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I’ve wanted new seats for my project car for a couple of years now and finally decided to bite the bullet. Now that the car has paint, it makes more sense to get the car updated. After over a month of debate and looking, I ordered some Corbeau seats choosing the FX-1 for the driver’s side and the Wide A4 for the passenger. As it turns out, I really should have gone to sleep instead of ordering the seats when I did because in my online price seeking delirium, I forgot that the FX-1 is the wider version and the FX-1 Pro is the smaller version. Only after getting the seats and sitting in them did I realize my mistake. The kicker is that the Wide A4 fit perfectly in the shoulders and loose in the hips, which is what I wanted out of the driver’s side seat. I decided to install the FX-1 in the car just to be sure I didn’t like it and sure enough, it was a no go. With that in mind, I spent rest of my budgeted/ saved project car money and ordered a Wide A4 for the driver’s side. It should be here in a few weeks and then I’ll try to sell the FX-1 locally to recoup some of my funds. That said, I should be getting the side skirts on the car soon so I’m looking forward to having the car almost all the way back together. Once it’s all back together, It’ll be time to really clean the garage up. fun fun.
I haven’t been on here in a while as most no one will actually notice, but that’s mainly because my photography has taken a back seat (no pun intended) to my car hobby and being a father. As such, I’m going to start posting my project car related info on here. If I’m going to continue to pay for the site (domain fees) then I might as well use it however I want. Done. Updates will be sporadic at best, but there will be some soon.
If you’ve never been to Charles Towne Landing and are looking for a place to combine portrait and landscape photography then this is a great place to start. The only reason I know anything about it is because my Sister in Law’s Wedding was held there and I was in charge of taking the “getting everything ready” pictures before the hired photogs arrived. While I didn’t get the chance to take many pictures outside on the grounds (which were pretty incredible), I did manage to take a few interior pictures of the Legare Waring House. I’m posting these here as a reminder of the house and that great afternoon light.
I’ll try to keep this simple. Ross No. 4 lens (15″ FL) from 1860′s + Calumet 4×5 Camera + 2 tripods + some “interesting” rigging = how I got the pictures above. I don’t recommend this set-up for ease of use, but it did it’s job. Explanation of what is going on: The dark cloth was rubber banded and pinned for use as bellows material, the bracket on the tripod was made for my diy tilt shift rig that I never got around to using, the black rubber band is actually an old bike inner tube that I use for purposes just like this, the towel is cotton, and the duct taped folded wheel protector cardboard has black felt taped onto it for use as a lens cap/ shutter. The film was well expired Polacolor 64 with around a 3.5 to 4.5 second exposure. By the way, that’s not a light leak; this particular box film had the same line on almost every sheet of film and the other film I used had no similar quirks. Take it or leave it, this was a fun little one night project.
Shot through some expired 669 Polaroid Instant Film using a Polaroid 405 back. All in all, very easy to load and use as long as you take into account the film speed slowing down when doing longer exposures. Not every image came out as expected, but I attribute some of that to the expired film, some to user error, and some to a combination of all of the above.
Didn’t come out at all, pulled off the negative with emulsion and placed it back on the image for the 2nd transfer
These two were with very expired (92) Type 59 Polacolor ER 4×5 with a 545i back.
Everything is a story with me. I feel the need to explain it all and to tell you how it all came to be. I could do a lot of explaining here, but you don’t really need to know most of it. The basics are, I found a Calumet 4×5 camera at work along with multiple polaroid backs. Add in expired film (half of which was completely dry) and I get a learning experience.
The images below were my first few attempts at setting up and using the camera. I’ve learned a decent amount already with the whole hour and a half I’ve messed around with it (3 lunch breaks), but I still have a ways to go. My reason for only taking pictures of my 5DII is…well I don’t really have one, it’s just what was out and available. These were done with Polacolor 64 with a 150mm Caltar at 5.6 with only the shutter speed and distance from subject changing.
Attempt #1. Possible light leak and underexposed. Metered with the 5D, exposure a good 3 stops off.
Attempt #2. Tried covering the camera better (though I saw no light leaks when I checked the shutter, bellows, etc.) but the light leak was still there and still underexposed.
Attempt #3. Changed the polaroid 545 back to a 545i back. No light leak (?) and a decent exposure; used a small amount of swing and tilt to bring the whole body into focus. I might have to underexpose another image to re-check for the light leak.
