Photo Exploration | Wallpaper: Pinhole and Marcos

February 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

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!