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More Cyanotypes

August 23, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Continued from First Cyanotype

I have not planned it this way but as I admitted in the previous post, printing cyanotypes is addictive. So here you have it, a second post in a row dedicated to it.

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UV Lamp Set Up, Without CoverUV Lamp Set UpWithout Cover What have I learned or changed since the last time? First, you cannot trust weather. So while I relied on natural sunshine last time around and got plenty of it I had to adapt as it has been either hazy or rainy since. As a result, I have invested in a strong UV lamp that allows me to continue with cyanotypes on bad weather days and also when the days get shorter. There were many options for UV bulbs or lamps and it took a bit of research to narrow my selection down. Between the several UV spectral ranges, one needs a source in the UVA range, also referred to as black light, covering 320 nm to 395 nm. I settled on the ZHMA 100W IP66 Black Light. In the end, when used at about 1 foot distance, my exposure times match those with sunshine outside.

Before deciding on a bulb or lamp for your needs, please, consider not only the right spectral range and strength but also its potential health implications and build a solution you will be comfortable with. The set up photo is just for illustration purposes and I surround this area with cardboard when used to shield myself from the UV. Please, do your own research.

Another thing I learned since my first attempt was that an uncoated paper is a must if I don't want to have weird unpredictable problems with development and washing. As a result, buy a regular heavy paper, like watercolor paper, from crafts supplies rather than coated paper for inkjet printers. Even the heavy watercolor papers for inkjet printing are coated and that coat will mess with the chemical processes involved in printing cyanotypes.

Since I did accidentally buy inkjet watercolor paper I used it and so far, at least the one I bought, it worked alright if used fairly quickly after coating, say within 24 hours. After that, the initially light yellow coat would start turning darker green, and eventually dark brown. While is still reacted to UV and an image was created it did not look nice and there was no way to wash the highlights back to white. I was left with a strong yellowish stain. I also doubt the result will be archival at all despite thorough washing.

Buffalo. NY Cyanotype, Exposed and unwashed lookBuffalo. NY CyanotypeExposed and unwashed look

Buffalo. NY Cyanotype
Exposed and unwashed look

Let's go over my second printing session. I selected two photographs from Buffalo, NY. One from the Grain Elevator Alley as that always provides a classic Buffalo backdrop, and one from the waterfront as that is also one of Buffalo's signature looks. The first two photos shared here are the weird look the prints have after exposure to UV but before development and washing in water. The image is already formed and visible but still obstructed.

Edward M Cotter's Solo Show Cyanotype, Exposed and unwashed lookEdward M Cotter's Solo Show CyanotypeExposed and unwashed look

Edward M Cotter's Solo Show Cyanotype
Exposed and unwashed look

And then the magic comes. As soon as the prints are submerged in water changes start to happen and in just 2 - 3 minutes the prints look great. I leave them in the wash for about 5 minutes total but I have seen recommendations anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes. Since I use a darkroom print washer tray that constantly replaces the water in the tray and keeps it flowing I am staying on the short wash side.

Buffalo, NY Cyanotype, Exposed and washedBuffalo, NY CyanotypeExposed and washed

Buffalo, NY Cyanotype
Exposed and washed

Edward M Cotter's Solo Show Cyanotype, Exposed and washed / developed in waterEdward M Cotter's Solo Show CyanotypeExposed and washed / developed in water

Edward M Cotter's Solo Show Cyanotype
Exposed and washed / developed in water

Once the initial wash and development is done, I've tried two different directions so far. The prints can come out of the water and dry, or they can go through another bath with a splash of vinegar, or citric acid. The acidity helps with a more thorough wash  and clearing of the highlights but I have also noticed that some of the very subtle mid-tones can also wash away. I guess one has to be really careful about the about of vinegar and the wash time in this acidic bath need to be quick, 30 seconds or so at the most. I can imagine though that with additional experience this will be a more predictable step. Then back to the plain water bath for the final wash.

Buffalo, NY Cyanotype, Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and driedBuffalo, NY CyanotypeExposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried

Buffalo, NY Cyanotype
Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried

As you can see, when the prints dry they darken and take on a full scale of tones. Do you see some of the "blotches" in the dark areas? That is the actual texture of the paper showing through. Of course I could not have selected a normal water color paper even this time around. Instead, this was printed on a 100% recycled Shizen Design watercolor paper.

