Wet Plate Day picture – Alternative Processes

It’s been submitted, it’s up there, I’m happy to be among those who participated.  Check out the full gallery here.

Irvin-wetplateday

The exposure was around 23 seconds, my instructor Carol pulled the trigger for me, but I was the one who came up with the idea, pose, the 2-tone background, and called the shots for exposure, so I’d say this counts as a true self-portrait, and I like it quite a bit!  If I ever wrote a book, this is the image I’d stick on the back cover.

I paid a bit closer attention to the lens this time, just to have the information.  It says: J.H. Dallmeyer, London.  U.S. Patent 1868.  I suppose going off the serial number would tell me exactly when it was made, but I’d guess sometime before 1890.

Community – short film

Sorry guys, I’ve had a busy few weeks completing final projects, writing papers, and all the other general craziness with finals week, plus playing a show Friday night.  Here is what became my final for my film scoring class, Community:

We did two video assignments in the class.  I wasn’t sure if the second was going to come off or not, but we ended up doing it anyway; we only had a week and a half to shoot, edit, and score the film.  Thankfully, the minimum running time was a manageable 1 minute, so I threw some stuff together using part of my final in my Alt.Process class (don’t tell the instructor!)

I was happy enough with my project that I entered it (unscored and not-quite complete) in my school’s short film festival, and competed against three other films in the Experimental Film category.  Needless to say, I didn’t win, but had fun being there again, and took the opportunity to talk a bit with some of the students and faculty in the filmmaking program.

The footage came from a roll of T-Max 400 and a roll of Tri-X shot at 800, and was developed in the Caffenol C-L recipe using my trusty Spotmatic SPII.  This was also the first time I was really able to put the 1.4/50 Super -Takumar through its paces and it performed really nicely, I think.  It was definitely nice having the extra 2/3 stop, as the light was quite dim in the room.  Unfortunately that lens has a screw loose (literally) and is in danger of falling apart at the moment, so I’m not using it anymore until I can get the thing fixed.

Pinhole Day pics – Alternative Processes

It was cold and wet that day, a sprinkling of rain/snow (it couldn’t decide which it wanted to be).  I ran around town with my camera on a tripod and just started getting shots, really.  Thankfully, it all just comes off as mist and looks quite good.

I was out shooting on Pinhole Day with my Spotmatic body cap.  I ended up with five images that I really liked, it was a bit hard narrowing them down to one to submit to pinholeday.org, and actually I read the rules wrong and ended up submitting all five.  Then later, I realized my mistake.  Anyway, there’s only one left, but it’s up there.  Click here to see my class’s group page at the gallery.

I used expired T-Max 100 that day, I don’t know if the film being out of date screwed me or not, but most of what I’ve found online suggested developing in Caffenol C-M for around 15 minutes, and it fogged my film!  Also, there are streaks which would seem to suggest too vigorous agitation.  This has definitely convinced me to stick with C-L for every film type, I don’t care how slow.

Happy World Wet Plate Day!

It follows quite close on the heels of Pinhole Day, doesn’t it?  Wet Plate Day has its own website, too.  Our Alt.Process class was working on wet plate/collodion all last week and the week before, so I thought I’d put some of the fruits of that labor up here:

Irvin1  Ian

This is a tintype portrait of me taken by my classmate Ian, and then one of him taken by me (obviously he did a much better job pouring his collodion).  We used my instructor’s reproduction Civil War-era 8×10 camera, but the plates were cut down, less than 4×5 actually.  The lens is a vintage brass one made in England in the 1880s and I’d say it still takes a damn fine picture.  I documented the process on Tri-X as well, so you guys get a nice behind-the-scenes look:

We’re back out there today doing more of it and I can’t wait to see what we get.

Pinhole lens vs. macro lens comparison – Alternative Processes

Yeah, I was sure there would be a big difference, I just didn’t know how much!

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For reference, the top image was the 4/50 S-M-C Macro-Takumar, and the bottom with the pinhole lens which has a size somewhere between 1/3-1/4mm, giving it an effective f/stop between f/172-256. It was also my first time using T-Max 400, which I already knew was going to be way overkill for the pinhole lens.  I noticed that the grain was about the same size between shots on T-Max 100 and Tri-X, and I suspect that even Tri-X is overkill when it comes to sharpness, which means there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be using the fastest, grainiest film I can find!

At least the Caffenol C-L concoction I’m working on doesn’t seem to be hurting me any.  Yet.

This makes me really want to make another pinhole lens, with a much smaller hole…

Happy Worldwide Pinhole Day!

Today is Worldwide Pinhole Day, so if you happen to have a pinhole camera, break it out, get shooting, and share you get!  Not only that, but it’s required for our Alt.Process class, so you can be sure I’ll be out there shooting today.  It’s nice and foggy today, so I hope I get some good stuff…

Tape Deck

This is an outtake from the film I’m making right now for film scoring class.  As you can see from the picture, it’s a Teac A-2340RS 4-track quadraphonic machine that uses 7″ reels of 1/4″ tape, running at either 7.5ips or 3.75ips.  This is the machine I recorded my first album on, and these days I don’t get a whole lot of use out of it, but I did get to drag it out of storage and record some dialog with the old beast.  I’m currently recording on Ampex 642, one of my favorite tape stocks.

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I actually really like this shot, I just don’t think I have a use for it in my film.