lørdag 17. februar 2018

A few thoughts from over here

From the westerly side of that rather big Atlantic Ocean I give you a few words as we finally hit the shores of Trinidad & Tobago a few days ago. We didn't literary hit the shore mind, as big ships are not allowed to do that. At least we are finally here, preparing ourselves for the next job coming up.
It's a rather warm climate over here in the caribbean area, but I guess you've heard about that already from somebody else but me.

The Ona lighthouse, my nearby neighbour out there on the island. I never get tired of looking at that thing, actually. Or so it seems, anyway.

Two more days at work for now, and then you'll have me on the plane to get home to shuffle some of all that recent fallen snow from one end of the garden over to the other. You know the deal, I guess... good thing I still got some power in these arms and legs as there always seems to be something that needs to be carried, lifted, shuffled, repaired and what have we.

One of my friends posted a question a couple of days ago about something like "how many of you out there have experienced a memory card breakdown and lost pictures because of it" sort of thing. I threw in my reply, without having to even mention the word "film" once throughout my "article" this morning, and the comment section of that particular post has been totally dead ever since. It's painful, I know, to have someone telling you that loosing a couple of hundred or thousand snaps from a broken memory card is actually the smallest of problem you're facing being a dedicated pixel collector. None of your pictures will exist to see the light of day as your grand-grand children grows up given the world continuing on the same path as today anyway. At least not unless all your descendants will be growing up being super humans of some sort. One lazy, or unlucky for that sake bloke somewhere down the line is enough, and it will all be lost for all eternity. It's going to be a lot of work and hassle to take care of all them hard drives in the years to come, believe me! 
Me...? Oh, I just file them negs inside ring binders and more or less forget them. They will be there for anyone being able to shine a light through them to make real pictures at some point, should they feel like. Unless the house burns down, of course. Or some other disaster strikes... But them hard drives, no way they will survive anything. Not even themselves and/or their own language, as in not too many years from now there will be no machine still in production able to read them things anyway.

The Watch Crow of Glasgow (or wherever...)

Nuff said for today, I guess. I'm off for a short stroll on deck in at least 25 deg. heat or something like that, before throwing myself into bed. It takes time to get used to walking outside in the dark realizing the temperature is still higher than on the brightest summer mid-day back home.
Really looking forward to go home and pick up my wee project again. There will be a few days of work coming up when I get there, but I'll try to keep you sort of informed as I'm moving along. At least there's some sort of plan starting to manifest itself... which is good, I hope.

tirsdag 6. februar 2018

Thoughts from the sea

It's a rather dull place, the center of The Atlantic Ocean. Nothing to see at all. Not only for a day or two, but for two full weeks in a row. There was one ship passing us about five days ago according to rumors from the bridge, but nobody could actually see it as it passed something like 12 nautical miles north of us. And then it was in the middle of the pinch black night as well, of course. 
Oh, and one of the officers on the bridge spotted a couple of whales playing around the surface a few days ago, but that's it!
I've been downstairs in the engine room most of the time anyway, so I don't actually care too much about what they see or don't see up there. 
Got to say I'm looking forward to come over to the other side of the sea now. One week to go, and we'll be there, they keep on telling us. That's only if the navigators has a clue about where we are, I guess. Wouldn't hold my breath...

This was not a dull place, speaking from the heart. I'm not sure exactly where it was, but at least I know it was in the London area last summer. Busy as heck, it was. Trains and things, you know. And plentiful of people as well. I sort of like some of the lines in this one, but I seem to remember it looked better through the viewfinder of that old rangefinder than the final result turned out to be. That has happened to me before as well... just saying.

I'm really looking forward to get back home this time. Got a bunch of rolls inside the darkroom waiting to get sloshed around in some sort of developer, and hopefully I will have one or two rolls from this trip to go along with them as well. 
I might even get some time for printing, and to open up my rather fresh box of Lith developer to see if I can get something good out of a few old papers I got lingering around the place. 
Has anyone reading this thing ever tried the Emaks paper K883 in Lith? I got some of that sort, so I'm hoping the lith process will do something nice on it. 
Actually, it has to be good as I have already booked this wall to hang a few prints for one month inside the library in my hometown, and I got a plan for the first time in quite a while. It just have to work, as you might understand.

fredag 2. februar 2018

Curious Engineers, and a few dancers...

We're on a ship just now, as you've heard lots of times already. On board a ship you'll have staff and officers on the bridge, and a few in the engine department. They seem to have different brains, the two species. At least their brains seem to work very different to each other. 
I've been walking around with an old camera the last few days when time has allowed me to, and the reaction from the guys upstairs is very different to the things happening down there where all the action is. 
Upstairs it's like they couldn't care less, while downstairs you can't put that thing down until the boys throw themselves over whatever camera you carry, and start wondering how everything works, what the mechanics inside might look like, and stuff like that... you know. Engineers...

Something I did a while ago, as you might remember. I got loads of film back home in the need for a bath in some old Rodinal or whatever. Just give me a few weeks and I'll be back on  track. I promise! This was done on one of them rangefinders, if memory serves me right. With the 35mm attached, I suppose. Nice combo, by the way.

So there's been a few minutes of good talks around subjects like that down there lately, as the new motorman is young enough to never have either seen or at least not used a film camera. As you might remember I just got this old Nikkormat FT, and he's been lurking around that thing for a few days now. Shot a few frames and just had a good time, as you obviously do when sailing the blue and deep seas we sail at the moment.
Then I mentioned we might be able to actually take a few snaps and have them developed on board the next trip. They were all very interested and started wondering how that could be arranged, so I started playing with the thought about letting them build their own pinhole cameras just for the heck of it. Should not take too much time or effort to get that done, I would think. They are engineers, after all. Might even come up with some great and cool stuff for all we know. 
I'll try to bring some paper and a box of developer and fix on board, and let the guys produce some paper negs. from their own-made pinhole cameras. That would be fun, I suppose. 
They had no clue what a pinhole camera was, or did... so I used some time to explain the basics and now they seem to be even more intrigued by the whole thing. Lets hope it stays like that, at least until next trip on board. You never know, of course...

Another one of them dark light snaps done this evening. Something clearly happened here, but I'm not sure what it was. Probably someones flash threw some light around the room while my shutter was open. No too difficult as I was playing with times around the 1 second mark if I'm not very much wrong. 

Oh, and yes, we are making our way down south and another bit west. Passed the island of Madeira earlier today, and will probably make our turn a bit further towards west some time tomorrow afternoon. 
You'll soon understand the brains on them folks upstairs works a bit different to ours when you go up and have a quick look at their map from time to time... Sitting there in that chair watching the exact same thing over and over again for a full 12 hrs. watch will of course do something weird to your things below your top cover. And for 12 hrs. your next waypoint only comes a few millimeters closer. Nah... can't be made for all of us, that job!!
Anyway, the temperatures are really starting to rise now. I guess we're getting a bit closer to the 20 mark, so everything's fine over here. 

onsdag 31. januar 2018

Nothing much new, like

It's been a while, again. I know. I'm sorry for that, of course.
You may blame either me, or the fact that there's been difficulties getting logged on from sea during the last few months, but that one issue seems to have been fixed. At least for now... so crossing fingers it will last!

Maybe I told you some time ago that the ship will be going over to Trinidad to do a few jobs over there, and then further south to Brazil and thereabouts. We're on our way as I write this little piece, having just crossed the Bay of Biscay during the last couple of days and will be just off the northern tip of Spain at the moment. This means we got plenty of salty water to cross yet before entering Port of Spain over in Trinidad in about a couple of weeks or so. 

An oldie from some time back. I know it's been posted before, but as my personal computer containing a few of my scannings are not accessable at the moment, this is what you get. The same goes for the other snaps as well... I remember this one was done on one of the Mamiya RZ67 cameras when testing some film a few years back. I screwed up the whole development, as usual...

As you also might know we just barely had time to move out to the tiny island of Ona before I had to go to work. It was great, since you ask. Absolutely fantastic, to tell the truth. I think I was inside the darkroom more or less every day, digging myself into the mysterious world of my new enlarger and a pile of more or less odd paper I got stacked up on my shelves. Up at around five in the morning to see the wife off with the ferry, then settled inside the darkroom from around six o'clock until around two or three in the afternoon. Didn't get anything special produced, of course, but it was great anyway. It's a tricky beast that new Durst enlarger!

