Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project 365-ish: September 28, 2013

Still Life Dahlia by Crunchy Footsteps

Still Life Dahlia

"Gingerbreadcam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 45-minute exposure, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

It is a great day when your neighbor brings you a bunch of her beautiful dahlias, and a bagful of homegrown tomatoes!

My trusty "natural light" window is letting in less and less light as the seasons progress towards winter. It is creating a light metering challenge when photographing dark flowers, in contrast to lighter surroundings of the composition.

image made: September 23, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Project 365-ish: September 15, 2013

We have had a really good monsoon season this year!  It's been wet enough to coax the early spring poppies to bloom!  When we get enough fall and winter rain, they bloom in March through April.  Usually, there isn't enough rain for that to happen, and we get a modest bloom every few years or so. 

We didn't get a bloom this spring, but boy howdy, they came in August!  Here they are, as of last week- a little tattered and wilting with rain in the last weeks of the monsoon season in September.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Project 365-ish: September 4, 2013

Still Life, Gerber Daisies (pinhole) by Crunchy Footsteps

Still Life, Gerber Daisies (pinhole)

homemade "gingerbreadcam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 5 min exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop.

White flowers and dark stems are very hard for me to meter! This image took a bit of work.

It sort of makes me feel like...Autumn ! (-:

image made: September 2, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project 365-ish: September 3, 2013

Gerber Daisy Still Life (zoneplate) by Crunchy Footsteps

Gerber Daisy Still Life (zoneplate)

"gingerbreadcam" pinhole camera w/ 10 zones, skip 2 zoneplate, paper negative, 3 minute exposure , developed in Caffenol C

I think I am figuring out my focal lengths and exposure times with this particular zoneplate- at least under lower light conditions.

Exposure time seems to be about half that of a pinhole exposure (again, under low light) and the focusing distance is about 4 inches from subject to zone plate.

I really am enjoying the softness and glow!

image made September 2, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Project 365-ish: September 2, 2013

Plumerias are my soul-flowers.  If I am lucky, I have one blooming period per year, lasting a few weeks.  I am very lucky this year.  (-:  We had an unexpected, wild thunderstorm in the wee hours this morning.  Here is an image, with the wild raindrops still present.

image made: September 2, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Project 365-ish: September 1, 2013

George, waiting for his haircut by Crunchy Footsteps

George, waiting for his haircut

paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 8-sec exp, developed in Caffenol C

There's been another George sighting, folks! He was spotted this morning, waiting to get his hair (??) cut. I wonder if he knows the place isn't open on Sundays?

image made: September 1, 2013, in Sierra Vista, Az USA

Friday, August 30, 2013

Project 365: August 30, 2013

Aloha Zoneplate Still Life Plumeria by Crunchy Footsteps

Aloha Zoneplate Still Life Plumeria

homemade gingerbreadcam camera (with homemade zoneplate) paper negative, 3 minute exposure, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

It has been a long time since I had a zoneplate image to share! I haven't had much luck with my exposures, as I learn this zoneplate's characteristics.

If I remember right, this zoneplate has 10 zones, and the first 2 are darkened. The flowers in focus are about 4 inches away from the aperature.


image made August 29, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Project 365-ish: August 25, 2013

Still Life Snapdragons by Crunchy Footsteps

Still Life Snapdragons

homemade "gingerbreadcam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 40 min exp, developed in Caffenol C
Still Life Snapdragons

I originally planned on a 27-minute exposure, and walked away. Then I forgot about it for a little while. It turned out to be a good thing. (-:

image made: August, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Project 365-ish: August 18, 2013

It's the Supermoon of June! (2013) 

This is a composite shot of Supermoon- one shot to have the pine needles in focus, and another shot of the moon in focus.  I wish my digital camera had the depth of field that my pinhole cameras have- then maybe I could get it all in focus with one shot.  Maybe....  (-:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Project 365-ish: August 10, 2013: Mums Still Life, colorized

Mums Still Life, colorized by Crunchy Footsteps

Gingerbreadcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 16-minute exposure in window light, developed in Caffenol-C, colorized in Photoshop

Happy Birthday to my Grandma- she would have been 97 today.  She loved flowers.  And chocolate.  I'll be sure to enjoy both today.  (-:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Project 365-ish: August 9, 2013: Orchid Still Life, colorized

Orchid Still Life, colorized by Crunchy Footsteps

gingerbreadcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 20 min exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Project 365-ish: August 7, 2013: Mums- pinhole flower stll life

"Pom" Flower Stll Life by Crunchy Footsteps

Gingerbreadcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 16-minute exposure in window light, developed in Caffenol-C

I love the texture of these little-pedaled flowers...(-:

image made: July 14, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Project 365-ish: August 6, 2013: Still Life Orchid

Still Life Orchid by Crunchy Footsteps

gingerbreadcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 20 min exp, developed in Caffenol C

It's been awhile since I posted, as you see, but I'm back. (-:

I've made a few flower still life pinholes this summer, and have colorized them, too. Here is the black-and-white version of my daughter's birthday orchids...

