Wednesday, 21 December 2011

lomo lovers vol.5 - Panoramic

I did a pinhole tipster for this publication and it features a few of my images. Do check it out and also all the previous volumes on Issuu

Lomolovers is a monthly publication produced by two sisters who have a passion for lomography, cameras and inspirational books, it can be viewed on issuu. This is the fifth publication in the series.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

New Exhibition in Sydenham London

I have a new exhibition up, it went up yesterday and it still has a few tweaks and labels to add but I think it's almost there. I don't know how others react when or go about sorting their shows but this one came as a sort of surprise. I thought it had been put on the back burner and so relaxed into apathy until a couple of weeks ago I was again asked if I wanted to do it, well when do you turn that down so of course I flapped about and got my work together. Some images are old and some are new, so I'm hoping that what I have chosen as a mixed exhibition comes together.
The one thing I haven't got to grips with is a name and as for a theme well it is mixed and really quite eclectic in methods. Toy cameras, pinholes and even more recent work with camera-less techniques such as the lumen prints on paper and film. Naming an exhibition is not the easiest task and I shall no doubt come up with something over night. Anyway, if anyone is in the area of Sydenham South East London then pop along to Sugahill Café/Gallery at 250 Kirkdale, have a wonderful cuppa and some cake in a lovely friendly environment. The show will be up for November.
This year has galloped away with me and after the Sydenham Arts Festival in July and some workshops I cannot believe it is now November, especially when the cold hasn't really hit us yet. I had lots that I wanted to work on and try this year and I have a funny feeling the next couple of months might be a bit crammed with everything that I didn't get around to doing in the last few months.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Twenty Months Long!

I have been too busy to post lately but I thought I would share with you a rather long exposure that I was also too busy to get in and so it became a twenty month long exposure. It was placed in my garden way back on 22 December in 2009 utterly forgotten about after the first couple of months of wondering what it would be like. So I eventually remembered it was out there and brought the rather rusty looking baked bean can in sometime around 16th August 2011. This is of course a Solargraph and uses a process that does not need chemical development.
The paper was expired Ilford Ilfospeed 1 RC Deluxe, this had expired in 1993. The pinhole diameter is .30 = F240 the can diameter is 0.72. The paper was surprisingly free of dirt and damp, in fact I was hoping for a little water damage after that length of time, seems like the gaffer tape worked just fine and kept it all out. Any of the cloudy days that may have been there I think have probably disappeared as the sun overlapped its previous positions.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Second week of the SAF 2011

I think I'm just recovering after spending all those hours standing talking. I love sharing the knowledge of alternate techniques but it's hard when you keep hearing yourself saying the same thing over again. I managed to do numerous Lumen prints and have hopefully given people some interesting ideas, especially on what to do with their left over wine!

Lots of workshops wanted by people, which is something that needs to be sorted out once I have my home in some order and I have also tidied up after the last few days. I have loads more Lumen prints to scan and get up here. Though I am waiting until I find some interesting film on e-bay.

And I sold some more work which is great news

Due to the rain I had to work in the poly tunnels, which was fine when the sun wasn't blazing but I think it may have had an affect on the lumens, especially as they were being fixed in the light. Some have carried on changing and others not, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the differences and it's not the plant juices.There was also something akin to solarising going on with some of them. I shall scan and post when I can. The majority though turned out just fine and the happy experimenters took them away. I do hope they get the chance to try some more.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Exhibitions and workshops

It's that time of year when I am in the throws of doing workshops and demos and having exhibitions. Not that these don't happen at other times the rest of the year but the month of July seems to be rather busy with all of them and sometimes its hard to keep up. You'll have to excuse the iphone app it was just for speed!

The madness started two weeks ago when I held a workshop that was part of a Festival Fun day at Home Park Sydenham, this was printmaking and planning for an unknown amount of participants was certainly interesting. The idea was as simple as I could get it, using as much waste product as possible the children/adults were to create a face made on a backing board with scrap this would then be inked up and printed.

It was wonderful and also fascinating to see how many children and their parents were obviously not used to getting a little bit messy. The most rewarding aspect was watching those that floundered and appeared unable to even start end up with often the most engaging images and a desire to go back and do more. I think overall the day was a great success for all and the evidence was in the lack of space on the boards I had to show the work, it ended up all over the place and hanging from the ceiling.

Last week the subject matter for the workshops changed and I was to be doing Lumen prints, Pinholes and showing people how to make a Camera Obscura! A little eclectic but it seemed to work and the day was glorious weather wise so the Lumen prints were the favourite. I lost count of how many were produced and talking for six to seven hours about them was at least on the first day fantastic, I must say though the second day was exhausting but still most definitely a lot of fun and something I shall be doing for the coming two days as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival Trail.

