In the same camera-making class mentioned in my last post, Peter Renn turned the room itself into a camera obscura (a dark room) with a large single lens you can see in the first image. It has a focal length of something between 1000 and 2000mm, casting a massive image circle. In the first picture above you can see the lens and part of the image on the floor. In the next couple of images you can see different parts of the image transmissively through a large, hand-held roll of tracing paper bringing different parts of the image into focus by moving back and forth. Next we used a large foam stage flat, and I took pictures of different parts of the image projected onto it. Click any of the pictures to see them all full-sized.
Shoebox Camera Obscura
We had a fantastic camera-building workshop with Peter Renn a couple of weeks ago. I had bought a cheap 135mm, f/4.5 projector lens in a charity shop for £10 and brought in a shoe box to mount it on. The first two pictures show the final product. The cardboard flaps in the first image allow one to slide the imaging screen backwards and forwards to focus. The next picture shows the inside, a focusing screen which is simply some tracing paper in a cardboard frame. The next 2 pictures I took with my phone through a hole in the back. I made the hole the size of my Fujinon 23mm lens so I can photograph what’s on the focusing screen and maintain a pretty good light seal. The 5th picture is a shot my classmate Marilyn took of me using the camera and the bottom right picture is the first image I took digitally. Click any of the pictures to see them all full-sized.
As part of a workshop in alternative cameras I took a few shots with an old Canon Powershot A570 which had it’s infrared filter removed and a piece of orange gel taped over the front of the lens. This yielded some interest color IR effects. Click any image to see them all enlarged.
A window looking out on a little courtyard. The smears on the stuff in the window looked like hands rising up to me. The mirror in the bottom image didn’t seem to be able to reflect me, and was angled in such a way as to create a little bit of a trompe l’oeil effect with the glass bowl in the reflection different from the stone bowl in the foreground.
Shelter from the Storm
…is a fine place for reflection.
Reflection of the library shelves through the library window an reflected back onto it from the building opposite.
Four of my classmates and I had just completed our final presentations for Exploratory Practice and adjourned to the Graphics Studio to unwind. The afternoon sun was streaming brightly through the western windows and Luna kindly allowed me to shoot a few quick snapshots of her in the golden light.
Continuing in the studio, here are some more digital polaroid test shots, preparatory to shooting with the Pentax 645.
And with that, there may be a drop in posts over the next few days. The film has been developed and scanned but there’s much work still to do, and preparations for the Lightbox show. Perhaps surprising now that I’m doing a photography full-time, I haven’t been shooting a whole lot and have no new images. Stay tuned.
I booked time in the studio to practice with my new (old) Pentax 645N II film camera. I didn’t really have anything important in mind to shoot but I wanted to get time playing with the lights and learning to use the camera. In order to test the exposures I was metering for, before shooting with the expensive film I shot with my digital camera, set to the same ISO, shutter speed, aperture and equivalent focal length. In olden times, a studio photographer might have shot a polaroid in the same way.
At an Arts University one gets interesting opportunities. Last week I played an extra in a film. I spent from 11:00 to 4:00 on Thursday, mostly in character as a man silently gazing at an inventor, pictured here in make-up. At lunch time, snacks were served and the boom mike was laid down.
Portrait Room Reflections
Part of a larger Family Ties exhibit in the reception hall gallery of the University, Caroline Molloy, programme director of Fine Art, Digital Art and Photography at University for the Creative Arts, was showing us around the exhibit. When we go to her contribution, The Portrait Rooms, I was distracted by the way the Autumn leaves outside were being reflected in the display case glass.
Among the subjects we’re studying in our Critical Perspectives class is something called variously Systems Thinking or Systems Art.
Passing out of the library one day I saw this half-completed jigsaw puzzle on a table and immediately thought, “systems”!
Farnham Freshers’ Fair
A freshman fair at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. Many departments set up booths where you could try your hand at different artistic or artisanal pursuits, a few snapshots of which, above. Click any image to see them all enlarged (on the web site – click through if you’re seeing this in an email).