I'm digging the still life work! 'Tis the season for flowers and growing things. (-:

image made: July 2, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Project 365-ish: June 9, 2013

Yuccas before the dust devil arrives.. by Crunchy Footsteps

Yuccas before the dust devil arrives..

gingerbreadcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 11 sec exp, developed in Caffenol-C

It seems like all the very pretty yuccas are at the churches this year.....

The wind suddenly picked up as I opened the shutter. Thank goodness the exposure was fairly short. Just after I removed the camera from the tripod, I had to duck for cover as the dust devil whirled by, and my tripod fell over and hit me on the head. No serious injury. (-:

This is a 2013 entry to the Urban Yucca Project.
location:Church Of Christ, Hereford, Az

image made June 8, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Project 365-ish: June 5, 2013

Steve in May by Crunchy Footsteps

Steve in May

paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 3 miiin 20 sec exp, developed in Caffenol-C
Steve is looking fine this Spring! He also has a gopher snake holing up in his massive bark ridges. I nearly met him while resting against his grand trunk. My kids pointed him out to me just in time for me to not jump. (-:

Steve is a 150-year-old Fremont Cottonwood, residing at the San Pedro House, Hwy 90, between Sierra Vista and Bisbee, Arizona, along the San Pedro River.

image made: May 25, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Project 365-ish: June 2, 2013

A New George Sighting by Crunchy Footsteps

A New George Sighting

paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 33 min exp, developed in Caffenol C
George has expressed an interest to be in front of the pinhole camera more often! So here he is, sitting on the front porch, waving to the people running down the street, blowing whistles. (they were playing "fox and hound")

It was kind of surreal- skeleton sitting in party attire on the porch, while people ran by blowing whistles....

Anyway, that's me sitting next to him, and I'm enjoying my book throughout the exposure..

Perhaps George will show up more often!

image made June 1, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 31, 2013

Yucca Ablaze in Sunlight by Crunchy Footsteps
Yucca Ablaze in Sunlight

gingerbreadcam, 10 zone, skip 2 zoneplate, 4-sec exp, paper negative, developed in Caffenol C, contrasted to the hilt in Photoshop.

I thought this abstract representation deserved some explanation. This is a yucca bloom- an agave/succulent plant that grows in semi-arid areas. There are many in my area, and they are all in bloom right now. They have a gorgeous crown/cluster of waxy, edible flowers. It's this cluster that you are looking at in the shaft of sunlight.

I've eaten yucca blooms in a salad before.  I must say that they taste better when marinated, since they don't have much taste of their own.  But, they have nice water content, and if stranded in the desert, they can provide some water, and perhaps some nutrients, too.

This image is part of my annual Urban Yucca Series, here.

image made May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 30, 2013

We remember....(colorized version) by Crunchy Footsteps

We Remember..  (colorized version)

gingerbreadcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 45 sec exp, developed in Caffenol-C, colorized in Photoshop

Mr Aguilar was our neighbor for 17 years. Since our back yards met back to back, we first met (and had many conversations since) while he was on his roof, fixing his evaporative cooler.

As a toddler, my son called him "Bob on the roof". Many years later, Mr. Aguilar graciously accepted Son's request to interview him on his WWII service. He had served in the US Navy, in the Pacific. His ship, the USS Bush, was attacked and destroyed while he was aboard, and he floated in he water with shipmates for more than 24 hours, before being rescued. He went on to live a full life surrounded by family, and lived his life with integrity.

Sadly, he passed away 1 month after Son's interview with him. He is buried nearby in a veteran's cemetery, and we visit his grave every Memorial Day.

image made May 27, 2013, at Southeastern Arizona Veteran's Memorial Cemetery.

The original black and white version is here

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 26, 2013

Soft Steve #2 "pixelplate" by Crunchy Footsteps

Soft Steve #2 "pixelplate"

gingerbreadcam pinhole cam, paper negative, 7-sec exposure, "pixelplate" aperture, developed in Caffenol C
Well, my latest project is to explore the use of zoneplates in my homemade photography. it's been quite a week of learning!

I found the Whiz Kid Technomagic Zone Plate Designer website and made some zoneplates of different characteristics for the focal length of my new pinhole camera, the gingerbreadcam. I incorrectly configured the resolution on to a pdf file for my local Staples printing service to print on to clear transparency sheet, and ended up with "pixelplates"- a low-resolution, pixelated versions of the zone plate file.