The venue for these workshops is in a beautiful community garden, calling itself Grow Mayow the person responsible for this wonderful and inspirational site is Iris Borgers, she has the ability to convert a much neglected space into a hive of activity and growth that draws in the community making everyone appreciate the beauty in recycling, growing your own veg and flowers in such a way that nothing appears contrived or forced and the space has a creative power that doesn't just come from the plants. It certainly is the perfect venue for doing these Lumen prints with the endless resources around me people would run off to find plant material to use. I'm hoping the weather is good again, maybe this week the interest will be more centred around making the Camera Obscura.

The person in the picture is doing a social photography project and has decided to use this site to record peoples reactions to her image.

At the back of the large shed where the work is being shown there wee a few bolt holes that were crying out for a Camera Obscura to placed over them, well I decided to make something that would fit the bill out of yet more rubbish and came up with a cylindrical cam that looked rather like something from a "Steampunk" novel or the back end of a car! anyway this was attached to the wall with a bit of lateral thinking and I was relieved to find that it worked just as I had hoped, even if people did have to squat down on a tree trunk to look through it. I lost count of the amount of times people exclaimed "It's upside down!" all good fun.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Busy Times

So, I suppose at least the ending sentiments in my last entry have been fulfilled and I haven't actually waited three months till my next entry!, This sounds like some confessional but I have been so busy with life and planning and well I'm not really sure where the time has gone.

I have been exploring Lumen prints more and after doing numerous paper exposures I wanted to try something else, I had some film with only 12 exposures on it lying around that frankly I was not going to pay to get developed as they wanted to charge the same amount as a full roll so I thought I would see if it would react the same way as the paper. I thought it would be much faster. The first film was Fuji 100 expired and it was out for half an our in fair light, typical London light really. Anyway after the 30 minutes were up I took it in the house and popped it into the dev tank to fix it. At first I wondered if it would need to be developed but then thought I would keep the process the same as doing the paper.

The negative was fixed for five minutes, in diluted 1:2 fix (IIford) and agitated continuously for five minutes. After that I washed it for five to ten and checked the results... okay the base had cleared to show the faintest detail, it was still a bit thick and there wasn't that much going on but something was visible. Extending the time I then left the next lot out for over 2 hours, again not a great deal. Changing to Kodak 200ASA was much better the film speed obviously made a difference. I put this strip out for one hour and 15 mins and then fixed the same way... result! this worked so much better, I don't think it was down to any other factors than changing the film everything else was pretty much the same.

Here are some of the first results. I love the idea of doing this and the release one gets from feeling precious about the film, it goes against the grain to just pull out film in the sunlight. The challenge though has been trying to find items, plants and the like that are small enough to go on the film!

Some of these images are going to go in the Sydenham Arts Festival, that I am taking part in this coming weekend 9th/10th and the following weekend of the 16th/17th, I'll talk more on this tomorrow if I get a moment between hanging pics!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Three Months Gone!

It's not what you think, it's just that I cannot believe that it has been three months since my last entry. I wish I knew what on earth I was doing in all that time. We'll I suppose I have been doing something and looking back I have probably exhausted my writing abilities by doing almost thirty articles in about three weeks, workshops for the pinhole kids, planning for exhibitions, entering competitions and digging for Britain on the allotment!

Currently I have the pleasure of telling you that I took part in the Goa-Cap exhibition, "Me Monarch" and I think I may have got over my 'thing' about doing self portraits as you can see from above!

I have also entered 'The Curious Camera' competition this year and I am very pleased to say that I got an 'Honourable Mention' for my image "Sharing the Moment II" Thank you very much for that, I can't wait to see any pictures from the event.

I have also been doing camera-less photographic workshops with the children and they have loved doing Lumen prints, so I had a mass of prints that I had also done and of course had seen the wonderful competition from Rayko, so of course I was going to enter... talk about last minute entry, sometimes you can be too busy to get around to things but I managed it, so fingers are crossed! here is one I sent in!

Busy day ahead and I am going to make sure I do not leave it for three months again!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Darkroom work!

I'm sitting very still at the moment as I have a new pinhole camera propped in front of me, I'm doing a long exposure with this one for the first time and so it's a bit of a test, illuminated by the computer screen and a wind up lantern ( which is fading fast as I write) i'm hoping to get some result tonight from my 'box of milk chocolate caramels' ten minutes and counting... thirteen feels like it might be good!

I spent the afternoon in a rapidly rigged up darkroom which was basically a cupboard with a sky light that was typically a full stretch on a table situation to get it blacked out. After the acrobatics and once the setting up of the trays was sorted some of the adults and children came in with their various pieces of exposed RC paper, in the little pots I had given them.

