Saturday, October 16, 2010


I know. Polaroid no longer makes film. But some very determined people decided to "re-invent" the instant photograph and The Impossible Project was born. I was never really a "Polaroid" photographer, but I did have a One-Step around and occasionally would pick up a pack of film at the store when I thought of it. Well, after spending too much time on Flickr and seeing so many beautiful Polaroid photographs taken with the Polaroid SX-70, I just had to have one of those cameras. Not to mention the incredible engineering it took to build such a beautiful camera. Once I get it into my head that I want a camera, I cannot seem to let it go. And for the last year, I've been searching for a reasonably priced and working SX-70. But, there is such a demand for that camera, it's rare to see nice ones for under $100. Since the film is upwards of $20 a pack, that was an investment I was not willing to make. Until...

About a month ago, while perusing Craigslist for cameras (as I often do), I decided to search on "polaroid". And much to my surprise, I saw an ad for "Polaroid SX-70 Time-Zero Autofocus - $7" in Sperryville, VA. 7 DOLLARS? It had to be a piece of junk. 7 DOLLARS? But, I had to click on the ad. And it said, "excellent condition, working, with a pack of refrigerated expired Time-Zero film". What? You can't even buy Time-Zero film for $7 on eBay! So, I just had to see if this was really true... You know what they say about "too good to be true". I emailed the person asking for more information. A few days later, I got a call...

I talked with the man selling the camera for nearly 20 minutes. He was a pediatric dentist that used to use the camera at his office before digital cameras. He was so very pleasant to talk to and seemed like such a nice person, that I just had to be honest with him about the price of the camera. He said that he had no idea that it was such a valuable object in the "photographic world", but that he really didn't care about making money on the camera. Well, we talked photography, The Impossible Project, and darkrooms. His son was into photography once and had an enlarger sitting around. He asked if I wanted that, too. How much? Free. Really? Yes. Wow. Since we live over 2 hours away from each other, he said the next time his son (who lives closer to me) came for a visit he'd hand the stuff over to him and I could pick it up.

Weeks went by, I was only slightly worried. Then I got a call from him. His son was going to visit him and he was going to give the camera and enlarger to him. Then the part came when I was literally speechless, which is very hard to do to me.... His father had an old Polaroid 250 that had the portrait and macro lenses and a flash with flash bulbs. Did I want it? How much? Free. ..... Hello? Um, wow. *laughs* Seriously? Yes. He said his 90 year old father would just love the fact that someone would want to use it.

Wow. I picked them up from his daughter-in-law October 15. These cameras are in working, near-mint condition. For $7. I went to Batteries Plus and they still make the 4.5V battery for the 250. I'll have it in a week. I'm ordering the pack film online. I have shot 1 frame in the SX-70. I'm in love with it. The picture is far from good. I think I was excited and nervous to see what would happen when I pressed the red button...

...and I can press it 9 more times.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blog? What Blog?

Oh yeah, this blog. Hello, loyal readers (what few I have left!). It's funny that I feel I need to apologize for my lack of CotW posts. Truth is, I've never been good at keeping up with those sorts of things (I could never do that 365 without going mad). Honestly, I think I do those types of things as a creative jumping board for what really matters to me.

Oh, but I digress. Quite a while ago (I'd hate to say a year, but it might be nearly that), my neighbor suggested that I look into the local dance/art studio that had opened in the area. Her friend had started it and was looking for local artists to possibly teach there. She suggested that I teach photography. I laughed. I don't teach...

Then, I met the owner at a get-together 4 or 5 months ago. We chatted a bit about what she was looking for and I said I'd think about it. Then in June, I decided that I either needed to do it or just say no. So, I just said, "yes". Once that contract was signed I couldn't turn back. And I had 3 weeks to get a class together!

I spent those 3 weeks poring over all of my photography books and old class notes to come up with a 3-day workshop. The first day was basic camera instruction and photographic composition. Then the class would go on a photo walk-about where the students could practice and ask me questions. The final class was to be a critique of the photos they had taken.

The class went without a hitch and I had a blast teaching! Everyone said that they had learned a lot and the only "critique" was that I seemed nervous at the first class. I laughed. I said that I seemed nervous because I was incredibly nervous. I am deathly afraid of public speaking and "public speaking" to me is any more that 1 person! :) It was so much fun, I'm going to do it again!

Here is my class during our photo walk-about, taken with the Lomography Spinner 360°:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SoFoBoMo 2010

And this is why you haven't seen me in a few weeks. :) Since last year was a bust, I decided to really make an effort to complete this year's book. The truth is, I love film. It is also really difficult to complete a book of 35 photographs in 31 days and shoot film. And I didn't want to shoot digital and spend hours in Photoshop trying to recreate the lovely look of film. But, if you remember... I just got an Android and downloaded the Vignette app for it. This lovely app lets me set up the look and feel of film before I even start. So, Photoshop was relegated to merely adding the text and the black borders (to make the book assembly much easier).

