Monthly Archives: September 2011

February 2010 Art of Waiting Reveal

Weather is a huge force on our lives. When it’s sunny out, we often feel happier and more energetic. Gloomy days make us feel sad, slow and flat. It is in the spirit of weather as a barometer for our emotions (pun intended) that I reveal February’s 2010 Art of Waiting pictures.

The weather in my area has been turbulent the past few years. We’ve had a handful of major snowstorms, a couple of very dry summers and last month, a hurricane and a tornado. The late summer months of this year have been wet and humid. Walk outside and you feel like you’ve stepped into a shower. But is it really that bad? Aside from driving the mold spores into super-revved-up reproduction mode (and making my throat feel like its on fire) it could be a hell of a lot worse. For example, the unprecedented snowfall of February 2010 known as ‘Snowpocalypse’. I’ll take rainy, humid weather any day over snow. Here’s a few reminders of how bad it was

I wanted to cry just like my son, but I didn’t even though the snow was piled so high on our road that we couldn’t get our low-riding Saturn out of the driveway for two weeks

But that didn’t stop us from venturing out into the arctic wonderland to take a walk.

this is my favorite shot

We also got to play in the snow. Delaware is a notoriously flat state so the snow drifts that resulted from this blizzard gave my kids the opportunity to sled, if only for a few feet.

Because we were relatively shut-in for the better part of 10 days, we had some lovely family bonding time.

After looking at that snowy mess I’m starting to feel just a wee bit better about 1,000% humidity and constantly grey skies and rain, aren’t you?

Love La Sardina

Lomography’s La Sardina is a great looking camera. I love my Marathon and the way the olive drab colored case is decorated with graphic prints that make this simple camera look like a sardine case. So, do I love how this camera takes pictures? The answer is a resounding yes.

Let’s start off with the basics. La Sardina is a 35mm camera with a rather wide 21mm lens that gives you an 89-degree look at your world (wow!). The aperture is a fixed f/8, which is relatively large in the toy camera world (the majority of plastic cameras have f/16 or higher making it necessary to use them only in bright sunlight). Two shutter speeds are available, bulb and normal (1/100). I love this feature in toy cameras and find it almost a necessity because of their tiny apertures. Here are some long-exposure shots.

It’s also possible to create multiple exposures with just a flick of a switch.

There’s a film counter on top and a window on the back door to view information on the film canister. This often-overlooked detail is huge because in many plastic cams it’s impossible to tell what kind of film (if any) is loaded in the camera. If you’re anything like me you’ve exposed many frames of film to direct light while opening the back of the camera to check what’s inside.

The La Sardina is one of the easiest rewinding cameras around. The process is simple and fast PLUS your film is always left with a bit of the leader exposed, making it much easier to shoot a doubles roll with your favorite photography buddies.

Also included on the body of the camera are a cable release connection, tripod screw mount and the ability to attach an external flash.

Now, enough about aesthetics, how does it take pictures? I have found that, like many wide-angle lens cameras, the closer I am to the subject the better the picture. Here are some shots of far away action

And close up

Since the closest focusing distance is 0.6 meters (roughly 3 feet) you can stay pretty close to the action and get some nice shots but only if you remember to set the focusing ring to the appropriate setting. The one drawback to the La Sardina is its two-step focusing system. There are three distances to choose from: 0.6m, 1 meter and infinity. It is important that you set the right distance on the camera otherwise your subject will be out of focus. I found this out the hard way, as you can see from these shots.

With other plastic cameras setting the focusing distance is irrelevant. In fact I don’t even bother with that step when using my Holga. I’m going to have to play with La Sardina a while longer before I figure out it’s optimum focusing distances and that’s OK. The other features of this camera make it a stellar addition to LSI’s line of cameras.

Lomo Steampunk

Lomo Steampunk

Victorian jacket
£7.99 –

$90 –

Gothic shoes
$50 –

Eyes In Silver Sand
$14 –

Tesla-107, Steampunk boots Demonia
$55 –

Toy Cameras Get Special Powers with Revolog Texture Film

What do rusty pipes, peeling and blistering paint and scratched metal all have in common? They’re subjects I love to photograph because of their texture. If you are also a texture freak, you’ll love the Revolog line of films, created by Michael Krebs and Hanna Pribitzer.

Their website describes their unique films as follows:

“Revolog produces special effect films for analog photographic cameras. Every film is handmade. Currently Revolog sells eight different effect films, but is planning to ongoingly enlarge their stock.The films are sold through the webshop and can be exposed and developed as usual.”

Effects like bubbles, floating green dots; scratches, lightning bursts, lasers and crazy color washes provide an added layer of texture to your pictures. Because they are made by hand, film effects are totally random so, are you going to get a lightning bolt through the middle of your subject’s head or will it be in the sky where it belongs?

Since it isn’t slide film, Revolog can be developed at your local one-hour photo-processing place. I gave my friendly photo technician a heads up before he developed the first roll of film because I didn’t want him to think he’d messed it up. He thought it was one of the neatest things he’d ever seen.