Since then, I correctly configured the resolution of my zone plate files, but now the difficulty is getting them printed correctly. (The person who helped me doesn't know how to change the printer resolution, or perhaps, how to uncheck the "stretch to fit" button on his settings).

So in the meantime, till I find another printing solution, I tried a pixelated version of my zoneplates today. This is a "pixelplate", not a zoneplate, but I'm 1/2 way there, and I sort of like it. (-:

image made May 26, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 12, 2013

Catalpa Still Life Pinhole by Crunchy Footsteps

Catalpa Still Life Pinhole

cookie box pinhole camera, paper negative, 15-minute exposure, developed in Caffenol-C, colorized in Photoshop.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there!  (-:

We have a Catalpa tree in our backyard. It's also called a "cigar tree", because of the long, bean-like fruit that comes after the spring bloom. It's a pity to call this tree a cigar tree, when it produces the most beautiful looking and smelling blooms!

It's blooming right now, so I am making and taking many images, while I spend time with the tree in the mornings.

The cookiebox camera was made quite a few years ago, but since it takes 8x7-inch negatives, so I haven't used it much. (I also used it during my instant film pinhole experiments a few years ago) Today pieced together 2 5x7 paper negatives to make the image.

The exposure was not long enough, and the negative was very thin. This is Photoshoped extensively, and a bit contrasty, but I like it. I like to think of it as sorta rustic. (-:

image made May 11, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 6, 2013

Cinco de Mayo, Margaritaville Style (composite image) by Crunchy Footsteps

Cinco de Mayo, Margaritaville Style (composite image)

bathroomcam pinhole camera, 16 - 5x7 paper negatives in composite, 30 minute exposure, developed in Caffenol-C, each negative scanned, then digitally assembled in Photoshop.
Phew! I'm ready for bed! This was an all-day effort, but a very enjoyable one. You can see the image larger here.

George and his setup had to battle 30-mile per hour winds today, so he was tied up in his chair, lei sewn to his shirt, and that umbrella (oh the unwieldy umbrella!) was weighed down with it's concrete stand, and a planter full of metal plates, rocks and garden pavers. (it only got away once in the wind)

The only drawback was, after the umbrella got away, it snapped back in a different position, putting George in shadow. After developing all the images in the camera/darkroom, I realized that I hadn't seen George's face at all during developing. His head was too much in shadow to image. So, I did another exposure of just his head and torso, and incorporated that into this image. Other than that, this is straight out of the camera, and compiled on a 28 by 20-inch canvas in Photoshop.

I think I will mount the negatives to a piece of art board, and hang it in my living room. Should I hang it upside down (like a true pinhole image in the camera) or right side up?

camera specs: aperture: 2 mm, f. 1128, focal length: 89 inches, film plane: 28in by 20 in.

Thank you, Flickr Friends for your help and encouragement to try this project again! (-:

Happy Cinco de Mayo Pinhole Day, 2013!

image made May 5, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 5, 2013

George 30 min exposure test by Crunchy Footsteps

George 30 min exposure test

bathroomcam pinhole camera, paper negative, 30 min exp, developed in Caffenol-C

The bathroomcam specs: f.1128, focal length: 89 inches, pinhole diameter: 2mm

It seems that reciprocity failure is already at work, as the 30 min exposure is not much different from the 20 min exposure. Perhaps I will stick with 30 minutes tomorrow, for the full-sized bathroomcam picture, in honor of CInco de Mayo Pinhole Day.

George posed for this test exposure today, while sipping his pre-Cinco de Mayo margarita.

image made May 4, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Project 365-ish: May 4, 2013

Geoerge's chair by Crunchy Footsteps

Geoerge's chair

bathroomcam pinhole camera, paper negatives, various test exposures, developed in Caffenol-C

"OMG!" An image! (I'm really too old for omg)

Thank you, my Flickr pals, for helping me out with the bathroomcam! I made some modifications- smaller pinhole, a "baffle" to selectively block out parts of the image on the ceiling and walls, and a blanket over the bathroom mirror. (-:

In The Great Picture video, Rob mentioned that they originally calculated their exposure time to be 6-7 days, but when they did their test exposures, they settled on a 35-minute exposure. That made quite an impression on me. So I figured if their focal length of 58 feet only needed 35 minutes, I'd start my tests at 7, 13, and 20 minutes. (my focal length is 89 inches)

I think I'll try a 30-minute test exposure today, and see if I can pick up some of the dark background around the chair (tree and grass) Perhaps I'll preflash my negatives, too...