My book is called, "Little Horses". I've had these miniature Breyer horses sitting around since I picked them up at a thrift shop a couple of years ago. I had always wanted to use them in a series of photographs and I thought this would be a perfect time. My goal was to make the viewer unsure if these were toys or actual horses. Some, I think are quite successful... Others, not so much. But, I like that, as well. Overall, I'm happy with what I have accomplished in 19 days!

So, without further ado, the book...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 14 - Camera Phone (CotW)

"Seriously?", you say. Yes, seriously. This week (or 2... I stopped counting), I used my good old camera phone. Well, actually, it's a new phone. With a 5MP camera. I can download apps. Camera apps. But, it's not an iPhone. It's the Motorola Android. It's awesome, I love it. I bought an awesome camera app within the first hour of owning the thing. I sat in the parking lot playing with it. It's fun.

"What's so great about a camera phone with an app?", you ask. Well, it makes all my digital pictures look like they came out of a lovely fantastic plastic camera. I can include light leaks, square format, "fake" frame numbers when I "bleed" to the edge of the film, x-pro, polaroid frames... This list goes on and on. This lovely app is called, Vignette. And I'm in love (at least for a little while).

It will never replace my film, because, well... nothing in this world can replace film. But, it is a lovely little toy and I'm having fun. Isn't that what photography is all about?

My favorite, by far (and I love A LOT of them), is the one I took of my daughter swinging.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 13 - Lomography SuperSampler (CotW)

This week brought me back to play with another multi-lens single-frame camera, the Lomography SuperSampler. This camera's lenses take 4 mini-panoramas as opposed to the Quad-Cam's window like frames. I especially like this one of my daughter as I think it captures childhood perfectly. Just think of all the happy children you've seen splashing in a fountain...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week 12 - Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim (CotW)

It seems that my motivation for the Camera of the Week is slowly waning, which oddly coincides with the end of the list of all my toys. And since I'm shooting film, there is always a lag between when I shoot and when I receive my images from the lab and it gets a bit confusing. I suppose I should start keeping better track. This week I received 2 rolls of film (weeks 12 & 13), but I slacked on shooting an entire roll of film since both cameras had film from my "Spring Break". Ah well...

So, the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim is this lovely little plastic point and shoot camera that I bought a couple of years ago on eBay for a measly $12 including shipping. I've seen these little gems go for $20 + shipping! Wow... I'm so happy I jumped on that bandwagon before they became popular! :) They have this lovely "ultra wide" 22mm lens with incredible vignetting. People sometimes call it the Poor Man's LC-A. This little thing gets tossed into what ever bag I have with me and is always pointed at something fun!

This week I shot with Kodak 64T slide film and cross-processed it in C-41. Poppies in the Median was my favorite on the roll from the "actual" CotW Week (not Spring Break). Those are on flickr....

Week 13 - Lomography SuperSampler

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 11 - Noblex Pro Sport (CotW)

It's nice to have friends with cool cameras. This (3) weeks' camera was the Noblex ProSport panoramic camera that my sister-in-law's very generous boyfriend loaned to me. After taking and entire roll of my fingers (because of the very wide angle lens), I figured out just how to hold the thing. It is a very heavy camera (I'm so used to plastic ones) and holding it with just 4 fingers (2 on top and 2 on bottom) seemed dangerous. (Don't worry Jerre, I had the strap around the wrist ALWAYS!) I did, however, get 2 rolls of film with absolutely NO fingers!

I still don't know why I shoot color film... Everything looks better in black and white. Of course, 9:30 isn't exactly the ideal time for good morning light either, so I guess I deserved that. And I still have to work on scanning cross-processed film, but those negs were pretty dark anyway.

I thought the Fredericksburg Battlefield would be a great place to really tryout the panoramas and I was not disappointed. However, I do need to go back again to get some shots with another camera (Holga) of a tree I absolutely fell in love with.

Week 12 - Lomography Supersampler

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Week 10 - Seagull 4B-1 TLR (CotW)

If you follow my blog, you may remember my Technical Difficulties with my beloved Seagull TLR. Well, I decided to shoot with it anyway and just move until something in the frame was in focus!! It certainly exercised my creativity in composition. This weekend I will be heading to Dominion Camera to see if they can fix my baby...

Surprisingly, I have 2 favorites this week and I just couldn't decide which to post, so you get both.

After taking a Spring Break, CotW 11 continues this week featuring a Guest Camera, the Noblex SportPro Panoramic camera. It is on loan from the generous boyfriend of my sister-in-law. Woohoo for fun new cameras!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Well, CotW 10 has had a very upsetting technical problem. When I took my Seagull 4B-1 out for its week, I noticed that its focusing knob was completely useless. It wiggled freely on its post, but did not come all the way off. So, basically, it is stuck with a focus of approximately 3ft. This is upsetting for many reasons... First, this was a gift from my husband for my birthday nearly 5 years ago. Second, there is no local repair shop for this type of camera and was told that repairs for regular cameras run about $160. This camera was about $200... Third, I cannot find a repair manual or anyone online (so far, I'm still looking) who can even give me an idea of what kind of repair this would even be. Fourth, I'm afraid to open it up and then find out I can't put it back together even if I could fix it. It is still a mystery as to how it could have broken while stored in a camera bag wrapped in a padded Domke wrap.

