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Sneak Peak

Posted 2012.05.04 8.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

I know I’ve been mighty quiet lately. It’s a combination of busy at work, busy with projects at home, and being extra-exhausted in between. Oh and not having much to say, really.

Anyhow, here’s a sneak-peak at one of the projects I am currently working on:

Obviously we’ve got the time and date there. EV refers to Exposure Value, it’s a photography thing. Then there’s a compass readout, in degrees. Then there’s lat and lon, as well as altitude and signal strength, coming from a gps readout.

All of this (except the USB cable of course) fits in a space smaller than a business-card. Just add some buttons and a battery and…

World Photography Day

Posted 2011.08.19 7.59 in Photography by Stephanie

Happy World Photography Day everyone!

I’ve never heard of it before but apparently it exists and it’s a thing.

World Photography Day


X-Pro along the Niagara

Posted 2011.08.12 23.32 in Family/Friends, Photography by Stephanie

Today my sister and I went for an interesting drive and did some sightseeing, along the Niagara river. We actually started at Fort Erie right at the mouth of the river, then followed the Niagara Parkway northwards, all the way to Lake Ontario. And naturally, I brought a camera (or three) with me.

These shots were taken with my Zeiss Ikon Nettar, using Fuji Astia reversal (slide) film. I processed them at home in C-41 chemistry, hence the X-Pro (cross processing) in the title. The images all have a wierd otherworldly colour tone to them due to the cross processing.

I’m quite pleased with the results; the Nettar is a 61-year-old fully manual camera, and I took a guess on the exposure. Slide film is notoriously touchy for exposure levels, but I seem to have done a fairly good job at estimating the settings.

I took more pics with another camera, but that roll isn’t done yet so they’ll have to wait.

Compact Camera Quest (Part 5)

Posted 2011.07.25 23.13 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

In the last installment, I mentioned that my search had led me into two different directions. Today it’s all about the other direction my quest has led me.

One of the cameras that kept popping up on lists of good compact film cameras was the Olympus XA. I had heard of these cameras before but hadn’t seen one in person and didn’t realize just how small they are.

They are one of the few cameras in this size that incorporate an actual coupled rangefinder, and even after 30 years they are still in demand Рmeaning they tend to still demand a high price. So I looked about and managed to get my hands on a cheap one Рit had a flaw but I thought I could fix that. I thought wrong. It turns out that the XA series use an early IC and when these chips die, there is really no way to salvage the camera.

After that disappointment, I continued looking around, and instead of another XA, I came across a later model that I had to have – the Olympus XA-3.

The XA-3 is almost identical to the XA-2, in that both are zone focus and fully automatic AE. The XA-3 employs the DX system for reading film speed directly off the 35mm film can (for non-DX film you can still set the speed manually), and also has a +1.5EV switch for backlit subjects.

The real reason that I had to get this XA-3 though, was the colour…

Olympus XA-3

About two decades ago, a red Fuji DL-7 was my constant companion for many years, and since then I have had a soft spot for red cameras. ūüôā

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Camera Quest – Intermission

Posted 2011.07.20 20.10 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

After the first three parts of my ¬†“Compact Camera Quest”, I have temporarily run out of words. I have three more parts outlined but the words stopped flowing for a while.

So in lieu of part four, we’ll break for a little light music, and you are all encouraged to stretch your legs, head on out to the lobby, and avail yourselves of some refreshments and light snacks.

In the meantime, here are a couple images I took over the past weekend. Cheers!

The pics are a bit grainy, but then it was ISO 800 film, and I suspect my chemistry is getting a bit tired. On the other hand, overall I’m pleased with the results.

Art Camp, 1983

Posted 2011.07.09 21.16 in Family/Friends, Photography by Stephanie

Going through my negatives binder recently, I found buried in the middle of it a few strips of negatives that brought me back… way back, to June, 1983.

These were the first two rolls of film I ever shot & developed myself, in the first couple days of the first photography class I ever took. After 28 years, I can still remember many of the details.

It was Art Camp, I had my dad’s 35mm Rangefinder — a Fujica 35-SE, which he bought in 1959. Photography was a popular subject at Art Camp and there were four different classes set up. My instructor’s name was Tom I believe, and he gave each of us a roll of film and told us to come back in an hour or so with the whole roll shot.

Art Camp, by the way, was a 2-week camp experience for students with some skill, aptitude, or interest in the visual arts. Participants selected their major and minor studies from options such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and so forth. It was held in June, towards the end of the school year. If my memories and calculations are correct, I attended in 1982 (majored in sculpture), then in 1983 when I majored in photography.

Here are a collection of shots from those first two rolls, from those first couple days of class, in June 1983.

Click the thumbnails for the full-size images, and for some details & information on each pic. There are likely to be inaccuracies as this is based on my memories from 28 years ago.

For what it’s worth: the negatives are marked as “Kodak Safety Film 5062” which was known as Plus-X Pan film, rated at 125ISO. I have no memory of what chemistry we used to develop it, only that we had dark bags and daylight Patterson tanks like I do now. The dark bags were optional as the classroom was light-tight and could be secured for processing.

We didn’t just do the negatives, there were also enlargers so we could make prints. Somewhere I still have some of my prints from back then filed away, but probably not as carefully as my negs were.

Pinhole Colour

Posted 2011.07.06 22.08 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

Another day, another roll of colour film. Sort of. Actually this roll was exposed at least a year ago, some time in 2010. I don’t remember when exactly.

It was some random colour shots around the house with my home-made pinhole camera. I had this roll of medium-format film sitting around waiting for me to make the trip to a professional lab and it just never happened.

So… results are middling. Mostly it’s dirty negs, dust in the scan.¬†Someday I’ll figure out how to keep the negs and scanner from becoming dust-magnets. Sigh.¬†There’s also some persistant dust or lint or something stuck in the camera itself, as evidenced by seeing the same hunk of lint appear on several frames.

Those problems are severe enough that they pretty much ruin the shots, but if you could pretend not to see them, then things actually look not-half-bad, I think.

These were on medium-format (120 roll film) Kodak Portra 400VC, shot in my home-made pinhole camera. Exposure times were guessed. Film was developed at home with C-41 chemistry. This time I developed at room-temperature and guesstimated the development and blix time.