There Is No Cat

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Thursday, February 25, 2016

52@52 Week 30

I have been sick.

I have not been into the city at all since last Thursday. I’ve barely been out of the house most days. So I looked for photos locally. This was taken from my driveway.


I’m not happy with this. The depth of field is too shallow, and the stuff that’s supposed to be in focus is even a little blurry. But this is pretty much all I shot, this and one other shot from my driveway that I was even less happy with.

I shot this with my Intrepid and my Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 at f/5.6, 1/50 of a second, on Fuji Velvia 100. I self-developed it. I’m happier with this development than I was with the RetroChrome 320 I mentioned last week, but it’s still hard to gauge how good this E6 kit is because I have not worked with Velvia much. I know it gives intense colors, and I certainly see that in this shot, taken about an hour after sunrise, just as the light peeks over the houses and through the trees in my neighborhood. I’m going to have to shoot a roll of something I know well, like the Ektachrome 100 or 64 I have in my film fridge.

This wheelbarrow is about 40 years old. My parents bought it when they bought this house. It’s been outside most of the years since then, so it’s acquired the patina of age (or, bluntly, rust).

I ordered a Linhof viewfinder from KEH yesterday so I can try to more accurately frame shots with my Wanderlust Travelwide. The sportsfinder it comes with just doesn’t make it easy.

Posted at 9:30 AM
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Thursday, February 18, 2016

52@52 Week 29

So much shooting this, so little to show for it.

Last Friday, I took out my Canonet QL-17, loaded with the Film Photography Project’s RetroChrome 320, government surplus Ektachrome that they say “looks a little warm” I self developed it with an E-6 kit I got from them, and boy, was it warm. Positively yellow. Not as bad as the time I shot much of a roll of Ektachrome through a yellow filter on our Rolleiflex, but not something I was happy with, either.

So then on the weekend, I took the Wanderlust Travelwide out to the boardwalk in Asbury Park with one holder loaded with Kodak Portra 400. I took what I thought were a couple of pretty good shots. Unfortunately, I messed up, and they wound up on the same piece of film. Measure twice, cut once. The double exposure was interesting, kind of, but I’m really sorry I messed up the shot inside the arcade at Convention Hall.

I wasn’t happy with any of the shots I took with my Polaroid SX-70 that day, either.

So, last chance, brought the Travelwide to work with me yesterday, one holder, again loaded with Portra 400.

443 Greenwich

I’m reasonably happy with this shot of Winston Churchill Square in Greenwich Village, a short walk from the office.

I shot this at f/11, 1/100 of a second, and developed it in a Jobo C-41 kit, the way I develop all my color negative film. Because of the threes overhead, there’s less light than I would have liked. And it’s impossible to accurately frame a photo with the sports viewfinder Wanderlust provides. It might help if they posted some instructions for how to best use it to their site at 4× (clever URL, that).

The Travelwide is an interesting camera. It lends itself to more snapshot-like photos than I usually associate with large format cameras. That’s probably not a good thing, especially since the thing I value about shooting large format is the thinking process in setting up a shot. But damn, it sure is light and convenient, and I can see myself taking it out on the street at lunchtime a lot more than the Intrepid.

Posted at 7:58 PM
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

52@52 Week 28

So here’s my first shot with the Wanderlust Travelwide.

443 Greenwich

I shot this in Tribeca, a few blocks south of my office. I love the cobblestone streets in this part of town. It makes New York seem so old at the same time the construction is making it new.

I put my 1937 beater Angulon 90mm f/6.8 on the camera. Shot this with Arista EDU Ultra 400, developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 11 minutes.

I like the Travelwide. It is amazingly light. I feel the Intrepid, which is also light, when I put it in my backpack. The Travelwide I feel a lot less. I wish I had a lens that wasn’t soft in the corners. Maybe I’ll try the 1972 Angulon on the camera, but I think it showed pretty much the same softness when I used it on the Intrepid.

I loaded up a couple of holders with Portra 400, and I bought some Velvia 100 from B&H and an E6 development kit from the Film Photography Project, so I’ll probably be posting some color shots in the next few weeks. I’ve never developed my own E6 film before; I do my own black and white, and have also done my own C-41 negatives for years, but I’ve always farmed out my transparency film. I was happy with how LTI Lightside did them, but with the office move, it’s not so easy to get there at lunch time. Maybe the Lomography store on 8th Street would do it, but I doubt they would have same day turnaround. Anyway, something new to try. Always there’s something new to try.

Posted at 4:11 AM
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

52@52 Week 27

I took the Intrepid in to work with me on Tuesday, and went out and shot a bit at lunch time. It really requires a tripod, and there isn’t anything to hook a strap to, so it’s a little unwieldy for that situation, but I managed.

Snowed In

This is right behind my office, on Greenwich Street and Houston. These bikes are all over the city. I’ve never ridden one, though, because Laura thinks I’ll get killed if I do. I’m still fascinated by them, though.

Shot this on Arista EDU Ultra 400 at f/32, 1/60 of a second. Developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 11 minutes.

My Wanderlust Travelwide finally showed up on Tuesday, after taking a tour of some other part of my town on Monday when the Post Office loaded the package on the wrong truck. The tracking site said they had tried to deliver but couldn’t find a secure location to leave the package. For future reference, that’s code for “we fucked up, but don’t want it on our record, so we’ll say it’s your fault.” That’s paraphrasing what the guy at the P. O. told me when I called Tuesday morning to complain that they said they had left a notice, but there was no notice to be found. Anyway, the camera is here, and I’ve mounted an Angulon 90mm f/6.8 lens on it (a junker made in 1937 that I found in Columbus, Ohio, for $50, not the Linhof branded one I originally bought for the Travelwide, which I may keep in its lensboard and use with the Intrepid), but it requires calibration, and work is crazy busy this week, so I haven’t had time to do that. Next week I hope to post something from that.

Posted at 6:27 AM
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This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi. (E-mail address removed due to virus proliferation.)

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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