George is now on a much needed break from his chair, but will be back in the saddle again tomorrow, for Cinco de Mayo Pinhole Day, for his bathroomcam portrait. (-:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

project 365-ish: April 30, 2013

This teeny tiny praying mantis was on my plumeria tree yesterday.  He really is an ittie bittie- just a little bit longer than my fingernail.  He's a good little buggie- may he stay around and eat the unwanted pests, and get nice and big!

A funny story- a few years ago, my tomato plants were covered with potato bug larvae.  I was in process of picking them off the plants, and one just wouldn't let go.  I thought that was funny, because these bugs don't hang on at all- they just drop off to the soil, and crawl back up again.  So why was this particular bug so hard to pick off?  It turns out that it was being clutched by a praying mantis, camouflaged and just out of view!  I apologized, and lft him to his dinner.

image made April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013


in progress...... by Crunchy Footsteps

in progress......

WWPD 2013 exposure in progress....
Because the bathroomcam requires about 16 hours to expose photographic paper (figuring in a bunch of reciprocity error) I started a WWPD exposure this morning. It'll go 8 hours today, and 8 hours tomorrow...ending around the end of Worldwide Pinhole Day.
On the left is a photo of the bathroomcam's subject, chilling out in the backyard. On the right is inside the bathroomcam, image in progress.
I'm sure glad that we have a second bathroom! (-:
Happy WWPD!

The bathroomcam image completely fogged!  What a bummer.  But here is a paintcancam rendition  of our catering to George, during his very arduous photo shoot.  The heat and lack of food were pretty hard to bear!  (-:

This is my offocial Worldwide Pinhole Day image for 2013.  Paintcan camera, paper negative, 58-sec exposure, developed in Caffenol C.

Here is a comment I left for this post on Flickr, after my pinhole pals there gave their suggestions on what I could do to have a successful image with the bathroomcam:

Thank you all, for the really nice comments on this image, as well as your thoughts on how to change things for future bathroomcam exposures! I appreciate you guys so much!

Judith- Thanks so much for that link to the article on The Great Picture. I had watched a "making-of" video of this project several years ago, when it was on Google Video. After Google Video went away, I could not find it out if it was migrated to You Tube, because I forgot the name of the project, and my search words didn't turn it up for me. Thanks to your article, I searched You Tube, and found the video! It's well-worth watching, for anyone interested: PL27-EmZ05nT...

Rob Johnson, one of the photographers of this project, was interviewed in this video. If you go to 10:40 in the video, he explains the method for determining the exposure, and reveals aperture size and focal length. Like Judith said above, the aperture size was 6mm, and the exposure was only 35 minutes! He said that their initial exposure estimates were 6-7 days, but they came up with 35 minutes after doing some test exposures.

The emulsion they used was Liquid Light, which (in my limited experience) has about the same ISO as paper. So perhaps I can translate this experience directly to mine.
If you go to 11:16 in the video, you can see that they rigged up a "baffle" system like you talked about, Howard. It boxed the pinhole in around the sides and top, so that the light just shined on the film plane, and not onto the ceiling and walls. This limited the amount of stray light inside the camera. That's an excellent idea, Howard, thanks!

rt- that is also an excellent idea of flashing the paper first, to reduce exposure time.
Vince- Thanks for telling me about your experience of photographing the camera obscura image at the World of Illusions Centre. (that sounds like a great place to visit!) It gives me hope that i can do it, too. (-: It's goo to know how long your exposures were, too.

So I'll try it again with all your suggestions, and do some test strips before exposing the image. I'll keep you posted......
rt- Is there really a Cinco de Mayo Pinhole Day? (-: Are you participating? That does sound like a good day to try this again! It shouldn't be hard to secure a sombrero for George in this town. (-:
Sophie, Donna and Ned- thanks for your fun comments about this image! It was fun to cater to George to make this picture.

SO I'm off to make the time for CInco de Mayo Pinhole Day!  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Project 365-ish: April 26, 2013

Bathroomcam: preparing for Worldwide Pinhole Day 2013 by Crunchy Footsteps

Bathroomcam: preparing for Worldwide Pinhole Day 2013

bathroomcam pinhole camera, image photographed with DSLR camera, 6400 ISO, 1/6 sec

Since I can't pick this camera up and move it to an interesting place to photograph (wild thought, that!) I decided to make the view more interesting than just the tree at the far side of the backyard. So here is George, our life-sized plastic Halloween skeleton, having a lounge under our groovy lounge umbrella. (I thought very much of art_y_fotos, and his dinosaur compositions, while putting this scene together)

Back inside the camera, I taped up a 20x30-inch posterboard over the shower wall, trying to decide if I should frame the shot horizontally or vertically. I'll end up covering this board with 5x7-sized photographic paper, to record the image, and develop these in caffenol.