Edward M Cotter's Solo Show Cyanotype, Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and driedEdward M Cotter's Solo Show CyanotypeExposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried
Edward M Cotter's Solo Show Cyanotype
Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried

Yes, that can probably be another rabbit hole to experiment with all kinds of paper types. I will definitely stay with heavyweight cotton rag for now (300+gsm, 140lb) as I have not run into any problems even with washes extending over 15 minutes. I have had no tearing during washing or drying and the paper easily dried flat.

I also wanted to get another print of the Old House from the first printing session but on this paper instead of the inkjet coated one. Even thought this print actually worked very well even on the inkjet paper (probably because I used it quickly after coating and coated the paper lightly) I still wanted to see the difference.

Old House Cyanotype, Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and driedOld House CyanotypeExposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried

Old House Cyanotype
Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried

And putting them side by side the difference is quite noticeable. However, my scanner got in the way in this regard and even with zero post-processing the difference almost disappeared as the auto-settings increased contrast, clipped highlights, and adjusted the white balance. I was surprised how the two pictures ended up almost identical despite being in a single image. Anyway, to illustrate the difference I took a quick snap of the two side by side with my cell phone.

Old House Cyanotype, Watercolor paper comparison, inkjet vs regular paper, face.Old House CyanotypeWatercolor paper comparison, inkjet vs regular paper, face. Old House Cyanotype, Watercolor paper comparison, inkjet vs regular paper, reverse.Old House CyanotypeWatercolor paper comparison, inkjet vs regular paper, reverse.

Old House Cyanotype
Watercolor paper comparison, inkjet vs regular paper, face

I know I stated it above but I will repeat it here. Do not use coated (inkjet) papers for your cyanotypes. Use regular uncoated watercolor paper. A heavy-weight 100% cotton rag is what I would recommend at this early stage of my experience.

All of the prints above were from film originals. However, I've recently returned from a trip and did not have a chance to process all of my film. Yet, I was curious how some of the sights would look in blue. Thus, I printed a 5x7" negative from one of the photos I took with my phone. You can see the outcome below.

Charles Bridge Cyanotype, Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and driedCharles Bridge CyanotypeExposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried
Charles Bridge Cyanotype
Exposed, developed in water, cleared in diluted white vinegar, re-washed, and dried

And with that travel post, I will close today out. I realize this was a long post and if you made it all the way here, thanks for reading and until next time!

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more traditional wet prints? Visit my Darkroom photo gallery and enjoy! Do not hesitate to contact me whether you would like to learn more or would like to purchase one of my prints.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

Historic Chautauqua Belle Steam Ship, hand-made traditional silver gelatin darkroom printChautauqua BelleA Darkroom Print Road Trip 2018 Darkroom Print: The Livery, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Park, New Mexico; hand-made traditional silver gelatin darkroom printRoad Trip 2018: The LiveryA Darkroom Print Road Trip 2018 Darkroom Print: Van Patten's Mountain Camp, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Park, New Mexico; hand-made traditional silver gelatin darkroom printRoad Trip 2018: Van Patten's Mountain CampA Darkroom Print


First Cyanotype

August 11, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Yes, today is going to be about another analog photo printing process. In the past, I shared traditional darkroom prints with you, as well as lith prints. Both of those techniques required a darkroom. The technique I am sharing today does not and thus may be more accessible to many of you.

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What am I talking about? I am talking about the Cyanotype Process invented in 1841 by Sir John Herschel. If you're interested in more history, either an Internet search or your local library will provide plenty of resources. The same holds true for details about the chemistry used for this process.

The Cyanotype process allows you to contact print a negative onto a sensitized material using UV light. You can simply rely on sunshine or buy a UV lamp. Since the process relies on UV light and not regular daylight the clear advantage of this printing method over other darkroom techniques is that it does not require darkness to be carried out.

Old House Cyanotype - Exposure in ProgressOld House CyanotypeExposure in Progress First, some material needs to be coated with the sensitizer. You can either mix your own concoction or rely on a ready-made KIT like the Liquid Cyanotype KIT by Photographers' Formularly I used. To keep things simple, I started with a heavy watercolor paper for my material but already look forward to trying fabric, wood, and other materials. I used a cheap paintbrush to coat 5x7 pieces of the paper. It turned out I used about 1ml of sensitizer per 5x7 sheet but that depends on your paper and on the desired results. I could see myself using a little less in the future.

