This winter has been dreadful for shooting with toy cameras. Whenever I have off work and am child-free (two things that don’t happen very often) I try to go on a photo excursion. Lots of times I end up bringing the kids with me but it really tries my patience. Anyways, it seems whenever I have the chance to go on a child-free excursion the weather is either way too cold or rainy and crappy. I think winter is ‘rainy season’ around here. I’m not kidding. It has been atrocious!! So last week I decided, screw it, I’m going out anyways!
Foul weather photography poses not only physical challenges but, as you can imagine, technical ones, especially when shooting with toy cameras. For my first trip out I brought along my Holgaroid and my Fed 2 as well as my trusty light meter. I loaded up both cameras with black and white film and set out to record my little seaside town on a foggy, gray day. Obviously I had more control with the Fed 2 since it has shutter speed and f-stop controls, but I was still guessing at exposure times, since there are only 5 choices of shutter speed. I haven’t yet gotten the results back from that roll as I just finished it up today. More on that in another post.
The Holgaroid was a real challenge. I had 1 pack of Fuji 100-iso black and white to use and I knew they’d be underexposed but I tried a shot or two on regular setting and as expected, the photos were almost completely dark. It was tough getting the black and white balance between the dark plants and trees versus the lighter gray of the sky. I figured I might have better luck holding open the shutter for 3 or 4 seconds on bulb setting.
Unfortunately 4 seconds was too much and resulted in some better, but terribly overexposed shots. Towards the end of the trip I finally got the hang of it. By snapping the shutter for one long second I was able to get a couple relatively decent shots. The biggest challenge for me was keeping track of the developing time for one picture while trying to take another. I really need to bring along a stop watch when using instant film.
One of the first shots that came out halfway decently. Even though it’s underexposed I think it still works. I really like the subject and can’t wait to see how the 35mm shots of this come out. It’s an old lamp post on an old wooden footbridge in the marsh.
This is a little overexposed but I think it still works. There’s some good peeling paint on the sign that got blown out but I’ll go back and check it out another day.
This made me laugh. I guess it’s so boater don’t go all the way down into the water at the boat ramp, but it seems so obvious to me that the ‘End of the Ramp’ is at the end of the dock. Again, overexposed but it gives an old, surreal look that I’m happy with.
This is literally the last shot I snapped before getting soaked when it started raining. I was down at the beach and was really loving the way the seagulls were hanging around the benches. The fog had obscured a lot of the beach beyond the fences and was very mysterious-looking. You can bet me and my toy cameras will be back the next foggy morning to get that shot.
My foul weather shoot was an educational experience if nothing else and was cut short when, about an hour into my shooting, the sky just opened up and soaked the town for the rest of the afternoon. Go figure.