On a rainy day

The rain is pouring down in Portland. I can hear it pounding on my windows. The wind causes tree limbs to brush the side of the house. Might as well get up even though it is only 4:00 a.m. It is a common occurrence in my life. I’m a very light sleeper. What to do with the extra time?

I decided to go through some old pinhole photos as I am looking for images I have made that are within 10 miles of my home to submit for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day that I am attending in Norwich, England. I’m excited as I have a distant relative buried in one of the churchyards. Hope I can find him……he was the mayor in the 1600’s.

While I was searching old files I realized several things when I use my pinhole camera:

  1. I take a lot of pinhole images in coffee shops and restaurants
  2. I take a lot of pinhole images of roadside crap
  3. I have very very few pinhole images within 10 miles of home except those I have taken in my house
  4. I must get out and find interesting photo ops near my home

But it’s raining. It’s not a drizzle. It’s a downpour. So thought I’d start posting some of these images I have re-dsicovered. There are so many I will need to share them in parts. Here is Part I:


Kenny and Zukes, SW Portland


Fullers, NW 9th and Davis. I’ve been eating here since the mid 70’s


Pelican Pub, Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast


Fireside Room for clam chowder, Cannon beach Oregon. not my favorite clam chowder


always room for ice cream, Pearl District, NW Portland

I actually don’t eat in restaurants very often especially now that I have gone vegetarian, but when I do I almost always make a pinhole image. I don’t do it just for the photos but also because the long exposures make me slow down and enjoy the food. Restaurant exposures can vary from a couple of minutes to 45 minutes, as in the Pelican Pub restaurant. Often people stop at my table to ask what I’m doing and when they learn I am exposing a photo they usually jump out of the way. I try to explain the ‘long exposure phenomenon’ and as you can see no person shows up at my table in these images.

The rain hasn’t stopped so now it’s time to make some portraits at home with one of my 4×5 cameras. Rain doesn’t stop those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest. Nor does lack of sleep it seems.

(my restaurant pinhole cameras of choice are : Zero Image, Ondu, Reality So Subtle and Innova. These were all made with Kodak Ektar 100 and scanned on an Epson V700)

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4×5 pinhole work

Spent my weekend making some 4 x 5 images with my Titan Pinhole camera.

My constraints included making photos within 10 miles of my home. Typically when I am out and about making photos I travel much further away from home. So this was a chance to stretch my horizons to closer to home.

The oak tree is in a natural area just steps from my front door. I liked the old tree with the newer cell tower in the background:


Graham Oaks tree and me. 6 second exposure.

The Boone Bridge is named after that Boone, Daniel Boone’s family:


The Boone Railroad bridge over the Willamette River. 7 second exposure

There are several of these abandoned electric buildings up and down the railroad lines in Oregon:


Donald Electrical co-op building 7 second exposure

I continue to add to my series “empty tables and chairs”:


empty chairs in Donald, Oregon 20 second exposure

walked down to this lake near Mt St helens in Washington:


Coldwater lake in Washington 8 second exposure

(all these photos were taken with a Titan 4×5 pinhole camera using various Ilford films)

Now time to get back into the darkroom to develop more sheets of film.

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When it goes wrong

When it goes wrong you might as well really go for it. I call it a learning experience. I have not owned my Leica MP very long. I’ve only put three rolls of film through it. I have many cameras. So sometimes it is easy to forget how to unload and load the film. Each camera has its unique ways to do things.

So after two days of shooting up near Mt St Helens in Washington, I was crushed to find out I opened the back of my camera before all the film was rolled back into the canister. If you shoot film you know the sinking feeling that gives you. I wanted to cry.

I quickly closed the back and rewound the rest of the film. Two days of shooting down the drain. The weather had been perfect too. It might be Spring before we dry out again.

To make matters worse, I like to unload my film in low light or no light. So I went into my guest bathroom which has two doors so that I can have complete darkness. I unplugged the automatic nightlight. So after I closed the back of my camera I noticed a light leak coming in around the second door. What? I unplugged it. Right, but it seems it kept flashing even though it wasn’t plugged in. I am doomed. Note to self: take night light out of the bathroom.

Still took in the film to have developed and much to my surprise I only lost about 10 frames. This is what you get when you open the back of the camera when you shouldn’t have……..

These were the last two frames I shot so they are the worst:Oregon_Leica295


Mt St Helens, Washington

Not as bad as I got past the first few frames:




Sorry, but I could not be bothered to crop, edit or correct any of these.

(all taken with a Leica MP and Kodak Portra 400 film)

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Not sure why I am attracted to making images of abandoned buildings. It seems whenever we hit the backroads of Oregon we come across these relics. I always wonder who lived there, how old is the place and why was it abandoned. On our way home from Salem we decided to stay off the Interstate 5 and drive the back way home. Glad we did, because we stumbled onto this old house.



stairs to nowhere

I’d love to have that door


needs a little electrical work


back screen door without the screen


hearth and home

(all photos were taken with a Leica MP and Kodak Portraits 400. Only my third roll through this camera)

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I enjoy libraries. I like to make pinhole images in libraries. A few weeks ago I was in Seattle and visited the Seattle Central Library. It’s a very modern building with lots of glass and architectural features. I made a few pinhole images. All were at least 10 minute long exposures. The one of the book stacks was hand-held because my Gorilla Pod just wouldn’t stay put on the railing. I used Kodak Ektar 100 film in a Zero Image 2000 pinhole camera.




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Walking neighborhoods

We live in a society where our cars dominate our mode of transportation. Sometimes it is nice to set out on foot and explore an area that you normally just drive through. Over the past 7 or 8 years I have been trying to visit different neighborhoods in Portland with my Hasselblad 500CM, a few rolls of film, and good walking shoes. I have a long way to go to visit all the places I’d still like to photograph. With all the in-fill building going around in our city I want to document what is there ‘now’ because tomorrow it could be gone to make way for more tiny apartments with huge rents. “The times they are a changin”.

After dropping off some film to have processed at Blue Moon Camera in St. Johns, I decided to start walking down N. Lombard Street toward the I-5 freeway. These are a few of the photos I made on my walk. I have much more walking and photographing to do in 2018.

I discovered that there are always plenty of coffee shops along the way:


Coffee time



And places to get a bite to eat:



or stop and watch a movie:


Hit a garden center or appliance store:



But don’t forget to wander around behind the shop fronts. I enjoy taking photos down back alleys and have a whole series just about alleyways.



One thing is for sure, you’ll find new construction everywhere:


(photos were taken with my Hasselblad 500 CM and Kodak Portra film)


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Looking for junk in all the right places

Hitting the road again in Oregon looking for abandoned buildings and relics using my Hasselblad 500CM and Kodak film. Happy hunting.

Hasselblad _142-Edit

Hasselblad _gas140-EditHasselblad _144-EditHasselblad _147-Edit

And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Drive safely. No photo is worth your life.

Posted in American Roadside, film, from my car, Hasselblad, Oregon, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment