A Year in Photos

Photography, fiction, and personal essays form my three primary creative outlets. For this blog's first 18 months, I used it primarily for photography. As I've returned to creative writing, I'll use this blog for fiction, too. Sometimes, when reality needs to be discussed more than truth, I write personal essays.

This blog will continue to showcase as many above-average photos as I can muster. Hopefully my written work will be as good or better than the visual. Whichever drew you here -- photographs or fiction, I hope you enjoy both.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Found Photos Friday: 1960s Americana 10

Last week the photos all centered on the guys in the middle. Many of the people in these photos show up into the 1970s, based on cars and dress. And they look older than they did in the photos last week. Not this guy, though, who looks here like an Army recruit headed to Vietnam. Perhaps he's the photographer -- that would be great because he would have had a long life after the war.














To my eyes, this is a really great shot. I love how the dude in the back is winking at the camera, as if to show his friend on the other side  that he knows the guy's really taking the photo of a cute girl.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Found Photos Friday: 1960s Americana 9

The photos in the slides, in general, seem to be of gatherings. And of family or close-friend gatherings in particular. The photographer, by his treatment of the subject, I think must have cared greatly for the people he photographed.





It's maddening that the photographer was capturing the umbrella's reflection and not his own.








Thursday, November 14, 2013

Found Photos Friday: 1960s Americana 8

Continuing with the slides we've seen for almost two months now (I know -- it's hard to believe it's been that long,) here are the last of the Tucson (and Canada!) slides. It looks like this road trip, is that's what it was, was basically awesome. And full of amazing shirts!














For the record, also great taste in shorts.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Introducing the Dragon Box

For kicks, I took an old card box I was going to throw out and made it into a pinhole camera. Instead of putting one hole in the middle or the end and calling it a day, I put two holes in and decided to try making a stereoscopic camera. 

Here was my test image, a stereoscopic negative of a building under construction.



And the positive inversion. I printed this as a positive, but made this inversion in Photoshop.



This was the first image that got the camera noticed. I took this onto Zone VI fiber-based paper, so I had to press it after development and drying. I had it pressing under glass and noticed a few people looking at it and commenting on it. It definitely hints at what the Dragon Box (the camera's name) can do.



A Photoshop inversion to show the image's positive.



This negative really did not appear to turn out well at all, so I let it sit without much attention. When I digitized it, though, I decided to invert it. That inversion convinced me that this, the second image I took with the Dragon Box is the first solid sign of what this camera can do.





A double-exposure of a high-tension tower. I exposed the shot and then turned the camera around 180 degrees, capturing the same shot in reverse. Yes, this camera has potential. I'm glad I didn't thrown the box away.



And here's the Dragon Box and an explanation of how to make it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Film Can Pinhole

For this pinhole camera, I used a 250-foot spool can from some Kodak Vision 3 5217 that I had recently emptied. I painted the inside black and put a laser-drilled 0.1mm pinhole on the front. In positive, it's quite good. In negative, though, it looks soft. But here are a few results from it so far.


Looking out a rabbit hole (not really, it just looks that way.)


A scan of the paper negative.


Sunset. I keep a few magnets on this can because it's magnetic. It's round, so they work well as chocks. For this, I magneted it to a sign to get some extra height. Once the sign stopped moving around, I took the shutter off and exposed the sunset. The clouds turned out pretty well.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pinhole Camera -- Brisk Iced Tea Can

For fun and a class assignment, I made a pinhole camera from a Brisk Iced Tea can. The can holds up to 5X7 film nicely (it's almost a liter in volume) and so I've tested it with 5X7 and 4X5. The 5X7 film needs holes punched in it.

This was specifically designed to be a trick camera. I punched two pinholes directly into the camera at approximately a 60-degree angle from the image center. This causes overlapping image circles. The pinhole shutters operate independently, though, so I can take the images of opposing directions, the same thing from different angles (as below) or two completely different subjects.

For this shot, I took a picture of a hill, turned the camera so the other pinhole pointed at it, and took the shot again.



This negative image (on photo paper) resulted from a long shot of ducks and a fountain on a pond on top of a more abstract image of moving water.


This is the positive print.


One of my first shots, the hole on the left wasn't in the right place and light couldn't get to the image.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Abstract Psychaedlia

Last week I mentioned that I was working on abstracts for my photography class' final project. Here's one of two videos I made as part of an abstract experiment. Some of the shoot's actual images follow.


I started my abstract paint project with paint on wax paper. I made this one look kings like a bug. It may or may not be a bug that someone stepped on.


In time, I gave up on the shapes and simply began letting the paint do the work. The results proved much more unpredictable and interesting. 


In the video and for these I put store-brand vegetable oil in a plastic tray and placed drops of oil-based model paint in it.


The point moved through the oil like a bad idea through a mob -- quickly and unpredictably. When it touched, it would spread out along the oil's surface like a slick, but the paint's additives turned gummy in the oil. So the paint on the surface, which was gummy, stayed in place while the paint under the surface moved away from the surface paint.


Here are the other two videos in the series:





This post -- this is about how this week is going to go. There are a number of very strong abstract images this week.

A Year in Photos -- Week Forty-seven

This week on A Year in Photos, we venture into the realm of psychadelia,


ask if those are hills or boobs,


go negative like a good political campaign,


do whatever the heck this is,


and again bask in the greatness of this guy's shirts (I'm not being sarcastic when I say that.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Found Photos Friday: 1960s Americana 7

Though I have no actual proof, I've come to believe that the guy on the left is the photographer. He's rarely in the shots, so I suspect he's typically behind the camera. He also, for the record has pretty great taste in shirts.





This shot is a close second favorite in the collection.








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