Fade to Black…a Polaroid weekend

Weekend back-road trip through Western Indiana and Eastern Illinois. All of the images were taken with a Polaroid SX-70 Sonar camera using expired FadetoBlack film. This limited edition film requires manipulation within minutes after developing or the image will ‘fade 2 black’ (hence the name). The longer one waits to manipulate the photo, the darker it will get – turning completely black in well under 24 hours. I manipulated the images below about 3-5 minutes after development. I found this film to be a perfect choice for capturing the decaying beauty of these historic barns.

altered Lomo Lubitel Pinhole – the first image…

Lomo Lubitel Pinhole image on Polaroid Viva film.After months of procrastination, I have successfully converted my Lomo Lubitel 166 into one gem of a pinhole camera.  My original plan was to keep the conversion simple by doing nothing more than removing the plastic lens and replacing it with pinhole shim.  After completing this task without difficulty, the only thing left to do was buy some 120 film and a shutter release cable.  With that, I set my newly altered Lubitel aside and ordered my supplies online, eagerly awaiting their arrival.

With 120 film and a cable release in hand, I put them on the shelf right next to the Lubitel pinhole; and there they sat…days turning into weeks, weeks into months…you get the picture.  At any rate, dust began to collect, as it was months before I picked up where I left off.  By this time I had collected a few vintage Polaroid cameras and had the idea to remove a film back from one of them and slap (or heavily duct tape) it to the back of the Lubitel.  So once again, the conversion continued as I set up shop and busted out my Dremel, dedicating several, non-stop hours to cutting, buffing and taping plastic to plastic.  In the end, a rather nice looking (duct tape included) pinhole camera emerged.  Due to the smaller size of the Lubitel camera, I decided to go with the Polaroid back that takes Type 80, square format pack film.  Plus, I still had a pack of Viva  laying around, with more on it’s way (from Ebay).

After a few tests shots and some adjustments, I managed to produce a pretty good doll shot.  I’ll be posting photos of the completed Lubitel Pinhole in the next few days, as well as additional images I take with the camera (once my film arrives).  So, check back soon for updates.  Comments and/or suggestions are always appreciated:)

details with the Polaroid CU-5

The Polaroid CU-5, a rather interesting camera; used back in the day for forensic & dental photography. What a perfect light-box for the macro loving, Polaroid obsessed, forensic pathologist wanna-be!

I came across this gem of a camera while casually browsing eBay…I couldn’t resist snagging it for the $50 price tag.

I’d like to share with you, my first few creations…

Life without a viewfinder…a photographic journey through Spain.

Even though I’m a die-hard pinhole fan, on occasion I still like to break out the no-fail photo machine – my digital SLR – an Olympus E-Volt E500. How can I shun the very artistic medium that unleashed my inner creativity? Yes, my pinhole obsession began with the digital camera. I will always appreciate digital photography for its’ simplicity and nearly flawless, photographing capabilities.

Being my first trip to Europe, I felt that this was a great opportunity for me to shoot digital again. I’d have to say…I was quite pleased with the results. I wanted to capture as much as possible and shooting pinhole just couldn’t offer the flexibility I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t neglect my beloved pinhole, I just saved her for another day! Any pinhole photographer can agree – taking a handmade camera into the streets can prove to be a bit more than eyebrow raising. Though, I’d have to say, most passerby’s do nothing more than observe with silent curiosities.

For the most part, these images were created using my so-called ‘altered’ digital techniques. I substituted the Zuiko 4:3 lens for a cheap ($20), generic wide-angle attachment. This is now my attachment of choice when shooting digital. I found the vignetting to be comparable to a Holga or Lomo camera. With preference to pinhole techniques, I decided to shoot my digital images in a very similar way. It’s amazing how much more you can see, how very present one becomes in photography (or life in general), by giving no attention to the viewfinder.

So, it was during these moments, ignorant to the viewfinder, that my thoughts gave way to silence…I was not the photographer. For being one would have only hindered my creative nature. No, I was a passerby in a foreign land. I observed it all, not noticing how different the Spanish culture was…but I appreciated all of our similarities…all of the very simple characteristics that makes one human.

Consumed by this newfound compassion, the idea of framing became a thing of the past, as I was living in the moment. With my cheap lens attached and camera at my waist, I became a passerby – silently observing, the simplistic beauty of an unfamiliar territory…all without a viewfinder.

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