29 maart 2015

Here is something to enjoy on a quiet Sunday afternoon and to get inspired again:

"Portrait of Nature by photographer Nobuyuki Kobyashi". 

See the documentary video on Vimeo

(source: http://vimeo.com/91495217)

27 februari 2015

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day - this year on Sunday April 26th, 2015

The Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD) is an annual event at the last Sunday in April. This year it will be on Sunday April 26th. 

Everyone is invited to make/use a (simple) pinhole camera and make a pinhole image on the last Sunday in April. Everyone can post one image in the gallery on the site and view all the other entries (see also: http://www.pinholeday.org/participate/)There will also be all kinds of local events all over the world, also suitable for non-experienced pinhole photographers. You'll find a list on the site or you can post your own local activity.
And remember: you still have over a month to tinker up a simple pinhole camera and get some film or photo paper to shoot with. Need help, tips or inspiration? Check this out: http://www.pinholeday.org/support/


What is WPPD about?
New to pinhole photography or WPPD?
Anyone, anywhere in the world, who makes a pinhole photograph on the last Sunday in April, can scan it and upload it to this website where it will become part of the annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day celebration's online gallery.” 

There will be several workshops all around the world on this day. You don’t have to have experience or a pinhole camera yourself, there are often extra cameras available to use (but ask in advance). You can locate a local event here:http://www.pinholeday.org/events/index.php

24 februari 2015

Pinhole Landscapes (2)

I live outside a small town at the "Veluwe" in the middle of The Nertherlands. It's a very large area with fields, woods, heather and small streams. Close to my home there are some planes ruled by nature. There is a small stream called "Egelbeek" (= Hedgehog stream) that originates close by and is needed to transport the rain away. Nature's natural transport of water in this area!!

I like to wander around with my panorama pinhole camera and take images along this small stream. I used a 6x18 cm Natasha wooden pinhole camera loaded with expired Fuli RVP 120 roll film (= Velvia 50 ASA slide film). All images are straight scans without any Photoshop adjustments.

(sheep gracing the fields, exposure 40 sec.)

(Egelbeek upstream, exposure 40 sec.)

(Egelbeek, exposure 40 sec.)

6 oktober 2014

Homemade developer: Caffenol-C-M and Fomapan 100

I developed a roll film in homemade Caffenol-C-M for the first time this weekend! I read several times about Caffenol and saw some interesting images. So I wanted to try this myself for a long time and finally got to it. 

I only had one BW roll film lying around still to be developed, but didn't want to risk to lose these images due to an uncertain experiment with a homemade developer. So I quickly shot an extra roll film of Fomapan 100 with my Woca 120G. The Woca camera (plastic fantastic) is the predecessor of the Holga and has only one shutter speed, somewhere between 1/60 and 1/100. Not the best camera for testing film, but what the heck. I just wanted to see if I could develop the film at all. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, despite some light leaks. A bit (too?) contrasty maybe, but that might be an effect of the scanner as well. The light leaks didn't help either. However, the results are good enough to make some serious images with my Bronica RF-645 and try again. 

I used the Caffenol-C-M recipe and developed for 15 minutes. I used 40 grams of coffee (espresso powerful and dark), 16 grams of pure vitamin-C and 146 grams of soda in 1 liter water (no salt) and developed for 15 minutes @ 20 degrees Celsius. As Soda I used "Natriumcarbonate Decahydrate". This means there is also a lot of water in it (over 50% ??) so I used 2.7 times the needed amount to compensate (see http://caffenol.blogspot.nl/2010/03/soda-myth-and-truth_07.html).

Developing method used: 3 minutes prewash, develop 15 minutes (agitate first minute, then 3x every minute), rinse once, 1 minute Maco Ecostop, rinse 4 minutes, 4 minutes Maco Ecofix, rinse 14 minutes + 1 minute water with wetting agent.

These are the 14 test images (under-, overexposed, out of focus, light leaks and all). All comment are welcome:

(light leaks from camera, not developing)

(fog due to light leak)

(double exposure: can you find the horse?)
(triple exposure in the shadows)
(straight into the sun)

3 november 2013

iPhone as Polaroid camera for analogue photography


I made this image with my iPhone 4. It was chosen “photo of the month” by my local photo store.
I photograph with analogue and old cameras and build wooden pinhole cameras myself. So no view finder, build-in light meter or LCD screen to view histograms with on the spot ;-)
No, all results only to be seen after developing & printing the negatives … not instantly on a LCD screen but only in my mind - the way I like it! 
Light metering is often done by guesstimation.

Sometimes I use my iPhone to make an instant image to check for composition and lighting with my analogue photography - like we used to with a Polaroid camera in the old days. Especially when I’m shooting with my old analogue cameras converted into a pinhole camera (Agfa Clack, Gevabox, homebuild wooden cameras, …).

BTW: if you photograph only digital, shut down the LCD screen for just one week and trust on yourself for once. You'll see it will improve your skills and results!

11 oktober 2013

Pinhole Landscapes

I shot this image with my pinhole camera from a boat on the water. It was cloudy and a little bit of wind rocked the boat softly. The exposure was 40 seconds so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but is has a nice hint of “Pictorialism”. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. 

