Category Archives: Thoughts and Musings

Fantastic Plastic Book

I have finally finished the book about Frank Hurley. It was a heavy read. I don’t think I will read another biography for a while.

So now I have picked up this book…

I am thinking about the cameras I want to take to Japan tomorrow. I have to take my Nikon D750, but what camera for fun?

I have a suitcase with at least 5 cameras in it safe with a friend in Japan. Inside is a 35mm SLR, a TLR, and compacts are easy to get. So a toy camera seems the best choice at the moment….I am ignoring the golden half I know is in the case too.

I thought I would look through this book for inspiration. I do have the Diana F+ with an Instax back, plus the super wide and slim which I have yet to test. I don’t want to fill up my luggage with cameras I own in case go shopping for some bargains.

If you could take one camera for fun, what would it be?

Workflow and Stuff

I posted a review of a camera today and that’s it…my draft box is empty! What to do??

Well I do have a couple of films to develop and two more cameras with film loaded, but I don’t have a set schedule or a workflow plan. That means I find myself without a review to post. Even without a workflow plan I usually post a new review once a week. That ain’t too shabby.

Being a teacher means that sometimes I am super busy and sometimes on holiday. Right now I am a little of both. I wake up, get dressed, and wait to see if I get a supply job for the day. If I don’t then I can play with a camera…but not buy any new ones due to the lack of funds.

So, my workflow is higgledy-piggledy. I don’t mind, as I have always said, this blog is for me.

I also get a chance to catch up on some reading. Today I read an article about post processing and film photography by Hamish Gill. Until recently I have not post processed my film photos very much, I felt it was somehow against the nature of film. And then I had an epiphany and thought, well that was dumb, what about burning and dodging. After that I started using Snapseed and other software more and more.

I also like to read Jim Grey’s articles, he often writes and posts about bridges. I love me a good bridge. Today I saw a super one in Huddersfield.

Getting an unexpected day off and spending time with friends is the silver lining. Being a teacher is pretty cool too. This week I was placed in a nursery and helped make bunnies and chocolate cornflake nests…cause having a bunny with a nest inside for easter is the done thing these days.

A conversation with one of the students went like this…

Student: When everyone has finished can lick the spoon?
Me: I am sorry that wouldn’t be fair to the other children.
Student: Hmm, you should get to lick it then, you helped everyone.
Me: I don’t think I am allowed to, the other teacher might be sad.
Student: But, you can hide in the cupboard, they won’t know.

Being taught how to cheat by a four year old 🙂

Boredom and Friends

Today I felt completely bored. I went into Leeds and got a few films developed, wandered the Minster and Canal area.

Whoa, first time uploading camera photos. Anyway, it was lovely, but didn’t take away the underlying feeling. What was causing it?

And then it hit me, I miss Japan. Bugger. I definitely miss the train system, the public toilets. I miss the camaraderie of a regular work place, having people who will pose for me, or go for a wander. Don’t get me wrong, I like my new life but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten my old one.

While looking for things to do I stumbled across this creative use of models. This article says embrace boredom in a positive way. But actually I don’t mind the odd day of boredom, because I know it is an odd day. Tomorrow I will be fine.

Vintage Fair, Bleurghhhh and Issues.

You may have noticed the change of blog theme just when I was settled on a new layout. I have been having issues lately with WordPress losing media selections from the galleries. This was happening every time I updated or edited a post. It only started to occur since the previous theme change. Hence I thought the new theme was the issue and the reason for this new change.

WordPress help was very responsive and attentive, I can’t fault them on their attempts to fix the issue. But in the end it seems to have fixed itself…for now. It was very frustrating, especially when I edited an older post and had to relink the photos.

The “bleurghhhh” in the title means I am sick, it is cold season and I have a stonker. This week I had to skip work and my volunteering duties, staying in bed watching Game of Thrones. I did manage to attend my very first vintage fair as a stall holder before being afflicted. The fair was not as well attended as in previous years, but I did manage to sell a few cameras. Strangely, I ended up being offered more cameras by visitors. Those that lived nearby went home and got them. At the end of the day I walked away with the same amount. That was interesting, just as I was saying I could not afford new cameras, here are people offering them to me to keep, borrow, or buy for next to nothing.

Here are the phrases I heard the mosts:

  • Oh, I used to have one of those
  • Do you buy cameras? I am sure I have one in a draw somewhere.
  • Can you still get film?