I put this image in photoshop, and gray-scaled it, to look more like the image I might get. (praying for a decent exposure, and that nothing falls off the wall while exposing) I think George needs more contrast on his body- like perhaps a Hawaiian shirt?

image made April 26, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Project 365-ish: April 21, 2013

bathroomcam!! by Crunchy Footsteps

Introducing...the bathroomcam!!

bathroom pinhole camera, image projected against the shower wall, image made with DSLR ISO 6400, f 4.5, 1/6th sec exp

Worldwide Pinhole Day is 7 days away!!! I'm practicing for it today. I think this year, I will make my bathroom into a pinhole camera, cover the shower wall with photographic paper, and attempt to expose the image. Here is Daughter posing for me out in the backyard, as seen through the penny-sized pinhole, cut from black plastic, which is covering the bathroom window. We had a blast, making pinhole pictures and videos! (-:

So the aperture of the bathroomcam is f.1115. I gotta figure out that exposure!

What are you doing for Pinhole Day?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Project 365-ish: April 20, 2013

"There's a little black spot on the sun today....."

This is cooler than it looks at first glance!  It is a projected image of the sun, through a telescope.  See the sun spot there, lower center?  The telescope was pointed at the sun, and the viewfinder was attached to a funnel, with a piece of silicon sheeting (used in projection tvs) stretched over the large end.  The telescope projected the image from the viewfinder through the back side of the silicon sheeting. The resolution was very clear, very sharp, and safe to look at directly.

This one of the many telescopes and demos set up at our local library, by our local astronomy club.  April 20th (today) happens to be National Astronomy Day, which is part of our library's festivities of National Library Week.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

project 365-ish: April 14, 2013

Sycamore and Thistle Puff

I was rearranging some furniture this morning, and came across my large box of pressed and dried flowers and leaves.  I used to press them between books, and then use them for sunpainting, or arranging on the scanner into digital collages. 

I decided that I shall release these dried things back to nature, but also thought I'd do it slowly, arranging them into colleges bit by bit, and featuring them in the Project 365-ish.  It gives me fodder for the blog, after all, as I do not have any photo projects at the moment, and haven't found photographic inspiration in day to day life lately.

So here is Sycamore and Thistle Puff.  I found both still pressed between the pages of a book that I ended up donating today.  Both are now out in the front yard, being blown by the strong breeze this way and that, out in the sun's rays again, after years of darkness.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Project 365-ish: April 3, 2013

The beauty of beans...

We got the ham hock from our extended family Easter bash, so I made some bean soup with it yesterday.  The colors make me happy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Project 365-ish: March 25, 2013

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier-turned museum, San Diego Harbor, California by Crunchy Footsteps

paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 1 min exp, developed in caffenol C

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier-turned museum, San Diego Harbor, California

The beauty of pinhole cameras are, who cares if they get wet? (at least my inexpensive, paint can variety)

And was it ever raining!

The USS Midway aircraft carrier was commissioned a week after WWII ended, and saw service through the Persian Gulf conflict- a total of 47 years. Also, It was the first ship that was too big to travel through the Panama Canal.

It is now permanently docked in San Diego Harbor, and is a museum with more than 70 exhibits within it's interior and top deck.

Here we are on the top deck in this image, with vintage aircraft parked and on display. It's a great place for the aviation buffs out there!
(see an image from the other side of the carrier, here.

This is the last pinhole image of our San Diego trip in January.  Perhaps I'll colorize these 2 Midway images, but the desire to do that now is not in me.

image made: January 25, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Project 365-ish: March 22, 2013

Tidepooling in La Jolla- tide coming in by Crunchy Footsteps
homemade "Picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 4 min exp, colorized in Photoshop

Tidepooling in La Jolla- tide coming in

It was a good day for tidepooling, as it was one of the lowest tides that was expected in a long time, we were told. We had walked far beyond the safety of the beach, into rocky territory, butted up against the cliffs, to see some magnificent sea stars and anemones pooled up in the rock pools.

For this desert-dweller, I was getting nervous about this time, as the tide had started coming back in, with no personal experience to tell me how long it would be before our area was completely covered in water again.

However, I also wanted one last pinhole of the water, and nervously changed paper film (thus the sand marks in the sky of this photo) and took one last image. 4 minutes, my meter told me. Could we wait that long, and get us and the kids back to the beach?

It turns out that it was more than enough time. (-:

Image made January 27, 2013.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Project 365-ish: March 17, 2013

Panstarrs Comet by Crunchy Footsteps
Canon SD 1400 IS (point-and-shoot) camera, shooting through my trusty binoculars, (which balanced on a tripod), ISO 800, 1 sec exp, breath held

Panstarrs Comet

Have you had a chance to glimpse the Panstarrs Comet this past week? We have been able to see it for a few moments after sunset, for the past several nights.