The material then has to completely dry. If it remains wet it would start developing immediately upon exposure to sun instead of being fully exposed first. That drying period gives you a chance to get your negatives ready. If you are a large format photographer, your 4x5, 5x7, or even larger negatives might serve the purpose. If you shoot smaller film or digital, you can use an inkjet printer to print your negatives at the desired size. I used my HP Envy 5055 to print on Inkpress Media Transparency Film (8.5 x 11"). I printed 2 5x7 images on a single letter-sized sheet that I later cut in half.

How did I prepare my negatives? I used GIMP to slightly increase the contrast of my previously processed photo. I clipped both highlights and shadows very slightly (by about 5 points) and then added a gentle S-curve for an overall contrast increase. Did I have to do this? I am not sure, only more experience will tell. I remembered people talking about higher contrast negatives being better for Cyanotypes and that is what I did to get started. Based on my results, I will definitely be trying a straight file next time as there seems to be plenty of natural contrast. The other thing I did was I flipped the image horizontally. Since the exposure is done with the face of the film down, things will get reverted back and print the right way.

Enough talking, let's see what happened! For my first print, I used the last paper coated where I ran out of the sensitizer. Thus, this was the least coated paper of all. I wanted to see how the length of exposure mattered and I exposed the whole frame for 8 minutes in direct sunshine, then covered 1/3 and exposed for 2 more minutes, then covered 2/3s and added 2 more minutes. When the 12 minutes were over I took the picture frame, in which I sandwiched the negative and the sensitized paper, to the basement to be washed. When I removed the paper from the frame, it looked like the below.

Old House Cyanotype - ExposedOld House CyanotypeExposed

Old House Cyanotype
Exposed

As soon as I started pouring water over it in the sink the look started changing. I washed the print for about 5 minutes at which point no more changes seemed to be happening. At this point, I was pretty happy with my first result.

Old House Cyanotype - Washed in WaterOld House CyanotypeWashed in Water

Old House Cyanotype
Washed in Plain Water

However, this was not the only print I made that day and all of the ones afterwards had a heavier sensitizer coat. They all also had a yellowish tone in the highlights after washing. After some digging it seemed like alkaline water may not be able to fully wash the sensitizer off. Either vinegar or citric acid was recommended in various places. Since I had a bottle of white vinegar right next to the sink I added a splash into my tray and rewashed the photo.

Old House Cyanotype - Washed in VinegarOld House CyanotypeWashed in Vinegar

Old House Cyanotype
Re-Washed in Water with White Vinegar

The effect? Immediate and rather noticeable. The highlights cleared up very nicely and the tones changed towards more bluish from the previously greenish tones. I realize that what you are looking at is a scanned version of my results. I placed the actual print next to my monitor and tried to make the scan look as close as possible to the print by slightly tweaking the white balance and contrast. And that was it, I was ready to call this one a finished product.

If you remember from above this was an exposure test with an 8, 10, and 12-minute exposure. Can you see the vertical stripes on the print? Neither can I. I attribute that to the extremely light sensitizer coating on this sheet. How would things look with a heavier coat?

Old House Cyanotype - Heavier Sensitizer CoatOld House CyanotypeHeavier Sensitizer Coat

Old House Cyanotype
Heavier Sensitizer Coat

As you can see, a lot of details got completely lost in the first version as there was either very little or even no sensitizer at all in some areas. Which version do you prefer? I like that the first version looks almost like a pencil drawing, which I am a big fan of. However, I don't like that the wall in front of the house is completely missing. I am sure I will further experiment with very light coats but I will need to make sure I don't plain run out and leave parts of the paper blank.

A warning? Try at your own risk. I have to admit that this is addictive and I have already printed two more prints and have even more coated paper ready to go. I also want to try other materials. I really like the simplicity. Pre-coat some paper a day ahead and let dry (at this point, I don't know how long one can keep pre-coated paper). Print out a negative or several at the desired sizes. Next day, about 10 minutes in the sun and a 5-minute wash and you have yourself a cyanotype.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

PS: Loosely continued at More Cyanotypes.

