April 24, 2016
Train In/Out: Stratford, CT
Miles walked: 9 (!)
Cameras: Olympus OM-D E-M1, m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8, Diana-F+ film camera from Lomography
Sweet Sixteen Sunday!
My 16th trip into the city happened on a Sunday instead of a Monday this week. I signed up for a special photography workshop with Chris Gampat who runs The Phoblographer website. He was teaching a class on pinhole photography because, as everyone knows, Sunday April 24, 2016 was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day! (how did you celebrate? ;) Seriously, it really was a legit day in the photography world. I haven't shot a film camera in many years, and I have never ventured into pinhole photography, but I really wanted to meet Chris and I was also looking for something different to do for my NYC visit. Mission accomplished.
What is pinhole photography? From Photo.net: "Pinhole photography is lensless photography. A tiny hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole; an image is formed in the camera. Pinhole cameras are small or large, improvised or designed with great care." My husband built a pinhole camera in high school using a Quaker Oats container. People build them all sorts of ways, or you can buy a professional camera. Pinhole creates funky images, often "cloudy" at the edges. It requires long exposure time so you get blurring of anything moving in the image. In a nutshell, it breaks all the proper rules of photography - love that! :)
My loaned camera for the day. And hey, it literally had my name on it! :) It's a Lomography Diana F+ Medium Format Camera. The lens on the front of the camera was not necessary for pinhole (weird, right?, no lens?). I shot with it on for a while, but then I pulled it off and shot purely pinhole style.
With this type of camera there are no bells and whistles so I needed a a lightmeter to figure out exposure time. I installed myLightmeter PRO on my iPhone. It (and I) did remarkably well! Who knew an iPhone could be an accurate lightmeter. The pinhole aperture was around f144 (that's tiny!!!). I put that in the app along with the ISO of my film and the app would tell me how many seconds I needed to keep the shutter open.
We shot with 120 film. I love digital photography but there was something special about getting my hands on some film. When you advanced the film, you had to look in the little window on the back (black rectangle below in the photo) to see if you had advanced to the next negative, it didn't stop automatically or lock in the frame. I definitely wound the film too far several times and totally skipped frames. It was hard to see the number in the box!
The photos below (unless otherwise noted) were taken with my Olympus digital camera. But I do include the pinhole photos at the end of this page (but you don't want to scroll down now and miss all my witty commentary, do you?). ;)
From the Lomography store, we headed west to the piers.
This was interesting. Three planes flew over, one with a banner that said www.factcheckarmenia.com. There's a bunch of political stuff going on with Armenia and Turkey, at least that's what I quickly learned online. I don't follow world news at the moment, I wrestle with being exposed to so much negativity versus being a bit uninformed as to what the rest of the world is doing. Right now I've opted for the latter and stay busy taking pictures instead.
Digital camera version.
Pinhole version of the pic above!
Our fearless leader, Chris Gampat, on the left. He was taking instant photos with a pinhole camera throughout the day. You can get an add on gadget with the Lomography pinhole camera that will print instant photos.
I was not fast enough to get a good picture of this guy, but yeah, he's walking around with two watermelons! I think this qualifies for my Interesting Things page. :)
You can't come across a vehicle like this with a group of photographers and not stop to take pictures.
I wonder what that means?
I include this picture because the guy with the yellow camera was how I kept from getting separated from the group. I was usually lagging a bit behind but all I had to do was look up and I could see his bright yellow camera on the tripod on his shoulder and know where the group was up ahead, like a beacon!
At this point we had ventured from the piers over to The Highline. Above is an impromptu portrait session Chris was doing with one of the workshop people.
And then this happened.
Yeah. Creepy. And I totally thought it was a real person.
Thankfully it's an art exhibition and they say the bronze statue was hyper-realistically painted. They are not kidding!
Still on The Highline, there is a covered portion where food vendors and exhibitors were selling their wares. These paintings were cheerful. I especially liked the piggy on the right.
This is the artist. I did a double-exposure. Kinda funky.
Another workshop attendee. He got the super pimped up Lomography camera. He hammed it up all day.
Leaving The Highline we came across this gem.
Hmmm...maybe for a pole to prop up an awning or something?
Steve Martin was in town.
Chris is leading and at this point I don't really know where I am in the city which is quite different from my usual trips into the city alone. It was kind of nice to have someone else leading me around.
Selfie reflection with my tripod and pinhole camera.
Chris was always making sure one of his ducklings didn't wander away. Actually we did lose one or two people during the afternoon but we're pretty sure they left on their own volition. (hopefully!)
She was wearing a dress that totally reminded me of the Gunny Sax dresses that were so popular when I was in middle school.
Another Meg. Weird.
A small group of us ended up on that little concrete island for a few minutes while Chris ran into a store. A lot of little things happened on that island!
We saw this fancy old Mercedes. The guys thought it was a Commander style which means it may have had bullet proof glass. Not too effective with the window rolled down.
We also watched the van in the middle of this image come out of the gas station on the right and drive right over the concrete island.
He was gorgeous. The tiny dog cracked me up.
So not a ton of digital photos from the day because I was pretty busy taking pinhole photos. And those take a while because I had to use the Lightmeter and most photos were anywhere from 6 - 40 second exposures plus me struggling to wind the film and not miss the next frame. It was exhausting but really a fun day.
Here are the rest of pinhole film photos!
This is a dog, he moved his head and because of the longer exposure time it's making him very blurred.
It just feels like this was taken in the 1950s.
This one has what looks a bit like "smoke" along the railing going down the stairs. That smoke is actually the blur of people going up and down the stairs. This had a fairly long exposure time.
I'm sad to say I totally forgot to get a picture of the New York Post. We got back to Grand Central and realized if we made the dash we could catch the train, otherwise it would have been another 35 minutes...so we dashed.
Until the next Magic Monday! Please leave me a quick note in the form below to say hi, ask a question, whatever!