There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Thursday, August 13, 2015

52@52 Week 2

Week 2 of my 52 week photography project. This week, I took my Calumet CC-401 4×5 view camera out to Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, loaded with New55 instant film from the New55 Project. It’s an attempt to recreate the magic of Polaroid Type 55 film, where you got a print and a negative in large format. I backed them on Kickstarter, but I’m still waiting for my reward. They’re having financial challenges, so they’re selling some of the early film they make and shipping some of it to Kickstarter backers. So I got a pack of it.

I decided this week to try to shoot the aging buildings of Officer’ Row at Fort Hancock. Many of these beautiful blonde brick buildings, which once housed Coast Guard officers billeted on the hook, are in advancing states of disrepair. The roofs over the porches are typically held up from falling down completely by 2×6es, and the porches themselves are mostly rotted through. The railings seem to disappear more year after year. It’s a real pity; the buildings are gorgeous. The American Littoral Society uses one of the ones that has been maintained, and I’ve been inside. It would be good to see them preserved and put to good use before they deteriorate irretrievably.

The camera here was, as I said, a Calumet CC-401 View Camera. The lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 210mm lens in a Copal shutter. I shot the New55 film at ISO 100; they rate it between 100 and 200, but I thought an earlier shot I did at 160 was a little off in its exposure. The film was processed in a Polaroid 545i holder/processor and left to develop for the prescribed four minutes; the negative was then fixed in Photographer’s Formulary TD-4 fixer and washed for ten minutes, then scanned in an Epson 4990 scanner.

Scan of the print of a New55 photo of a building on Officers Row at Sandy Hook, New Jersey

The print is pretty high contrast. It has an interesting look.

Scan of the print of a New55 photo of a building on Officers Row at Sandy Hook, New Jersey

The negative seems to have a lot more information than the print.

Posted at 9:03 PM

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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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