Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Indicative of Horror

If ever I've been in a shower room that should have been featured in a horror film, it's the one in the old gymnasium at Samford University.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Ripening

It was only a matter of time, but at times it seemed like the day would never arrive. More than four months after the beginning of the composting, and almost exactly two months after the tomato plants were first planted, ripe fruit has been borne.

The first one to ripen is one that I have dubbed Tiny Tom. It's about the size of a golf ball.

Additionally, it was mauled by bugs before I abandoned my attempt to forgo the use of insecticides.

Several more, of more substantial size, are quickly approaching ripeness as well.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Welding Glass as a Neutral Density Filter

After seeing an article on DIY Photography about using welding glass as a neutral density filter, I decided to give it a go. The purpose of an ND filter is to reduce the amount of light that sensor (in this case) receives, with changing the colors. However, the welding glass, which you can get at Amazon [US Forge 104 Shaded #10 Welding Lens], has a deep greenish cast. Shade 10 glass serves as a 14-stop filter, according to others' estimates.

This cast required me to set a custom white balance, by holding a white piece of paper in front of the lens after attaching the filter. Setting the white balance in this manner tells the camera that what is, in reality, this particular shade of green, should be rendered as a white object. Ideally, this will render naturally-colored subjects so long as the filter is in place.

I secured the filter by using 4 rubberbands in much the same manner as on the DIY site. Because the plate of glass will not sit absolutely flush against the lens, light leaks may occur. In order to prevent this, you can drape some sort of cloth (I used a pillow case) over the top of the camera and lens.

There are many instances in which you might want to decrease the amount of light that reaches your camera's sensor, and many of them involve water. In order to test out my setup, I went to Baines Dam in Gardendale. The amount of water running over the dam to the creek below was low, thanks to our month long drought. But there was enough to allow for that milky-misty effect that can sometimes be nice in scenes involving moving water.

While this idea was certainly not original to me, I enjoyed implementing it, as a low-cost solution to a not-uncommon problem. Hopefully, it will yield creative opportunities in the future.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photographing Greenwood Cemetery

Having finally received a functioning lens for my newly acquired Minolta SRT 202, it was time to put it through its paces. For both economic and practical reasons, I selected a Rokkor-PF 55mm f/1.7 lens. Several weeks ago, I wrote up a piece about the 202's cousin, MC-II, on which I did some repair work, but has since been gifted to friend and fellow-blogger Tyler Dooley.

Greenwood Cemetery seems to be an almost forgotten place on the outskirts of Birmingham, cuddled up next to the airport. Many of the headstones there have been unsettled by trees which at the time were mere infants or nonexistent. Others have been neglected and abused by the elements, some rather directly.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Formerly in Disrepair

Decrepit homes scar Highway 31 from Birmingham to Warrior, like pock marks on a face. Over the years, I have photographed a number of them. All of the ones featured here have since been removed, some within days or weeks of my having photographed (one of them, I think, as a direct result of my having stopped to photograph it).

Canon A-1, Fuji Neopan 400
Holga 120, Fuji Acros 100
Canon A-1, FD 20mm f/2.8, Kodak Gold 200
Panasonic LX3
Canon A-1, Kodak Gold 200
Panasonic LX3