When leaving the Greenwood Museum in my last post, I came and left using the back stairwell. The only reason I chose to use the stairs in the first place was that the door was open and light was pouring into it from this one window. With the color palette and light seeming to come together I really couldn’t help but take a picture. If I ever end up back there around the same time of day, I’m taking a picture of someone on those stairs if I have to pull them in off the street!
Where to start. I knew of collodion photography in name only as I had read in many different places that early photographers used this process to produce images. The how, what, and why of it I had no clue and that’s where Owen Riley comes in. I met Owen the same way I’ve met other professional photographers in the upstate…by buying and selling camera gear on Craigslist Greenville of coarse. Once talking with him, I came to find out he actually does collodion photography on a regular basis and that he would be doing a mini workshop at Click646 in Greenwood SC on 10/1/11. I decided I had to see this for myself so I made sure to put it on my “schedule” which basically means I asked my wife and we set up a plan because taking care of a child under 2 needs team work.
The allotted pre-configured day came quickly and at 2:00 (the workshop started at 3:00) with 15 minutes to spare, I grabbed my camera and went out on the first mini adventure I’ve had in a while now. Turns out you can easily burn through 15 minutes when you’re not 100% sure where you’re going and apparently are also blind. I did eventually find a place to park and made my way to the courtyard beside the “how could I miss this huge” Federal Building. Once there (though I was a few minutes late) I listened to Owen explain some background on the history of photography and wet plate printing as well as the different mediums such as tintype and ambrotype. Right after the intro, it was on to the work of making a photograph.
Owen went through the process of capturing a tintype image using a full-plate tailboard camera (using half plates in this instance) which seems slightly surreal to watch. It almost doesn’t seem possible to make an image when you look at just the base materials even though I mildly understand what happens. (Of course, if that’s mind blowing then converting light to ones and zeros is absolutely impossible.) A few more tintype photographs and one ambrotype made in a 4×5 camera later and it was over. Lots of questions were asked by many different people and Owen even helped 3 different 2 person groups of people make an image themselves from start to finish after the workshop. It was a knowledge gathering experience for most of the attendees and I know I absorbed more information than I initially processed while I was there.
I took a few pictures of my own as a way to remember what happened and what went into the processes that I saw. I find photography can take me back to a place and time much better than my ADD mind has ever been able to accomplish on it’s own. If you haven’t done so before and there are people in your area that do workshops with early photographic processes, you owe it to yourself just to see them in action (especially when it’s free like this one was). I know I’ll have to try my hand at it one day and that’s for sure.
Reflection of the courtyard in the window of the Countybank Gallery at The Arts Center
Owen explaining the process of and showing how to pour the collodion over the tin.
Owen composing and checking the focus on the first image using the half-plate camera.
Lots of steps are skipped and the image is being captured. I’ll let the rest do their own talking
As a side note, I also visited the Greenwood Museum as well to see the Click646 Professors Invitational Exhibit and the Scholastic Invitational in the Countybank Gallery at The Arts Center. I must say I really enjoyed viewing the images from our local professors and students in person. It’s not often I get the opportunity/ time to go to any kind of gallery, so it was nice to see these local artist’s work displayed on their actual mediums instead of on my computer screen.
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Before I even start, if you’re not into WordPress or getting your
hands keys dirty this will be a pretty pointless post. This is more of a reminder to me about what I did and when I did it kind of a thing. Maybe it will help someone else, I don’t know, but here it is. Skip to the bottom for the highlights if you’re only slightly interested.
For a while now I’ve been wanting to ditch Flickr and turn my site into more of a photoblog than what I’ve been doing with it thus far. I use WordPress to manage my blog and the problem with using it for photoblogging is that you can only post one..picture..at..a..time. It drove me a little bonkers just thinking about it and to top it off, if I wanted to use lightbox it meant hard coding everything. I’ve been doing that up until this point that and it’s pretty much why I put off doing anything on the site. “But” many WordPress aficionado’s would say “there are plug-ins for posting multiple pictures at one time” and they’d be right. Multiple downloaded plug-ins and crashed sites later, I found out that none of them work with WordPress version 2.7.1 and there in lies the reason for this post.
