Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tree of Heaven

Tree of Heaven by Crunchy Footsteps

paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 15-minute exposure, developed in caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop it is really just a weed growing out of the cement, not a tree. I pass it every time I walk in or out the door. I cheer it on as it struggles to grow out of the cement, knowing that I can live with my own struggles, as it does.

Image made August 21, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

a plumeria of my very own

a plumeria of my very own by Crunchy Footsteps
paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 66 second exposure, developed in homemade "Caffenol C", colorized in Photoshop

While in Hawaii some 25-ish years ago, I fell in love with the plumerias there. Their simple elegance and lovely tropical scent has haunted me ever since, especially because I hadn't seen a plumeria blossom in-the-flesh since the '80s....

But all that changed about a month ago, when the kids and I, ducking out of the rain in the Lowe's garden center, landed ourselves right in front of a display of little plumeria trees! They were all blooming! Be still my beating heart! Naturally, this tree came home with us. It turns out that one *can* grow tropical plumerias in the desert, given some special modifications!

I made this image the other day with the homemade paint can pinhole camera, and colorized it in Photoshop.

Image made July 27, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

hotel room camera obscura

hotel room camera obscura by Crunchy Footsteps

quick handheld photo of a camera obscura image inside a hotel room.
Husband and I had a blast making this impromptu life-sized camera obscura, out of our hotel room this morning! We had to get up and drive home from our vacation today, and the thought to try this experiment popped into my mind as I was waking up.
The "pinhole" is about American quarter-size in diameter. Husband cut it out of a tour pamplet. (see upper smaller image inset) We held the pinhole up to the window, and gathered the curtain around it to block out as much light as possible.
The lower smaller image inset is the actual view out the window. (our vehicle in the parking lot, Mt. Elden in the background). I have rotated the image 180 degrees and horizontally, in Photoshop, for a direct comparison.
If you look at the top of the image, you will see one of my kids, still lying in bed.
The image was projected very dimly onto the wall, and I quickly handheld our little point-and-shoot to snap a quick photo. Therefore, the quality isn't that great, but not bad for no planning at all! (-:
The kids said (in their groggy voices) that their parents are crazy, but I secretly *know* that they think this little experiment is very cool!
Image made May 31, 2012, Days Inn Hotel, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Sunday, April 29, 2012

WWPD, 2012

"Steve" standing tall on WWPD, 2012San Pedro House on WWPD, 2012San Pedro River on WWPD, 2012"Steve" and his bunkhouse on WWPD, 2012Eastwards towards the River , on WWPD, 2012

WWPD, 2012, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Here they are- the pinhole photos I made on Worldwide Pinhole Day, 2012. Please go over to WWPD and check out the amazing work of the photographers from around the world who participated in Worldwide Pinhole Day, 2012!

It looks like everyone had a great time!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Via Flickr:
I made a camera today in honor of Worldwide Pinhole Day, 2012, which is tomorrow!

Meet "wasabicam"! It is made from a little wasabi powder container. It has a great light-tight lid, and a nice focal length for it's relative size. It takes a little paper negative that is 3 inches x 1.625 inches. The pinhole is .012 inches- the smallest size drill bit that I have! Phew!

I am looking forward to putting it through it's paces tomorrow for WWPD 2012!

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is tomorrow, 4.29.12!

pinhole photo of the CaveKids in 2009, with the cookie tin pinhole camera.

I'm getting all geared up for Pinhole Day tomorrow! WWPD ("Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day" is a worldwide effort, where anyone can take a picture with a pinhole camera, and upload it to an international gallery. Just think...the whole world, photographed in pinhole, from one day in history, viewed in one gallery!

 In honor of the day, I am making a new pinhole camera, from a little wasabi container.  It's a perfect camera container- light-tight, (great lid!) round (for great distortion!) with a large-enough focal length for it's dimensions.  I just hope I have a hobby drill bit small enough to make the aperture. (pinhole)- the focal length being only about 5 cm (2 inches).  It will use photographic paper as the recording medium. ("film")

Wasabicam is still full 1/2 way with wasabi powder, so I guess the CaveFamily better make some sushi today to use it up!