It was nice to chat with people as they seemed genuinely happy to see the cameras, but I would have preferred to sell more. There will be another fair at that location in October so I think I will attend again. I also realized I will never be rich as I ended up giving some film away to a couple of people for various reasons.

It was hard to choose the cameras I put up for sale and repacking them after the event, I changed my mind on a couple of them. One the changes of mind was for the Minolta Weathermatic. It is just such a good camera. I reread my own post and then up popped this one from 35MMC. And after that I checked the prices. Wow, it has gone up in price. That settled it, I am keeping it….Especially as I sold the Sea & Sea at the fair.

Lastly if you are interested in buying a film camera, here is the most comprehensive guide I have ever seen. It is a few years old, but it is a treasure trove of information.

Blogs I Read

As I am running out of cameras, due to..

  1. Lack of Japanese second-hand store bargains in England.
  2. The ever-increasing price of film cameras.
  3. Lack of full-time work, attached to point 2
  4. The act of trying to reduce my collection.

…I am going to start adding more thoughts and musings. You may have already noticed some recommended reading posts. Hopefully, they be photography based, but they might not be. They will not be political or (hopefully) controversial. It is just not worth the hassle.

I don’t think I will publish to a schedule, just as and when I feel like it or have time. I think I have mentioned all this before.

Anyway, while I was thinking and musing about this I was perusing other blogs. One I read has a nice collection of photography blog links. Not only is it a great list…but I am on it 🙂 Big fat grin appears on my face 🙂 Have a look.

Camera Bloggers Alliance

Another related, but unrelated article I would like to share is this one.

It really explains why and others like film photography in a digital age.

And just to remind you about point number 4 above, reducing my collection. I will be at this vintage fair selling some cameras and stuff. Come along and haggle.

Hmm, maybe I do need a schedule? What do you think? Do you prefer blogs that stick to a publishing schedule or ones that publish as and when?

Lomography Konstructor Update

Only yesterday I posted about the camera I built and how the shutter didn’t work. Well, as usual, I couldn’t let it alone and today I took it apart and had a look at the shutter mechanism. I looked at my example and compared it to the instruction book. Even though the mirror and shutter come ready built, the instructions and build diagram are included. This is probably just in case you want to take it apart…or in my case check it when it doesn’t work.

And this is what I found.

See that wire…it is in the wrong position.
It should look like this.

And voila! It started working as it should. So I reassembled the other parts and tried again. The mirror seemed slow and worked much better when the camera pointed to the ground, I still wasn’t sure it would work.

I put in the remainder of the film from yesterday and tried a few shots around my garden. Then I processed the film and there were the negatives in their beautiful black and white. Now to scan.

BUT, my friggin second scanner would not turn on. WHAT IS IT WITH SCANNERS AND THIS ROOM???!!!

My first choice scanner is somewhere in the postal system on its way to a Canon service center. The second one is not worth fixing and is now waiting to be retested and then thrown away. So I resorted to my third choice. Using an iPad and a phone.

Well, you can see the images and they are not too bad considering I thought the camera didn’t work. You can also see the LED display points of the iPad so not a perfect replacement. I think I will be using colour film until my first choice scanner returns or I can afford a replacement.

As for the camera, I now would recommend it if you can find a cheap one. It was fun building it and it actually doesn’t work so badly. It is on par with other toy cameras. You can do multiple exposures and have some fun. Use 400asa film for the best results.

UPDATE: I got my scanner back 🙂 It is a canoscan 9000F Mark II. I rescanned the photos so you can see the difference. The ipad and phone work better in terms of sharpness, but the canoscan is better in terms of ease of use and density. If it wasn’t for the LED thing showing through I would stick with the iPad and phone setup.

Interesting Reads

Look at this, another blog recommendations post. Again not something I usually do, but I was really moved by this post. It might be due to the fact I have been working in a few nurseries recently and have been put in the baby room. Being with babies 9am-5pm does things to your mind 🙂

Then, as I was reading some photography blogs I saw this one by Casual Photophile on how to improve my photography. But it wasn’t about that at all. It was a heartfelt post about trying to get pregnant. I skim read it as I was on a bus and thought I might cry, I am a big crier. I put it in my pocket account to read later. I recommend you read it in private, not on the bus if you are a crier too.

It reminded me of an article about going to Holland and I search for that famous article again. In the meantime I found another post saying they hated that original text, she has a point.