There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Thursday, April 28, 2016

52@52 Week 39

Well, I really screwed this one up.

Asbury Lanes being ruined

I shot this last weekend with the Intrepid and some of the New55 from the automated coater. I developed for three minutes instead of the two that they recommend, which is what I started doing with the hand-coated stuff. This came out overexposed, so I think I’ll try two minutes for the next attempt. The print looked a lot worse than this, very blown out.

But worse, the angle looks awful. I leveled the tripod, thought I levelled the camera, but I must have bumped the rotator on the back of the camera slightly when I was putting the Polaroid film holder in place. Crap. Oh well, it’s not like Sandy Hook, where I shot this, is a million miles away.

This is week 39, which means I’m three-quarters done with this project. It’s good to have this to spur me to shoot, but some weeks the results are less than inspiring. I guess that’s okay; the idea is the keep shooting and get better.

I did go out last Sunday with my Supersense 66/6 pinhole camera (built on top of the Impossible Project’s film processor unit, 500 of them in the world) for World Pinhole Photography Day. But the film I used, Impossible Project Color 600 Beta from December, didn’t work very well. I got lots of weird orange spots on my shots. I suppose there’s a certain charm to them, but I didn’t feel like using one of them for this project.

Posted at 3:26 PM
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

52@52 Week 38

It’s “Roid Week” on Flickr this week, where people make a special effort to post Polaroid-style instant film photos (no fakes, thank you, only real pictures). So I’ve been shooting a lot this week. I decided to return to my experiments with New55 4×5 film.

Asbury Lanes being ruined

I shot this last weekend with the Intrepid and some New55 from the last batch that had hand-coated paper. They’ve automated the coating process to try to make the product less painful to make and more economically feasible. So this is the last of a breed. And as I’ve seen before, there’s a big difference between the negative and the print.

Asbury Lanes being ruined, New55 print

The prints aren’t without their charm, but they’re not high fidelity. I recently got my two packs for backing them on Kickstarter. I look forward to seeing if the automation makes a difference on that count. They announced the other day that they’ve completed fulfilling the Kickstarter backing orders. Congratulations to them! I hope this means that the production is financially viable and continues.

One of the pictures I posted on the first day of Roid Week got picked up for Flickr Explore, their page where they post photos they think are worthy of more attention. It was shot outside the parameters of this project, so I didn’t make it my photo here, but I’ll include it as a bonus shot here.

Surf's Up, LBI, NJ

I shot this with my Polaroid 250 on well-expired Polaroid Chocolate pack film. I was very happy with how this turned out. Looks like other people were, too. I had to turn Flickr app notifications off on my phone the morning this was posted to Explore because my wrist kept buzzing every 30 seconds. I wound up with 16,998 views of this shot on Flickr and 232 people favorited it. Feel kind of weird.

Posted at 7:33 AM
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

52@52 Week 37

I went out at lunch time yesterday with the Travelwide and went to the Leonardo marina. I noticed this house at the time. But the light was wrong, so I went back after work, around 5:30.

House, Leonardo, NJ

I’ll probably have to go back to do this subject justice. When I saw it at lunch, the flags were unfurled in the wind, and you could see what made them distinctive; the US flag was upside down, and there is a Confederate flag at porch level. I don’t think you can see that clearly in this shot. You also can’t read the No Trespassing sign, and don’ get the sense of chaos from the yard. Maybe I didn’t get close enough. The wind being wrong kind of made that moot. I’ll go back to try to get this right. Maybe. It’s kind of a scary place. The marina wasn’t very picturesque otherwise at this time of year. Very few boats in the water right now, unlike Belford, which is for working boats instead of pleasure boats.

Just like last week, self-developed Velvia 100. Last week, I rated it at ISO 50 and it still came out underexposed. This week I rated it at 100 and it was worse. My spot meter is still broken, so I’m using my iPhone as a meter. It hasn’t been a problem on other shots, which give me histograms of perfect exposures when I scan, but for Velvia, it doesn’t work so well. Next time I’ll bracket the other way. Took me a while to get the hang of Kodachrome, too, when I was shooting it.