My first thought was “so I’ll update WP to v3.2.1, no big deal”. Wrong. I click update and nothing happens. Turns out that in order to update, you need MySQL5 on your server. First I had to learn what that was. Then I had to figure out if my host (1and1.com) offered it and how to update the server. In order to update it, turns out I needed to update my database. Updating a database means creating a new database by backing up my current DB and then transferring it to the new blank DB; in effect making the new old again. This also means changing my WordPress configuration files (not a big deal). Wait, if I’m having to back-up the DB, shouldn’t I also back-up the website it’s self if my main goal is upgrading my WP install? frick.
I have a Mac now (in case you missed the post) and I haven’t found a good ftp program. I had been using 1and1′s ftp access through their site, but downloading my site (and other sites I work on mostly for my wife) isn’t really an option due to how slow and unreliable that connection is. I decided to go ahead and back up the database as I wouldn’t need any special programs. Turns out, in reading the directions for the MySQL5 database upgrade, I found I needed an HTML editor in order to take out a few lines of code. In their directions, they list Notepad++ as a good free option and I had used it on Windows XP before so yeah, it was a no brainer. They don’t make a Mac version. Well, drawing back on my memory from months and months ago when I first created this site (before I knew what CSS was), I remembered Aptana and thank God they have a Mac version. I had used Aptana in the past, but only for a few minutes as I had no idea what I was doing (I thought it was a WYSIWYG editor) and promptly deleted it. While on the 1and1′s MySQL upgrade page, they actually recommend Filezilla (which is free) for FTP access. Downloaded it and it’s awesome. I was able to quickly download the whole site and swap out files almost effortlessly; it’s a great little piece of software.
Now that all the downloads are said and done, I created, updated, and swapped the databases. I then edited my WP wp-config files to reflect the database swap and then checked the site to make sure everything works. Done. So now I’m up and running and my computer has all the necessary programs to keep it that way. Sweet. Now back to those pesky plug-ins. I tried Faster Image Insert first and as it turns out, it’s all I needed to accomplish multiple file uploads and an auto insert.
As a word of warning though, uploading your pictures and not inserting them immediately into the html window and saving as a draft results with pictures in the reverse order than when they were uploaded. Turns out you can easily re-order the pictures in any way you want by changing the numbers to the right of the file name and saving the changes. That’s convenient!
With all the updates completed, I decided to update the website’s look a little as well. Nothing major was done, just a change to a black background to better suit images and a little border fun. Let me know what you think and post a comment if this page helped you in any way.
Photoblog in Wiki in case you have no idea what I’m talking about
1and1.com is who my website host is
WordPress is how I manage my site
Faster Image Insert Plug-in is what I wanted and crashed my site
WP v 2.7.1 updating to v 3.2.1 was my new goal line
MySQL5 Database Software moved the chains and became an even more important goal
1and1′s Database Back-Up for MySQL5 conversion How-To that helped me complete all my new found goals (currently offline for maintenance but there is a copy on the Wayback Machine)
FileZilla Free FTP software for Mac
Aptana Free HTTP (CSS) Editor
Yeah, about me needing a computer in my last post….I’ve got that covered now. I was shocked; my wife surprised the heck out of me with this beauty of a 27″ i-Mac. It wasn’t a Christmas gift though, more of an I’m getting a bonus and wanted something really really nice that I know you want and will surprise you gift. Trust me, I was surprised. I never would have dreamed of getting the 27″ with it’s mind blowing 2560 x 1440 resolution, IPS LED screen, i3 3.2GHz processor, 4gb of ram, built in wi-fi, and 1tb of disk space; it’s a beast. There are faster computers and some that are a little cheaper when configured with a similar IPS monitor, but the i-Mac is a real multimedia feast that’s hard to argue with. Plus the space savings of not having a normal desktop’s tower humming beside you and not having any additional cords other than the one for power are just bonuses. I’m not saying this computer is necessary in any way, but it is a real pleasure to use. I continue to thank my wife every day for getting it for me. A few macro shots taken with a new (to me) macro rig (very similar to the one a few posts back) are below. If you haven’t seen one of these beauties be sure to go to Best Buy or an Apple store to check one out. I have only been using it a few weeks now, but I can already tell it’s going to make a big difference in my editing when compared to our laptop. Really though, how could it not?