Here is a video, showing some Italian news footage of a pinhole gallery exhibit, as well as some very cool pinhole cameras..check it out!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

more f.0 blurry flower therapy

blurry flower #1blurry flower #8blurry flower #5blurry flower #6blurry flower#7blurry flower #4
blurry flower #3blurry flower #2

f.0 blurry flower therapy, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I reversed the my 50mm portrait lens to create these macro, shallow dof images of local windflowers. It's blurry flower therapy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cochise County History On The Move, on display at Benson City Hall, Benson, Az, April, 2012

paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 9 sec exp, developed in Caffenol C.

In our April following of the Cochise County History On The Move project, we found ourselves in Benson, Az, at City Hall, where the display has been set up in their courtyard.

However, our visit was on this past Saturday, and the courtyard was locked up behind the iron gate! The display is available for browsing Monday-Friday, during regular business hours only.

Oh well! Paint can cam (and the tripod) trespassed through the gate a few inches, and captured this panoramic of the display- an interesting view I have not captured yet.

When clicking on the photo for a larger view, you can recognize some of the life-sized photos of historic players in Arizona's young days:

Right in front is the back side (silhouette) of Sierra Vista police chief, C. Reed Vance, and then in the background from left to right:
A.R. Spikes, Rex Allen (Sr), Edward Roseberry Monk, Dr. James S Douglas, Naiche, Harrison M. Lavender *or* Raul Hector Castro, Else Tolles, Unidentified Man, and Jimmie Judd.

photo made April 7, 2012, Benson, Az.

Visit Cochise 100's photostream for more information, as well!

The state of Arizona turns 100 years old in 2012, and the centennial projects and celebrations abound around here! The Cochise County History On The Move Display is one such centennial project.

This project features life-sized (or nearly so) rigid historic photographs of folks who paved the way in Cochise County, Arizona's early years. The display will travel around to different locations throughout the year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blurry Flower Therapy

I found a spare 5 minutes today to spend with some tiny "weed"-daisies in my backyard.  Some part of me just loves shallow depth of field, and flowers make such a beautiful and interesting study, with their multiple layers of pedally goodness.

I took my 50mm portrait lens off my camera, and turned it around backwards to get this ultra-macro, ultra f.0 shallow blurry look.

These past few months have been very busy with the kids' activities, and I have had next to no time for photographing.  However, the schedule is changing for the warmer months, and I feel a glimmer of hope about having some more moments like this one today...for photography therapy.

 A funny thought just occurred to much as I love the feel of shallow dof, this is how my vision looked while trying on a pair of progressive-lensed eyeglasses.  (I should be wearing bifocals...according to my last few eye exams)  I would think I would enjoy viewing the magical world like this all the time, but not through glasses-only through the camera!

Ahhh...blurry flower therapy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Obscur(a) Photography, part 1: intro, history, how it works

pinhole image of the kids enjoying Dairy Queen dilly bars at The Thing in Arizona, several summers ago

How I love that old time photography!  (-:

As you may have seen occasionally in this blog, I have spent some time photographing with pinhole cameras these past few years.  Recently, Theresa of Rebel Homeschool was kind enough to inquire about what I know about pinhole, and about making cameras and images.  It was a timely inquiry, as Worldwide Pinhole Day is just around the corner (April 29th), which is the perfect time to do some pinholing!

Inspired by Theresa, and the upcoming Worldwide Pinhole Day,I am writing a little pinhole series, hoping that it may excite a few folks into participating !

As the name suggests, a "pinhole" camera (or "camera obscura", as originally coined) is a very simple device consisting of a light-tight box, and a very small hole to let the light (and image) in.  The is no lens to focus the image inside the camera, rather the "pin" hole is so tiny, that the light comes through the hole in an organized manner, and converges inside the box to form an image.

In the illustration above, you see the the light, reflecting  a party hat outside the camera, travel through the pinhole,  converging inside to form the image on the back wall of the camera.  If you want to make a picture of this image, a recording medium must be placed there and be exposed correctly.  Common recording mediums include film, photographic paper, or a CCD sensor of a digital camera.

In all cameras, (including our own eyes) the image rendered inside is backwards and upside down compared to it's orientation outside the box.  Why is that?  It's because the light from the image is entering the camera more or less in a straight line, and converges into the image along that straight line inside the camera. (look at the illustration above to get a better idea)

It is not known how long humans have noticed this pinhole image-making phenomena, but one can bet it has been noticed for a very, very long time.  Sunlight cast through holes in leaves, for example, will make images on the ground.  Small holes in tent walls will project images from the outside onto the opposite wall inside.

