, and probebly checking the result after cutting the end. This was probably snapped using my old Nikon F401 or something. That's a guess... And the scanning sucks, I know!

Nothing more to say tonight. Or, I would have if I started earlier, but will have to wait until tomorrow! Until then, stay safe and take care folks.

mandag 14. mars 2016

Contructions in the sea, you know

Rumors in the air, just like any other last week at work. There's always rumors going around as to when crew change day is gonna be. This time it's a bit important, as easter is a big holiday over in Norway and you will not be able to do any flying due to very few routes operating, and the fact that more or less every ticket would have been occupied months ago. Well... if I just get over to the other side of the North Sea I will manage by hireing a car, or something. I will get home, no matter how difficult the charterer of this boat want to make it.

I give you medium format snaps today folks. Saved from inside the dark areas of one of the Mamiya RZ cameras all three of  them. Snaps of structures or constructions in the sea, as stated in the heading for today. You might expect a few more oil riggs I would suspect, but none to be posted today. This used to be a pier where a few fishing boats used to go alongside when there were no fishing to be done. Seems like it's a few years since it's heydays to be fully honest. 

We are at the Magnus field in the North Sea right now. Laid up on DP very close to the rig to check risers and stuff with one or two of the ROV's on board. Survey mission this trip, which makes a difference to the usual routine at least. Give us a chance to see different parts of the sea, if that makes any sense to anyone at all...
Word is that we will finish off this part of the job around lunch tomorrow, and then make our way to west of Shetland, to our usual playground, just to put ROV's in the water and check the pipe going all the way in to Sullom Voe in Shetland. When that's done I should be due for home, so let's just cross fingers folks.

Ahh... forgot to tell you! The pier is located out here, on Godøya... just outside my home town of Ålesund, Norway. A nice place where I often go if I need some wind in my hair or to see some good old sea spray. Not that this exact spot is the best place for it, but at the other side of the island you would have some better luck. Out there at Alnes, just where the North Sea comes in with some of it's power. Oh yes, Mamiya RZ67 this one as well. Don't know what happened though. Looks like a longish exposure, and then some double stuff on top. Or maybe just some movement as the exposure was going on. It's a bit strange. And it's probably done on some cheap Shanghai GP3 film.

I have a plan to get some films sloshed around in some chemicals quite soon upon arrival @home, then hopefully get my spartan darkroom set up to make a few prints. You all know I had a plan to build a permanent one last year, but we got some future plans that just don't fit too well together with that. Or, the permanent darkroom does not fit too well into the future plans, would be the more right way to put it.
See, we have been talking about moving, which in turn would make a new built darkroom totally a waste. But hey, it's just plans. As for yet, anyway.
I can still live with a darkroom I need to put up and take down after use, but I really feel that it would be great to have a purpose built one, to be honest.
I might put one up in a totally different place, as it happens. I got some space for such, even though I might need to install it away from home. What about a darkroom out here, on the small Ona island? That would be the only one out there, for sure! I got some old plans around for that as well, so I might find them old drawings and just give it a go. We'll see. First of all I should get the bathroom darkroom up and running one more time before summer kills the opportunity. It's a nightmare to block the light out totally, making it more or less not fit for purpose during daytime. And soon enough we will have daylight more or less 24/7, making it a wee bit difficult to work in there until late september, or something like that. But then we got a few months where daylight is more or less absent anyway, making it useful all the time. That's life up north...

Same jetty, different perspective. Same camera, same lens. The good Sekor 50mm it certainly was by the looks of things. I kind of like this composition, even though I might be able to make it a tad better by moving and inch or so to the left? Maybe, or maybe not. The light could have been way more interresting though, but it will be easy for me to get back some day when the weather is worse, and the skies are more grand. 

