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A Lockdown Project: Cascade Shelves

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The lockdown here in the UK has stalled my photography activities. I am not sure why but I am not very motivated in the photography department. I have however enjoyed working in my workshop.

This project started when we were watching some COVID 19 coverage and as we watch some expert talking I enjoy letting my eye wander through the view into their room. In this case I noticed some shelves mounted to a wall with an unusual curved bracket that supported the front of the shelves. They were not particularly attractive but something about that curved support caught my imagination.

This got me thinking and eventually I came up with a simple design I hoped would be elegant. I wanted to save money so I used  some cheap strips of planed pine (18x44mm) and then bought some finish plywood for the shelves themselves. The pine would supply the wall mount support and when ripped they would also supply the front supports and simple edging on the plywood. The edging is also part of the support for t…

Monk’s Wood Visit 2

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A couple of days past my dry run I went again. The day dawned partly cloudy and somewhat cooler than the previous visit. I had a pleasant bike ride out and again locked my bike away. Thus time I brought a roll of Ilford HP5+ and Kodak Portra 400. I chose faster film as I would be shooting handheld. I neglected to bring a second film back which I kicked myself for when I arrived.

This left me with a quandary of choosing to shoot color or black and white. I opted for black and white first in part because I would not have to wait indefinitely for results. Also the light was hazy and diffuse in the morning. The bluebells were emerging but I remained determined with my decision for now, if the light got better the color may be more useful later.

I also brought along my 150 mm lens (my longest lens) as well as the 80 mm. I fitted the 150 mm and resolved to use it alone. I felt this would inform a different look and I was right. I actually enjoyed the 150 mm lens and found the single lens ch…

Monk’s Wood Visit 1

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I hatched a plan to get some relief from my depression and lack of motivation that seems due to the this whole lockdown with COVID-19. We had a short break in North Wales just before the restrictions came into force. Now with limits to travel to necessary travel and daily exercise my mood has not been very good. I have gotten out to exercise on bike rides over the past couple of weeks though the weather  was very cold and windy. I am very slowly getting back into shape since I started retirement.

My plan was to combine the bike ride with some walking in local woodlands. I packed boots and a bike lock along with a camera. My first trip was meant to be a dry-run just to see how crowded the location mights be and to see how the ride went. I did pack my camera as part of the dry run though I did not plan to use it. The day was glorious and I rode in bright sunshine to Monk’s Wood. I made my way down the track and found an unused gate to lock my bike to that was out of sight from traffic o…

North Wales: with Color Update

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My wife and I recently spent a week near Machynlleth in Wales. She found a good cottage up the end of a long single lane track in a steep valley. We had a very relaxing time and did quite.a bit of walking. I got a chance to take some photographs and came up with a few nice ones I think. This trip we took after having cancelled a trip to the US to see friends and relatives due to the Covid19 scare.
I decided to take a simple camera setup this time so I dusted off the Fuji GSW690iii which I haven’t used in a while. It is a rangefinder with a 6x9 negative and a 65 mm wide angle lens. I have found this camera a real challenge to use. (I have very often thought I should have bought the 90  mm version.) It has a very wide angle with the 65 mm lens and 9 cm wide film. Compared with my G617 very wide panorama camera it has half the film width but a much wider lens. The overlaid image below puts this in perspective. Despite being half the negative size the 6x9 image covers 80%  of the G617 but…

Holme Fen March: Another visit

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I traveled out to Holme Fen again this morning. The area has become a focal point for my woodland project as I try and understand it better and I undertake to express the feel of the place as best I can photographically. This follows on from a short walk we took with friends who visited for the weekend.  The are keen walkers as are we; inevitably we walk and then enjoy a pub lunch somewhere. They live in Gloucestershire and are blessed with some vertical terrain. I suggested Holme Fen primarily because its peat soil is more pleasant walking this time of year with all the heavy mud about elsewhere. It did not disappoint in that regard.

It was a  typical Spring day with scattered cloud and breaks of sunshine. We entered the woods and it was gray and with the dead brown bracken about did not impress. This is one of the many moods of the place as I have experienced it in the winter. Indeed places where I could find nice photographs a week before looked dull and unpromising.

The sun did br…

Pin Registered Negative Carrier for the ‘Beast’

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Introduction It all started with a little trouble dodging shadows in a print I was working on. This lead me to explore masking in an intuitive fashion have never really studied it. I always thought a contact print on film could be used to reduce contrast or lighten shadows depending on the exposure and contrast of the contact print. So I started there.

I also started to read more and looked into the problem of registration. There are pin registration systems though they are expensive (on the order of $500). I began to think about making one myself. A little more research and I could see the pieces coming together.
The Implementation
The core of the system is to produce 2 precisely spaced holes in film or a film carrier. This is simply addressed by a two hole paper punch like follows.

This punches 1/4” holes. I had to order this from Amazon as in the UK the hole punches have 6mm holes. The reason becomes apparent when I learned that a company called Ternes-Burton makes nifty little re…