Monday, June 22, 2009

These three photographs were made a little over a week ago when I first noticed how over-its-banks the Wallkill River had become from preternaturally heavy rains. But now the rains have continued, and I'm going to have to go check out how much higher the water may have risen out where these were taken (very near Montgomery, NY where our gallery is located). I'm not used to seeing tree trunks in water, and their lower hanging branches bobbing in the rapid flow, so there may be some more good stuff to photograph.

They are scans of 4x5 negatives made with the Shen Hao and my 250mm Fujinon lens that I love to use. But....that is one big honkin lens, and the Benro K-2 ball head just isn't doing the job of holding it very well, so I'm going to return to using the Bogen 410 geared head that is as rigid as a wingnut conspiracy theorist. I paid less than $100 for the Benro (only to then read that some consider it to be a GPS..and no, I do not refer to the satellite guidance thingie.) and it works very well with my other two medium format cameras, so I still feel it's an okay piece of kit, but if I win the lottery, I'm going to get me one whoop-di-doo Arca Swiss B-1 or B2 that'll hold a howitzer in a hurricane. But there's that pesky hurdle of first winning the lottery ....sigh!! (Must remember to buy ticket...must buy ticket...must buy ticket....!!!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I have just officially saved myself about $120 at the very least. Why? Because I decided not to send my new-to-me Mamiya C330 to a camera repair shop to have the light seals replaced. Instead, I bought a repair kit on-line from ebay for about $10 including shipping, and did it myself. I did try this earlier using the self-adhesive soft half of a strip of Velcro without any success at all, so I'm really glad I found the right stuff to use this time.

The images below are from two different rolls of long expired HP5 (2002) that I used to check the results. Woohoo! success! There's no discernible photon penetration in places that shouldn't be penetrated by photons especially in the upper 'graph which was made in very bright and intense sunlight. And, happily, the film itself seemed to have done well despite its alleged terminal status.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

When, for whatever reason, I can't actively be making a photograph in the field or the darkroom, I am constantly looking at photographs by any medium available. Of course, on-line is the most likely, and I've posted some favorite sites on a side bar. But I've stumbled onto a site that offers the visual equivalent of a nearly endless buffet of food. It's a buffet that allows indulgence without calories or guilt. A wallow if you will (or even if you won't).

I believe that looking at photographs as much as possible is an indispensable part of educating one's self in the medium. It nourishes the visual literacy that is necessary to distinguish worthy work from the trite and cliched, as well as what's just not going to ever be part of the aesthetic you embrace however well regarded it may be by others. I experience a palpable, and visceral thrill when I see photographs that resonate with my current sensibilities, and find myself startled when work I'd not thought I'd ever be likely to enjoy satisfies my viewing.

So here, in lieu of a photograph or two of my own, is the URL of the site I've discovered. I warn you that you will need a lot of time to explore it's many contributors, and I make no apology if such indulgence gets you in trouble with those who insist on availing themselves of your time. I wish you who visit this resource multiple eyegasms!