Sunday, March 29, 2009

Medium Format Pictures

I purchased a Lubitel 166B a couple of weeks ago. Yolanda had sent me a link to the one that Lomo makes these days and sells on their website, but that one is very, very expensive. This one was not nearly as much as that, and it is 25 years old, and functions well (You can also load 35mm film into without an adapter, and it seems to work fine, actually fits very snugly). I've also been developing my own negatives, both B&W and color, though the color is not so good. It's been fun. Here's some pictures that I've taken over the last two weeks. I'm not going to post opinions of digital vs. film, as I just like taking pictures. I also like the smell of fixer and feeling around for scissors in the darkened bathroom. I don't have an enlarger, so I put the negatives on the light-table and then photographed them and edited them on the computer, which seems silly. Works pretty well though. I did make some contact prints which turned out ok, but they are 4x4 cm. Little wallet-sizes to carry around or trade, I guess.

Medium Format

I like the pictures of the tombstones, though I understand that the subject matter is a little loaded. Still, I thought they made nice images, and I was happy to take pictures away from my house or school.

also, here's some 3D pictures that you can view with the red/blue glasses. I took them with the camera I made a couple of weeks ago. It's hard to get the exposure right, and the pinholes are slightly different so one comes out darker than the other.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I built a camera

This weekend I was without the dog so I decided to take advantage of the time and finish a project that I had been wanting to work on for a long time: Building a pinhole camera that would take 3D pictures. The reason that I waited until I didn't have the dog is because she gets upset when I am not looking at her directly, and there are a lot of small pieces for her to eat.

I designed it myself, though its based very much on the Dirkon design. It's made of basswood (which is like tougher balsa wood, so it's very light) and accepts 35mm film. The pinholes are made in aluminum from a soda can, so the pictures were far sharper than my dirkon, which had the hole in paper. The image is exposed over the entire film, sprocket holes and all, which i felt would look cool, and i also though that more image would be better. It works by sliding the shutter right to expose the film, and left to close the shutter. There is a bubble level on the back to make sure the shots are the same height. The film is wound into an empty canister but it still has to be unloaded in complete darkness. The back and compartment separators are lined in black velvet to reduce risk of scratching the film and to help block any light leaks. It has a tripod nut on the bottom that is flush so it can rest flat on a surface as well. It took three days to complete. The only snag I ran into was the film winder mechanism was really difficult to wind at first for some reason. It was fixed but i'm not sure how. The dot on top lets me know how many turns i've done: 2.5 turns moves the film enough for a new shot. The back is held on with tiny rubber bands, which was a feature I took from another designer's camera.

Here are the results from the first roll that I shot and developed yesterday. The exposures were from 2-4 seconds.

You can view these in 3D using the crosseye method: cross your eyes until the two images overlap perfectly in the middle and let your eyes focus on it. this is easier if you stand back from your monitor a little, so you don't have to cross them so much. I will have regular red/cyan ones up once I get some glasses to test them with: a good excuse to go back to the 3D museum downtown. The daffodils and parking lot ones work better than the sidewalk, since they have foreground.

I apologize for the low contrast images, but yesterday was very grey and rainy, and I underdeveloped the film in my haste to see the results. I also didn't know the exposure times yet, so three images came out. The woody bits on the edges are from the edges of the shutter, so I need to widen those holes a bit. But it works! which is very exciting. I wish that I had made the holes slightly wider than my pupillary distance, because I believe that enhances the depth effect. Something for the next one, I guess.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009


News Items!

1)Somebody stole the thermometer transmitter from the front of my apartment. It was in a plastic ziplock bag to protect it from the rain. I suppose i should have expected it, but I figured as soon as somebody picked it up, they would have realized that it was pretty worthless without the rest of it. I checked at the office, they haven't seen it.

2)My USB greenhouse is sprouting a lot now that the LEDS are always on.

3)I have heard that dogs have no concept of time, but my dog Beatrice here just climbed into her kennel at 1:20 pm, which is generally about the time I head back to school on MWF, without me telling her to. She has picked up on a lot of visual or audio cues, such as the squeak of my commuter mug lid, or when I put my backpack near the door, or when I put my shoes on.