It was going to be one of the days, I decided to do a few of the test pieces that I had prepared, well I was a bit miffed and slightly bemused to watch them turn black so quickly, ok we all have those days and I can't understand what was up with them , maybe the paper got fogged or something?! anyway with fingers crossed we got through a load of tiny pieces of paper and thankfully some images were to be seen. These were all test prints and their first time in the darkroom so I think they seemed quite philosophical about any 'mistakes' they all took it in their stride as part of the learning curve and discovering what their homemade pinhole cams could do. These cams had been made last week from one single piece of black card, as a net which folded into a portable box, that would hold a paper neg about 5cm square. The pinholes probably aren't as regular as I would have liked but then they have to see what they can do with these first and i didn't want them getting all worried about measuring it etc.

Okay I'm going off to dev this exposure.....cross those fingers! back in ten.......Well I'm back after having a fight with the cat whilst trying to wash dev off it's paws, somehow it decided to create mayhem this evening by knocking a papier maché sculpture over then hurtling around like he had a rocket somewhere you shouldn't keep a rocket! only to finish up in the dev, with the print I'm not sure if that black mess that was produced was his doing or mine after that so I'm starting again. I shall give some results tomorrow hopefully!

No pictures to accompany this tonight then!

Monday, 10 January 2011

The 'Shed" is up

Early start this morning, well not that early really but it has been the winter hols and getting up has been an interesting task, especially before it starts going dark again! This morning we had to be ready to take delivery of The Shed, it was finally coming after much delay and expectation. The call came and we headed off down to the allotment to help get it off the lorry and take it to its awaiting base. The driver was keen to go and so had done the first part for us.

Despite the need for sunglasses while looking at the freshly irradiated looking wood we were excited and eager to get on with the job. It was cold and thankfully the rain was going to hold off, I had brought essential kit with me like a cup of tea and my new video camera, the Digital Harinezumi2++ to record aspects of the event.

It didn't take long and it was fun using the cam, I think it will have to be an acquired skill to get over doing a vlog like my daughter does, anyway all in all it went up really quickly and without any incidents. Now the reason I am looking forward to this so much is that it will not only serve me as a place to keep seeds, vegetables, tools and general allotment paraphernalia but secretly it is also going to be my Camera Obscura, my allotment recording device, I imagine it will end up being covered in cans for long exposures and solargraphs and I'm sure that many wonderful hours will be spent looking from it's two small plastic windows across to the plot and I'll be pondering the next picture as well as the next crop rotation!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

So what did you get for Christmas?!

Well I would love to know what people got for Christmas especially if it was camera related but first I'm going to tell you what I got in my stocking! Christmas morning full of expectation and utter chaos with three kids around but I was most definitely surprised this year. Superheadz came to visit and left me a wonderful Digital Harinezumi2++, hehe I was in heaven! Now there was also a strange feeling acompanying this present as I haven't really had anything digital for some time and I have been dabbling in the world of plastic cams for a while now so it was quite a novelty to me to have instant image... once I had sussed the correct buttons and deciphered the extra instructions for the new functions that had been added to this model, I was away.

I'm not sure yet if it really can be closely associated with the same feel of Super 8 film, I used to love splicing my old Canon films and have promised myself that one day I shall get around to scanning them in and using imovie to edit them, well I have promised!

Back to the 'Zumi2++' it is already a permanent feature in my bag and for some reason it has also sat on my dashboard whilst I have driven, the quality of detail and light was amazing considering. The monochrome at night gave a lovely tone and I was surprised at how much it captured, you have two settings of 100ASA and 800ASA. Sound is also great, though so far it has crunched out when background was too loud, that's fair enough, I have also found it has a tendency to pick up your phone signal so if filming keep the phone out of range if you want a clear soundtrack, it is useful to have the option to disable any of the features and the functions will become second nature very quickly. The potential for this is fantastic and I have plans already! the few images added here are obviously just tests, lots of fun on the way as I believe there is another upgrade with the 2+++ will it ever end!

I shall add more pics as I download them.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year and where the Hell did go?!!

I just want to wish everyone that reads my blog a very Happy New Year, I hope 2011 brings to you what you want out of this world, be safe, be happy, be well and make pictures that will change your life!

To start the year I as going to wish everyone at the same greetings but it would seem that Mike has done what he said he was thinking about doing, I am a little gobsmacked to say the least but then i suppose that is what happens when you are part of a site that you have no control over. At the moment I cannot even access what seems to be a very simple forum only site as I am not being recognised in any way, that is a great shame as I would like to have pulle doff some of the blog stuff I had written before it was lost but heh!

I am hoping I can get access or maybe I will have to register along with all my fellow toycam users. I hope I can get into contact with them all via some other means as I have just been cut off without getting contact details for some... big shame, maybe it is really now the final curtain, I thought the site could have been given a little more time to catch up with itself as it was so new and had so many different aspects to get to terms with. I hope this works for you Mike, best wishes!

Well I went out of 2010 in my usual fashion, with a manic last minute upload to LL19 and KK so fingers are crossed for the new year xxxx