Diana Mini

21 01 2013

So, I generally really hate the snow, but since I didn’t have any driving to do this weekend, it’s been less of a stress influence for me, and I’ve managed to almost appreciate it. (Of course I feel slightly differently now that I have to drive to work in it later tonight).

Few shots taken outside with the Diana Mini. I fastened a red filter over the lens (actually, a Quality Street wrapper secured with elastic, but, whatever).



And one extra from the same roll, taken in Leeds a few weeks ago. Set on bulb, guesstimated exposure, resting on the edge of a bridge.



Happy New Year!

1 01 2013

Just a quick one, to share something I did earlier which could be useful to other people – especially if you collect (and use) older cameras without strap lugs (a lot of older cameras came in ever ready cases, thus, no need for strap lugs on the camera itself).

J got me a Lomography Sprocket Rocket for Christmas. I’d been eyeballing them for a while, I’m a sucker for a funky format, and I love the challenge of a camera with limited exposure control. It tends to force you to get creative about how you shoot, if you want to produce anything decent.

I’m loving the camera, I’ve already run a trial roll of old bulk-load B&W through, to get a feel for it, and it’s currently loaded up with a roll of 800 ISO Fuji Press colour.

The only issue is, there’s no strap lugs. Since I like to carry either round my neck, necklace style, or slung across the body, a strap is pretty much essential for me. I tried attaching one to the D-ring on the tripod mount cover, but the D ring isn’t really intended to bear any sort of weight.

So, I did this instead.

2013-01-01 09.31.26

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Afghan Box Camera

3 12 2012

Well, I’ve got a week off work at the moment, due to having a pile of holiday to take. So there’s a week now, and a fortnight in February during which J and I will be visiting Berlin. Pretty excited about that, just got to decide which camera/s to take along!

This week, however, is largely dedicated to Creative Things. It’s got off to a great start, with some wall space for my Floriography work at my favourite local coffee shop, a 5×4 pinhole nearly completed, and a joint effort (although it’s J’s baby, really) construction of an Afghan box camera.

The main bulk is constructed from 9mm MDF, with some thick cardboard as a (maybe temporary solution) to make the moving parts. We hijacked the lens from an old, cheaper model Kodak Brownie Junior (a 620 camera I could never be bothered respooling 120 for – although now it’s lensless, I’m considering making a pinhole plate for it; I find I have much more motivation to do fiddly things, like respool film, where pinholes are concerned).

This has been a couple of days worth of cutting, drilling and sanding in a freezing cold workshop (although the gluing time wasn’t so bad – we just clamped the lot together and buggered off back into the warm house for a few hours).

Making the focussing system:

Gluing the parts together:

Pretty much finished!

Now all that’s really left is to find some trays for the chemicals, and test her out. Hopefully tomorrow.

The 5×4 is pretty much in one piece now, all that’s left is to cover it in vinyl leatherette (entirely for aesthetic purposes – the wood is cheap pine, so got a bit tatty whilst planing and sanding, then I managed to cover half of it in paint whilst spraying the interior flat black) and add a hinge, lock and shutter. Maybe a tripod mount. I’m determined to finish it by the end of the week, so I’ll write more about it then.

Lastly, a small picture of my work up on display 🙂


6×6 Cherry Pinhole

15 10 2012

Following on from a post a couple of weeks ago, where I posted some progress photos of a medium format pinhole camera I have been constructing from wood (thin cherry boards), this is my progress with the camera so far.

The test roll showed some major faults with the design of the camera.

1. The clasp I used wasn’t well suited to the design, making opening and closing the box difficult.

2. The film winding mechanism is far too loose, resulting in the film winding back on itself periodically. I managed to counteract this to some extent by use of gaffa tape, but clearly that’s not an ideal solution, nor is it very pretty.

3. The film itself was given too much room to travel, resulting in a curved film plane, and also making it difficult at times to view the frame numbers in the window.

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Direct Positive Solargraphy

14 10 2012

I’ve been using Ilford Direct Positive paper for pinhole work recently, more to try it out than anything.
J and I wondered how it’d perform when used in place of standard photo paper in a solargraph.

The whole thing was mounted high up on the side wall of my house, on August 20th, and removed today, so it’s been up there pretty much three full months.

This is the unprocessed image. The undeveloped paper goes pink within seconds of being exposed to light, so that’s just a paper issue, rather than being related to the solargraph.

Here’s the image scanned, desaturated and with a levels adjustment applied.

You can clearly see the outlines of the trees and houses behind my house, and the passage of the sun as it becomes lower in the sky from the end of summer into the autumn months, so definitely some success.

I think the next step is to load up two further cameras. One containing direct positive paper, one containing standard photo paper, and expose them both in the same place, over a six month period. This will allow comparision between the two types of paper, and also show a greater demonstration of the journey of the sun through the sky. I plan to put these up around December 20th, in the hope of capturing the sun rising in the sky as the season moves from winter into spring.

One Thing Leads to Another

1 10 2012

In this case, it’s photography leading to DIY. Honestly, I’m now nearly as excited about new power tools as I am about new cameras.

For a while now, my interest in pinhole photography has led me to pretty much seeing any light tight, hollow object as a potential camera (and to demonstrate what I mean, let me tell you that I’ve been eyeing up a top hat for just this purpose for a while now).

I’ve also been ogling various premade pinhole cameras, such as the Zero Image lovelies, and the gorgeous Noon Pinholes available on Ebay. But I can’t quite bring myself to spend £100 on a pinhole camera, no matter how beautiful, since pinhole to me is very much all about doing things yourself, from scratch – learning photography from the absolute ground up, as it were.

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Biscuit Tin Pinhole Camera

19 09 2012

Wandering around charity shops last weekend, I picked up a wooden biscuit box, thinking it’d make a great base for a pinhole camera. Unfortunately, it had a plastic lining on the interior, which would have been a pain in the ass to work with.

Later the same day, in a different shop, I found what looked like the exact same box, but upon closer examination, the plastic inside this one was a removable insert. Clearly, this was meant to be.

The box, before modification:

Biscuit Cam

Biscuit Cam

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