The last on my bucket list

No, not a place, but a thing…a camera thing. The last camera on my list of ‘desires’ was a Leica. I finally fulfilled it with the purchase of a 2003 Leica MP that I bought at Blue Moon Camera in Portland, Oregon. My favorite camera has always been my Hasselblad 500CM. I like medium format and the detail I get from the results, but in the back of my mind I knew I wanted a Leica to use on the streets.

So this is my first roll through the camera. I used the new film from the Japan Camera Hunter, JCH 400. I was warned that it is dark, kind of film noir look. I love film noir so thought I’d go with it. I now wish I had chosen Ilford as my photos are very dark. I have more rolls of JCH 400 and I will use them, but I may increase my exposure times to get a bit more detail in the shadows.

I was also trying to use ‘zone focusing’ which I have not done before. I got mixed results. I’ll need to do a lot more work on this before I am comfortable.

For these first photos I did not spend time in post process, obviously. I left all the hairs and dust. I am not very happy with my results so can’t be bothered spending hours in front of a computer screen removing all the imperfections. It’s film after all.

My conclusion is that I love the camera and it is now constantly in my bag. I plan to try some other films before going back to the JCH 400.

These photos were taken on the streets of Portland and Seattle.


Posted in Daily Life, film, Photography, street photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Halloweentown Part II

Yesterday I shared pinhole images of my trip to Halloweentown. Today I thought I’d share some photos of some of the characters I met while I was there.

in costume

Dorothy and the Scarecrow




Gooner with humans


I had to include the creepy dentist since I am a retired dental hygienist, known to have sick humor…..sometimes


taking no prisoners

Zombie police

Good sports. Posed for both Hassie and pinhole photos

a cutie

This little girl was very happy to have me take her photo.

(all photos were taken with my Hasselblad 500Cm and Fuji 400 film. Scanned on an Epson V850)

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Halloweentown, Part I

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


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


orange and black tights


Seems I can’t have the building and the pirate completely straight


Wouldn’t be Halloween without a Haunted House


no one is safe

Zombie Police

The Zombie police did a good job with crowd control.

metal pumpkin

metal sculpture

You can still visit Halloweentown this coming weekend. It is worth the drive. Every light post going into the town is decorated with some sort of creature. Houses and businesses are decorated. There are also many antique stores and restaurants to visit. Or walk down to the river…it’s beautiful.

(all photos were taken with my Zero Image pinhole camera and Kodak Ektar 100 film. Exposures averaged between 3 and 15 seconds.)




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Beaverton with my Hasselblad

Several years ago I started a series called ‘neighborhoods’. I wandered around different neighborhoods in Portland making photos of businesses, houses, trash or whatever caught my eye. Then came my foot injury and my days of walking  for miles and hours was over……for awhile anyway. Now I am trying to get back into the series. I started by going a little west of Portland to the suburb of Beaverton.

Beaverton has a long history, some of it maybe not very nice but today it is home to more than 100,000 people and being located just 7 miles from downtown Portland it is a home to many who commute every day into the city….as the road congestion easily demonstrates. It was named, in 2010, one of the best small cities to live. I lived in the Beaverton area from 1977-1986 when Murray Rd was a two-lane country road, but now a very busy thoroughfare. The commute into Portland got to us and we moved closer in to Raleigh Hills, neither part of Portland or Beaverton, although both cities continue the fight to annex it. 20 years later I moved further out again, but since I am retired now the traffic doesn’t bother me… much.

So on a Saturday in October I decided to hit the streets of the old part of Beaverton. To me, it looks tired and run down, not the vibrant downtown I remember 40 years ago. Ugh, was it really that long ago? Beaverton was once the home to Native Americans before it was settled by white men during the 19th century. Their village was called ‘Chakeipi’ which means ‘the Place of the Beaver’. I didn’t find any historical markers or monuments commemorating this tribe, the Atfalati.

So starts my neighborhood series once again.

Beaverton Bakery

It’s still here even though earlier this year they were found to have rats. yuck. My wedding cake was made here in 1977 and I hope there was no rat poo on it. lol


Came across this man practicing with his dummy….see reflection in glass. I am not very brave to approach strangers but wish I had the courage to make a portrait of these two

old movie theater

Now part of the bakery

shoe repair

still one of the best shoe repair shops around

dance studio

I was surprised to see this place still in business

the Round

I thought these apartments would have been a great place to live if you commuted as it sits along the mass transit tracks. It went through years and years of bad press due to a mold outbreak. I guess it was finally fixed because people live here now.

just because

Just happened to be at the right place to make this photo


the back side of some of the shops


Not sure if they are feeding rats, nutria, or pets. I didn’t go down for a closer look.

I still need to go back and make photos of the housing areas and places I used to frequent. For now, I leave Beaverton and head home.

(all photos were taken with my Hasselblad 500Cm with Kodak Portra 400 film, scanned on an Epson V850).

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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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alley_Hassie_4800449 (1)

(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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