Friday, April 27, 2012

Arizona Beach South

Slope failure: pristine beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
With that big opening, let me back up a little bit. Last week there was some fog and some interesting glacial-blue sky. Sometimes when I go out, I purposely do not take a camera so that I can just be. That never works. I had my cameraphone and snapped these.
Stuff grows, Andrew D. Barron©4/20/12
Stuff grows, Andrew D. Barron©4/20/12
Here is what I mean about the sky.
Pale blue above the Pacific shore, Andrew D. Barron©4/20/12
I held some close-up filters in front of the tiny lens. Whatever these things are, they always strike me as Paleozoic.
Pale blue above the Pacific, Andrew D. Barron©4/20/12
I was headed out for a sunset adventure. This idea came to mind, because it was a real crossroads at the time.
Choices, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
The rhodies started blooming a couple of weeks ago.
Rhododendron, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
I beat a path from Arizona Beach to a spot to the south. Arizona Beach is at the confluence of Mussel Creek to the south and Myrtle Creek at the north. The old road get you across Myrtle Creek, near the 101 undercrossing. I photographed this bridge once (maybe I will dig that up and post link). There was an old fire pit. I tried really hard (with framing) to make this rope swing not look like a noose.
Abandoned play site, Mussel Creek, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
It was deep brush. I crossed the big flooded creek on fallen trees. The beach was spectacular. The shot that opens this entry was from here. It is just north of a spot I always go, so here are Sisters Rocks from the north.
Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
SPLASH! South of Arizona Beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
Variation on a theme, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
Turning all the way around . . .you could hardly see the mountain in the mist. But the infrared camera saw more. “And the only footprints on the beach were mine.” I just quoted a personal thought. I might be a little punchy tonight.
Variation on a theme, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
It was a great night. I shot mostly digital images, though my old Sony let me down (or I have become spoiled with nicer cameras). If I had my druthers, I suppose I would have a 35mm film camera (like my Nikomat FT2 or Leica IIIf) loaded with Ektar and process the film myself. Druthers is an unusual word.
Arizona Beach from the brush, Andrew D. Barron©4/22/12
Last night I enjoyed sunset at Devil’s Backbone. I mostly used the Hasselblad 500c with the 50mm f/4 distagon lens. It was fun. Here is one with the infrared:
The cycle, Andrew D. Barron©4/26/12
As I mentioned, there was a swarm right outside the house and we captured it and put it into another Warre hive. Given the mixed race of the swarm (Carniolian and Italian), it is almost certainly our own hive from 2011. So if they have thoughts, I bet they are thinking, “wait, didn’t we just leave here?” The hives are virtually identical.
Free bees, Andrew D. Barron©4/27/12

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random film photographs

I have been trying to come up with a blog theme since the last time, but I have not yet. I’ve been busy with some GIS work.

Yesterday, I looked out the window about noon and there was a tornado of bees. It was a forming swarm. A little while later I found it in coalescing in a nearby shore pine. My friend Randy had an empty Warre hive ready, and with some ladders, and a bucket, the two us captured the swarm and gave them a nice home. It is likely from the Warre hive started last year, but it is difficult to tell yet. The weather turned sopping wet since then. I do like being a beekeeper, and after a long haul, with one hive surviving two winters, and another one, we will have to learn about honey harvesting from these fixed-frame hives. Most first-time beekeepers have worse luck overwintering; I'm pretty sure it’s the alternate design of the hive that gives them a fighting chance.