We have this gym on board the ship. I used to be a quite frequent visitor... some time ago. At least I used to be a frequent visitor for a while. Not for a very long while, but longish... to my standards.
Anyway, just had to tell you that I'm going there again. This evening! 19.30 I'll be on the bike, more or less no matter what happens elsewhere on board. Nothing can stop me, I think. Got to be the bike, as that's the only way of exercise my knees can take these days.
They used to be very strong back in the days, my knees. Good for days of skiing, long and tough ski jumps, running, heavy lifting... you name it, my knees could take it. Then I started to work, as a welder as it happens, building ships and stuff. 12 - 14 years of that thing, and my knees were killed. At least the earlier known version of them. 
Nowadays I need to be a bit careful to what I throw at them, which means the bike is a lot better than running on the threadmill. I can still run a bit along the gravelled roads back home, but not on the harder stuff. Well... right now I would probably not be able to run a hundred meters anyway, but that's not my knees fault. Bad shape, you know. Breath, heartbeat... you know all about the hassle. So I need to get something done, again... and I will be starting today. Right here and now, this evening. It will do me good, I know. At least if I manage to survive the first couple of weeks. Then it's all going to be fun. I know all that, because I have tried it before. But this time I will really try my best to follow up for a longer period. I promise!
See? I actually wrote it...! So now I just have to really, really try.

And here I am... A quarter past nine, and I am still alive after exactly 55 minutes on the bike. Not that I was trying to overdo anything at all, mind you! See, you have to start kind of careful as you definately don't want to end up with a heart attack in the middle of the bloody North Sea! Instead I tried to stay kind of steady on the pulse for around an hour, in which I think I succeeded in doing. And yes, it feels good as it happens. 
Oh, and I have added a few snaps for you to watch as my pulse needed some time to get down to a more normal level. 
And I'm off to the shower!
Take care friends, whoever you are out there somewhere...

lørdag 12. mars 2016

Just a few thoughts a few yards off Ninian Central Platform, North Sea

So, here we are again. Just a few yards off one of the giants of the North Sea, the Ninian Central Platform. Not that looks as huge as it used to be these days, because there's a few even bigger ones around now.
At the time it was constructed though, in 1978 in Loch Kishorn, Scotland, it was the biggest moveable thing ever produced by man. Around 600.000 tonne of steel and concrete was tied together before the final product was towed out to the Ninian field quite a bit north on the UK sector. Up there just east of the northernmost tip of Shetland, according to this map. As soon as it was positioned and grounded at it's resting place it obviously lost it's record... as it was no longer moveable to anyone, unless you pick it to pieces of course. Looks like they have to at least start think about just that...
But OK, to be fair I have seen a lot of stuff mounted out here that looks a bit worse than this one. Just saying. We were at a rig a couple of days ago, or maybe it was yesterday. It really looked like something you would never like to spend too much time on board, to be honest.
You might even get lucky enough to see snaps some day, but being developed by me you know the film could end up in any way. As in we might see nothing at all, on a bad day. I will try, though. My very best, as it happens.

"Us and them" The Subsea Viking and the "Clair" platform out at sea, somewhere.

I was just out snapping a couple of snaps into the pinch black night, as well. With the 50mm Summicron I mentioned a few days ago. Attached it to the M6 and all, since the M3 thing ran out of film a bit earlier today after joining me for a short trip outside where I pointed the thing towards the fog as the Ninian platform slowly became more visible. They might be just a waste of film again, but you never know. Do you?
Well, snapped it up in the pinch black night I did, but maybe it was worth the hassle. You see, it has a quite impressive gas flame going, the Ninian platform. They need to burn off the stuff in a controlled manner, you see, just to keep things on the safe side.

The "Clair" platform again. They seem to kind of hanging in free air, up there. I guess we're better off with our feet planted onto a solid ship deck! :)

Last rumors indicating we are going westwards quite soon, to a more familiar place for us, which would be west of Shetland where the ship has stayed more or less stuck for the last 14 years or so. If there were prizes put up for people working in bad areas in the world my guess is that the guys working in the oil industry over there would take it home, easily. It's a bad, bad place. All the low pressures on the northern hemisphere seems to either be invented in that area, or if they by some odd chance came from further west they certainly hit the place pretty spot on, each and every time. It's one of them places that really takes it's toll, both on infrastructure, equipment and the people working out there. A rough place in the North Atlantic Ocean it is, at them oilfields we're trying to maintain as well as we possibly can.