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more traditional wet prints? Visit my Darkroom photo gallery and enjoy! Do not hesitate to contact me whether you would like to learn more or would like to purchase one of my prints.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

Historic Chautauqua Belle Steam Ship, hand-made traditional silver gelatin darkroom printChautauqua BelleA Darkroom Print Road Trip 2018 Darkroom Print: The Livery, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Park, New Mexico; hand-made traditional silver gelatin darkroom printRoad Trip 2018: The LiveryA Darkroom Print Road Trip 2018 Darkroom Print: Van Patten's Mountain Camp, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Park, New Mexico; hand-made traditional silver gelatin darkroom printRoad Trip 2018: Van Patten's Mountain CampA Darkroom Print


Winter’s Pond Up Close and Personal

July 12, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I have no problem revisiting my locations over and over again. Sure, it's nice to travel and see new places but that usually comes with a limited time to explore. Returning to familiar places, especially those close to where one lives, removes that limitation and allows for exploration beyond the cover.

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So why go back? Locations usually don't look the same even on many repeated visits. The seasons change, the time of day changes, the light changes, the weather changes, you get the idea. And those are the things one cannot control, just observe and react to. Then thee are the changes one can actively trigger.

Tower Symmetry, Industrial Artwork at Winter's Pond, Langford, New YorkTower SymmetryIndustrial Artwork

Tower Symmetry, Industrial Artwork at Winter's Pond, Langford, New York
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 on Fomapan 400 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

The gear of choice is one of those variables. Different camera, different film format, different emulsion, different lens, or even a different developer can each contribute to different results. Sometimes the differences can be subtle, other times rather pronounced. For example, color is very different from black and white while color slide film or color negative film can be more nuanced. And the difference between Kodak Gold 200 and Kodak Colorplus 200 may be almost impossible to spot.

Tall Tower, Industrial Artwork at Winter's Pond, Langford, New YorkTall TowerIndustrial Artwork

Tall Tower, Industrial Artwork at Winter's Pond, Langford, New York
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 on Fomapan 400 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

While I always try to find new subjects when returning to a location I also feel the urge to photograph some old faithfuls. The Gold Comet below is a great example. I have quite a few photographs of the vintage truck, even from similar angles. However, like I said above, they don't ever end up looking the same.

REO Gold Comet, Vintage Truck at Winter's Pond, Langford, New YorkREO Gold CometVintage Truck

REO Gold Comet, Vintage Truck at Winter's Pond, Langford, New York
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 on Fomapan 400 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

And after the familiar shot, look, I can get closer. How much closer? Only the right composition was the limit. After all, this day I was there with my Nikon FE2 and the Nikon 55mm f/2.8 macro lens. So why not go for the grill and the REO logo?

REO Face to Face, Vintage Truck Grill at Winter's Pond, Langford, New YorkREO Face to FaceVintage Truck Grill

REO Face to Face, Vintage Truck Grill at Winter's Pond, Langford, New York
Photographed with a Nikon FE2 on Fomapan 400 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

So there you have it. Not only a repeat visit to one of my most favorite locations but also a repeated blog post. I hope it did not bore you because I can guarantee that I will be taking you back soon.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

An old vintage and decaying Cadillac close-up on Kodak 5222 black and white filmCadillac Old-Time Village Square, Burlington, ON, Canada, Photographed on Lubitel 166B and Fomapan 400 FilmVillage SquareBurlington, Ontario A Spider Web in a Window of an Old Cadillac on Fomapan 400 Black and White Film with Nikon FE2A Web in a Cadillac


Birdsong in Purple, Part I

June 23, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Last week's post was somewhat serious and technical but also lightweight talking about pinhole photography, which could be considered experimental. Today I'll continue the experimental thread sharing results froma place you have seen on my blog and in the Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes photo gallery many times.

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So where are we going and what are we doing? The place is the beautiful Birdsong Park in Orchard Park, NY. It's a small park with several ponds, two of which fill up with water lilies in summer, surrounded by a picturesque old forrest. By now, I have shared color and black and white photographs from there as well as covered all seasons. So today, let's do something different.

A Majestic Old Tree, Birdsong Park, photographed with Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple filmA Majestic Old TreeBirdsong Park

A Majestic Old Tree, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple film and developed in Arista C-41

For this evening walk I carried a 35mm Pentax Spotmatic camera loaded with Lomography's Lomochrome Purple color negative film. It was a bright sunny evening, the park featured lots of greenery, and things were meant to work. The film can be rated between ISO 100 and 400 and the results are supposed to vary a bit, with the colors shifting slightly.