4) Here's some fun weekend projects for you, I might give it a go soon, after I am done with finals.

Pinhole Cameras

Matchbox Pinhole Camera

Or if you have more time and don't want to dissasemble the thing everytime, you could make one of these

If you've got an SLR or DSLR this also is fun, but I didn't think it was quite as fun. Though it's cheap and easy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I tried putting my cellphone's camera up to the microscope's eyepiece today, on the microscope that I use everyday, and was surprised to see that it actually worked, and I could get a fairly good image. Nothing professional, but still interesting.

Here's a video of what I look at everyday: mites. In the video, a mature female eats a spider mite egg, while a pair of juveniles hang around, and a bunch of spider mites walk in and out of the frame. It's a pretty good representation of what I look at most of the day, for whatever reason:

I apologize for the light moving around strangely. I can't rest the lens on the eyepiece, I have to hold it about a cm away from it, and keep it parallel. It's really tiring. Here's a TINY snail that fell out of some moss while I was looking for springtails. At the end, you can see the scope and the setup:

Lastly here's a springtail. It's hard to see but I like the old film look that it has. I just zoomed with the digital zoom on the camera. I wish that I was easier to see but I suppose I could do it again. You can hear me sigh a lot because my arms are very tired at this point:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I've been trying out the new iweb program. I feel that after taking flash and dreamweaver classes, and being familiar with HTML that I should be putting together my own site and not using some templates from apple. But you know what? I hate putting together websites. This, combined with Adobe Lightroom do a pretty good job in my opinion. However, what I learned from my first website is that no one will ever look at a homepage. In conclusion, I am not sure why I went to the trouble, except that I wanted a place to put some pictures that I took and I liked that wasn't google or flickr.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Predatory Mites and Spider Mites

I took some pictures of the mites that I work with last wednesday, here's the album:

Mites, March 2009

The big orange teardroppy ones are the predatory mites, T. pyri, the hairier, yellower ones with black spots are the spider mites that they eat, I don't know the name of the species. They are very small. For a comparison, look at the period on the period key on your keyboard. They are about 1/4 the size of that or less. They still hunt and eat and have reproductive behaviors and all that though. Pretty neat, I think. They also know how to flee a paintbrush tip right after they hatch out of the egg.
A note on the invoice reads:

"Hiya :) Thank you so much for your patience!
Here you go ;) you finally got what you had waited for!
Please love the stuff and let us know if you need a help.
By the way, we really wish this new year, 2009, will be fruitful, hopefule, and fruitful for you. Many layoffs, salary cut and chilly winds and snow, tough time's still been over here and it's so sluggish X(
Oh, but look! here you go! bright happiness with this tiny gifts. Bless You!"

My recent impulse purchase arrived from Japan today, an 8x telephoto lens for my phone's camera, plus tripod :

(the glowing egg in the background is the USB greenhouse I received for my birthday. It has a single sprout so far, but the light was off all last week since I left my laptop charger in Portland. I added more seeds today because I think I planted the other ones too deep)

It fits very discreetly on my phone:

It feature a focus ring on the front. The tripod mount is standard. The mini-tripod that it came with is better than the ones that I got for free from one of those deal-of-the-day sites a couple of weeks ago.

Here's some sample pics from this afternoon with a normal shot from the phone for comparison!


With Lens:


With lens:

Its too bad about the dark area around the pics, but I don't really mind that much. I think it's pretty fun. Even came with a tiny lens cap and cloth to clean it. It can be adjusted to fit any phone. I look forward to trying it out at school tomorrow.

daylight "shavings"

Today a funny thing happened: my hair clippers stopped working in the middle of cutting my hair, which left me with a choppy hair cut and a need to go out into the world and find another set of clippers. Luckily I own a lot of toques, and I found a pretty good deal at rite-aid on a cordless clippers. It also came with a barber's cape, which was a garbage bag with a hole. I also found the taco bell in town.