Archive for June 2009
This weekend, we went to the SF Pride Parade, where I ended up taking only a few photos of the parade itself. I mostly took photos of pets! which of course made me very happy. Some of them were dressed up too! So cute. Enjoy!!
Oh wow, so my group for the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk is already full! I guess I should send everyone some emails or something later on reminding them so that I can delete them if their plans have changed, but so far so good.
I am having a hell of a time learning to focus this Polaroid 210. The scale in the viewfinder is in feet, which is apparently difficult for me to figure out, but you wouldn’t think so since I live in the US and everything here uses feet and miles. I had finally learned to focus the Holga, but now I have to figure out a whole new camera and it’s frustrating. I suppose that the good thing is that I can get feedback right away. With the Holga, I just focused and hoped that when I finally developed the roll everything would be happy. Then again, maybe it’s better to not get the feedback right away. With the Pola210 I feel frustrated more often than with the Holga. Lemme ‘splain…
The nice thing about the Holga is that I can focus and shoot and not worry if each and every shot came out. I just have to wait until the roll is done and I’m totally ok with that. With the Pola210, I get to see how each and every shot came out right after I take it and, on average, I’m displeased with the shots more often than not.
And then there is also the dust issue, which is driving me absolutely batty! After you peel the instant film apart, you have to wait a little bit for the coating on the photo to dry. Usually it’s all very straightfoward and you simply lay it on a table or something to let it dry, and hopefully nothing will fall on it while it does. I have not had the best luck with this. I tend to shoot the Pola outdoors and the photos are getting blown in the wind and a bit dusty looking. I tried sandwiching it in my notebook, but the paper in there always puts a bit of dust on it too. Right now I’m going to try using a topper of waxed paper to see if it prevents sticking, dust, etc. Yeah. Annoying.
Even with all these problems, I am really enjoying instant film. It’s fun to shoot colour again!
When I started with photography, I had a teeny digital that I would take everywhere. When I needed more capabilities, I took up film photography with my friend’s old Pentax K1000. Soon enough, I ended up with a digital SLR, the Nikon D50 and shot that to death until I went back to film again when a friend gave me his Canon A-1. You can only guess that from mini-film, I went to medium format, and wound up with my photo kit today: a Hasselblad 500 C/M, Nikon FM2n, that Canon A-1, and a Polaroid 210 Automatic Land Camera.
Right now, I shoot a variety of film and digital. Film is mostly B&W medium format or instant film. The digital gets used when I want to take self-portraits or impulse shots. I’ve basically settled into a nice little idea of what tools I use to make what photos I want. It’s not strict, but I shoot mostly medium format B&W, colour instant film, and colour B&W. I don’t really know why I chose this way, but it seems to work for me.
I don’t even know what anyone else is going to care about reading this, but I have just wanted to get this whole scheme out of my head.
Also, I’ve been thinking about more seriously using instant film to capture life, so I bought a giant mess of Fuji Instafilm and received the lovely, velvety package in the mail this afternoon. Of course, I already loaded up the Pola Land Camera and took a shot at home. I need to work on focusing this camera, which means learning to tell how far things are in English units.
(This isn’t that shot. This is the last shot from the last pack of film that was in the Pola210. I’m such a tease. I probably won’t upload that other shot until tomorrow.)
I knit a lot of small projects like hats, scarves, and handwarmers. I would say that I have a really short attention span, too short to possibly make a sweater. Also, I’m kinda cheap, so that also prevents me from making a large item like a sweater or even a vest.
Having a lot of small projects means that I end up with a lot of scraps of leftover yarn that are simply too little to make a complete second project, and that means that I have been making a lot of little random squares using the leftover scraps. In our house, we use the scraps as cleaning rags, which may seem a bit weird, seeing as it’s a handmade, crafted item that’s just being used to wipe down the counters and floors. I like keeping a lot of these little scraps around so that I can simply toss them in the washer whenever they get too dirty to reuse.
What else can I do with the little leftover scraps?
Yesterday I got to hang out with Lucy, lucky girl that I am. We met up in gorgeous downtown San Jose on a sunny, but a teeny bit chilly, afternoon. It’s really nice having the flexibility to meet with people during the day when they’re free.
Anyway, we met up because I wanted to give her a hat that I had knitted and subsequently wanted to give away. Lucy saw it and claimed it when I posted about it on Flickr. See, I love knitting. I like making stuff. It’s just part of me and my charm. The problem is that I already have a lot of knitted stuff, but I love trying new patterns so I have some surplus knitted stuff at home. Now, this is a good thing, but also a bad thing, because as I continue to knit and finish new projects, the surplus is getting a bit out of control and needs to be gifted or traded for other neat stuff. Plus, add in the fact that I am actually quite a fast knitter, and you can see that I either need to give up knitting for a while, or find more people to give stuff to.
Enter the random knitted things I give away.
It really pleases me to knit. I find it comforting and relaxing, and giving away the knitted stuff is equally fun and comforting! I like knowing that it’ll go to someone who likes to have a handmade item. I would prefer to receive something in return, like film or other art stuff, instead of getting cash for it because I never know how to price my knitted stuff. Besides that, there are copyright issues and I can’t sit around and make money off someone else’s free pattern unless they allow me to.
But anyway…… that’s a long background story for as to why I was meeting up with Lucy in the first place.
Oh, and I made a photo of her, an instant photo, to be exact, and gave her the negative in case she could do anything fun with it. Oh, as it turns out, you actually can keep peel-apart negatives and do something with them [see here].
And now I present, the lovely Lucygirl.
A while ago, I stumbled upon a Polaroid 210 Land Camera. It’s one of those cool looking old-fashioned cameras with bellows.
Yeah, it’s pretty neato-speedo looking. The only bad thing is that is usually takes a 3 volt battery that has a really funny look to it (clip-on terminals on either end). I never really looked at replacing the dead battery because Polaroid stopped making film and I thought all was lost. Then, when a friend told me that I can actually use this camera with instant film that’s made by Fujifilm, I freaked out and decided to see if I could get it into working condition again.
I ended up doing a little bit of online research and found that I could simply replace the 3v battery with two 1.5v batteries and it would work again. As long as the bellows weren’t cracked (that produces light leaks) and the electric eye was wired correctly, the camera would make photos for me. I finally got around to getting a pack of Fujifilm FP-100C to test it out and it turns out that the camera works just perfectly without any light leaks. I did lose about 3 photos when I first tested it because the wiring was loose and the shutter was opening too fast and the photos came out black. Everything got ironed out and fixed now though.
Here are two shots:
The coolest thing about the Polaroid 210 Land Camera is that the image on the instant film is really big and fills the whole image space. The Polaroid back for the Hasselblad also takes Fujifilm FP-100C, but the image size is actually quite small:
Yeah, disappointing, huh? But now I can have full-frame polaroid images! They do seem a bit softer than the Hassy shots, but I have been enjoying that effect.
The biggest limiter for this whole deal is going to be the cost of the film. One pack of FP-100C costs about $8.50 for 10 shots from B&H. The local places here sell the packs for about $13 each. I can see my little habit getting expensive fast. Or maybe I can ask people to send me packs of film in exchange for knitted things? How many people out there could possibly want to trade me a pack of film for some handwarmers or a hat? Hmm…