My best results with Texture have come when the film is not overexposed. I achieved maximum bubble-tude in the areas of my pictures that were darker, as you can see from these examples.

It would also be a great film to use in a full-frame exposure camera, like the Sprocket Rocket or the Spinner 360 because the texture is everywhere, not just confined to the frame. I haven’t tried the film in any of these cameras yet, but here’s what Texture looks like fully exposed

The first rolls of Revolog were only 12 exposures but since they have found a new film distributor Rasp, Volvox, Lazer, 460nm, 600nm and Kolor films will be available in 36 exposure rolls through their webshop.

I’ve shot two rolls of Texture film (iso 200) and I can safely say that I’m hooked. I love that Krebs and Pribitzer are flying in the face of megapixels and creating new film for us analogue aficionados. You can never have enough light leak or texture going on in your photos. Can you imagine using one of these fantastic films in a leaky camera? It would be pure abstract genuis. In my opinion, Revolog can increase your toy camera’s power by giving you MORE unpredictability, color and texture. What’s not to love?

Earthquake, Hurricane and Tornado Survivor

It was a hell of a week to live on the Eastern Seaboard of the US. First, we had an earthquake, which shook us up (ha!) but we all survived with a bigger appreciation for what those on the West Coast live with on a daily basis. Then, Hurricane Irene came barreling at us, guns a-blazing. Last week I wrote about how anxious I was for the whole thing to just be over and I’m just now realizing how on edge my nerves really were that week. It’s amazing I survived intact.

As I mentioned before, my husband didn’t want to evacuate but I did and was terrified, not necessarily of the storm (I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie) but of trying to keep myself calm and under control so that my children wouldn’t be freaked out. There really wasn’t any place to evacuate to because the storm was so huge and anywhere we tried to go would have the same rainy and windy conditions.

Saturday morning, the storm began rolling in with a little bit of rain and a gust of wind here and there. By the late afternoon it was consistently windy and rainy. We spent the time watching movies, playing games and keeping updated on the storm. Around six in the evening we were standing by the sliding glass doors when we noticed a HUGE gust of wind. The trees bent very low and the wind whistled through the doors and windows. Being the good photographer that I am, I captured the moment on my iPhone.

and here’s what it looked like a few seconds later

 “That’s what it’s going to be like tonight”, I turned to my husband and said in a rather accusatory tone. The brunt of the storm wasn’t expected in our area until midnight and the prospect of dealing with those kind of winds all night had me shaking in my shoes. Immediately afterwards we looked outside and saw our neighbors talking on the phone so we went out to see what was wrong. It was then that we realized it wasn’t just a big gust of wind, but a tornado.

Yes… a ‘Dorothy-we’re-not-in-Kansas-anymore’ tornado.

We were so clueless because we weren’t watching the local news and didn’t hear the warnings or the reports that it had actually touched down in our town and was headed RIGHT FOR US. And the tell-tale freight train noise that accompanies a tornado? Not audible. There we were, faces pressed against the GLASS DOORS checking out the wind. What maroons.

Fortunately no one was hurt but the trees in our neighborhood really took a beating. We lost three on our property with one falling onto the house next door. It didn’t cause any serious damage or bust through the roof but it was impressive looking. I insisted that we all sleep downstairs that night because I was terrified we’d end up with a tree in our roof. We all survived the night and I am happy to say I kept my anxiety under control and I think my kids actually had a pretty good time. When else do you get to eat popcorn and chocolate chips for dinner but during a natural disaster?

Neighbor’s shed…toppled and crunched

This was jammed into the yard…crazy

My daughter took this shot of the tree that fell on the next door neighbor’s house

Phoebe took this one, too. They fell over like blocks

We lost one of our hammock trees in our yard. Now we have nothing to hang the hammock on 😦

The fence was old and needed to go, anyway

Close-up of the doomed hammock tree

Glass stuck in the railing of one neighbor’s deck. Not two feet away sat a coffee cup, untouched

There used to be a Crepe Myrtle tree here. We couldn’t find in anywhere. Guess it’s in Oz

On Sunday when the weather cleared up we had tons of cars coming down our little cul-de-sac to view the damage. I wish we could have charged money.

The next day my kids and I enjoyed some high entertainment at breakfast time. The very nice guys from Sussex Tree took care of our whole street. The removed our trees with a big crane. I had my La Sardinia handy to catch the action.

It really was quite a show: Kind of like something out of Lord of the Rings, as a friend of mine commented. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Now I can claim to have survived a tornado but I have to say, I will be listening to the LOCAL news next time. We were incredibly lucky in that not only were we not hurt, we didn’t really suffer any major damage. Houses in the neighborhood across the road were not as lucky and certainly those living in New Jersey, Vermont and other severely flooded areas have much bigger problems than just a few blown down trees.

I really think three natural disasters in one week is quite enough and hope to GOD we won’t have another week like that ever again!

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