No that fellow under the cape isn’t Superman, nope not Batman . . . just another Crazy Photographer. Here it is 2016, I started this blog back in October 2012 writing about my adventures using Analog cameras with Digital backs and here I am four years later shooting Analog using paper making positive images in camera.
Crazy it is, I retired for the second time in 2012. I bought some crazy gear like The Kapture Group TrueWide Digital sliding back camera . . .
I also did some crazy stunts with old lenses, old cameras and my Phase One Digital back . . . shooting in Yosemite in the snow with a tethered camera, but the results where spectacular. 2012 saw me gear laden traipsing Morro Bay Ca. with the tethered rig & Truewide, wandering about Sequoia and Kings NP’s with my tethered rigs in some form or another.
Yep, the various contraptions do draw attention . . . I get car horns peeped at me if I am anywhere near roadside, I get people asking tons of questions and showing their shots they just made on their cellphones of whatever it is I am shooting (I just smile) . . . what is the biggest question I get? Why, I would send them to my website (I closed it in 2014 as it didn’t make enough to warrant keeping it up) where they could look at and (possibly purchase a print) answer the WHY for themselves.
So as not to be any more Normal then usual I started a new adventure (01-01-2013) I had been contemplating . . . A photo 365 project . . . Being the Certified Nut I am I made myself a set of rules so it wasn’t and ordinary “photo a day for 365 days thing”
Nope not to make it easy on myself I set up these guideline, (1) all Bird shots from my kitchen window, (2) all numbers used had to be photographed as well and I could not reuse them in the same column. So with those two restrictions in place I commenced my little project . . . I will say I did manage to keep to my two self imposed rules for most of the year, the exceptions being when I had to leave town on two occasions. Day in and Day out it was wake up, make coffee & clean the window, setup the camera and area outside for the daily photo shoot. After a few photos I would then post process and layout the photo’s (bird & number) and comment and post the photo. I was always on the lookout for numbers to use in my Adventure so I always had a camera with me or my cellphone and was forever taking number pictures. This endeavor filled a One Terrabyte Hard Drive by the end of the year with thousands of photos of numbers and birds.
I did some weird things with cameras that year, like shooting a Hummingbird with a 4×5 camera and digital back, I made soft focus lenses, I hacked (modified a Auto Focus Tele-converter for my 500 F/4 Nikkor) Tele-converter, I played with Old cameras from 35mm to 4×5 Large Format cameras and took a really old camera from my childhood for a film day walk about . . . My little Argus
So on went the 2013 with me getting up every morning making the days photo whilst drinking coffee and having fun standing at the kitchen sink, Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 300 f/4 + 12mm extension ring on the tripod shooting through two panes of glass at the world just outside my window . . . most often in T-shirt, shorts & flipflops . . . life was rough.
No flash equipment . . . just camera and tripod, cup of coffee and the kitchen sink. I did get out for other photo adventures . . .
And kept my foot in the Film world with Roll Film for my 4×5 film backs.
Experimenting with lenses and stuff for Soft focus fun
and every day, every morning I am at the kitchen window making pictures . . .
And then . . . 2013 was over and I had completed my year shooting from the Kitchen window
It was both thrilling and a huge sense of relief to be free of the commitment, a sense of accomplishment but at the same time a sense of loss for a part of me that had come to a close. (not that I’d quit photographing from the window, but not with the frequency) . . . I was surprise by my Nikon D7000, I had surpassed the expected shutter life and the camera was still shooting strong, the lens was as solid as the day it was made and I can say as always Nikon products are great gear.
Back to shooting film . . . having fun with friends . . . away from my house!!!
Having fun . . . but slowing down a bit . . . So went 2013 and quietly in came 2014.
I spent the year being introspective about my photography and what my goals and life meant. I purposely slowed down. I played more with Infrared, odd lenses, different approaches to shooting, seeing.
Infrared has never been more fun the with a totally modified digital camera . . . once you understand the nature of it an entirely new world opens to you . . . I have ants to thank for that. They tried to make a home out of one of my digital cameras . . . in turn that, a screwdriver and an “OK . . I can do this” attitude I modified the camera turning it forever more into a dedicated Infrared camera.
It seemed like I was doing little in photography for 2014, I had many plans and few of the ever came to fruition . . . . I puttered about staying close to home. The excitement of photography was for the most part extinguished (the 365 photo thing had almost done me in I feared).
The malaise had me in it’s grips and I seemed to be slipping farther away from my love of photography . . . My mind was not willing to engage my body to get up and go out to shoot with the vigor I had once. I sold a few photos, tried to get a few workshops off the ground but nothing came to be . . . The year was passing and I was suddenly several months into 2014 wondering what was up with me.
