Over Christmas

This past Christmas we were so blessed to have three of our friends visit from London; Sophie, Shannon and Madison. They were here for two weeks which wasn’t long enough. We had great plans to make some portraits and other film involved photography. But reality hit when two people in the house got ill. When all was well we scrambled to do some of the things we had planned, but the portrait sessions never happened. I did manage to make some pinhole images along the way, but still not as many as I wanted.

Here are a few made with my Reality So Subtle 6×6 Pinhole Camera. These were all very long exposures and I’ve since realized I need to increase exposure times when the rooms are fairly dark. I usually use a setting of f256 and that works for almost all my pinhole cameras giving me the proper exposure times. However, not this time so when using my RSS camera I plan to add a few extra minutes when in a dimly lit room.

Me resting at hotel before plane arrives

Getting a bite to eat at the SEA-TAC airport before girls arrive

Back at hotel trying to get some sleep before drive home. You can just barely see Madison in the middle of the photo

Wrapping Christmas presents

Beginning the clean up. Yes, I put Christmas movie posters on the wall of the media room

We had a great visit, but next time it needs to be at least three weeks.

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a new beginning

WOW, the time has flown by and I have been absent from here for two months. I have a good excuse. I started decorating for Christmas on November 1st. If you could take a tour of my house you’d understand why it took so long. I kind of went overboard this year because I had three friends visiting from London and I wanted them to have a special Christmas. I put up  three big Christmas trees on the main floor and then trees in each bedroom upstairs plus the media room. Then I added lights and wreaths in every window. It was a lot of work but worth it when I saw their reactions. So I neglected my blog, Instagram, Facebook…..and my film photography.


I had a great idea to do 4×5 portrait sessions with my Wista camera, but they suffered with jet lag for a week so bedtime was early. Then two in the house got ill. There was just never a good time or enough time to do all the film photography I had planned. I seriously was shocked when I resorted to my iPhone often, but also sometimes used my Sony a6500 and my Leica C-Lux.

in the snow

Lto R: Madison, Shannon, Sophie and me



Aunt Shannon keeping up with Madison

They were here for two weeks and we realized it just wasn’t long enough to do all the things we wanted. Now they have gone back to London and I miss them so much. I’m also finding little things hidden by 4 year old Madison and so the ‘to-mail’ pile is growing.

at Zoo Lights

at Zoo Lights

Madison loves flamingos

Madison loves flamingos

lovely smiles at Zoo Lights

lovely smiles

Now it’s 2019 and I am going to get back to my photography in a big way. I’m challenging myself to do a 365 project, but not just ONE photo a day. I plan to take one pinhole photo, one Lensbaby photo and one Fuji Instax photo…every day. Add to that my usual film photography with my Leica Mp, Hasselblad 500 CM and my Rolleiflex. Crazy?  Maybe, but I want to do it. Also in 2019 I am putting down my needle and thread and plan to work on my contact printing and finally finish a photography book that I have been compiling photos for the last 6 years. I also signed up for a KAREN BURNS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP in March. I’ll be very busy. I’ve always said that I can rest when I’m dead and I have no plans for that for years to come.


turning 21 in America


I’m sharing a few digital photos from the two weeks my lovely English family, Shannon, Sophie and Madison, were here to celebrate not only Christmas but Shannon’s 21st birthday and my, not going to say, very very big birthday. CHEERS to 2019.

Christmas Day

Christmas Morning


the look of a magical Christmas

ron and Mads

Ron shows Madison the Polar Express train



In the end, we were all tuckered out.


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A, new to me, Rolleiflex got taken out for a trial run last week.  I’m used to the waist height viewer and the fact the image is backwards when viewed through the camera, but I am not used to using a TLR. The Rollei is a beautiful camera that has gained popularity since the discovery of Vivian Maier’s negatives in a storage unit. The rest, as they say, is history. This has driven up the prices of the camera, but there are still deals to be found.

I bought my camera at Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland, Oregon. There are a few on their shelves and you can check out the inventory on their web site.


I loaded a roll of Kodak Portra 400 film into her and took her for a little walk around my neighborhood. These are some results from that first roll.


Oregon’s Fall color is beautiful this year





more new houses being built and they get sold as fast as they go up. I recently read that 100 people per day move to the Portland area


construction site


Halloween is over, bring on the next holiday

My Hasselblad is much heavier so the Rollei will be my street camera and the Hasselblad will go with me on road trips. I am loving this camera already.

Keep using film


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Halloweentown, Part I

Since today is Halloween I thought I’d repost this post about Halloweentown in St Helens, Oregon. Images were all made with my pinhole camera. Happy Halloween

Fireside Five

In the town of St Helens, Oregon, just a few miles west of Portland, the people go all out for Halloween. The movie “Halloweentown” was filmed there and so every year thousands of people descend on this little sleepy community. Some of the actors from the movie show up for photo ops and autographs, but the lines are hours long so I passed.

