5 days with my new Zero Image

Doris' cabin week (2 of 8) (1)Doris' cabin week (3 of 8) (1)Doris' cabin week (4 of 8) (1)Doris' cabin week (5 of 8) (1)Doris' cabin week (6 of 8) (1)Doris' cabin week (7 of 8) (1)Doris' cabin week (8 of 8) (1)

I recently spent 5 relaxing days at my friend Doris’ cabin along the Salmon River near Mt Hood. We had great weather, although a bit windy on some days, but no rain. Yay! We managed to get out for walks along the river every day stopping to make some pinhole images. I recently bought a new Zero Image pinhole camera as my old one was started to let in unwanted light. I bought one of the models that has the oiled wood and a filter mount. I didn’t try using the filter mount on this trip but will soon. My exposures ran from about 6 seconds to over 10 minutes for the one of me in the lean-to……which is not the cabin we stayed in. I used Kodak Ektar 100 film.

Not only did we manage nice walks every day, but we both read a book every single day…and not little books. Doris and I both love to read English mysteries and historical fiction so we take this time to completely immerse ourselves in the written word. I read “The Lilac Girls”, “The German Girl”, “The Sorbonne Affair”, and two of Doris’ books. The “Lilac Girls” caused me to buy “Ravensbruck” which is the non-fiction story about the women prisoners during WWII who were subjected to horrendous forms of experimental surgeries. If you read either book, you will cry and you will get mad, but I highly recommend all these books.

Now back to photography:

I enjoy using my pinhole cameras and, believe me, I have many. I have different formats, different materials, and different makers. Each one is unique and it depends where I am going and what the conditions are(weather-wise) as to which one I use. I don’t like getting my wood cameras wet so then I use one of my many plastic ones.

I love making pinhole images. Although I have been making them for years I am still sometimes surprised at the results. However, every camera allows me the luxury of enjoying the surroundings while the film exposes. What could be better than time spent in a forest along a river? With all the violence  in our cities lately I don’t like to take the peace I find in the forest for granted. Every day on this earth is a blessing.

Take care.

Posted in film, Photography, pinhole, summer, water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More alleys

It seems  lately I have had little time to sit in front of my computer to sort and edit photos, or to  write on my blog. It’s not that I haven’t made photos, I’ve made hundreds over the past few months. It’s more that I am so critical of my work that I feel like nothing I have done lately is worth posting. Does anyone else ever go through this? It’s like a writer’s block only I’m having a photographer’s block. I’m going to try to rekindle my excitement about blogging, setting aside one day a week to work on this.

I’ve also made a couple of hundred photos to use on a book I am working on. More about that later. For now I am sharing some alley photos I recently shot with my Hasselblad. I still enjoy wandering the back alleys of small towns and will continue working on this series.alley_hassie_4800383 (1)

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(all photos were taken with a Hasselblad 500CM and Kodak Ektar film)


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Over Father’s Day weekend I attended my high school class reunion. How many decades have passed is not important, but what is important is that it was the best reunion ever. I will have photos of it in a later post. Now I want to share some pinhole images I made during the time I was in California. I visited places I had not seen in decades.

I have so many wonderful memories of going to Eagle Lake with my friends. We would lie on the beach and get the best tans…..before there was sun block.  Although school was out when I took these photos, I was the only one there.

Eagle Lake marina

This was about a 20 second exposure at the marina. After years of drought the water level is back up but strange things are growing near shore.


This was a 6 second exposure taken at Gallatin Beach which was a beautiful sandy shore during my teens but not now. I was the only one there. Oh, the Black Flag is my personal defense system against bad humans, not bugs.


26 second exposure. This reminded me of Roger Fenton’s photo during the Crimean War, only instead of pine cones since photo showed horrible cannon shells from the battle. 

I used to love and still love going to soda fountains to get chocolate sundaes. They have to be made in glass tulip dishes or else they are no good. Most of these fountains are now closed, but I found a few on my trip. Here are two:

Chester fountain

This was a 2 minute and 21 second exposure. Not only do they still have the soda fountain but there is also a great gift shop here. I found a cute Jack in the Box and picked it up for Madison. The store has a great collection, to buy, of retro 1950’s toys.

Prattville store and restaurant

6 second exposure. This fountain is at Prattville on the west shore of Lake Almanor. I decided to have my sundae outside on the deck which turned out not to be the best decision as it melted quickly. And I’ve changed over the years, after a few spoonfuls I was full and left the rest. What a sad state of affairs although my waist line thanked me.

It was very hot while I was in Northern California and I could only find relief by wading in Lake Almanor. Turns out I found the beach I had visited as a little kid. Yay.