I got a film scanner but I don’t really love it. It is working for 35mm, and that has been great. I want to put up some of the film scans that have come forward, but I don’t really want to do all of the work tonight to explain their chronology. Fair enough? I also have some nice stuff from an evening shoot that will make more sense in a separate entry. So, besides the Leica blog last time, it has been quite a while since an all film blog. So enjoy!
Sisters Rocks impact, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
Gasquet brush fire, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/12
Exposure latitude with transparency film is tough. I still like the funkiness.
Gasquet motel, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/12
Up Split Mountain road, Andrew D. Barron©1/9/12
Ocotillo sunrise, Andrew D. Barron©1/9/12
Carlsbad lifeguard, Andrew D. Barron©1/9/12
Long Beach sunset, Andrew D. Barron©1/9/12
Hasselblad baby!
Tree on the Humbug trail, Andrew D. Barron©3/27/12
Salal at sunset, Andrew D. Barron©2/22/12
Ruby, Andrew D. Barron©3/24/12
Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
I couldn’t get very good results from my own scans of color roll of Ektar 100 the light-leaky Leica. Here is one from the lab:
Ophir marsh with shutter curtain light leaks, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
My Fuji Instax 210 has broken! This is the shot before last. I tried some stuff to get the scan to look nice. Time for a new instant film camera
Daffodil farewell, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12

Friday, April 20, 2012

Light Leak Leica

This blog present my first photographs through a 60 year old camera that probably hasn’t been serviced since the ‘70’s. In no way am I trying to show what is so great about Leica cameras.

Here’s my ‘51/‘52 Leica IIIf taken by my borrowed Hasselblad 500c. The Hasselbad could eat the Leica for breakfast. This is a scan from the lab. Ektar 100.
Leica IIIf @ Port Orford Heads, Andrew D. Barron©3/27/12
I got my first rolls back. I knew it needed work; allow me to elaborate. Below are two closeups with the lens off, looking into the film plane from the front. The shutter curtain looks like this after it fires (as it should):
Leica IIIf shutter curtain: fired, Andrew D. Barron©4/17/12
But when the shutter is cocked, the other part of the curtain is reeled in front of the plane. They are in bad shape:
Leica IIIf shutter curtain: fired, Andrew D. Barron©4/17/12
As a result, the camera has some amazing light leaks. It gets worse (better?) at higher shutter speeds. I scanned the negatives on a cheap Epson V330. The V330 seems to do very well with black and white film, but so far, less good with transparency film. Right now I am into the imperfections of the negative frame (the messy edges). These happen mostly from the camera, but also from the scanner’s film holder.

The first roll into the IIIf was Tri-X 400, by most accounts, a favorite, classic black and white film. I hesitate to cover all that I want to in this blog, but I prepared these things so here goes.

I like what SilverEFEX does to the scans. Here is what, for now, would be a final result:
Backyard scene with shutter curtain light leaks, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
But prior to SilverEFEX conversion, the tones are acceptable and interesting:
Backyard scene with shutter curtain light leaks, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
And for good measure, here is the preview scans that came back with the negatives from the lab:
Backyard scene with shutter curtain light leaks, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12

This roll went pretty quickly on March 10 (I think). Easy to do with 24 exposures. Love the grain.
Nesika Market exterior, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Nesika Market mirror, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
This shot was overexposed, but recovered okay in the computer. When this happens with Tri-X though, the grain gets pronounced (and beautiful).
Nesika Market gumballs, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
I had a really good day shooting and presented some of that in Upriver Few 3/10/12.

So, yeah, I drove upriver. This was a pretty fast shutter speed. It seems like it spreads open the curtains and lets light in.
Trees at North Bank & Edson Creek, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Up to Lobster Creek bridge.
Lobster Creek bridge from North Bank road, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
It is pretty cool to carry around all these cameras. Though the above shot is pretty much a loss, the instant film print came out great:
From South Bank road towards Lobster Creek bridge, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Over the bridge. I got the best shots on this day with a Nikomat 35mm and a Hasselblad 500c. Those will have to surface in another form.
Lobster creek bridge over the Rogue river, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Further, up a random dirt road off of Agness road above the bridge. To me, the overall feel and quality of this photograph is what the Leica is all about. I feel lucky to have one frame that showed me what I was looking for. This is f/2 @ 1/60” or 1/30”.
Trees up uses road 3313, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Lab scan of same:
Trees up uses road 3313, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
I hope you enjoyed the warts-and-all first look of film through my Leica IIIf, my first time shooting with a real rangefinder camera. I plan to send this to Youxin Ye for CLA and curtain replacement. Then the Leica adventure will continue! As of right now, I am down to just a couple of film cameras. Maybe I’ll get back to shooting.

