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Thread: Instant Box Camera Project

  1. #31
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed watching that, thanks for posting it Joe!
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  2. #32
    Great work Joe, you should be proud and pleased.


    I see one of your typewriters in the background which I assume you use to write your blog. I very much understand, appreciate and respect your dedication to the old ways and how you merge old and new technologies.

    Ray
    "The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself", Edward Steichen, in Arthur Rothstein 1986, 19.

  3. #33
    Thank you for your comments. While editing video in iMovie on the iPad is a breeze, uploading to YouTube is a nightmare, because Google (who own YouTube) and Apple don't play well together. The problem, seen by many, is trying to log into YouTube in the iMovie app, it won't accept your password.

    I ended up doing this: 1) Temporarily lowering my YouTube security settings through Google's main screen; 2) Logging out of YouTube in the iPad app, the iPad browser and my desktop browser; 3) Logging back into YouTube, not with my user ID but my email address instead. It's been almost a year since I last did a video, and while I recall some sort of difficulty, I didn't make any detailed notes as to the fix. Boy, I sure made notes this time!

    I really enjoy using the Lumix G5 for video work. Its fold out screen is ultra important for self-focusing and composing. The main difference between it and the GH4 is lack of mic/line inputs, less control over manual exposures and the codec is not as sophisticated. But plenty good for my use. I've taken to always using manual focus, prefocusing on the important part of the scene, to avoid that distracting focus hunting that can occur. And being able to throw my old Minolta manual focus lenses on the camera is also great.

    Because I can't use external mics, I have to record when the house is quiet. And remember simple things like take the phones out of the room, as on several occassions I've had a phone ring during a scene!

    @Ray: I'm glad you noticed the typewriter. That's the SCM Galaxy 12, a $15 thrift store find and one of the best machines in my collection. I have nine typewriters currently, and so have to cycle them each through a period of usage. That's a good problem to have!

    ~Joe
    Last edited by JoeVanCleave; 04-13-2015 at 09:41 AM.
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  4. #34
    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Joe, you could try making a password specifically for imovie in your google account. The option should be under the security settings. That way you don't need to go trough all the hassle every time you want to upload something.

    That said, great project. One of these has been on my to-do list for a couple of years now after seeing how some street photographers in afghanistan were basically running a passport / ID photo shop out of one of these "instant" cameras. Looks like I'll be looking to your project for some DOs and DON'Ts when I get around to tackling the project myself.

  5. #35
    Administrator Tom Persinger's Avatar
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    like the others I really enjoyed your video Joe. Thanks for sharing!

  6. #36
    Another update of the Instant Box Camera project. I worked this week mainly on my optical printing technique, where I set up a printing easel in front of the lens and rephotograph the grade 2 paper negatives onto Ilford MG RC WT Luster paper.

    I made some reference lines in the easel using drafting tape, and now I can accurately position the over mattes, focus the negative and compose much quicker. I was able to do a complete portrait session, from posing to exposure and development of the negative to setup, exposure and development of the print, all within 15 minutes, which is one of my goals for making this project practical in terms of public portraiture.

    I was experiencing inconsistencies between my metering and the resulting exposure of the prints, until I realized that I was standing in front of the easel, blocking part of the indirect light, during the printing phase. And so I changed my technique to, after loading the film holder with paper, close the inner door and remove my arm from the sleeve, then stand behind the easel to make a final meter reading and operate the shutter.

    I also made three different magnetic oval mattes with which to mask off the paper negatives, using rubber sheet magnets covered in adhesive vinyl film. One mask is black, rendering a white mask on the print; the other is white, rendering a black mask in the print; and the third is gray.

    I also decided that, since I've gone this far with the project, it'd be worth my time to begin using my modern Fuji 135-5.6 lens, in place of the aged WWII-era Kodak Ektar 127-4.7. This means I now have a modern, accurate shutter, and that I can make sub-second exposures, and thus use wider apertures, for portraits where the background is more pleasingly out of focus.

    Here's a reprint of a negative I made during that 15 minute session, this time printed lighter (I'm using a grade 3.5 contrast filter behind the lens) and using the black mask. I used the Fuji lens for both the negative and the print, F/8 for the portrait itself and F/11 during the printing.

    Hunter001a by jvcabacus, on Flickr

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  7. #37
    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    Great result, Joe! Congratulations!
    because:
    "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?"
    -Don Van Vliet

  8. #38
    I did a self-portrait session today. To focus my image properly, I employed a focusing target attached to the camera's support base via a string.

    I first adjusted the tripod height to center my face on the lens as I was seated on a stool, then adjusted the stool fore/aft to make the string tight with the target adjacent to my eyes.

    Next, I taped the target to the end of a wooden yardstick, and was able to monitor and focus the image on the ground glass, through the camera's rear door, while holding the string taught via the yardstick.

    Then I loaded up a paper negative, closed the arm sleeve door and seated myself on the stool, target in my left hand and shutter release cable in my right. I pulled the string tight, positioned my face to the target, lowered the target and released the shutter. Exposure was f/8 for 1/4 second, at ISO12 on grade 2 RC paper. I should have exposed it a bit more, by adjusting the aperture down a bit from f/8. But the highlights aren't blown.

    After processing and a few dunks in the rinse water, I squeegeed off the negative using a film squeegee, flapped it dry, then mounted it to the printing easel with a gray oval printing mask. The print was made with a grade 3.5 filter onto Ilford MG RC WT luster paper, at f/8 for 3 seconds, rating the paper at ISO1.6.

    Overall the process took about 20 minutes. It would have been shorter, but I had to deal with focusing, and my grade 3.5 filter fell into the developer tray; I had to quickly rinse it off and dry it, then fixed it to the front of the lens via gaffers tape instead. I'm going to make a holder to mount these on the outside of the lens. The dyes on these printing filters are not water-fast, as my rinse water turned pink after I tried rinsing the filter off.

    Here's an image of the focusing target affixed to the yardstick:
    P1100060a by jvcabacus, on Flickr

    Here's how I held the focus target up to my face (but actually using my left hand - in this shot I was holding the Lumix G5 camera, LCD screen folded out, in my left hand):
    P1100061a by jvcabacus, on Flickr

    And here's a scan of the print; I've made no attempt to dust spot the scan, but it appears very clean in person:
    Joe001a by jvcabacus, on Flickr

    Though the shadows are a bit dark (the negative being slightly under-exposed), I'm pleased with this print, especially the focus on my eyes.

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  9. #39
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Great results! That is a fine portrait.

    Is there a way that you could make a mark on the rod, for example where your "focus clip" would go? Then you could have one or two fixed length strings for quick portrait setup. A sort of "scale focus" but specifically for a couple of nice portrait distances.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  10. #40
    Great idea, Ned. Having a preset string and focus rod position, along with printing easel markings, would certainly speed things up.

    At one time I also thought of focal length markings on the rod, to aid in bellows compensation, but now that I have the printing working as it is, I don't think I'll be needing it.

    One downside to using blue-sensitive paper, it exaggerates all of one's skin blemishes; I'm not quite that weathered in reality; but it does have a tintype kind of look to it.

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

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