4 second exposure. Lots of movement here as I had to get in and out quickly to open and shut the shutter on my pinhole camera. I wish I had a bathing suit with me.

I also continued with my series on old gas stations. This one in Chester, California is now a coffee shop.

Chester old gas station

36 second exposure This is a repurposed gas station, now a coffee shop.

(All these photos were taken with my Zero Image pinhole camera with Kodak Ektar 100 film)

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My take on my Reality So Subtle 6×6 pinhole camera

Sometimes the first roll of film through a new camera doesn’t come out exactly as you expected. This was the case with my new Reality So Subtle 6×6 pinhole camera. I am not new to pinhole photography and have at least a dozen pinhole cameras including the 6×17 version of the Reality So Subtle. All have their quirks and after using them I learn what they are and am usually very happy with my results. Not so happy with these.

I don’t know what happened and why I got so much vignetting. If any of you have an idea what happened, please tell me. I doubt it is the camera. It is the “it’s not you, it’s me”. I must be doing something wrong. I just don’t know what it is. I also over exposed most of my photos and this seldom happens to me.

So I decided to post the whole roll, even the one frame that I can’t even identify.

I am going to put a roll of Ektar in the camera and head to downtown Portland on Thursday and try again. These were all taken with Fuji Neopan 100. I put the exposure times in the ‘captions’.

Of all my pinhole cameras I have two favorites: my Zero Image 2000 and my Ilford Titan 4×5. I get constant results with these two cameras and I highly recommend them. The verdict is still out on my new one. I want to like it because it is small and is easily carried in my purse. I like the 6×6 format that is also quite wide. It’s also easy to load. Time will tell.

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Before the big bloom

Every March photographers swarm to the Portland waterfront to capture photos of the cherry trees which seem to signal the start of Spring. This year has been wet and cold so the trees are a little late blooming. I managed to get down there twice this year. These photos are from the week before the peak bloom when few people were under the trees. My photos from peak bloom are still in the camera and I need to get those developed next week.

So enjoy a bit of pink here.

cherry trees (2 of 7)

cherry trees (3 of 7)

I love it when people dress to coordinate with the trees

cherry trees (1 of 7)

cherry trees (7 of 7)

cherry trees (4 of 7)

I seldom get to see this bridge being raised

cherry trees (5 of 7)

The Steel Bridge, the only double deck bridge in the world with independent lifts

(all photos were taken with a Hasselblad 500CM and Kodak Ektar 100 film. Scanned on an Epson V700)

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choosing files

This coming weekend I am taking a Platinum Printing class at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon. The first thing we will learn is how to make digital negatives. I have gone through some old photos trying to decide what to print and I have come up with a few candidates.

I am still struggling with my computer woes and have not been able to get all my photo library onto my new computer. It’s a slow process. So I would usually have more to choose from, but I think these will do.

tree in fog

a foggy day near my home

old homestead

near Summer Lake, Oregon


stone house on the rocks, Oregon

Cape Kiwanda photographers

pinhole image at Cape Kiwanda, Oregon


another pinhole image from Cape Kiwanda

Hereford Cathedral on River Wye

Hereford Cathedral, England


Broadway Tower, Wm Morris’ folly, England

Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden, England

Clifton Bridge

Clifton bridge, Bristol, England

eels anyone?

eels in Whitechapel, London, England

I have a couple more, but the negatives belong to a friend and I am thinking of printing them as a surprise so can’t share them now.

Hopefully I will have some nice prints to share next week. My own UV light box has been built. I have purchased my contact frame and paper. After class I will order my chemicals and trays and then I can start printing at home. Excited.

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With our one dry day since January I decided to take my new Wista  4×5 camera  out for a test run. I was testing several lenses, setting up the camera in one spot and not moving, so I could evaluate each lens and its field of view.

Here are some of my results:


300 mm lens. I had trouble with the focus on this and had to extend the bellows to the full 12″. Decided not to keep this lens. Mistake?


80mm lens. Pretty happy with this one. Keeping this lens


150 mm lens. Keeping this lens


203 mm lens. Obviously a bad lens and undesirable vignetting. I could keep this for dreamy scenes but the vignetting puts me off

Waiting for better weather and then will go out for more testing. One thing you need to know before setting up a large format camera, you will attract a lot of attention. I had several groups who had to poke their heads under the dark cloth to check out the glass only to exclaim, “it’s upside down”. Yes, it is. But there is nothing quite like using a large format camera. It slows you down and you have to make each image count. I can’t wait to get back out again.

(all photos taken under the St Johns Bridge in Portland with a Wista 4×5 camera with Ilford delta 100, 1/30th of a second at f11)


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