April 19, 2014
April 9, 2014
About 25 minutes with Tmax 100, processed in Adonal 1+50 for 14 minutes. I made a frame similar to this on a previous occasion but decided to try again with the pinhole camera a bit closer to the mirror. This is underexposed compared to what I generally get. By chance I showed the camera to my repair guy not long after – he looked at the pinhole through a magnifier, out of curiosity, and saw a small hair stuck across it. He said the relative size would be like holding a pencil across the front of a regular lens. Possibly this blocked enough light to cause the darker exposure.
April 9, 2014
February 26, 2014
28 items out at the end of January, 26 books and 2 audio books. I’d never really looked at the AV section but recently I had the idea it would be a good idea to listen to audio books in the car, probably inspired by listening to podcasts. I can’t stand listening to the radio anymore – radio in Sydney is awful. Listening to audio books is also quite efficient – some of the readings of classics like The Iliad, Aeneid, Odyssey etc go for ten hours or more, but as I spend approximately one hour a day in my car I can get through one of these epics in a week or two. Sometimes I have already read the book but the live reading gives it a different feeling. I’ve become quite conscious of certain aspects of the readings, such as how the reader handles rhythm and character vocalisation. I prefer the reader to be fairly neutral in tone and consistent in rhythm, and not to go over the top with character voices. One reading of The Iliad I found unlistenable as the narrator performed it like amateur theatre – speeding up and slowing down, raising and lowering his voice, and putting on the most absurd character voices. It is my understanding that the Greek and Roman classics were to be recited with a consistent pace due to the dactylic hexameter structure, leading to the epic feel. Another minor annoyance is when a Greek classic is translated with Roman names for the Gods, e.g. the reading of the Odyssey used Jove rather than Zeuss. The best one I have listened to so far is The Aeneid of Virgil translated by W.F. Jackson Knight and read by Frederick Davidson.
February 26, 2014
Zero Image 2000 6×6 pinhole camera at f/138, 28 minute exposure, processed in Rodinal 1+50 for 14 minutes. My second Xmas tree pinhole. I couldn’t do one during my February haircut as there was a woman sleeping under a hair dryer. My hairdresser was worried about her reaction if she woke up and saw a box on a tripod.
January 16, 2014
Recently I was sorting through some old boxes and found a bottle of Agfa Rodinal that must date from the mid 1990s. It felt almost full and the cap had a good seal which made me wonder if it would still be effective, as it is known for good keeping properties. As I have some fresh Adonal which is exactly the same formula as Rodinal, I decided to make a simple test by exposing a sheet of 4×5 film, cutting it in half and processing the two pieces in the different developers. I looked for a scene that had a long contrast range from dark to light and that was also reasonably symmetrical so the two sides would be comparable.
The film was 4×5″ Kodak Tmax 400 that expired in 2007. Someone gave me this a couple of years ago and apart from some base fog it works fine. The photo was made around midday on a sunny summer day at f/64 at 1/8 of a second. This is quite a full exposure as I wanted to see some shadow detail. Both devs were used at 1+50 for 9.5 minutes at 20 degrees C. To my eye both negs look identical. They were scanned on an Epson V700 where the only adjustment I made was setting the black and white points, which were identical for both. Putting the positive images back together in Photoshop reveals that the twenty year old Rodinal is still fully active and as useable as the Adonal. Below is a crop detail showing the comparison across dark and light tones. Both images can be clicked to view full size.
January 6, 2014
24 books out at the end of December. Most of these are photography books I’m researching for this years teaching. Arnold Newman At Work is a great book; I’d never heard of it before I came across it on the shelves. I just finished the Robert Hughes biography of Goya which was a good read, now starting on The Aeneid by Virgil.