Then I pop the question to my wonderful partner Gena, I asked her to marry me . . .
and she said yes . . . I surprised her with a date and place and rings . . . special just like us.
So the year ended with a whole lot of life changes, non of which I would change or give up. I have slowly changed each and every day from that happy day.
WOW what a year 2015 was to be . . . changes everywhere, with friends and family, crazy year . . it just went so quick . . . I continued to play with various weird combinations of lenses, film cameras and modifying some for digital as well as adapting new to old . . . old to new . . . and other combinations . . . some working some not. LOL, my camera room became our bedroom (the master Bedroom became an aviary of sorts) as our number of our birds grew and we needed more room for them. I still need to convert the back porch to a real Aviary !!!! 2013/2014 saw us adopting a few birds . . .
I have loads of fun testing lenses and cameras on our “FID’s” (Feathered Kid’s) . . . and let me tell you they are as much if not more then a handful as real kids !!! but we love them. The number of birds in our house ebbs and flows mostly because of me . . . like the time I was driving to the next town over and saw a guy tossing birds into an orchard . . . and I was like “What the F*$k” . . . so they came home with me in a cardboard box to live until I found them an appropriate home.
They where so happy they started mating and where once was two became two more then four then two more to be six . . . . You see I have a soft heart for animals . . . Wildlife photography has always been one area I enjoy and I also teach Bird photography especially Humming Bird photography which are part of the workshops I do each year. I also delve into some serious Macro and Landscapes
So I spent the year 2014 close to home . . and 2015 found me tide a bit tighter with Domestic duties (Grandpa is the go to guy for baby sitting his Grand children) oh yeah, Can we say Photo Models . . . with max cuteness included . . .
Can I repeat myself . . . MAX Cuteness!!!
Can one shoot to many kid photos? nope!!! But time changes and I am always looking to keep my mind working and I also enjoy challenges . . . like refurbishing an old 5×7 Eastman 2D wooden field camera so I could try and old/new technique using photo paper as the negative and since I really do not want to lug pounds and pounds of equipment (8×10 weighs a ton), (I already have equipment that weighs a ton) I saw a good deal on the Wooden View and its format of 5×7 fit my needs, the other part of this is 5×7 film now days isn’t cheap nor plentiful in various types.
I happened to stumble upon some other paper by Harman (a offshoot of Ilford) called Harman Direct Positive paper, you use it just like film in the film holders but it produces a positive instead of a negative . . . pretty cool indeed . . . I already had most of the lenses I might need for this endeavor because I shoot a 4×5 camera as well which is loads of fun but since I wanted to do contact printing (forgoing an enlarger setup) I chose to go with the 5×7 format.
Yes I enjoy doing things the old way . . .
So I had many little projects to keep me busy during 2014 and 2015. Adapting and testing lenses of all kinds . . . Caffenol recipes to try out with different films . . . chasing grand daughters . . . going on walk about with friends to just shoot film . . . shooting macro, butterflies . . . Infrared play . . . more soft focus play . . . and writing about my exploits here on my blog. Not everything made it here, and happily I haven’t stopped making photos . . . my fave toy “camera” is the now old Fuji X100 that I am totally in love with for an all around, walk about, every day camera . . . “I abhor cellphones as cameras even though I will use one on occasion, but prefer a real camera” sorry all you Cellphone Camera aficionados.
I drink this stuff ! ! ! yup I do and love it . . . but when it comes to using it this way, you can have all of it you want . . . . Caffenol
So I have been busy, Life has been good and when I least expected it threw me a taste . . . a tease . . . to keep playing, keep shooting . . . and I hope with this blog I have been entertaining . . .
There is lots of fun planned for the future, we’ll see where we land and what takes root. I have loads of things to do and at the fun age of 62 (very soon to turn 63) it seems like time isn’t slowing down for me. So I better get to crackin and having fun . . . on this my 100th post, I wish everyone good health, good shooting and please have fun . . . HaPpY nEw YeAr, Leap Year . . . Chinese (year of the Monkey) . . .
I’ll be somewhere shooting digital . . . film . . . paper . . . wasting instant coffee (nasty shtuff) shooting Hummingbirds, grand daughters, landscapes and wildlife . . . modifying cameras, adapting lenses and digital backs . . . but most of all loving life and damn well trying to live life to its fullest.
Keep shooting . . . keep making pictures . . . keep having fun, As life is to damn short not to
Don’t take things to seriously . . . I won’t
P.S. I am sure I may have left some key points out hear and there, but if your curious the go back through those other 99 posts and you will learn about me, my photography and what makes me tick.
DigiPainTeR . . . . . aka Tim