Last night, while waiting for Son to get off work, I got out of the car to see if I could see it. I had the photographing urge, and fished out the point and shoot from my purse, and the binoculars from the back of the car. I put the camera lens up to the binocular lens, hoping to see the comet through the camera display.

I thought it would be a long shot to even find the comet (aka "needle in a haystack") , but there it was on the camera display! I took a few shots hand-held, with lovely blurry results. (not resembling a comet at all)

I went back to the car, hoping to find some objects to stack on to the trunk, to hold the binoculars for me. My heart lept with joy to find my pinhole camera tripod! Whoopee!

The next few shots were much clearer, and then Panstarrs dipped below the mountains. Bye, Panstarrs!

image made March 14, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Project 365-ish: March 16, 2013

Looking for Panstarrs Comet: Day 1 by Crunchy Footsteps

Looking for Panstarrs Comet: Day 1

It's supposed to be there! Alas, clouds are there, too. (We were between two lines of rain showers) In retrospect, we probably didn't wait long enough, as the sky is still very bright.

This is my dad and Daughter, In Phoenix, Az. That is also me, holding up the sky chart for locating Panstarrs Comet, crafted by Sky and Telescope. I can't find the exact diagram on their website, but here is another one they have provided.

Image made: March 8, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Project 365-ish: March 4, 2013

Coronado Island, overlooking San Diego Bay, California by Crunchy Footsteps
homemade picassocam pinhole camera, paper negative, 20 sec exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

Coronado Island, overlooking San Diego Bay, California

I wish we had more time to explore Coronado Island on this trip, but alas, all we had was about an hour. We took a nice little walk at the water's edge, and saw a bit of the San Diego Bay. The fog was rolling in, setting the stage for another round of rain showers. The blues and the grays melded together...

image made: January 26, 2013

Only two more pinhole negatives remain from our San Diego trip remain to be processed and worked on. I have so much enjoyed the process, and that it has stretched out as long as it has.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Project 365-ish: March 1, 2013

I started the day with making the beans for tonight's burros.  In a bit I'll start the pork roast.  Yum!

Has March come in like a lion or a lamb for you?  So far, it's pretty lamb-ish here.  That's surprising, since we have begun our windy season. (and fire season!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 26, 2013

Coronado Bridge, San Diego Bay, California by Crunchy Footsteps
paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 20 sec exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

Coronado Bridge, San Diego Bay, California

I was hoping that paintcan's very wide angle view could capture the entire length of Coronado Bridge from this vantage point...(a park on Coronado Island) Not to bad, I'd say! (-:

This was minutes before the fog came into the bay from behind the bridge. I felt sorry for the motorists up on the bridge as the fog rolled in!

image location: Coronado Island, California, looking out onto San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bridge

image made: January 26, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 23, 2013

Today's post features another moving picture!

I've been waiting on finishing my pinhole processing of the Imperial Sand Dunes, before making a little Dunes video, so I could include them.  This is my family's point-and-shoot camera footage of our stop at the Imperial Sand Dunes in California, with the pinhole images in the mix, as well.

This was just a little side stop on our way to San Diego, for Daughter's gymnastics meet last month.  It turned out to be one of the best parts of our trip!  What a beautifully, haunting place.

location: Interstate 8, exit 156, Grays Wells Road.

This is largely an ATV recreational area, and a week-long permit is required for camping and driving on the dunes.  You can't buy the permit on site- but it must be purchased either in Yuma or El Centro.  We talked to the very nice campground host, who told us that we could briefly visit without the pass, meaning we could walk on to the dunes from the parking area, so long as we did not drive on the sand.  We did this, and had a great awe-inspiring time.

You can also drive down Grays Wells Road to an exhibit of an authentic portion of a wood plank road, which was used from 1914-1927, for the old Model Ts to cross.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 22, 2013

Plank Road, 1914-1927- Imperial Sand Dunes, California by Crunchy Footsteps
paint can pinhole camera. paper negative, 25-sec exposure, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

Plank Road, 1914-1927- Imperial Sand Dunes, California

Back in the day that the new Model Ts were conquering the landscape, the Imperial Sand Dunes posed a challenge. Traction on the dunes was impossible, and the wind constantly shifted the sand, changing the terrain.

Between 1914 and 1927, the solution was a movable wood plank road of seven miles in length, to cross the ever-moving and treacherous dunes. It was made up of 8x12-foot sections, and was moved by a mule team any time the road became covered in sand.