Lily Pond Reeds, Birdsong Park, photographed with Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple filmLily Pond ReedsBirdsong Park

Lily Pond Reeds, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple film and developed in Arista C-41

Spoiler alert! Even though I split my roll and set my camera for ISO 100 for the first 12 photos, ISO 200 for the next 12, and ISO 400 for the last 12, I have not seen the prescribed variation. However, I have certainly received purple results with all of that greenery the park is filled with. I dislike most digital filters, I really dislike over-processed photos, and I am not a fan of special effect films. But here we are and I have to admit I enjoy the results and I've definitely come back from my favorite location with completely different photos.

Birdsong Phalanx Guard, Birdsong Park, photographed with a Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple filmBirdsong Phalanx GuardBirdsong Park

Birdsong Phalanx Guard, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple film and developed in Arista C-41

In this park, I like to keep my routine the same and walk the same loop in the same direction almost every time. It's a nice opening with the old forest and some hallmark tree formations, followed by two water lily ponds, and back in the woods about midway through. It's that area that has some gorgeous trees, tees of various shapes, leaning trees, interlocking trees, and yes, there is a creek going through making for even more photographic opportunities.

Wonderful Old Trees, Birdsong Park, photographed with a Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple filmWonderful Old TreesBirdsong Park

Wonderful Old Trees, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a Pentax Spotmatic on Lomochrome Purple film and developed in Arista C-41

So there you have it. An unfamiliar look to a very familiar place. And that's just half of the walk so stay tuned, Part II is coming soon.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!

 


Custom Made Pinhole for a 3d Printed Pinhole Camera

June 14, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Let's see how today's blog post turns out. It's intended to be a mixed feature on 3d printing a pinhole camera as well as the results from it. It's not a camera design by me but instead one that Todd Schlemmer freely shared on Thingiverse a while back.

Support this blog: Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph yet? Using my links (Amazon) to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them.

terraPIN ACME, 3D printed camera designed by Todd SchlemmerterraPIN ACME3D Printed Camera I was aware of Todd's pinhole terraPIN camera designs for a while and time finally came to print one for myself. Todd did not share just one but a few. I can't really tell you why I settled on the terraPIN ACME but I did. I liked that it did not require too many non-printed components and that the top plate snapped closed with no need for screws.

What you see in the first photo is my first print of the camera, printed on the Prusa I3 MK3S+ 3d printer. It's printed in two colors using a PLA filament. You can find more details about this build on Thingiverse.

One of the parts that could not be 3d printed was the pinhole itself. The design called for a pinhole of 0.22mm diameter. But how does one come even close to a precise diameter like this?

One option is buying a laser drilled pinhole. There are several places online that offer those but the prices are rather steep for my taste and the fact that the rest of this camera was rather cheap. Once source I can recommend is James Guerin of Reality So Subtle (RSS). Not only does he make exceptional pinhole cameras but he also makes his laser drilled pinholes available to all worldwide. And even with the shipping from France the price ends up being less than many US based companies and domestic shipping. You can shop his laser drilled pinholes on his website. I recommend the 5 for €20 option. Get the various sizes you may need all at once and you will save a bundle and will only wait for shipping once. I used these pinholes for my 8x10 paint can pinhole camera and their quality was exceptional. Not sure what size pinhole is ideal for your camera design? You can use the calculator by Mr. Pinhole.

Measuring Pinhole Size in Soda Can AluminumPinhole in Soda Can AluminumMeasuring For this camera I wanted to go in a different direction though. I decided to make my own pinhole and see what I would get. The material of choice was aluminum from Ginger Ale soda cans. I cut the can vertically and then cut the top and the bottom of the can off. From the resulting sheet of aluminum I cut a piece about 1.5 x 3 inches that I would make four pinholes into, review them, measure them, and pick the one closest to my needs and the target size.

The pinhole making process was very low tech and in the end much more precise than I initially thought. I started with some really thin needles but rather than puncturing the hole all the way through I only pressed just enough to make a tiny bump on the opposite side. Then I flipped the sheet over and used regular sanding paper to sand the bump off, thus making a hole. The first hole was the largest one of them all and not exactly regular but as I went I made the holes smaller and smaller and was surprised how each became about 0.01mm smaller than the previous.

