“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” - Ernest Hemingway
“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.”
- Pink Floyd. Time.
I have a large format pinhole camera that takes really, really wide angle shots. I have been struggling with it since I got it. I can’t quite figure out how to compose a shot, or even what the best kind of shot is for this camera. So I decided to burn film through this mutha so I can maybe learn something about how it works. I’ve spent a lot of quality time with this camera lately.
A few weeks ago I was in a “Dark Side Of The Moon” mood and listened to this album several times from beginning to end. This song, these lyrics, really stood out for me at that time. As these lyrics were rattling around in my mind I came up with the idea for this photo (this is kind of rare for me: coming up with a concept for a photo before actually taking the photo. I usually just take my camera out and see what inspires me in the moment). I was curious to see what would happen if I pinholed a clock’s arms moving around in a circle. So I tried it. My original idea was to start the photo at 11:11 (I have a thing about 11:11) and I did do that, but the shot turned out over exposed. This was the second shot and it came out better exposed.
Is this the best photo I have ever taken in my life? No. But I learned some things from it. I learned that having an theme, or an idea in your mind is a good way to get inspiration. I may kick around more photos around “time” as a theme.
I also learned that for this camera you have to get in very, very, very close. This was close and it wasn’t even close enough. Also, I like the way still life looks with this camera (using 4×5 sheet film), as opposed to landscape. I think the crazy vignetting works well with still life. So. Note to self.
My latest on 52 rolls! Raf and I spent the weekend at the beach a couple of weeks ago and I took a lot of photos. There are tons more to share in future posts.
Originally posted on 52 rolls:
After seeing the wonderful results on 52 rolls, I wanted to try my hand at Cinestill too. I loaded it up in my new favorite camera: the Olympus XA, and headed to the beach for the weekend. Unfortunately, I am not immediately in love with the results I got with this film. There are a few that I liked (shown below), but generally I am feeling kind of “meh.” My negatives were quite scratched. And there was a bit too much grain for my liking.
The problem, I realized, is that I didn’t shoot this roll under the right lighting conditions. For my next roll I will follow the instructions and shoot using the correct lighting.
I don’t remember what the impetus was, but I found myself today doing a Google search for “Big Spiders in the Bay Area.” The first result is this website from Berkeley which informs us of spiders most frequently encountered in the Bay Area. Looking at these photos makes me feel a fear that I can’t fully describe in words. It is a fear that I feel deep inside me, at the core of my being. The kind of fear that makes me physically react with nausea.
My spider research today was prompted by a memory from when I was a nanny living in Menlo Park. I was in the sitting room hanging out with the little girl I took care of when I saw a creature hanging out in one of her Lego structures. It was a creature that I couldn’t pinpoint because I’d never seen anything like it. I guess it was a giant spider – that is the only way to describe it. It wasn’t a tarantula though because it wasn’t fuzzy. It had a shiny surface. It was horrific and large and it scared the shit out of both of us. I decided that I didn’t know what to do with it so the best course of action would be to ignore it and hope that it would go away. We left the room and played somewhere else and it, in fact, went away and I never saw it again. But in the back of my mind I wondered where it went and if I would encounter it again. I also wondered if I imagined the whole thing because I have never seen anything like it again.
I had a conversation with the parents of the little girl about it and they encountered one of these “things” as well – in the same room. The mom said that the thing tried to run away from her and she had to stab it several times with a pen to kill it (!!!) but it didn’t die, it ran away. The father encountered it later and killed it by putting it in the garbage disposal. Hearing about the demise of this creature kind of horrified me, as scary as it was to encounter it myself. It’s presence scared me, yes. But did it deserve to die such a terrible death? I’m sure it didn’t!
I have never seen one of these things again, and when I asked around about it I never got any answers either. Nobody I knew in the Bay Area had ever seen anything like the thing I described.
Something (I can’t remember what) prompted me to remember this and search Google to see if I could figure out what this thing was. And I did. I’m pretty sure it was a Calisoga longitarsus, otherwise known as a False Tarantula. I know it by looking at the picture. I will never forget what it looked like.
“Only love can conquer hate.”