The last weekend before I went to work we went away to spend a few days in our house on the mainland, but was due to head back out to the island after the weekend. Stupid move, very much!! 
Since we were having plans of all sorts for this weekend I did not see myself carrying a camera for those days, so I left them all out on the island since we were going back on Sunday evening anyway. 
Well... whaddayathink? Of course I had a call saying I had to go to work a couple of days early, so had to just pack and leave... without anything at all made for snappingstuff-up. 
No cameras, no film... no nothing.

I'm quite a sucker for lines and geometrical stuff at times, as you might know by now. This was an attempt to do something interesting one nice day in Scotland a few years back. I'm not sure if it works or not, but maybe on a rainy day?! Snapped through some M3 or M6 rangefinder with way too expensive glass mounted at the front.

Luckily enough we went through Bergen for work this time as we were carrying out maintenance, and basically making the ship ready for the long trip over to warmer waters. 
In Bergen you'll happen to find the only shop of this kind in Norway selling old cameras, film, lenses... so yes I just had to pay that cool Italian owner of the great shop a visit. For old times sake only, of course. 
I (believe it or not...) ended up with an old Nikkormat FT sporting a very well worn 50mm lens from the mid to late sixties. Got them cheap enough, which makes it somehow worth the trip into town. 
So why on earth a Nikkormat, you might ask? Well... it's cheap, and manual... and you can obviously use it to hit something hard should it be needed. Looking at the two cameras I had to choose between (very much driven by my tiny budget this day, not the selection of beauties inside the shop) was a selection of Nikkormat's and one of them darn Nikon EM things. Easy choice for me anyway. Besides, I got two of them EM cameras already, and none of the Nikkormat's. Up until now, of course.
The Nikkormat FT was originally released as more of a consumer end camera from Nikon back in the days around when I was born about 50 years ago. Still it was quite an expensive camera back then, and nothing most people (over here in Norway, anyway) would actually even consider buying for the household.
It got it's own quirks and oddities the Nikkormat, but seems to be about as solid (and at about the same weight) as a good old brick. My example are far from being in mint condition, but it still looks a lot better than Don McCullin's old Nikon F did after being shot...

Another one from days long gone. This one dates back to some time mid 90's, probably snapped with my (then still alive) Canon AE-1. I can tell, since that was the only camera I had with a wide angle lens back in those days. Got it cheap from a friend, I vaguely remember. 

Oh... and then there was this girl advertising her Diana F+ camera with all sorts of extras, which I also bought. She was living just around the corner from where the ship was laid up, so that was just a short walk away. Got the whole bunch of equipment for NOK 100,- which will equal something like a tenner over there in the British sector of the North Sea. Not bad... but then again they're actually worth nothing much, them Diana cameras. I got a few of those, so I should know!

A rather grainy and grimy one snapped in the Bay of Kirkwall in Orkney some years back. I remember there was weather coming in, as it usually did around that place. I simply loved the light over there. Not all the time, but most of the time.

Jumping back to the Nikkormat it seems to be working sort of great. At least it does so after giving the old shutter some good exercise
as it was acting quite a bit sticky in the beginning. It seems to get the job done, and I'm not asking for anything more to tell you the truth. The Italian dude made all sorts of woodoo-like stuff with it before he sent me away with the thing as well, so it should last for a while I presume. I once bought my Rolleiflex from the same guy. That one still works as well, so he's obviously a great repair man after all. I know he fixes German Rangefinders and things like that, so he's probably good at what he's doing. 

Great guy, the Italian!

The boat on the slipway in Kirkwall, Orkney. I remember snapping this one with the Rolleiflex in more or less pinch black darkness. I think there's something like a half an hour worth of shutter time in there, or at least something like that. I remember resting the camera on some pallet or whatever, keeping pressing the shutter until my fingers couldn't take it anymore. Could very well do with another half an hour, but this is what you get when you don't bring a simple cable release in your pockets when walking away with a camera into the darkness...

tirsdag 12. desember 2017

Busy days in the Snow

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

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

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

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

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

søndag 5. november 2017

Nice lens mounted on that old Rolleiflex!

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

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

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

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

lørdag 4. november 2017

Too big for the scanner!

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

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

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

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