There Is No Cat

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

52@52 Week 18

We have a creek running through our back yard. There are a lot of trees on either side of the creek. Some of them are awfully close to the edge of the creek. This one is right across the creek from our house and has its root structure exposed. I decided this might make an interesting photo.

A tree with its root structure exposed

When I was a teenager, my dad and I moved the creek slightly to protect a tree on our side of the creek that also had this kind of exposure. It worked; that tree does not have quite this level of root exposure, and seems fine. This tree, I worry it will fall on our house one of these days. Maybe I should move the creek again. We were like our own version of the Army Corps of Engineers, doing stuff that was half impossible and probably not a great idea in the long run, but that accomplished what we intended it to, damn the long term consequences.

I shot this with the Calumet CC-401 4×5. I’m hoping that the two other large format cameras I have on order will be showing up soon, but they keep not showing up. I’m hopeful that they will both be here by Christmas. In the meantime, I keep shooting with the Calumet and my Berlebach tripod, and the Schneider Kreuznach Symmar-S 210mm f/5.6 lens. This shot was taken at f/11 with a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second. The film was New55 P/N, and this scan is of the negative. The positive came out better than many of the positives I’ve gotten with this film. It was in focus, which is a good thing. The guys at New55 are making strides with this film. It’s getting better. I still find it hard to work with, though. I had to try this shot three times before I got one that worked. The first two came out completely dark. I don’t know if it’s a problem with my film holder (likely) or with the film. I think that I have problems getting it all the way in, and that as a result, the carrier doesn’t lock and the negative doesn’t stay in place, resulting in a negative that doesn’t get exposed. At $17 a shot, that is a painful lesson.

I noticed that the New55 guys are saying they’ve fulfilled 50% of their Kickstarter pledges, which is great. I suspect they’re measuring by number of packs rather than number of backers, because I’m backer number 1,102 out of 2,475, and if math serves me correctly, 50% of 2,475 is greater than 1,102. In any case, I think that means I will be getting my Kickstarter reward of two packages of New55 P/N film (5 shots per package) in the not-too-distant future. It is a really interesting film. Flaky as hell, and damn, you have to do everything exactly right to get a useful image out of it. For this image, I did almost everything exactly right. I don’t think I pulled the slipcover out quite far enough, and my reward for that is a picture that's not quite fully a 4×5 photograph. But hell, I like it anyway.

I just barely got this one under the wire. I shot it this afternoon as I was working from home. As I mentioned, the first two attempts didn't work at all. As a backup, I was shooting Impossible Project test color 2.0 film in my SX-70 with a MiNT Lens Set close-up lens, just in case this one didn’t turn out. I was putting stuff in my Foldio2, another Kickstarter project, a lightbox with the capability to use color backdrops. Maybe I’ll post some of those photos here as well as bonus items. They came out kinda funky; it was like the Impossible Project film didn’t like the color temperature of the LEDs in the Foldio and made the background look kind of yellow-white instead of the white it actually was.

It’s hard to keep shooting something every single week. The conditions I set on this project were that the photos I post have to be completely created within the previous week, and that they have to be on film. I’m finding it hard to find inspiration every single week. But I haven’t missed a deadline yet, which is the idea; make me shoot something, anything, each and every week, even if it’s crap. 18 weeks down, 34 to go. I guess that means I’m just past one third of the way through this project. Yay me. Maybe I’ll post a photo I like one of these weeks.

Posted at 8:02 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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