The facepaint has been washed off, the tent has been packed away, and the hangovers are easing. Burning Nest 2018 is over, for another year.
Bristol is a lively city, with countless bars, restaurants and attractions. When I moved closer into town from the countryside, I decided to take my Olympus XA4 with me on nights out, to capture the shenanigans we all get up to. Continue reading Bristol: Day and Night
A Solargraph is a looooong exposure image, taken using a pinhole camera that’s been left somewhere for upwards of a month at least. Using photographic paper instead of film to effectively burn the path of the sun into the paper, it traces the arc of the light as it passes through the sky. With an exposure time of 6 months, you can see how the sun’s path changes over the months, hopefully capturing some scenery in the background too.
I’ve been lucky enough to live near Pensford Viaduct in Somerset for the past couple of years, and thought it’d make the ideal backdrop (well, foreground, technically) for a solargraph.
This is my 6-month exposure, set up in October 2017, and taken down in April 2018. You can see the viaduct in the background (smaller than I imagined!) and our garden fence in the foreground. There has been some darkening and bubbling (water damage maybe?) in the middle of the image, but other than that I think it’s fared very well!
To make my solargraph, I used an empty Illy coffee tin (one of the small 125g ones), and punched a tiny hole in one side, about halfway up, with a nail and some sandpaper. In a dark bag, I slipped in a small sheet of photographic paper (around 10cm x 14cm, emulsion side in of course) and taped the lid on with black gaffer tape. I was careful to make sure the edges of the paper didn’t overlap the pinhole. After the applicatin for some more tape, I affixed my camera to the drainpipe outside the kitchen window, and left it.
After taking it down, the only thing to do was scan the photo, using a normal flatbed scanner. No fixing is required, as the image is effectively burnt into the paper. It comes out looking a bit brown and pale, but once you invert it, import into Lightroom and play about with the contrast quite a lot, you get a useable image!
If you want to have a go at your own solargraph, I’ve heard great things about the Solarcan (I’ve even backed it on Kickstarter, so I’ll have to think up another cool place to leave the next one).
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I like alternative processes. Something about cyanotypes has really grabbed my interest recently – something about the ability to print on anything porous, something about the fact it uses the sun to fix the image, it’s a process I keep thinking about.
An experimental roll of Fuji Superia 800 in the Cosina PM-1, at night. I think I underestimated the exposure times, I could have used a bit longer. The film is also VERY grainy, which I’m not keen on.
I’d like to go back to the suspension bridge (when it’s warmer!) with some slower, finer-grain film, and see how that turns out. I need to do a bit of research on reciprocity too, or pick a film that doesn’t suffer from reciprocity failure too much. Black and white would be really nice too – any suggestions welcome!
A couple of weeks ago I went to visit a lovely friend of mine, Tom, at his place in Norwich. We’re frequent photo buddies, and have been going out together to point glass at things for years. The blistering cold and imminent snow didn’t put us off, and we took a muddy trek to Whitlingham Marshes, 10 minutes from his house.
Pinhole cameras are something I’ve seen lots of photographers use, often to fantastic effect. Making great use of motion blurs, people moving, and the exaggerated wide angle that often accompanies the simplest of cameras. Surprisingly, I’ve never tried my hand at it, but I’ve been seeing so many interesting images created using pinhole cameras (for example, Moni’s Blatherskite blog – some great images produced while wheeling a camera around on a trolley in a library) that I thought I had to give it a go.
I’ve been a fan of Lomography ever since we collaborated on a Dinohoodie photowalk back in the mists of time, and I’ve loved seeing all their new cameras and cool lenses come out over the years. Recently, their instant cameras have been really popular, with a few versions using the easily-obtainable Fuji Instax Mini packs.
For the last couple of years, me and a dozen close friends go on a weekend break just after New Year, to catch up, drink too much and eat a massive roast dinner in a big house. This year, we decided to visit Foreland Point Lighthouse and stay in the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage there! It was windy, cold and rainy – ideal weather for visiting somewhere on the edge of a cliff!
Lomochrome Purple is a psychedelic film stock from Lomography, based on Kodak Aerochrome. The colour shifts are controlled (I use the term loosely) by changing the ISO you shoot it at – set it as a 50 or 100 ISO, and you’ll end up with a redder hue to your greens, or at 400 for a more indigo look.