I took the camera up to the common early this evening to see where I needed to position the focussing screen for landscapes. I had the ideal location in mind – sweeping views across the Exe Estuary, the sun setting in the west, good, flat ground. I drove up (don’t worry, we’re not becoming the Pinhole Petrolheads – the trailer hasn’t arrived yet!) and got out to find it really pretty windy! We had a go at installing the camera, but the winds were too strong and I had not bought the guy ropes. Lesson learnt, I found another spot where the view sadly wasn’t as impressive, but it was nicely sheltered for me to do my experiment. We set up.
Once up, we climbed inside, set the lens up and saw the first projection of a landscape shine through..first just a detail..
Really pleased. I didn’t take the tripod for the camera I was taking these of, sadly, s0 these photographs are themselves a little dark, but the definition on the screen was superb and there are a few things I would like to try to improve it even more. Replacing the screen with a less translucent will reflect more light back, giving a brighter image, and I have also nearly finished some drapes to go inside the camera that will minimise reflections within the camera that bit more. It’s all coming together!
THE CAMERA WORKS! It ain’t too pretty on the outside but the lens is performing so so well. I did have a niggling fear that light no longer travels in straight lines – but today I was able to combine the lens and light-tight structure, putting them together to make a camera! It was set up in my garden – not a big garden, and is currently taking up a good 50% and getting in the way. I should go take it down. Anyway – I managed to get a pin sharp image of a window on the back of my house focussed onto my hand.
Excited, I scrambled for a better focusing screen and found a blind which is proving ideal. You can view the image from behind too (depending on how close the subject is to the lens) which is really special. Once I’d got this initial image I grabbed my dad, and asked him to step infront of the lens..forward a bit, back a bit.. perfect!
The lens handled the details really well, and gave everything a very shallow depth of field that looked to me quite painterly… not bad for Dad! As it is only in m garden I’m yet to see how it looks with landscapes, and really eager to get it out and set up somewhere a bit more rural..
I couldn’t post without saying a HUGE Thank You to each and every pledger who helped us reach our crowdfunding target. Also a big thank you to Mike who helped me with his great lens knowledge, recommending the perfect piece of glass for my contraption, and Iona who patiently helped with getting each and every seam more light tight, using a combination of gaffa tape, electrical tape and hurried trips to the hardware shop.
Below is some more pictures from the build.
The camera is taking shape nicely, all the joins have now been made and it fits well (Thank you Alex, Louise and Iona!) just needs a few tucks here and there and all will be well.
Luckily any of my disagreements that I had with the sewing machine (there were a few, I’ll be honest) will be covered by a fabulous piece of art work that’s gonna be stretched across the outside of the frame… beautiful!
Next jobs on the build are to make all the seams light tight, and line it with a black fabric to minimise reflections (cunningly, reusing some black bed sheets that fit perfectly!) and then the fun bit begins – playing with lenses and light and all things lovely. I have spent far too many sunny days stuck inside a light tight box, but it is certainly worth it!
In other news, visited SoundArtRadio today and will be going LIVE on air tomorrow morning to talk about the project and find some more wonderful pledgers for our crowdfunding page. If you haven’t already, anything you can pledge will be so fantastic and there are rewards ranging from a postcard from us on tour, prints, to a portrait of your lovely face! Spread the word and share the love!