Friday, February 25, 2011

Fairbank, Arizona, USA, Ghost Town at High Noon



homemade paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 33 second exp, post processed in Photoshop.

Another view of Fairbank, just north of the schoolhouse, minutes before the reenactment of the attempted train robbery of 1900..

The structure on the left is a large house built in 1925. The building to the right of that is a double-occupancy privy (with "boys" and "girls" seats) and the building to the far right is the common livery stable, pictured here, from another angle.

Image made in January, 2001.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The old livery stable, Fairbank, Arizona USA



homemade paint can camera, paper negative, 43 sec exp, scanned and processed in Photoshop

The stable seems a bit airy these days.

Fairbank is just down the road apiece from Tombstone, Arizona, and it's heyday was about the same time. Unlike Tombstone, Fairbank was regarded as a "family-friendly" town, with a rail stop, next to the San Pedro River. It's function as a railway stop for goods and people was one of it's economic resources, and a silver mine for employ was the other. It's name became officially "Fairbank" in 1883, when it's first post office opened.

Even though quieter than nearby Tombstone, it did have a famous violent train robbery attempt in 1900.

Fairbank's last residents left in the 1970s, and it is now a ghost town. It is being preserved however, and the schoolhouse has been restored, acting as a museum, visitor's center, and gift shop.

image made January 15, 2010

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Through the pinhole... more low-tech, low-fi video in HD!




I put the pinhole body cap on my DSLR camera body (sans lens) to make these images and video at our local riparian area.  I love the flares (and their rainbows) that come off the edge of the pinhole! 

Seeing the lens flares in "real" time through the digital camera was a good lesson in how reflected light affects an exposure.  Perhaps those little "clouds" in some of my photo paper negative images are bright areas of reflected light recorded into the emulsion...like this:


Can you see a similar "rainbow" pattern here (only in black and white) like in the video?  It is very pronounced anytime the pinhole is close to the direction of the sun- in either the "real time" digital pinhole, or in my paper negative images from my homemade cameras.

Perhaps more play with the digital pinhole will help me reduce the flaring in my paper negative images, if I choose to minimize them, that is.  SOmetimes, I sort of like those creative blobs and clouds!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Overexposed negative, questionable results, having fun with the process, regardless



"picassocam" homemade pinhole camera, paper negative, 30-second exposure, tons of post processing in Photoshop

This is a comparison of a raw scanned paper negative, and my final result, after lots of digital post processing.

I clearly greatly overexposed this negative in camera, and had to pull it out of the developer quickly before the image disappeared into blackness. Still, I thought I might make a go of it anyway.

I'm still not sure if I like it or not. Sometimes "happy accidents" work well, sometimes, they just don't. Sometimes, you just don't know.

On my Flickr page, I posted this image with notes, to document what I think are all of the interesting swirls and blobs and blemishes are on the negative, based on my few years of experience in developing paper negatives. I hope it might be helpful to someone, who may be a bewildered and puzzled as I was when I first started.  To see these notes, just click on the image, and while viewing it on Flickr, hover your mouse over the image.

Notice that the negative image is backwards, and the tones are opposite from the positive image, too. The image also imprints on the emulsion upside down, as is the nature of light coming through a lens or pinhole.

This is an image of Lake Havasu at Cattail Cove State Park, in central-far western Arizona.

image made January 21, 2011.

Friday, February 11, 2011

2 minutes and 40 seconds of mass ascension on one photograph: Lake Havasu Island Balloon Festival

homemade paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 2 minute and 40 second exposure, wet darkroom processing, scanned and digitally post processed in Photoshop (including color)
Saturday morning gave us beautiful weather for ballooning! Here is a 2-minute and 40second "snapshot" of the sunrise mass ascension that day. Two of the balloons managed to hold enough still in the field of view, for the paint can cam to capture them. The balloon on the far right was busy inflating at the time.

Havasu Island Balloon Festival, January 22, 2011, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

c. 1824 London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona USA

homemade "picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 45 second exposure, scanned and post processed in Photoshop. (including sepia toning and some added vignetting)  
There has been a London Bridge over the Thames, legend has it, since the year 43 CE!  However, it seems that only one of these versions of London Bridge was rebuilt somewhere else....

This is the c. 1824 London Bridge, which was discovered to be sinking into the Thames in 1968, due to the modern traffic load. The bridge was sold to Robert McCulloch for $2,460,000 (US), and shipped half way around the world in blocks, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

The bridge was rebuilt under the supervision of Nottingham civil engineer Robert Beresford. To withstand modern traffic, the rebuilt bridge has a steel reinforced concrete core. The grand opening of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu was October 10, 1971.

homemade paint can pinhole camera, wiggling in the wind, 66-second exposure, scanned, post processed in Photoshop.
We visited London Bridge over Lake Havasu in January.  We walked and drove over it, walked and paddled under it, and made several pictures and video of it.    Here we are, on the southwestern side of the bridge (the island side) , along Bridgewater Channel.  Contrary to the feel of these images, it was a brilliantly blue, bright and sunny day.

images made January 22, 2011.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Holy Camels! A visit with Hi Jolly

pinhole image (homemade "picassocam" camera) processed w/black and white chemicals in the darkroom, then Photoshopped beyond over yonder.
While on the way to Lake Havasu City, I insisted that we stop in Quartzite (central-western Arizona, near the border of California) to visit Hi Jolly's monument.  It was an innocent request; as I held the memory of my drive through Quartzite 20 years ago, when it was October, and the town was nearly vacant.

A new picture of Quartzite thrust it's face into ours this time though- in the form of ((thousands)) of gem show-goers, winter visitors (the same bunch) and California drifters.  On this day in January, Quartzite was a mecca of activity, out in the middle of the remote low desert!  Rvs where parked and driving everywhere, and zipping between them were seniors driving golf carts and ATVs, and the drifters in their micro busses and vans.  We had a little scary restroom incident, and then high-tailed it out of the gas station mini mart to make our pilgrimage to Hi Jolly. 

Fortunately, the Hi Jolly Cemetery was a quiet, sane, fascinating historic place to quiet our jittery nerves.   We read headstones of folks who lived in the 1800s- the founding families of Quartzite.  I made the pinhole image of Hi Jolly's monument above.

So who is Hi Jolly?

Hi Jolly was employed by the US Government in the mid 1800s for training imported camels for "freighting" and communication..  The government experimented with camels briefly in the arid climes of the expanding West, but gave it up in favor of using burros. 

The use of Hi Jolly's camels were considered successful by Lt Beale, who used them on his 1857 expedition across Arizona.  It wasn't meant to be however, and the camels were left to fend for themselves near this location in Quartzite.  It is reported that the camels survived for many years, and were the focus of excitement and curiosity.

Hi Jolly was from Syria originally, and died in Quartzite in February, 1856.  This memorial and grave site is also a time capsule.  It is located right at the entrance of Hi Jolly Cemetery in Quartzite, Arizona.  The monument was erected in 1935.

It was well worth the trip through Quartzite.  We learned some fascinating history, and I got to pinhole a pyramid in the middle of the desert, with a camel on top.  How many days in one's life does a person get that kind of opportunity?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

unifying a project: playing with borders

I have decided that I enjoyed the experience with the miniature lighthouses so much, that I would like to create a project from it.  This would mean traveling back to Lake Havasu periodically to have more adventures finding more lightouses, and pinholing like crazy.  Oh shucks.  (-:

I'm not sure what kind of project I might like to do yet, but have begun to look for ways to finish the images, so they have a unifying theme.  So last night, I began experimenting with making brders in Photoshop, and putting the images inside them.  It's rather like shopping with the images, to see what they look best in.  Here is what I came up with last night:





I think I am favoring the last one (above).  To me, the border suggests the beveled glass surrounding the light in a lighthouse.

More playing!!!