ASAHI PENTAX K1000 TWO PLANTS

Posted in 35MM CAMERAS, SLR by Nicole Gelinas on May 8, 2012

This is just a short post to let you know I am still around and working on the blog! Its been a few weeks since my last post and I just wanted to share an older photo I took back in college that never saw the light of day. I don’t know why I never developed it in the darkroom back then, but I have grown to love this image for its simplicity, repeating shapes, and contrast. I think it would be a nice photo to hang on a wall some day! This was taken with my Pentax K1000 using Kodak Professional 400Tmax black and white film, which I developed in the darkroom!

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ASAHI PENTAX K1000 MORE PORTRAITS OF RiOt

Posted in 35MM CAMERAS, SLR by Nicole Gelinas on April 10, 2012

These portraits were taken the same day that we found the pretty cat on the beach! It was very overcast that day, so there were no harsh shadows to worry about. That being said, the overcast day kind of made the photos lack contrast, or at least the amount of contrast that I really like in my photography. Anyway, after scanning, I did a small amount of levels work in photoshop (mostly on the top image), but I don’t see that harm in that because it is nothing that a little dodging and burning in the darkroom would not solve, but this way it is much faster to do it digitally!

Again, I shot with my Asahi Pentax K1000 using my 75-300mm Albinar-ADG telephoto lens loaded with Kodak BW400CN!

ASAHI PENTAX K1000 OMBRE CAT ON THE BEACH

Posted in 35MM CAMERAS, SLR by Nicole Gelinas on April 3, 2012

My friends and I were hanging out down by the local beach when this beauty passed by. This cat had the strangest meow I have ever heard. It was if it had one of those shock collars on that is used for dogs. It was really strange. The cat looked like it was owned by someone around the beach area though because it was very well taken care of and had a beautiful coat. I told myself it’s name was Ombre because of it’s gradation of light to dark fur. I could not help but snap a few shots of the pretty kitty.

For these photos I used my Asahi Pentax K1000 loaded with Kodak BW400CN (which means you get black and white images, with iso 400, and the negatives are processed in color negative chemicals *C41 process). I used my 75-300mm Albinar-ADG telephoto lens on this one because the cat did not stay close to us for long periods of time and I wanted to get a more up close and personal shot of the cat. Also this lens makes a really nice blurry background so the cat really stood out (see first image for example). The small black borders are actually from when I was scanning the negatives. I decided not to crop the photos all the way in because I liked the way the small borders looked around the images. Just a personal choice of aesthetics!

HANDMADE DIY 35mm MATCHBOX PINHOLE CAMERA

Posted in DIY, HANDMADE, PINHOLE by Nicole Gelinas on March 4, 2012

Here are my first photos using a matchbox pinhole camera. These cameras are very inexpensive and really easy to build. You probably already have the materials you need in your junk drawer!

These images might not be the best reproductions as I did not have a film scanner when I developed these. I used a light tracing box and a macro lens on my digital camera to take pictures of the negatives and then inverted the digital image in Photoshop. I still love the results though! The white streaks you are seeing are from a light leak in the camera that I built. I actually don’t mind them as they sort of give the images character and a ghostly spirit affect. As far as the really dark edges, I am not exactly sure why it did not expose the whole negative, other than I might need to make my pinhole a tiny bit larger to expose more of the film area.

Just like with any camera the aperture size does matter in terms of what will be in focus or not. The cool thing about pinhole photography is you can get your foreground and background to infinity into focus if you keep the pinhole very small. Remember the smaller the pinhole, the sharper the images will be!

There is no viewfinder, you literally just point the camera in the direction of your subject and expose the film. You won’t really know what to expect until you see the images!

There are ways to actually calculate how long to expose your film based on the measurements of your pinhole, but it is quite a process, and if you are not very good at math can be kind of confusing. For the images above I just used my “educated guessing skills” and stuck with these guidelines: outside with sun 1-2 seconds, outside and overcast about 5 seconds. Be sure and keep your camera steady as you are exposing the film to get a clear photo.

As far as film, I prefer black and white for pinhole photography, but color film can also be used. For film speeds, I would keep it at iso 100, 200, or 400 to keep some clarity and detail in the photos and it helps to keep the grain low. These photos were shot at iso 400 on Kodak Professional BW400CN film.

If you would like to make your own, here is a stop motion video on how to build a matchbox pinhole camera! If you have any further questions there is a TON of information all over the web that is really helpful! There are also a bunch of different versions of pinhole cameras, but this seems to be the most basic and straightforward design.

 

Don’t forget that there is an annual worldwide pinhole photography day, on the last Sunday in April. This years is on April 29, 2012. Thats only 55 days away! On this day there are a bunch of websites that will allow you to upload your pinhole photography to their sites and celebrate the magic of this simple art form!!

THE AFGHAN BOX CAMERA PROJECT AND DIY PROJECT

Posted in BOX CAMERAS, DIY, HANDMADE, INSPIRATION, INSTANT/POLAROID CAMERAS by Nicole Gelinas on February 28, 2012

I recently came across this website about Afghan box cameras and I cannot get it out of my mind. These things are AMAZING, so I wanted to share this with you!

“As of June 2011 Afghanistan is one of the last places on earth where photographers continue to use a simple type of instant camera called the kamra-e-faoree for means of making a living. The hand-made wooden camera is both camera and darkroom in one and generations of Afghans have had their portraits taken with it, usually for identity photographs. At one stage it was even outlawed when former rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban, banned photography, forcing photographers to hide or destroy their tools.

The aim of the Afghan Box Camera Project is to provide a record of the kamra-e-faoree which as a living form of photography is on the brink of disappearing in Afghanistan. […] The information we provide is based on a visit made to Afghanistan between April and June 2011 which focused on the capital Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, as well as on previous visits to the country and region over the years, and ongoing research.”

Lukas Birk (photographer) and Sean Foley (anthropologist) are trying to raise money to go back to Afghanistan and learn even more techniques and history behind these amazing box camera creations before they become a lost art. If you would like to donate, they have a Kickstart project open until March 31, 2012. Depending on how much you donate you get little gifts in return. They also share all of their information about these cameras on their website. You can find links to videos, a pdf on how to build your own camera, how to use the camera, techniques, tools, and all sort of photographs taken by these street photographers. Pretty awesome right?!

Above are examples of photos taken with box cameras, as well as some examples of decorated cameras from the streets. The colored photographs on the bottom are all hand painted.

So, if you are feeling ambitious, creative, and looking for yet another project to take on, consider building one of these yourself and testing it out! I am totally into it! I want to make my own, and hopefully recruit my grandpa to help me out this summer. That way we can use his tools and extra parts, because I know he has a whole shop full of stuff and scraps of weirdness laying around. I am bound to find enough to build one of these!! Seriously though, even if you don’t want to build a camera, this project is so inspiring and it proves that you don’t need a fancy camera to make amazing photos!

*All information and images for this post were from the Afghan Box Camera Project Website.