We visited a preserved section of this plank road at exit 156 (Grays Well Rd) off Interstate 8, in the Imperial Sand Dunes, California. It's an amazing construction, and equally amazing is how well this section is preserved, after 100 years of constant sand blasting!

image made January 24, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Project 365-ish: Februry 20, 2013

A snow day is a slow day....

Today's would-be photo is more poignant as a moving picture, thus, it is a little, tiny video instead.  (-:

We got a 1/2 snow day.  Our county doesn't have but a very small fleet of snowplows, so when it snows, and is below freezing, everyone runs for home.   Husband was released from work.  Son got out of drawing class early.  Son also doesn't have to work today.  Daughter got out of gymnastics practice.  Suddenly, the day has a whole new feel to it.  I can make dinner in a leisurely manner, and we can all eat together.  I am making brownies.  (I'm hiding butternut squash in them.  Shhh...)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 18, 2013

A sea of sand- Imperial Sand Dunes, California by Crunchy Footsteps
paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 6 sec exp, developed in caffenol c, colorized in Photoshop.

A sea of sand- Imperial Sand Dunes, California

Although difficult to see, this image was made at the top of a dune peak (the edge being in the lower left corner) looking out onto the sea of sand. It is a simple landscape- I felt somewhat at a loss of how to frame this image.

I love this landscape, though. I especially love how the wind changes the dunes, and how the sand cleaves into distinct shapes.

I also love how I got a huge workout climbing to the top! Phew! I thought climbing at sea level wouldn't tax this crunchy person, who lives at 4500 feet normally. The dunes kicked me, all right!

location: Interstate 8, exit 156, Grays Well Rd

image made: January 24, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 17, 2013

"high tension" outpost: Imperial Sand Dunes, California by Crunchy Footsteps
paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 8 sec exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

"high tension" outpost: Imperial Sand Dunes, California

The hum and crackle of the high tension electrical lines above me made me a little nervous as this image was made. Still, one notices that the power scaffolding  provides some kind of structure for people to gather around, out in the sea of sand dunes, where one might easily lose himself otherwise.

location: Imperial Sand Dunes, California, off I-8, exit 156, Gray's Well Rd.

image made: January 24, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 16, 2013

Approaching the outpost by Crunchy Footsteps
picassocam pinhole camera, paper negative, 8 sec exp, developed in Caffenol C, color added in Photoshop

"Approaching the outpost"


We made a quick stop at the Imperial Sand Dunes along Interstate 8 in California a few weeks back. We were in a recreational area, a portion of the dunes reserved for ATV-ing and camping. The Dunes are a surreal, beautiful place, and although this was just a quick stop along the road to San Diego, was one of the highlights of our trip.

Imagine, if you will, trekking through the endless desert, and coming upon an outpost unknown to you. You are in great need of water, food, and supplies, as well as a good rest. The light leaks represent the encroaching fatigue upon your vision, as you deal with the relentless bright sunlight. Do you approach? Are they friendly?

In reality, it is a friendly and welcome outpost- being a restroom. (-:

location: exit 156 off Interstate 8, Gray's Well Rd.

image made: January 24, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 6, 2013

Below Sea Level... by Crunchy Footsteps
Picassocam pinhole camera, paper negative, 45 sec exp developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop, a wee bit of texture added to an otherwise bland sky

Below Sea Level...

Back in the early '90s, my then-boyfriend and I were traveling to San Diego in July. By the time we got to Yuma, it was hot, glaringly bright, and the A/C couldn't keep up. By the time we got to El Centro, it was brighter (2pm) and hotter. (120 deg F) I was fading fast. Then, it was the sight of this fertilizer tank, with the words, "sea level", marked with a line half way up the tank, that made me feel like I was about to dry up and blow away out the window. "Below sea level!!!" I exclaimed in disbelief. I felt like I was sinking down into Hell, taking all the heat with me. At the time, we were attending college up at 7,000 feet altitude, so it was quite a difference from everyday life!

The boyfriend became the husband a few years later, and last week, we came by this way again, with the kiddos. Thank goodness it was January instead of July! Husband pulled off I-8, and found the dirt road along the fence line, so I could get my pinhole of the tank. Two employees road up in their little golf cart, leery of what we were doing. We excused ourselves as crazy tourists, taking a picture of their fertilizer tank, with a metal can. I can't believe they bought it!

Image made January 24, 2013

ps for Husband: Yes, I concede- the tank is on the ((left)) side of the freeway!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 3, 2013

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier-turned museum, San Diego Harbor, California by Crunchy Footsteps
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier-turned museum, San Diego Harbor, California

Picassocam pinhole camera, paper negative, 45-sec exp, developed in Caffenol C

The USS Midway aircraft carrier was commissioned a week after WWII ended, and saw service through the Persian Gulf conflict- a total of 47 years. Also, It was the first ship that was too big to travel through the Panama Canal.

