Summer Pinhole

June 14, 2018

FINAL hackensack_bridge
Although it is well into June, here in northern NJ it seems as if the summer weather has only just arrived: there hasn’t been much sun for pinhole photography around here! The top picture is my first try in a long time, taken on an old movable bridge across the Hackensack River. (The bridge, and the expensive rehabilitation thereof, were controversial.) I seem to be having some sort of problem with my paper prints: when I squeegee them, it appears that I am damaging the surface somehow. This never happened before.

The sound of “squeegee” can’t help but bring to mind that rascally photographer, Weegee.  I had him in mind when I did this picture.  I call this one “Pinhole Weegee,” and it happened in my backyard.

FINAL pinholeweegee

After visiting the Alhambra in Andalusia a few weeks ago, I felt that for my summer snoozes on the back patio, I must have the soothing sound of sprinkling water about,  so I purchased this low-market ceramic birdbath and fitted it out with a solar powered fountain.  So far, it works, mostly.  I call this one “Bird and Bath.”

FINAL bird and bath

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Can’t Get Enough of that Nature Morte

June 9, 2018

Still Life 3abSolar 3a


Lower Manhattan Jaunt

January 8, 2018

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On my Lower Manhattan jaunt I took two pinhole cameras:  a coffee can model; and a rectangular box type.  My photo journey began uptown, of course, at the 178th Street Port Authority Bus Terminal.  The building’s roof was designed by Nervi was designed in the early 1960s, and I just love the trapezoidal-shaped columns resting on a massive steel rocker.  This was shot with a rectangular box pinhole.

As usual  with my interior pinhole shots, I had trouble getting the exposure right.  Actually, getting the exposure right is always a problem, but it’s harder indoors.  Considering the overcast skies, this one came out pretty well, but I have been finding that my low-light outdoor shots are often over exposed because I have been relying on an iPad light meter app.  According to the reciprocity law rigmarole, long exposures calculated “by hand” are too low and need to be increased.  I don’t know what the “rule” is for light meters that include very large f-stops, or maybe there isn’t one.   I should probably rely on rule of thumb and experience and dump the meter!

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This coffee can shot of the plaza outside of the $4 billion luxury shopping mall otherwise known at The Oculus or Transit Hub by Calatrava shows the exposure problems.  It is also a roughed up image, showing the effects of my clumsy field handling of the cameras in my darkroom bag.  Haven’t gotten the hang of it yet.

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This interior shot of the structure was also taken with a coffee can pinhole, and it turned out pretty well.  The building is more impressive in this image that it is in fact, but I could go on about this for a long time…

I found relief from the contemplation of the Port Authority’s pharaonic waste at The Rubin Museum on 17th Street which contains fantastic collections of Tibetan art.6961121A-0102-4239-8DC0-1C428BC2955B

After my visit, on my way to the subway to get back to Nervi’s place, I captured this little scene, so typical of Manhattan, with my coffee can pinhole.

Manhattan Snow a


Englewood Brookside Cemetery

December 23, 2017

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Low, raking winter light in a local cemetery with a variety of pinhole cameras, from coffee can to small circular tin, giving a rondel image.  The name on the tomb below is Rathbone, but I don’t know if it has any connection to Basil.  Englewood, NJ was home to many actors when it was at the center of the silent film industry in the USA in the early 20th century.

Englewood Rathbone_aEnglewood Pigeon_ab

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Dark Day

December 4, 2017

Desolation

Yeah, pretty dark days these days are.  I can hardly bear to read the news.  I decided to try to get some pinhole shots out while there was still some winter light.  The one above was taken at the Teaneck Creek Conservancy.  I managed to sit pretty still for two minutes, but lugging my cardboard cameras around in a sack loosens their joints, and this one seems to have a bad light leak.

I found myself in Manhattan in the morning, so I went to the Metropolitan for some interior shots.  This one sort of worked, with a ten-minute exposure in the arms gallery, one of the few with large windows to the outdoors.  While I was waiting, I had a nice chat with the guard, who happened to be interested in alternative photography.

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Back at The Creek, a four-minute exposure.selfie in maze

And one of the more successful shots, done with a very small, very primitive repurposed hand lotion tin as pinhole camera.Roots 3b

And for those of you who insist on verisimilitude of a higher order…

Roots A


Pulaski Skyway, My Way

November 29, 2017

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Taken today with a variety of pinhole cameras, from coffee can to re-purposed hand cream lotion tin.

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North Jersey Pinhole

November 28, 2017

Ling Torpedo POS crop

I have always wanted to document the things about northern New Jersey that I like – you know, like the Turnpike, the refineries, the gritty industrial sections…All the stuff Woody Allen joked about and that people claim makes the state a dump.  Well, chacun son goût.

On the Hackensack River, between the town of Hackensack and Teaneck, where I live, is the defunct historical park dedicated to the WWII submarine, the U.S.S. Ling.  Pretty forlorn.  The yard around it is filled with rusting deck guns and torpedoes.  The shot of la torpille was taken with a coffee can camera,  35 second exposure.  I think the bright, low sunlight fools me into using too long an exposure:  it’s more light than it seems.

I had to climb over the gangplank barrier to get this picture of the submarine itself, taken with a 20 second exposure on my wide angle box pinhole, with the vignetting cropped out.

Ling at Dock POS 2 crop

To get from Teaneck to Hackensack, you can drive over the Cedar Lane bridge, which seems to be perpetually under reconstruction.  This is a view of the river looking north:  15 seconds at f165.  The photo is cropped.

Hackensack River Bridge @ Cedar Ln POS crop

Another coffee can shot, this time a church in Hackensack.  It was so windy that I had to put my hand on the camera to steady the tripod, and the sun, blocked by a building on the left, was still wreaking havoc with my exposure of 45 seconds.

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A final Hackensack shot, where the home in the town meets the damp dirty prison:  the Bergen County Jail.  I visit immigrant detainees placed there, previously by Obama: Deporter in Chief, and lately by Trumpy: Dummkopf in Chief.  Again, the low sun fooled me.

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And further south, in Kearny, near Newark, NJ, is the fabulous Pulaski Skyway!  Built in the early 1930s, designed by a railway engineer, but intended to carry automobile traffic to the new Holland Tunnel.  Considered to be one of the worst highway segments ever created for cars, it is now under a massive reconstruction, but as a bridge structure, it is sublime!

20 second exposure with f169 on my wide angle box pinhole.  The image is cropped.

Pulaski 1 POS cropped

20 seconds at f165 with a much longer focal length, so not so wide angle.

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