I managed to expose several rolls of film, but thought I’d start with my pinhole images.

City Hall TV cameras interviewing people in front of the big pumpkin

girl in orange tutu There is a little girl in the orange tutu and she was fascinated by the balloon animals.

pumpkin art clever use of a butternut squash

waiting people waiting in line to see the Halloweentown actors. The line wrapped around the building and went down the street. Too long for me.

tights orange and black tights

slanted Seems I can’t have the building and the pirate completely…

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My Mother’s camera

I will admit, I had a wonderful childhood. My Mother was the image maker in our family and I remember her always getting the newest camera. She didn’t have expensive cameras and developing was quite expensive in the 50’s and 60’s. When my Mom suddenly died in the early 90’s my Dad gave me her cameras. One of those was the inexpensive Kodak Brownie Hawkeye.


The Hawkeye was designed by Arthur Crapsey(yes, that’s his name) and made between 1949 and 1961. It is a Bakelite piece of art. The waist level viewer is surprisingly bright. There is a model that also takes a flash, which I also have. It was one of the most popular film cameras in its day. It takes 620 film although I recently read it will take 120. I am fortunate to be able to buy 620 film at Blue Moon Camera in Portland, Oregon. The film is medium format so you get a wonderful large negative.

Last week I took it off the shelf, for a bit of dusting, and noticed there was film in it. So I decided to take it for a spin through my neighborhood. I didn’t know if there was color or black and white film in it and I was hoping it was 400 ISO (it was). My focus is a bit off on some, there is no way to focus, but it is what it is. I do a lot of pinhole so I don’t mind the softness . So here are the photos I made that day:

villebois_kodak Hawkeye452

villebois_kodak Hawkeye453villebois_kodak Hawkeye454villebois_kodak Hawkeye455villebois_kodak Hawkeye456villebois_kodak Hawkeye457villebois_kodak Hawkeye458villebois_kodak Hawkeye459villebois_kodak Hawkeye460villebois_kodak Hawkeye462villebois_kodak Hawkeye461

My Mom gave me my first camera at an early age. It was another Bakelite jewel, the Brownie Holiday. I loved it and many photos of me are with the camera around my neck…like here. This one takes 127 film which Blue Moon Camera also stocks. I still have this camera. I remember receiving new cameras for Christmas quite often. Over the years when college took me away and I had little money my photographing took a back seat to other things. I had no money to spend on film. I regret this now as I wish I had more photos of my life experiences. In a time when everyone has a camera in their pocket, when I grew up very few people took family photos except for celebrations and vacations. My Mom took more than most and I am the keeper of her early black and white negatives….all still perfect. You won’t be able to say that about digital in another 60 years. Slowly I am scanning her negatives…..from the 1930’s until she passed away.me_and_my_first_camera

It just shows that you don’t need an expensive camera to get started with film. Buy yourself a plastic Holga and get going or you can find one of these vintage cameras online or at Blue Moon Camera. Go for it. Shooting film slows you down. You might take 12 photos instead of 100 but out of those 12 you will have more keepers than out of those 100.

Thank you Mom.

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street walking

I don’t really have much to say about these photos. I was downtown Portland last week and took along my Leica MP and some Kodak Portra 160 film. These are some of the shots I took. I usually tweak my photos just a bit in Lightroom but decided to post these straight out of the camera after I scanned them on my Epson V850.

From Pioneer Courthouse Square:







From NW 23rd:



walking through the Pearl district:


Fullers Coffee Shop. I’ve been dining here for more than 40 years


memorial to U of O’s Steve Prefontaine


our streetcar is a great way to get around downtown


Oh Oh, someone’s in trouble


It’s a dog’s life

I noticed these patterns in an office building:


Once a month I visit the Portland Art Museum for the Photography Council’s Brown Bag lunch and presentation by an enthusiastic photographer and then I wander around downtown until it is time to catch MAX, public transport, and head home.

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Holga PAN

I haven’t used my Holga 120 panoramic camera in a long time. On a road trip to Central Oregon last week I decided to pop in a roll of Kodak Portra 400 and try this camera again. So many times I feel like if I am taking a photo then I should use a really good camera, like my Hasselblad or Leica. But then when I use one of my plastic cameras I am surprised how much I like the low fidelity images.

Hope you enjoy them:Oregon_Holga PAN341

Oregon_Holga PAN342

Oregon_Holga PAN343

This next one is a double exposure where I turned the camera upside down for the second shot:

Oregon_Holga PAN344

All these photos were right out of the camera. I did no editing in Photoshop. You only get 4 images on a roll of 120 film, but I think it’s worth the low frame count. I keep hearing people on the Lensless Podcast talk about the Holga Pinhole WPC and it is probably the only Holga I don’t own. I am wondering if I can drop a laser-cut brass pinhole into this panoramic camera? Hmmmm.

Keep using film!



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