Stay tuned for more film blogs. It could be one on the next roll through this camera (Ektar 100). The light leaks on color film are mind blowing!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bottomless

There are quite a lot things I am not saying about photography these days. I should have probably kept it that way, but. . .

Most everything I didn’t know technically about photography is clearly documented herein over the years. It is a funny type of honesty. For what it is worth, I write about lenses, cameras, and other technical crap only because that is how people find my blogs and photographs, as well as access those details I’ve cared to collect. But not necessarily because I like to.

In the noisy, detail-obsessed culture in place, we are asked to keep track of it all. As Heinrich Zimmer said, “The best things can’t be told. The next best things are misunderstood.” This has to do with the substitution of the next best things for the best things, to which words fail. The creative impulse is in that realm beyond words, so we talk about things: cameras, sensors, lenses, megapixels, news, instead of say, the act of photography. Furthermore, the creative impulse is a private journey. Our motives for doing what we do can come from a lot of places, but when they come from within ourselves, it is difficult to communicate to someone else. Even if they are of a similar slant. So that is where I mostly leave it all out and hope that the photographs themselves reach a few in that realm beyond words.

Though there is a lot of noise out there, there is also a lot of freedom and resources to find and follow passions. It is the age, the time, the whatever, of pulling up your boots, doing what you love, and to borrow bumper sticker philosophy, remember who you wanted to become. Film photography makes me think of this passage from Thomas Mann:

Very deep is the well of the past. Should we not call it bottomless?
Descent into Hell, Joseph and His Brothers, 1934.

This idea from Confucius is in stark contrast to much of our modern cultural condition:

Reviewing the old as a means of realizing the new—such a person can be considered a teacher.
Analects of Confucius, 2.11

It isn’t about what someone else is doing. It is about what you are doing. None of it matters. And all of it matters a great deal, if you catch my drift. It seems to me that each time we find a foothold into ourselves and what we are all about, there is a sea of distractions to send our thoughts elsewhere. The razor’s edge of following your bliss. Today it is clear, but it won’t be for long. To do what I do and love what I love and understand it is this very act that is magnetic.
The sea from Cape Sebastian, Andrew D. Barron©1/1/12
A favorite Gold Beach cypress tree, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
These first three film shots are from four months ago. Around New Years I picked up a funky Petri 7S fixed focus camera for $5 and put some 2003 expired Fuji Astia 100. Incident metering was done with a Gossen Luna Pro F.
The port of Gold Beach and the Patterson Bridge, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
I really love film photography, wow.


Now, to catch up to the last week or so. Instax 210, baby!
New leaves at Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©4/5/12
This was a cold sunset night with the IR camera. I tried a partial b+w, and swapped the red and blue channels for the sky.
From the dead end, Andrew D. Barron©4/5/12
Myrtle Creek overtopped the banks and flooded the road beneath the 101 Bridge at Arizona Beach. Walk in access was possible.
Myrtle creek trees, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
No access: Arizona Beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
Fence out to sea: Arizona Beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
I will have to get to another post about how I broke my Fuji Instax 210 by taping filters to the front. If you do this, be sure to remove the tape before the camera shuts itself off. The plastic lens retraction mechanism is very fragile.
Humbug and beach grass, Andrew D. Barron©4/7/12
Humbug and beach grass, Andrew D. Barron©4/7/12
6x7 format from three infrared shots, inspired by a flickr contact who shoots with a Fuji GF670.
Humbug from Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron©4/9/12
At the last minute I headed up the trail during a break in the rain.
Up the Humbug trail with only my cameraphone, Andrew D. Barron©4/10/12
Sound as ever,
Andrew
Andrew Dale Barron: Arizona beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12

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