Posted at 2:12 AM
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

52@52 Week 36

I went out at lunch time yesterday and shot two frames of Velvia 100 with the Travelwide in Keansburg. I developed them both this morning. They both sucked. This one sucked less.

Amusement Park, Keansburg, NJ

I like the colors, but the framing leaves a lot to be desired. Feeling better, but still not 100%, so this was as much as I felt capable of shooting this week. Hopefully next week I’ll be back in the office and shooting in the city.

Posted at 2:10 PM
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

52@52 Week 35

I’m still sick. This cold just won’t quit.

I went out briefly on Easter Sunday and shot some shots up at Sandy Hook. These are houses in Officers Row, a set of beautiful houses from the days when the Coast Guard base on Sandy Hook was larger than it is now, houses that are being allowed to gently fall apart for the most part. The building in the foreground is actually being used by the American Littoral Society, but the rest of the houses are boarded up. I really wish they would refurbish these places; they’re gorgeous.

Officers Row, Sandy Hook, NJ

I decided to shoot with the Intrepid, using Tri-X at f/22, 1/100 of a second, Rodinal 1:15 14 minutes.

Posted at 11:09 AM
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

52@52 Week 34

I’m still sick.

I didn’t let that stop me from going away with Laura last weekend to Ocean City, Maryland. But I probably didn’t have the enthusiasm to get out and shoot very much. So there’s this shot of the beach just outside our room.

Ocean City, Maryland beach

Travelwide, Tri-X, rainy day so f/6.8, 1/50 of a second, Rodinal 1:15 14 minutes, blah blah blah.

Hopefully I’ll feel better and more inspired next week.

Posted at 7:53 AM
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

52@52 Week 33

I’m sick.

I still managed to get a picture for this week, though. I went to the doctor yesterday morning for this sinus infection, and I took along my Wanderlust Travelwide loaded with a holder of Velvia 100.

Shoal Harbor Fishery

On warm summer days, occasionally this area smells of fish. Not often, maybe a couple of days a year. That’s because about two miles from my house, there’s the fishery in Belford. It’s a co-op, run by the fishermen themselves. It’s always been there, more or less.

I don’t eat fish, so I haven’t sampled their wares. But I was driving by their dead-end location a few weeks ago and thought it looked picturesque. So after my doctor’s appointment and before work, I stole a few minutes yesterday and shot this.

As mentioned, this was shot on 4×5 Velvia 100. I developed it myself, using the E-6 kit I got from the Film Photography Project store that I mentioned a few weeks ago. I think I’m happier with this than with my previous attempts. It’s still a bit underexposed, but not unusably so. Unfortunately, my Pentax Spotmeter V is out of commission for the moment, so I used a light meter app for my phone to meter this. All things considered, I like the shot. You need to know what temperature your chemicals are in order to develop E-6 with this kit, but they provide timings from 100 degrees F down to 70 degrees, so it actually seems a bit less critical than developing C-41. I’m pretty amazed at the results I’m getting; I used to take my slide film to be developed because E-6 processing seemed daunting, but really, it’s not.

Sadly, Shoal Harbor Fishery was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and has never re-opened.

Posted at 5:15 AM
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Thursday, March 10, 2016

52@52 Week 32

I took the Travelwide out to the beach last weekend. I shot four frames, two at Fantasy Island on LBI, and two on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. This shot was one of the latter.

Beach Passes

This was again shot using the Linhof-selected Angulon 90mm f/6.8 lens from around 1972. I shot this on Tri-X TXP 320 at f/22, 1/100 of a second, and developed in my standby, Rodinal 1:50 for 14 minutes.

It was cold on the boardwalk on Sunday, but there were actually a few booths open and a fair number of people wandering around. They’re having their St. Patrick’s Day parade next Saturday, so I think some of the booth owners were open just to make sure everything was good for that. I enjoy this time of year at the shore. You have to be a bit insane to go to the boardwalk when the temperature is in the 20s and 30s, but there were quite a few insane people there. Like us.

I hope the photo communicates some of that.

Posted at 3:40 AM
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This site is copyright © 2002-2016, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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