Pinhole Day

Cherry Blossoms

Pinhole Day is only two days away! Well, technically, it’s three days away, but since the last Sunday of April this year is also Easter Sunday, they will accept pinhole photos taken between April 23 and May 1. You don’t get three days a week to come up with a pinhole photo to submit to pinholeday.org every year, I can tell you that much! That’s why I urge you to participate. It’s fun, and you’ll be amazed with the results if it works out. Emphasis on ‘if it works out’ because sometimes it doesn’t, but you know, there’s always next year.

Last week I built myself a pinhole camera out of a smallish cardboard box for the body and stuck to it is a roll film back from a vintage press camera we won in a live auction in Paris (Ontario, not France) years ago. The pinhole is made from my favourite material: pie tin (the thin, disposable kind; easy to puncture). I meant to take it out for a test roll last weekend, but alas, the weather just wouldn’t cooperate. I’ll just have to guesstimate the exposure time this weekend.

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Failing Memories

Messy Kitchen

Don’t you hate it when you have some memories from a long, long time ago come back to you just when you are about to fall asleep and you promise yourself that you’re going to blog about it the next day but when the next day comes you can’t remember anything about it anymore? I had three of those memories last night. Three! I wish I could remember what they are because those memories made me feel warm and fuzzy. Oh well. Maybe they’ll come back to me again some other time. I keep meaning to put a notebook and a pen on the night table to help me remember things like this, but I keep forgetting. I’m having trouble remembering to do something that’s meant to help me remember! Ah, the irony of getting old.

Developing B&W film with Tea

Developing B&W film with Tea

UPDATE: I posted my very own tea developer recipe here!

After searching the web for information on tea-based film developer and not finding much, except for this rather inspiring forum thread, I decided to just bite the bullet and make my own tea developer based on what little information I had. I didn’t have black tea but I did have some orange pekoe, green, peppermint, and pomegranate green teas in my kitchen cupboard so I thought, what the heck, let’s get some water in a saucepan, throw some tea bags into it, boil it, mix it with vitamin C and washing soda, and see what happens!

While the teas were steeping, I shot a roll of Fuji Acros 100 around the house with my long-abandoned Chinese medium format SLR camera, the Great Wall DF. If the tea developer didn’t work, I wouldn’t be too sad because I can always re-shoot the same things all over again some other time if I want to.

While I was busy preparing the film for developing, Troy got home from work and insisted on going grocery shopping. I didn’t really want to wait until we got back home to develop the film. Originally, I thought I’d do a 30 or 45-minute development, agitating every 3 or 5 minutes, but since we had to go, I decided to do a 2-hour semi-stand development. I ended up agitating only 3 times in total. Then I washed and fixed as normal and washed again. And then, the moment of truth: did it work? It did! Yaaay!

I did notice the white spots on the negatives when I was hanging it to dry but didn’t think much about it until I started scanning and saw the many dark spots on the scans. It was kind of disheartening at first but then it grew on me. The dark spots actually give a vintagey feel to the shots which I find rather endearing. I hope that I’ll be able to replicate the effect the next time I decide to develop with tea again, which is going to be soon. I really can’t wait to experiment again with different combinations of tea!

If you’re interested, there’s a couple more pictures from the roll developed in tea (other than the one at the beginning of this post) in this Flickr set.

I am Canadian!

Spring Migration of Tundra Swans

I don’t enjoy hockey, don’t skate or ski, but I like snow in the wintertime (the more the better, with strong emphasis on ‘in the wintertime’).

I find the winter landscape beautiful.

I’ve been out and about with a camera when the temperature is under -10°C simply because I felt like it.

I’ve been to Winnipeg in winter where I walked the frozen Red River and celebrated Louis Riel Day with the locals at Le Festival du Voyageur.

I’ve had ice-cream cravings in winter.

I’ve seen the Northern Lights.

I’ve been to 8 out of 10 Canadian provinces (soon to be 9 out of 10).

I’ve been to all 4 of the Great Lakes in Canada (I’d go to all 5 Great Lakes but Lake Michigan just isn’t part of Canada).

I’ve been to the iconic Spirit Island (which turns out to be not much of an island).

I’ve been to Tofino and gone whale-watching.

I’ve seen a rainbow by the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.

I’ve taken the Cabot Trail.

I’ve had scallops in Digby, Nova Scotia (the so-called Scallop Capital of the World).

I’ve had a lobster in Prince Edward Island.

I had Troy drive me to Quebec just to have poutine. In Quebec.

I’ve shaken hands and had pictures taken with Rick Mercer.

I’ve no problem with gay marriage.
I embrace free-thinking.

I am Canadian!

(I gave up my Indonesian citizenship and took an oath to become a Canadian citizen on March 30, 2011.)