This week has taken a little longer to publish, but it has taken more time to put together a mixed Wallpaper and Exploration post.
I have recently become mildly obsessed with pinhole photography, perhaps wanting to have a bridge from the low-fi reproduction with the technical know-how to create viable pinhole works. That said, I don’t always succeed in my own efforts. It is important to remember when shooting film what film you actually have in the camera. Otherwise you end up shooting Superia X‑Tra 400 speed film at 1600, thinking you can just develop it yourself at 1600. But then you open the camera back and whoops — it’s color, and getting a lab to push C‑41 is a bit of a pain. So what you get instead is just 2 full stops of underexposed images on film stock that really doesn’t tolerate underexposure in the best of circumstances. Throw in the pinhole lens and we’ve got a mess.
All that said, with the right expectations, a black and white conversion, patience in processing and a little luck, you can still get a workable image. Or at least, the kind of a workable image that can be part of a final product.
So that’s how we got the base layer.
Regarding the trees, there was a really foggy morning last week. I woke up, grabbed a digital camera (5dmk2 with 24–70mm) and ran outside to get some of the trees before the fog started to burn away. That’s a key thing I’ve learned about fog — if it looks good, photograph then and there. Don’t wait — the sun will rise and the vapors will lift remarkably quickly. It’s the morning version of the silver hour at twilight — gone before you notice.
I didn’t have much of a plan for the photos, but I desperately wanted to document the images. Once I opened up the files I thought, “hey — not bad — maybe…wait.…maybe they could be.…yes!”
I generally am not keen on layering, and even less combining digital and film, but for this image I could not resist.
Pinhole, Trees and Marcos
So, to get this image I loaded the pinhole in Photoshop and took the trees as a second layer. By using the Color Dodge blend, I could keep enough detail of both layers. Other reasonable results were found using the Linear Dodge and Overlay modes, but the Color Dodge was best from what I could get. I left a large amount of the residual muck from scanning intact. My scanner was pretty dirty and I didn’t notice until after I had scanned a few images, but I liked the look and left it there.
All told, I don’t know what this image is saying. I like the light, the figure with the hat, the trees and all of it put together. Sometimes something that works for me just works for me and that’s that. Prescribing a meaning to it isn’t necessary. That said, if you have an interpretation please share it with me!