Some documentation exists of desert peoples long ago using pinhole to see the goings on outside their tents during the day, as in this example above.  (-:

The first-ever recorded "permanent" photograph is credited to Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, who made the image with a pinhole camera in 1825 or 1826.  Below is his first-ever photograph:

1825 or 1826: View from the Window at Le Gras, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made with a camera obscura. source:  Wikimedia Commons

Much has changed since those days- with lenses being affixed to cameras, and improved optics and technology up to this day.  But there are small movements everywhere to go back and experience the processes of our photographic roots. and use it's most basic form to make very interesting photographs.  Below is a slideshow of modern-day pinhole photography, using homemade and manufactured cameras, film, paper, or digital camera sensors as means of recording the images.  Please enjoy this collection of pinhole photographs from around the world:

source: Worldwide Pinhole Day: Smooshing The Space-Time Continuum group, on Flickr

Coming up next time:  Worldwide Pinhole Day defined, and making your own pinhole camera

Sunday, February 19, 2012

John Slaughter on Main Street, Bisbee, Az

Via Flickr:
paint can pinhole camera, 2 1/2 minute exposure, paper negative, developed in Caffenol C

John Slaughter undoubtedly looked better when he was living- because at least then he had his head! Oh well- when you don't have a viewfinder, you sometimes don't get ''em all aimed just right. (-:

Here is the life-sized historic photo of Mr. Slaughter on Main Street in Old Bisbee, Arizona, where he is on display this month, as part of the Cochise County History On The Move centennial project. My son is keeping him company on the bench to the left..

John Slaughter was born and raised in Texas, and was a Texas Ranger before relocating to Arizona in 1877. He carried a sawed-off shotgun which he called "the equalizer", and is credited for bringing much law and order to the wild Arizona Territory. He was the 4th Cochise County Sheriff, beginning with his election in 1886.

Mr. Slaughter was also a rancher on his beautiful San Bernardino Ranch near Douglas, Az. (iti s now a historical landmark, and we have enjoyed visiting it several times) He was also key in establishing the community of Douglas.

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed how the city of Bisbee set up the History On The Move display- as they placed each figure somewhere along Main Street. Finding each figure is like discovering items on a treasure hunt! What fun!

As for John Slaughter's head- I'll try my best to capture it at the next location of the History On The Move Display. (-:

Thomas Jonathan Jeffords at Atalanta's Book Store, Main Street, Bisbee, Az

Via Flickr:
picassocam pinhole camera, 2 1/2 minute exposure, paper negative, developed in Caffenol C

Thomas Jonathan Jeffords, toting his trusty iron, in front of Atalanta's in 2012???? I hope I fooled you! (-:

This is actually a life-sized historic photo of Mr. Jeffords, affixed in front of the store, with his biographical information. It is part of the Cochise County History On The Move Project- a display to celebrate some of Cochise County's early influential individuals.

Mr. Jeffords is known to have earned the friendship of Cochise, the last free leader of the Chiricauhua Apache.

It is noted that the talks between Jeffords and Cochise helped to secure a peace treaty in the area in the late 1870s.

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed how the city of Bisbee set up the History On The Move display- as they placed each figure somewhere along Main Street. Finding each figure is like discovering items on a treasure hunt! What fun!

image made February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lorna Lockwood- in the flesh??!!??

Via Flickr:
homemade "picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, developed in caffenol C

Hello Everyone! It's good to see you again!

Everything is fine, it's just that children grow up, and keep you busier as they get older!

The state of Arizona turns 100 years old in 2012, and the centennial projects and celebrations abound around here! The Cochise County History On The Move Display is one such centennial project.

This project features life-sized (or nearly so) rigid historic photographs of folks who paved the way in Cochise County, Arizona's early years. The display will travel around to different locations throughout the year.

Here is one photo-tribute: her name is Lorna Lockwood, and she lived from 1903-1977. She was Arizona's first female chief justice in a state supreme court, serving in the position in two terms.

Did I fool you into thinking this is the real Lorna Lockwood? It's actually her life-sized black and white photo, set against the backdrop of Cochise College- Sierra Vista campus. (-:

image made January 30, 2012

I hope to capture the many other honored folks in this display as it travels around the county this year.