Monday, January 3, 2011

Three in row

It's good to start off the day with a photograph. These straws, with their original price tag, were from a Harvey's market, a long gone neighborhood grocery at Nord & 32 in Chico, California.
Union Carbide straws, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
A little while later, here's a little love for my Nikon through a nice B&L 7x Hastings. It's hard for me to believe this was taken with an older phone camera; the 3G's sensor dimensions are smaller than 3.6x2.7mm, or about 1/10th a 35mm negative. We're living in the future, I always say.
d5000 with Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G lens through the Hasting 7x triplet and the iphone 3G, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11

My first instant film packs are on their way and I look forward to shooting with my 320. I've been shooting RAW with my dSLR, but remain puzzled by the overall differences between them and the JPGs. Today's images are all from the JPG versions. The JPGs come out sharper with a pleasant color balance from the camera. When I bring in RAW images, there's no setting like "do it like the camera would do if it were a JPG." Unless I buy the Nikon software, and only then, it's a maybe. I've used RAW on about half of the images so far this year, and often I prefer it.

I'll keep going with the 5:4 image size.
Port of Gold Beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Hipstamatic photo walk. Goat Mountain
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Greggs creek on right. Have I mentioned that shooting with the Hipstamatic is fun?
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
3 shot mosaic, mouth of Greggs Creek (iphone camera).
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Greggs Creek marsh is photogenic! Wide alternate, and Hipstamatic alternate.
Greggs Creek marsh, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Ophir life preserver, highway 101.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Sun sets on another blue sky day in southern Oregon.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/03/11
My interests in large format film, instant film, and other formats continues. I shot the last of my second roll of 110 film in the Minolta. Whether or not the images develop from the expired cartridges, I can say that it was fun. It would be a neat investigative report to follow them through their developing process at the film lab. I am short of a good scanner, so leaping into film does need that. I hear great things about the Epson 700V. There are a lot of fun things that film could lead to, such as my own photographic prints and enlargements. If I go whole hog and eventually start shooting with a 4x5 camera, it makes much more sense to do my own processing in black and white, C41 or E6. I don't have the kind of cash flow to throw towards gear-driven changes in my photography, like a better camera, or lenses or this or that. I look towards technique. I've had plenty of the digital darkroom and appreciate what it does. I see digital photography as an 'in the computer' process and I'd like less of that. So playing around with traditional techniques is a natural step. The myriad of possibilities with shooting in RAW makes me want to scrap it all and be soaking paper in the dark room. But I'll learn it, too.

I've learned that instant films are of high quality but actually the cameras that were not very good. The SLR Polaroid SX-70 is widely lauded for it's exceptional (for polaroid) images. It is too bad that style of instant film is restricted to the experimental and pricey films being made by the Impossible Project. I have an SX-70, so I'll definitely try some in the coming months. I know, it's confusing. Those cameras took an 'integral' film that contained the battery and spit out the images. Fuji makes three kinds of instant 'pack' or 'peel' film for the older style of polaroids, like my 320. To my further astonishment, there were choices for hardware attachments to many different cameras called a 'polaroid back'. This allowed the photographer to test the exposure settings prior to shooting on film. It's likely an incredible instant image from a 4x5 field camera. It turns out that Edwin Land, the man responsible for Polaroid's invention, was friends with Ansel Adams. A volume of Ansel's polaroid images is on it's way to my door as I write this. It is amazing what comes up when your start turning over stones. Ansel Adams, Singular Images. Also found this interesting story about Ansel's 1940 street photography.

It's my intention to find a 'polaroid back' for some of my digital images. I'm not talking about effects, like the Hipstamatic. Rather, a polaroid instant film version of any image I choose. How on earth is that going to be done? I've heard of 35mm slide to polaroid units. The Vivitar Instant Slide Printer is one route after making 35mm slides from digital images. That's the only feasible solution thus far in looking. [edit: saw one two three, and four images on 1/6; someone's already done it!] I can imagine the wall of 25 polaroids that carry the weight of such a long journey, speaking to 'what a beautiful place' and 'how'd he do that', preferably in that order.

My friend Jason has 'always' been a photographer and stands out as one of the few I've known as such. Here's a photo from a decade ago (when I had a job) he posted to his flickr account:
Andrew D. Barron at work after AC (shoulder) reconstruction.

Photography is a crucial tool for communicating geologic interpretations. More on that later.

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