How did I measure the pinhole size? I used Gaffer tape to tape around the edges to prevent scratching of my scanner glass, placed the aluminum rectangle with four pinholes on the glass, and scanned it as a negative transparency at 6400 dpi. With these settings I got black aluminum and white holes where the backlight was shining through.

The image went into GIMP then and I activated and displayed a very fine square 0.01mm grid: 1) Image > Configure Grid > 0.01mm horizontal and vertical, 2) View > Show Grid, 3) Magnify to 1100%.

After selecting the "best" pinhole of the four, I cut it from the rectangle, cut around the hole to form a hexagon with the pinhole in the center (the camera has a hexagonal bevel to drop the pinhole into hiding under the sliding shutter) and used a tiny drop of Super Glue to affix the aluminum to the camera body. The design of the camera is such that no glue is required but I figured it could not hurt, and even the designer recommended doing so.

With pinholes, the material thickness matters too. The thinner, the better. If you'd like the best possible pinhole, consider the 0.001" brass shim. While I used the soda can aluminum this time I will probably experiment and compare to the brass shim in the near future.

And what can all of this get you? Let's take a look at some sample photos. The terraPIN ACME takes 120 film and I would recommend something with good reciprocity failure characteristics. My first roll was the Rollei Retro 80s and I would definitely not recommend that. I could not find reciprocity data for the film and used some generic guidance that worked for me in the past, however, it turned out to be an almost utter failure with this film. When I hung it to dry, there were barely any images on the negative and the negative proved unprintable in the darkroom. Only thanks to scanning and digital technology was I able to rescue the images, a bit ironic.

Dandelion Heart, Pinhole Photography, terraPIN ACME, Rollei Retro 80sDandelion HeartPinhole Photography

Dandelion Heart
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on Rollei Retro 80s film and developed in D-23

Pinhole Wagon Wheel, Pinhole Photography, terraPIN ACME, Rollei Retro 80sWagon WheelPinhole Photography

Wagon Wheel
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on Rollei Retro 80s film and developed in D-23

The famed Fuji Acros is much better for pinhole photography and long exposures as it pretty much does not have any reciprocity failure up to 2 minutes. However, it does not dry flat and cups quite a bit, making scanning a bit of pain.

USS Croaker 246, Pinhole Photography, terraPIN ACME, Fuji Acros 100USS Croaker 246Pinhole Photography

USS Croaker 246
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on Fuji Acros 100 film and developed in D-23

Lemonade Wagon, Pinhole Photography, terraPIN ACME, Fuji Acros 100Lemonade WagonPinhole Photography

Lemonade Wagon
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on Fuji Acros 100 film and developed in D-23

Refueling Truck, Pinhole Photography, terraPIN ACME, Fuji Acros 100Refueling TruckPinhole Photography

Refueling Truck
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on Fuji Acros 100 film and developed in D-23

terraPIN ACME 2, a 3D printed camera designed by Todd SchlemmerterraPIN ACME 2terraPIN ACME, a 3D printed camera I really liked the results I got from the two test rolls and I really wanted a photography related gift for a friend and decided to print one more and even spruce it up a bit. I printed the main body in two colors.

Most of the body remained in black as I needed the inside black but I printed the bottom and top 1mm in solver, loosely resembling the chrome on the cameras from the 60s and 70s. And for another color variety, I printed the knobs in copper rather than orange,

And of course, I had to test drive this version too before sending it out on its merry way to Canada. I tuned my film choice again and was actually the most happy with this one.

Due to the Fuji Acros cupping, I would recommend Kodak T-Max 100 the most. While you need to add 1/3 stop between 1 and 10 seconds and 1/2 stop between 10 and 100 seconds, that is no bother and the film dries perfectly flat. The extra exposure time may come handy too on a sunny day.

 

Pinhole Little Free Library, Pinhole Photogaphy, terraPIN ACME, Kodak T-Max 100Little Free LibraryPinhole Photogaphy

Little Free Library
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on Kodak T-Max 100 film and developed in D-23

Basketball Hoop, Pinhole Photography, terraPIN ACME, Kodak T-Max 100Basketball HoopPinhole Photography

Basketball Hoop
Photographed with a terraPIN ACME pinhole camera on
Kodak T-Max 100 film and developed in D-23

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