* camera: old Gevabox converted into a pinhole camera (6x9 cm negative)  
* film: Konica PRO 400 roll film (expired)  
* exposure: 40 seconds  
* developer: C-41 by a professional lab   
* scanner: Epson 3200 PHOTO with Silverfast software (but no digital rework what so ever though)

This second shot was also made with the same camera from the shore later on the same day  (exposure: 40 seconds).

31 augustus 2013

Philosophical quotes from the beginning of Photography ... (1839 - 1900)

Every now and then there is a discussion about "art and photography" on one of the APUG forums. Sometimes interesting, sometimes only dogmatic opinions without an open eye or ear for anything outside ones "thinking window". 
 I never want to take part in such a discussion since there will never be a winner. I would rather sit down, having a nice coffee together, and really talk about what's on your mind or heart ...

 I was thinking of these never ending discussions (even fights?), that seem to be almost 175 years old, when reading this book:
"A new art: photography in the 19th century - the photo collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam" (Netherlands), Vol. I, published in 1996. A beautiful book with very nice prints of photographs from 1839 - 1900.

 (ISBN: 90-5349-193-7, Dutch title: "Een nieuwe kunst: fotografie in de 19de eeuw")

 There were two nice quotes I would like to share with a smile:

 The first quote was published in 1839 in an art magazine in The Netherlands, called: "Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode", discussing this new phenomenon - photography:
 "The new art of generating Drawings by Sunlight (Photography)" (taken from the preface of the book)

 For this second quote, I copied also a small part of the text as an introduction (bare with me):
 "During the second half of of the nineteenth century it was not uncommon for Dutch artists to work after photographs. However, this practice was not usually spoken of in private, let alone discussed openly in print,for photography was all too often seen as "unartistic". This is clear from the results of a survey carried out in 1900 among a group of artists. The response was limited, and there was only one artist who had anything positive to say about the artisticity of the photographic of the photographic technique. That man was Philippe Zilcken (1857-1930) of The Hague: painter etcher, and writer on art. 
 "For me photography is most certainly an art, for the qualities which raise a work to the level of art, i.e., personal opinion, choice, taste, emotion together with knowledge - are all indispensible (= indispensable??) in the creation of a beautiful photograph. The camera is a machine, but the passion and sensitivity of the photographer are capable of influencing the mechanical process. In this way a seemingly impersonal technique can contribute to the creation of a true work of art." (taken from page 256-257) 

 This statement from Zilcken reminds me of my personal motto, taken from a quote of Ansel Adams:
 " ... avoiding the common illusion, that creativity depends on equipment alone ... " (from Adams book: The Camera).

 I'm not trying to start a new old discussion here (please don't), but if you know an other striking or interesting remark from the old days (from before the 1930's) you're welcome to share it here. And if you would like a nice coffee with it, give me a call ;-)

I was reading this book while listening (among others) to: "Agnus Dei" (Dunedin Consort), "Fifth of Firth" (Genesis), "Bombay Calling" (It's A Beautiful Day), "A Brother's Prayer" (The Holmes Brothers), "Koyaanisqatsi" (Philip Glass) and "Erbarme Dich" (from the St. Matthew Passion (Bach), Dunedin Consort).
 All very different, but all art (to me).

25 mei 2013

Pinhole images for WPPD2013

The Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day was this year on April, 28th (always the last Sunday in April). 
I finally had my three films developed. I used two cameras: an Agfa Click and an old Gevabox. 
(camera: Agfa Click)
(camera: Gevabox 6x9)
I converted both cameras into pinhole cameras myself. The Gevabox is very nice for portrait and landscape images and gives 6x9 cm negatives. The Click has 6x6 cm negatives, a rather short focal length and some nice vignetting (like a trademark) because of the original lens mount. 

I used 120 roll film: Konica PRO 400 and Fuji NPC 160. All films had standard C-41 developing in a lab.

Here are the images, which one do you like best?

Agfa Click series with Konica PRO 400: 
(image # 1)
(image # 2)
(image # 3)

Gevabox series with Fuji NPC 160:

(image # 4)
(image # 5)
(image # 6)
(image # 7)

Gevabox series with Konica PRO 400:
(image # 8)
(Image # 9)

20 mei 2013

Pocket Light Meter app: suitable for pinhole photography

Normally I calculate my exposure times for pinhole photography by "guesstimation", especially when I use my converted Gevabox or Agfa Clack. 

But sometimes I want to measure the light more securely. When I didn't bring my real light meter, I use the Pocket Light Meter app on my iPhone (also available for android). This app has a minimal ISO setting as low as 0.8 and maximum aperture as high as f/512. This makes this app very usefull for pinhole photography and for using photo paper as a negative. And it is very accurate too. I compared it with my digital camera. 

The app is free (with small add in the top of screen) or only $1.00 for the add free version. See for info:
(screenshots from the app)

The app has some nice features. It shows also the EV values, if desired. And you can "HOLD" the screen - holding your last reading. You can also take a small snapshot to log the used settings - and add some notes. Here is an example (jpg, 150 KB):

(sample of a snapshot made with the app)

The app can also sync with Dropbox to save the snapshots for later. Coming back home you can check the snapshots to see what settings you used when & where: the file names show date & time stamp. 
 Here you'll find a small test of this app.