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Autumn and the Mystery Cat

Posted 2015.12.22 19.09 in Cats, Photography

I was cleaning old pictures out of my phone and came across a couple that I meant to post but forgot all about.

This pic was taken over 2 months ago, back on October 12th. I really love the contrast of the intense yellow-orange leaves against the pure blue sky, and the still-green leaves of the tree in the background.

15-10-12

This is the old maple tree in my front yard. I don’t know how old, but it took a beating in the 2013 ice storm. I think it’s the tree that took out my power for a week.

I bear it no grudges though. Like the tree. Hate the winter.


This ginger kitty has started appearing jumping up & over the fence outside my kitchen window.

Ginger

He seems friendly enough & tentatively allowed me to pet him. When he saw the camera come out though he got suspicious. He didn’t have a collar, but I think he might live next door.

I don’t actually know that it’s a he, but I didn’t like calling him an it, and I don’t know his name.

Maybe it’s Bernice.

The Squirrels, They Taunt Me

Posted 2014.05.22 14.31 in Photography, Pointless Blather

This is Dortmund. He is a squirrel.

Dortmund

 

Until recently Dortmund and his family were living in my attic. He and his friends were chewing up the shingles and gnawing at the boards. They’d made quite a hole, and quite a mess.

Finally I had to hire a guy to come and install one-way trap doors over Dortmund’s squirrel holes. That way, Dortmund and the gang could get out, but then they couldn’t get back in again.

Sly Bugger

Now Dortmund and his family are stuck outside. They have to deal with Nature again, and they have no central heating, and no cosy fibreglass insulation to sleep in.

Sometimes Dortmund climbs up a tree outside my bedroom window, and makes Squirrel Alarm Noises while my cats sit and watch in frustration.

Alert! Alert!

 

I think Dortmund is a bit of a jerk really.

Polination

Posted 2013.07.19 22.02 in Photography, Pointless Blather

Pollenate
Before the storms this afternoon, I was out in the backyard with a camera, and caught a bee visiting one of the catnip plants I found.

Yay!

I hope this means more catnip plants next year!

Pics @ Etobicoke Creek

Posted 2012.09.23 23.20 in Hobbies, Photography

I went for a bit of a walk this morning, to have a look at where the local river (the Etobicoke Creek) emerges from a concrete diversion channel and reverts to its natural riverbed.

The diversion channel thingy was built in the 1950’s (if I remember right) as a solution to prevent downtown from flooding every year.

I’ve never really looked closely at it before, though it is not far from my house. The diversion channel thingy is really small and makes the river look like a wee little stream, but it must be deep and it does move fast.

Now I’m curious to go see the other end, where they squeeze the river down into that little concrete channel.

The film was expired Shoppers Drug Mart “EasyPix” brand (made by Fuji I believe), ISO 200. It came out with some interesting colour shifts, kind of an overall pink tone. I’ll have to try and remember to overexpose it by a stop next time to see if that helps.

Shot with my Lomography LC-A+ RL and developed at home in my kitchen sink with my tired old Press Kit colour chemistry – 14 months old and still going strong.

Black and White and 110 all over

Posted 2012.08.23 21.15 in Photography

So a few months back, the Lomography folks announced that they were reviving the 110 format film.

Also known as Pocket Instamatic film, 110 film comes in a little plastic cartridge. It uses a narrow strip of film 16mm wide, and you could get it in 12-shot and 24-shot sizes. The negative image was only about 17mm x 13mm, or a quarter of the size of a 35mm film negative.

I’ve got a handful of 110-format cameras in my collection, and until now I’d only been able to use them with out-dated (very expired) film. The results I’d been getting were quite poor.

Even when new the 110 format was not known for fantastic images – most of the cameras were cheaply made, with less-than-stellar lenses and inadequate exposure controls (or none at all). This resulted in grainy, fuzzy negatives that couldn’t be enlarged any more than small snapshots.

I think I’ve read that the last factory making 110 film closed up in 2009. Now, three years later, the Lomography people have brought it back. When they announced their new ‘Orca’ film, 110 format in black & white, I immediately ordered a couple rolls.

I’d never used B&W in 110 format, and was interested in trying it out. I also wanted to try out ‘fresh’ 110 film to see if I’d get noticably better results over the 10+ old stuff I’d been using so far. I loaded up my Pentax Auto 110 (an SLR system camera with interchangable lenses) and this past weekend I shot off a roll.

The results were pleasantly surprising. The camera is one of the best ever made for the 110 format, which helps of course. The film though came out very crisp with good contrast and a nice range of tones. Using a jeweler’s loupe, the film really looks fantastic.

The first six shots were taken in Eldorado Park, the seventh was shot from the car on the way home, and the last shot was taken at home, with a different camera. I moved the film from the Pentax into a Lomo Fisheye 110, to see how the Fisheye would work.

Film was processed at home in old T-Max 1:4 developer for 8 minutes. The scanned images are not as good as the film – my scanner seems to not be able to get a good read from 110 film. Perhaps because I’m trying to scan it from a 35mm carrier…

Road to Redscale

Posted 2012.08.21 10.29 in Photography

Last week I was off for a day, on a little road trip to visit my friends Athena and Jason at a cottage somewhere in the vicinity of West Guildford. Naturally I brought a camera.

It was the Lomo LC-A+ which I’d loaded with their Redscale XR film. I’ve had mixed results with Redscale in the past… and this time was no different. It varies wildly between underexposed and sort-of-acceptable. If you intentionally over-expose, you can get some more-lifelike colours. If you let it underexpose, you get deeper reds and oranges.

Unfortunately, although I brought the camera, I didn’t actually get much chance to use it. The (three-hour) drive home had some opportunities for playing around with it. Then this past weekend I finished off the roll at a local park along the Credit River.

There’s nothing particularily memorable about any of the shots, but I enjoy the experimentation now and then. Playing with film, playing with light, and playing with chemistry.

Loafer’s Lake Park

Posted 2012.08.20 8.33 in Photography

A couple weeks ago I took a walk around Loafer’s Lake, a small manmade lake in the north end of town. I was looking for some subject matter for photography, and water is one of my favorites. The Etobicoke Creek flows around the lake too, so it was twice as fun.

I’d taken two cameras, loaded with different kinds of film. I developed the first one right after the little excursion but was unhappy with the results. The camera was a Leica AF-C1 – a plastic autofocus, probably made by Minolta, but with the Leica branding. It was disappointing.

The other camera was the Lomography LC-A+ and it performed rather better, loaded with generic ISO-800 colour print film.