Aug 23 2014

Sucked In


A friend of mine talked me into joining Instagram.

He’s all hip and shit, plus he’s an excellent photographer, so there must be some sort of relevance to this newFANGled social media trend.

My carrier pigeons and ham radio friends will feel so left out.  I’m kidding.  I don’t really do those things.  Don’t be ridiculous!


Aug 16 2014


Saturday Afternoon

Aug 11 2014

Apparition with an Appetite

I could not get my friend to accompany me to the art show that I told you about in the last post. She was too busy preparing an “European inspired dinner in the orchard.”  So after the art show, I took some photos there instead.  I’ll show you a few more shots with the same Polaroid as my previous post and I also loaded some film into this special little friend.

pola 01My dad got this as a gift in the mid to late 1960’s.  He used to photograph Formula 1 race cars with it. It hung from a nail in our spare room through my entire childhood. I took it with me when I drove across the country in the summer of ’93.  It works just as well now as it ever did.

pola 02There isn’t much to it.  It really is pretty much just a light tight box.

pola 03And once you load the film, set the film speed and check the battery, it’s as easy to use as 1,2,3,4!

pola 06Speaking of battery, I didn’t even remember this little darling having a battery.  I must have replaced it at some point since 1993 though, because the battery inside was in good shape and still had juice, butpola 04it’s a pretty weird looking battery, man. Double ended. I’m not sure you can still get these. I have heard some people modify these cameras to run on AA batteries instead.

So, back to that dinner party in the orchard.  I took BOTH Polaroids with me.  The newer Super Shooter that I introduced to you in the last post was still loaded with color Fuji instant film.

filmAnd I loaded some b/w into my old 210.  Yes, you can still buy b/w and color film for these land cameras.  Keep in mind if you switch between the two that the color’s speed is ISO 100 (you’ll set your camera to 75. It’s close enough. It will work, I promise).  The b/w film speed is ISO 3000! What? You heard me.  If you need some sort of frame of reference, if you try to manually set your smartphone camera to high speed (good in low light or freezing action) you will probably only be able to set it to 800 ISO.

Also, you will only need to wait one-fifth of the amount of time to peel your photo after exposure.  On this day the color film took 75 Mississippis whereas the b/w only took 15.  So if you need more instant instant images, you may want to go with the b/w.

sample 2Anyway, back to the dinner party…The orchard was lovely.

sample 3As was the food and the many many decadent desserts.

sample 04

Guests arrived by traditional combustion engine, diesel, hybrid and pure electric!  If you’d like to learn more about the converted SAAB in the foreground, visit

Now, how about that apparition I promised to you soooo many words ago, remember the title of this post?  Neither do I.

sample 1

I took this lovely photo of our group enjoying their food and drinks.  Everyone seems to be having a lovely time.  Now, I am not one to believe in supernatural stuff.  I have discredited people who claim to have captured “orbs” in their flash photos.

sample 1a

But I cannot explain that blurry apparition to the upper left of the seated group.  There was nobody getting up from their meals when I shot this.  besides, with film as fast as 3000, shot in bright sunlight, even if someone did move, they’d have to be moving faster than an electric car, hell, faster than a Formula 1 car, to create a blur like that!

There is simply no explanation, except perhaps it is the albatwitch, we were in an apple orchard, after all.


Aug 3 2014

I am ‘roid-ed up!

with Pola-roids, that is!

Pola01A friend of mine picked up this fun little Land Camera at our favorite local thrift shop and loaned it to me to play with.Pola02You can still get affordable, non-Impossible film for this little guy at almost any camera shop that is still in existence, or online. This is the kind of film that you have to pull the tab out of the camera, wait an amount of time based on ambient temperature, then pull the photo away from the caustic negative.

Pola03Unlike the last Polaroid camera I was playing with, this camera does not have a battery included in the film pack.  It takes its own set of AA batteries inside the plastic “bellows” area of the camera body, and the shutter will not work without them.

Pola04The old ones look like they’ve been there for quite a while so I took them out, cleaned the corrosion away from the shutter and loaded new batteries.

Pola05Waow!  This vintage camera came with vintage batteries!  I’m not sure I have ever seen an Eveready battery that looked like these!  A quick internet searched dates these to the 1970s, so perhaps these batteries were loaded into the camera when they were all new, then grew old and cruddy together over the next 35 years.

Well, anyway, I put in fresh batteries, loaded my film and headed down to the Farmers Market for some yummy summer veggies.  Let me preface the results by telling you that these are all Droid-camera copies of the original Fuji/Polaroids, so there is some color shift, contrast inaccuracies, and you’ll see some reflections on the glossy surface of the photos.  In most cases, I gave my Polaroid to the market vendor in exchange for them letting me bother them with my goofy experiment.

Pola06I was pleasantly surprised with my first exposure.  I wasn’t sure I’d get an image at all, but if I did, I thought the shadow areas might block up.  The color is a bit cool, but generally I like the image. The “focus” was set to about 5′, and I like how the background gently drops out of focus.

Pola07Then, exposure number 2 is a bit of a disaster.  It’s too dark and there’s motion blur.  I still like the image though, because it has that Polaroidness that you would never get from a camera phone nowadays.  Also keep in mind that you’re still going to have to wait 75 seconds for your instant gratification with these little gems.








The little dial to the right of the lens was either telling me that “if it’s light out and you want your picture darker, turn counter clockwise” OR “if it’s dark out and you want your picture lighter, turn counter clockwise.”

I took a stab in the dark (pun intended) tried to think like a consumer instead of a photographer, and tried the second version.

Pola10It worked!  The second photo was much lighter…maybe a bit too light. This is the shot I gave to the nice veggie vendor.  I bought some okra (mmm, slimey) from him.

Pola11This guy had the most delicious corn I ever tasted.  You could eat it raw off the cob and it was still tender and sweet.  The motion of his arm reaching for an ear gives you an idea of the shutter speed I was working with this whole time.  It sounded like about 1/15th, if not slower.

In case you’re wondering, on the dinner menu tonight, along with the okra and corn will be crab legs and baked cucumber from our own garden. Ain’t summer just the best?

So that’s it for this post.  There’s an art show next weekend.  Maybe I can get my friend who gave me this Polaroid to finish out the pack, I’ll load my older Polaroid, which I have personally owned since before I was born (how’d I do that?) with b/w, and we’ll hit the streets again.

Stop back in, won’t you?