Self At Hug Point

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Self at Hug Point

Today’s photoblog image is another paper negative, taken a couple of weeks ago when I visited Hug Point on the Oregon Coast. This is an interesting place. I shot a lot of pinhole there and am hoping I can squeeze a Pinhole Obscura post out of my visit there.

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Geeky bits:
Camera: Zero 4×5; 25mm configuration
Paper: Illford glossy something or other
Develop: Illford multigrade

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

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Way back in April, (the 26th to be exact) there was a meeting in Portland of pinhole photographers from around the world. It was an epic day. It started at 6:30 am with a sunrise meetup and ended around 10:00 pm and bowling. So much fun was had by all. It was completely awesome to meet several of my online friends for the very first time, and to see other online friends again. Next year we are planning on meeting in Barcelona for WPPD and I can’t wait. Raf and I are already making plans for our holiday there! (If you’ve been there and have ideas for things we must see let me know!).

There is a really wonderful set of images from everyone who attended our #GitTogether that day on the Pinholeday.org gallery. Check it out here!

It was really hard to choose the photo I wanted to submit for WPPD gallery, but in the end I chose the Keep Portland Weird photo I featured on my blog a few weeks ago.

Here are more pinhole images from the day.

The Human Statue

The Human Statue. Terrapin Bijou and Ektar 100.

The Florist

The Florist. Terrapin Bijou and Ektar 100.

The Violin Player

The Violin Player. Terrapin Bijou and Ektar 100.

The cat and the monkey

The Cat and the Monkey. Zero 2000 and Acros 100.

Gretchen at Newspace

Gretchen at Newspace. Zero 2000 and Acros 100.

Bowling for Bagdad

Bowling for Bagdad (accidental double exposure). Zero 2000 and Acros 100.

Enjoy the silence

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Yesterday I went to my third-ever all day meditation retreat. I have to admit, I was little anxious about going a few days before I went. And if I was being really honest with myself, I was a little cranky about going. The thought of spending an entire day doing nothing but sitting and breathing and not talking to anyone sounded excruciatingly boring. I could think of a million other things I wanted to do. I could think of a million things I probably should otherwise be doing on one of my days of the weekend.

But I went because I knew that I needed to go.

I practice Buddhism in the Sōtō Zen tradition, which focuses on zazen (sitting meditation). And this is what we did for most of the day. We sat for 20 minutes, and then we would do something else to break up the zazen, like walking meditation, or work practice (cleaning, gardening, etc). We had a formal lunch, and we even did a form of meditation called Mondo (which is really cool). These extra things broke up the day in-between periods of sitting. We were not to speak to each other the entire day unless it was to give very brief instructions during the periods between zazen.

It seems weird to not talk to other people, almost rude actually. However, once you are in this kind of setting you realize that you can communicate with other beings without words. No I don’t mean telepathic mind-meld. I am just saying that words are only one way we communicate. Maybe we don’t need to  constantly be speaking to one another.  It’s ok to explore not speaking to other humans who are in the same room with you. You know?

The first 20 minutes of meditation first thing in the morning I almost panicked because I sat there, bored and wondered if this is what I was going to be dealing with all day. Not a great way to start things off.

But then my mind settled and I fell into a groove of watching my breath and my thoughts.

At some point in the afternoon I realized that I was, very much, enjoying the silence. My life is full of chatter and noise. I work in a public library and noise comes at me from so many directions. And I am an introvert – so this chatter tends to tire me out. I have gotten used to living with this constant chatter that I don’t even notice it anymore. Until it isn’t there. So I was really grateful for the lack of chatter yesterday. It allowed me to really follow what was going on inside my head, and it allowed me to put  some space around all of the thoughts so I could watch them arise and fall as they drifted through my mind.

Interesting thing that happened: all of those things that I felt like “I should otherwise be doing” didn’t matter at the end of the day. And they still don’t matter.

Self On Lake Shore

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self on lake shore (pinhole)

Today’s photoblog is a pinhole self portrait I took a few weeks ago at Trillium Lake. It is my first paper negative. I have since made several more images using photographic paper and I’m really enjoying learning how to do this. I will post more about this in a future blog post.

I might have mentioned that I really love doing pinhole self portraits. I don’t know why, but the why is not really important I guess.* The point is that I am drawn to this kind of photography.

I have been reading The Diary Of Anaïs Nin and am very much inspired by it. It reminds me that I used to write more about myself and my life on this blog and I miss it. I might return to that kind of writing here (in addition to the photography, of course).

And, while we are on the subject of self reflection, I think that this will be the first of a series of pinhole self portraits for awhile on my photo blog.

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Geeky bits
Camera: Zero Image 4×5 25mm configuration
Paper: Illford RC glossy (I think?)
Development: Illford multigrade developer 1 minute 20 seconds.

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I’ve got a peaceful, easy feeling

Get your kicks on Route 66
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The desert. I promised I would write about the desert.

A couple of months ago I visited my Dad and stepmother at their new winter home in Needles California. Needles is on the border of California and Arizona, located in the Mojave Desert. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I grew up in Spokane, WA, which is on the edge of a desert, and we drove through it on our way to other places. So my experience with the desert is limited to the High Desert of Eastern Washington.

I was delighted to finally visit this part of the country. I’ve never been to Arizona. I had an interesting reaction to this place. I felt very at-home here. It surprised me, frankly. I am not a hot-weather person. Physically, I don’t do well in anything above 80 degrees. But the heat didn’t bother me on this trip. I was really entranced by the place. It’s stunning in it’s stark beauty. The emptiness calmed me, made me feel at peace.

The history is interesting as well. Needles is on Route 66 and was once a very thriving town. The town has fallen into poverty in the years since Route 66 is no longer used as much. There are lots of vestiges from this time period. It’s both romantic and sad at the same time.

Here are some photos I took while I was there. The color shots were taken with my pinhole camera, and the black and white were made with an Olympus XA.

I was hoping to make it to the Grand Canyon, but unfortunately we couldn’t get out there this time. It is, for sure, on the books for next year.

You can read about Oatman Arizona at Pinhole Obscura, where I recently wrote a blog post about it. Many of the photos above were taken there.

thrifty $1

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Thrifty $1

This is the last of my Sandy In Black And White series for now. I need to load my Holga with more Tri-x and wait for a rainy day.

This is one of the latest business in what is known as The Junker Building. For reasons I don’t understand, businesses do not stay around for very long here. It makes me kind of sad. This thrift shop has been holding steady for several months though.

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Geeky Bits
Camera: Holga 120N
Film: Tri-x
Development; Stand developed for 1 hour in Adonal.