Some rig. I don't have a clue which one. Something placed on the UK sector, at least.

torsdag 10. mars 2016

This lens I got right here

Sure, I got quite a few metal cylinders where glass is mounted inside in different patterns and ways, but there's this rather special one. Production number 188 of a possible maximum of thousand ever made. At least according to the issued list of assigned serial numbers for this particular version of this legendary thing made of metal and glass. The mentioned list is from a certain company in Germany, so I would think it's quite accurate. No one knows how many actually made though, but the company itself probably.
And when this particular company issues special versions of things they used to make 50 years ago, only sky seems to be the limit pricewize. At least after some time has passed since delivery. You sometimes actually may get the impression you hold the holy grail itself in your hands.

One of many snaps done with the mentioned lens. In fact all of them in todays post are done using this thing. I seem to be learning to use the pics to give meaning to the words, eventually. 

I was aware that I own a rather special version of the Summicron thing, but truth is that I have not been thinking to much about it, and hence used it more or less in just the same way I would use any other lens. I am a lens user, you see, not a collector. My wife might look at this statement with a set of, let me say different eyes, but I am the one speaking now. 
I still like to have useable equipment to play with though, but when it comes to this particular item anyone a bit more into these things than myself would probably cry loudly if they knew that I actually used it attached to a camera. Walking the streets you know, pointing it in all kinds of directions and let it just hang there at my side dangling recklessly from that a bit less than half solid leather strap.

Joakim Nilsson from the band Graveyard singing his heart out in a small studio very nicely situated down by the sea on a small island just outside my home town of Ålesund, Norway. Ocean Sound Recordings... the name fits well enough, me thinks. Follow the link and have a peek! All things went wrong here, as I both pushed the film way over it's limits, and also made a big mistake when developing the film. There's still something about them, at least for me...

The manufacturer of this glass has a regime of etching their order numbers into stuff, and this tiny small cylinder has 11615 in nicely designed numbers written on the other side down there on one of them metal rings around the lens mount. If you got plenty of time you should go do a couple of fancy things on google and such, and you would find nothing much to be honest. But then on the sales-bay there usually seem to pop up a chance or two every now and then to get this thing inside the doors of your house, should you fancy so. Or maybe you will find out that you may use your hard earned money in a better way! 
Heck! I never thought the price had rised to this ridicolous level these days, so I am actually for maybe the first time in my history of owning cameras, really thinking about selling the thing away to someone that can take a bit more care of it than I will ever be able to do.
Well, it's not like I don't take care of my glass or anything, but I hate to walk around having to constantly remind myself not to break the thing. I feel kind of like being a concrete worker wearing diamond rings on my fingers all day, or something like that, having no clue what the feeling of wearing diamond rings on my fingers would be like. I know lots more about working with concrete, as it happens. But you know, destroying something slowly but certainly bit by bit each day.
There's a norwegian saying; throwing pearls for pigs... I don't know the english version, but I guess you can figure it out. What I'm saying is that I'm probably not the right person to own this thing. I am not worthy... to tell you the truth.

Then again, looking at the issue from a completely different point of view; why did the germans ever build this lens? This number 188 in that small series of maybe as much as a thousand. It's a great lens and it's well put together, believe me! Suits me fine it does as well when I point the thing into the somewhat right direction. Made to some of the best german specs ever, I have learned from todays reading about the matters.
They made it to make decent snaps, I would like to think. Not to sit inside some nerds hidden away vault somewhere we never would see the results of it being used.

Nah... I think I just leave it be just where it sits at the moment, more or less glued to my rangefinder from back in 1960. It seems to fit quite well on that camera, to tell you the truth. But OK, if someone would someday pay me the right ammount of pesetas for it I might just get myself another version of the same thing and use it in just the same way I have used this one. Still I would have money left to buy some film, B&W darkroom paper, maybe a used car or something else useful. At least a new camera strap...!
After all; a lens is a lens is a way to get light stick onto your film more or less the way you like it to stick. That's kind of the definition. Off that definition you could take what you need and use it the way you like, or you could argue a lifetime around what's more important of this and that... you know sharpness, bokeh... all kinds of fancy words going around inside a community of nerds like myself.
In my world they seem to be somehow over rated subjects anyway, and more or less worthless unless your style demand a certain look that by coincidence match the looks of this particular lens, no matter what type or make it is.

So, what's this you might ask yourselves?! Well, I only know it's a bridge over the old road that used to divide the area between two big shopping centers where I used to live. Then someone decided the shopping centers should merge into one... so they built this bridge over the road. It works as intended, I have heared from quite safe sources. I have used it myself as well, but I will not be the one to blame for wearing it out at some point...

Just to make this all clear. I bought this lens as a part of a few pieces containing the rangefinder camera, the lens, and a few other bits and bobs. One of them bits and bobs I lost a few months ago. An extra viewfinder as it happens, as these cameras used to be constructed with something you could either look upon as an in-built flaw or error, or you could look at it as just the right way to build it. It came without any possibility to put a 35mm lens on the thing and at the same time have a clue what you would get on the film. So you need one of these (only it had to be made in the 35mm version which is a bit hard to find these days). It's a bit over the top actually, as you might very well use your 35mm anyway and have a good enough clue if you got some experience with the 35mm vision in some way. 
Enough of that. I lost the viewfinder inside a taxi, and it was never seen again. At least not by me. 
So I thought I would get a new one. But nah... nope! This small bit cost almost as much as I paid for the whole balooba itself, and there is no way I can possibly order something like this and make anyone believe I need the thing. Not even at a fraction of the price it would cost me. So I leave it be.
Anyway, my point is that I seem to have done a good deal on the whole package at some point, at least if you keep an eye towards the bay and knowing that my lens is not that bad after all. It looks more or less as new, and I got all them boxes, leather bags, papers and everything that came with the lens from the old factory. It's a point obviously, if you ever want to sell stuff like this and bring in a good price at the same time. The collectors seem to care more about the fancy paperwork than how the thing itself works. 
I usually throw these things away, but in this case I did not. Looks like it might have been a wise decission for once. At least my kids might find out they want to get rid of a few things at some point in the future, and find out their old father actually owned something that might bring in a few pennies after all. They would never have thought that!

Oh... looks like I wrote another full story. But you know me by now, don't you? I obviously never read the book on how to make things short...!

Crew change day...

...and half way into the working period. And I never seem to get tired of nagging about how busy these days are. But OK, I will leave it all inside myself this time.

Sailed in to Peterhead around one o'clock today, and have been sitting here alongside all day. No chance to even get a half decent snap of the small town from the bridge or anything. Work, and nothing but work, all day. It actually seems I need to fish out one of them cameras and go for a walk around the vessel one of the next days, snap up some collegues or something like that. Just to waste some film, you know.
Sometimes you just have to do that, for some reason. I don't know why, but at some point you can't just hold back anymore, and need to finish that old film off. Either way.

It's from that quite silent place, again. In Scotland, as you should know. Sorry, but I'm running out of snaps to show up here, it seems. I should soon dive into that hard drive again, probably. I have not even trimmed that right hand side of it. See how sloppy I am with the scannings.

I just had a discussion going on with my son over on the fb chat. He's all digital this and that, and are now searching for a good but not too expensive digi shooter. I don't know where he's ending up, but I have read that much between the lines that I know he has set his mind on quite a few of my old lenses. Should mean he's got his aim at some Nikon then, I guess. Well, he will have to learn a few old tricks if he want to run away with to many of them fine lenses, for sure. But he will find out. I'm not too worried about that :)

It's been a while since I have posted this, I think. Done using one of the big japaneese ones, Mamiya RZ67. Big boxes they are, with huge and heavy glass in front. They are drawing nice pictures though, at times, if the person behind it all are able to adjust those wheels into some useful combinations. I suddenly see that this one could use a tiny trim as well. On the upper right hand, as it happens. Must be some disease I have caught somewhere.

It's getting late, again. I better try to find that bed in here somewhere. Should not be too difficult, as there's hardly enough room to even stretch ones old legs inside this cramped place. 
See ya!