Happiness

Happiness

While we were in Amsterdam, we decided to spend King's Day in Rotterdam where Inge took us on a tour of her home town. The first stop was the  Urban Forest/Cube Houses. I was really excited to see these in person. The museum was open so we got to go inside of one to see what it would be like to live in one of these unique houses. I am torn as to whether or not I would want to live in one. I love it, but kind of think it would be impractical. However, if I did have the opportunity to live in one of these houses I think I would jump at the chance, no question. 

I shot this photo specifically because of the "happiness" poster in the window. I couldn't believe it when I saw it hanging there. I have wanted one of these posters for a long time. They are drawn by Gavin Aung, creator of Zen Pencils. I am a big fan of his work. He draws cartoons of inspirational quotes. The "Happiness" poster is a drawing of and a quote from Buddha:

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."

 

And there is not much more to say about that. 

This was taken with my Canon Elan ii and Arista 100. Developed in Diafine. 

Birthday Self Portrait

For years and years I have taken a self portrait on my birthday. This is the first year I have done so with film. I finally developed the roll of film this past weekend that contained said portrait. 

I like how it came out. I had a really good birthday this year and this portrait, I think, captures my happiness. It's kind of a miracle that the lens decided to focus exactly on my one eye closest to the camera. 

I used my Canon EOS Elan for this one. Film was Arista 100 and it was developed in Diafine. 

The lesson of the group shot

Yesterday I spent the entire day meditating with this very wonderful group of people. We all decided that we wanted a photo at the end of the day to mark this occasion: it was the first real retreat of our little local sangha. Sometime in the middle of the day I remembered that I brought my film camera loaded with black and white film. I was wanting to use up the roll on my walk to the retreat so I could have something to develop. I was delighted that I would be able to capture this moment on film!

When we gathered together for the shot I decided to take a photo with my iPhone first.  Here is the shot that I took: 

In the iPhone photo everyone is smiling and happy and it truly depicts the way we were all feeling after a day of meditation together. After I took this photo I took two more with my film camera. When I developed the photos from my film camera and scanned them the only shot that was useable was the one at the top of this post. It's not a bad photo but the faces are more stoic and not as smiley. 

I thought about what I might have done as the photographer to make the photos different and I remembered that for the iPhone photo I made a joke. I told them to "say whiskey." Everyone laughed because for the situation it was kind of out of context and maybe a little irreverent and our group laughs at irreverence.  For the film photos they had been standing  there for a few more moments. The joke was over and everyone was ready to move on.

These are some things to keep in mind the next time I take a group shot. Maybe the first photo is the best? And maybe I should have a few more jokes up my sleeve for the second and third photos...

Sakura

One of the things I love about my town is that it is quiet at night. I live in a small town about 45 minutes away from Portland and I love the stillness of it in the evenings. The downside of this is that there isn't much to do here in on a Saturday night. Often, my husband and I will go for walks. This past Saturday our walk took us to the local Goodwill - the only business (besides the bars) that is open until 9:00 on a Saturday night. 

I made a beeline straight to the discarded camera section. It is bin in the very back of the store filled with all kinds of sad, old, electronics. Every once in awhile I will find something interesting. There were quite a few good things Saturday but the camera that I came away with was a Canon Sureshot.

I took it out for a spin yesterday and am rather delighted with the results of this little camera. It didn't do well with close up shots (I tried a few portraits of my husband and they were blurry) but it did pretty well otherwise. You can read a great review here on Jim Grey's blog "Down The Road." 

Here is a shot I too on Hawthorne Blvd  in Portland. 

Film used was Arista 100 and it was developed in Diafine. 

My foray into Large Format Pinhole photography

I'd been eyeing this camera for a couple of months. For some insane reason I have had this bug to do large format pinhole photography and have been shopping around for cameras. I have also been interested in zone plate photography so, hands down, the Zero 45 won the in the "WANT" department. So when I came upon some extra cash I bought it! It was a birthday present to myself. 

Since my Zero 2000 has the same wide angle as the Zero 45 without an extension frame I added one to my setup. I thought it would be nice to mix things up a little bit and have options. 

My very generous friend Jeff sent me an amazingly awesome magazine contraption that holds six sheets of film! And I received a pack of Arista 100 for my birthday. So I was set! 

I spent the week trying out all of the various settings. I shot a couple with the extension frame, without the extension frame. I shot a few using the zone plate settings. It didn't take long to get through six sheets. 

I ordered a Mod54 and developed them Friday evening. Since I don't have a scanner that will scan 4x5 I went to Newspace to make prints of them. 

The whole process has been fun and a great learning experience. I am not sure what to make of the actual photos concerning subject matter and composition. I suppose I will get a handle on this the more I use it. Practically I have a lot to learn. For example, I really scratched the negatives getting them into the tank and I will need to be more careful next time. Another consideration is to load my tank in a light proof room as the dark bag is a bit too small for all of the stuff inside of it. 

 

Pinhole, no extension  frame (25mm). 4 minute exposure. 


Zone plate with one extension frame (50mm). 4 minute exposure.

Pinhole. No extension frame (25mm). 1 min. 25 seconds.