It is now permanently docked in San Diego Harbor, and is a museum with more than 70 exhibits within it's interior and top deck.

Here we are on the top deck in this image, with vintage aircraft parked and on display. It's a great place for the aviation buffs out there!

It is an enormous craft- I felt like I was in a giant warehouse on it's first deck,
instead of on a ship.

image made: January 25, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 2, 2013

Crystal Pier at Pacfic Beach, San Diego, California by Crunchy Footsteps
paintcan pinhole camera, paper negative, 1 min exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop

Crystal Pier at Pacfic Beach, San Diego, California

It was a perfectly gray and muted green morning at the beach, with the rain coming in waves. I was surprised at the sun rays and overall brightness of the sky in this image, as the sky was as gray as can be. However, with a 60-second exposure, aimed right at the sun, it seemed to come out, after all.

A surfer paused a few seconds as he came out of the water, can you see his blur? Meanwhile, a seagull stood nearly motionless the whole exposure. Can you spot it? (-:

Image made January 25, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Project 365-ish: February 1, 2013

Made with "picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 3-min exposure, colorized in Photoshop.
There in the distance is the research pier of Scripp's Institute of Oceanography at La Jolla Beach, north of San Diego proper.  I had so much fun photographing the moving water!  I love it's soft effect on the rocks, over this long exposure. 

Another nice perk about using my homemade cameras is, I don't care if they get wet or sandy.   When there are no electronics to worry about, and the camera materials cost under 3 bucks, there is a bit of peace and serendipity to enjoy!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Project 365-ish: January 31, 2013

Imperial Sand Dunes, California by Crunchy Footsteps
Imperial Sand Dunes, California,
picassocam pinhole camera, paper negative, 8 sec exp, developed in Caffenol C, colorized in Photoshop.

The eastern border of California along Interstate 8 is the location of some really great, expansive sand dunes! My kids really wanted to visit, because the Tatoonie scenes of Star Wars were filmed here. I really wanted to try and capture the Dunes in pinhole, hoping the wide-angled nature of my cameras might capture it's utter vastness.

I am still trying to decide if that vastness was captured or not. It seems that the wide-angleness flattened out the inclines of the sand slopes, making the landscape seem more even elevation-wise than it actually was.

As far as the brightness of the scenes went, I was lucky that an approaching storm made the skies partly cloudy, so the bright sand under a semi-bright sky didn't make my exposures too squirrely. Still, exposure times were about 1/3 of what I am used to, so it was pretty bright!

There are many places to experience the Imperial Dunes. Some places are wilderness areas, so one can't walk out onto them, but simply enjoy their natural beauty.. Other places are recreational areas, and people in ATVs are riding all over them. Different strokes for different folks! (or different moods in the same person)

Since we were just passing through, we stopped at exit 156- Grant's Well Road, which is a recreation area. You have to buy a week-long permit to have full access to the dunes, but the very nice camp host let us walk on to the dunes without charge, as long as we didn't take our vehicle out onto them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project 365ish: January 29, 2013

paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 4 min exposure, colorized in Photoshop

Living in the desert, I rarely get to pinhole, (or photograph at all) near the water.  What a nice change it was to pinhole at the beach!  This is La Jolla Beach in San Diego this past weekend, where we went tidepooling with good friends.  Daughter's gymnastics meet is what brought us to San Diego in the first place.

It rained the entire weekend, but was just misting while we were at La Jolla.  We saw tiny crabs, good-sized sea anemones, and one pool with several large starfish!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Project 365-ish: January 28, 2013

This is unbelievable.  We commonly see these vehicles on the weekends around our state.  These people come up over the border, pick up their items at garage sales, then take them across the border again, and resell them.  They generally use small pick-ups with some kind of rack rigged to them.  They are usually packed at least twice as tall as their vehicles, and sway dangerously down the freeway.  I laugh about the creative packing, but I wish more of them would be pulled over for having unsafe loads.

We saw this one yesterday, while traveling home from California.  The photo doesn't do it quite enough justice, and this truck was one of the most dangerously-loaded vehicles I've ever seen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Project 365-ish: January 24, 2013

Imperial San Dunes, California

We visited "Tatoonieland" today, (Where the Tatoonie scenes in Star Wars were filmed) while traveling through to the coast.  We all loved it!  Exit 156 off I-8 is one of the best-kept secrets to seeing the dunes up close and personal while passing through.

What an absolutely magical place.  I made some pinhole images too- the bright sand on the partly sunny sky made for fast shutter speeds, even for the super-tiny aperture and ISO of 6 for my paper negatives!  Were they exposed correctly?   We'll see when I develop them.

What a great day today!