So, I thought to myself, "hmmm, most of my other cameras either have a fixed focus or none at all, so why should this one!" and I used up the last 2 frames on the roll in the camera and shot a whole other roll with the camera focused at 3ft (I hope).

While we wait for the film to come back from the developer, here is a favorite from a few years ago...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Week 9 - Yunon YN500 (CotW)

Well, this camera has again stumped me as to when or why it decides not to advance the film. I thought I figured it out after the first roll and was *extremely* careful to be aware of my fingers during the winding this time. Well, there they were random partial double-exposures.

I went to load the camera and since I hadn't used this camera in over a year (check out the last post on it... March 2009!), I had forgotten about the roll of film inside....oops again! The camera resets the film counter back to "S" when it is opened, so when I reached 24 on the counter (and I knew the roll inside was a 36 exposure) I was wondering why it wouldn't wind (except a click or so, enough to cock the shutter). So the last frame on the roll turned out to be 5+ exposures of my daughter, a beach, and some drift wood.

CotW 10 - The Seagull (which I know has film in it, I just wish I knew what speed)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week 8 - Quad-Cam Gold (CotW)

This week's camera was my "new" Gold Quad-Cam, which is very similar to the Lomography ActionSampler. It has 4 lenses that fire consecutively so that you can capture 4 small frames of action on one 35mm film frame. Lomography once had an option of turning these types of images into "mini-movies" looping continuously through the 4 frames, but not anymore. This was the first ever roll through this camera for me and I was not disappointed. While out with this camera I had 2 different thoughts: Will this subject 1) make a good "mini-movie" OR 2) allow all four frames to work together as a single composition. So, I actually have TWO favorites from this week...

The Mini-Movie (painfully put together and artificially looped for 8 seconds of viewing pleasure):

The Single Composition (with 4 frames):

Currently shooting CotW 9 with my Yunon YN500

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 7 - Holga WPC (CotW)

So, Week 7 came and went without a hitch. I only ran 1 roll of film through the WPC,which isn't a lot since it takes only 6 images on a roll! I do believe there was some kind of user error with the camera, because all but 2 images had this line where one side of the image was lighter than the other. I think it was the problem of not opening the shutter quick enough for the short exposure times (2-4 secs). I absolutely love this camera. It's a huge piece of black plastic, that makes beautiful pictures.

CotW 8 is using my new Gold Quad-Cam. Four pictures, one frame.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 6 - Golden Half (CotW)

I can't even begin to explain the elation I felt when I looked at this first roll of film from the Golden Half. It was amazing how long it took to take 48 images on a roll of film, when I can shoot hundreds of images on a digital camera without a thought. It's funny, how using a film camera makes me slow down and think about the image instead of just snapping away. Each frame is precious. From the first look at the negatives, this one really stood out. I am not happy about the reflections in the glass (I attempted to block them out), but this is definitely a window I will visit again real soon!

Week 7 Camera of the Week is the Holga WPC. The first roll is at the developer!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 5 - Pinhole Blender Mini 120 (CotW)

Well, week 5 of Camera of the Week got off to a bad start. After days and days of dark grey skies and snow, I finally took the Blender out for some fun. I also decided to shoot with a zone plate instead of the pinhole. Unfortunately, with the roll of film inside (ISO 400) and the aperture of f/64, the exposures were less than 1 second. That is quite difficult when your shutter is a piece of gaffer tape! There were light leaks on most of the roll caused by opening up the can and... OOPS ...finding a roll of film in there. The color on the roll wasn't very colorful, so I changed it to black and white... I definitely will take this out again in the spring!

This week's camera is the Golden Half Chelsea Maika edition. Stay tuned...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 4 - Holga (CotW)

The Holga never seems to disappoint, even when its handler is less than enthusiastic about the subjects it captures. Of course, this was the first week of the Snowpocalypse and snow was absolutely the only thing around. I finished off an old roll still in the camera, which had pictures that I had taken in Annapolis (during the warm summer light). I had a nice one of the old barn, but how many blog posts can one do on a barn that is just a lump of lumber? So, the selection of the week was from the roll of Ilford 3200 that was completely shot in the back yard during the snow.

The Week 5 CotW is the Pinhole Blender Mini 120. Since I have been literally snowed in for much of the week (and I could not stand to take any more pictures of snowy trees), I have extended it through this week. I hope to take it somewhere a little more inspirational...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week 3 - Plastic Panoramic (CotW)

OK, I could finally get out of the house today and pick up my film from Richmond Camera. This roll was from the nameless 35mm panoramic camera I bought on eBay for $5 (including shipping). It is the most basic point & shoot camera (no controls at all) and ONLY takes panoramic pictures. Well, to my surprise every negative came out nicely exposed (however, not all were nicely composed). The real challenge came in cutting the negatives as there is maybe 2mm space between them.

There is also this odd looking light leak that occurs occasionally and with no obvious reason. I have 2 negatives that were taken in the same general direction within seconds of each other and one has a leak, the other does not. The lens does seem to be very fuzzy (maybe needs a good cleaning). And since it only cost $5, I won't mind taking it apart and checking out the insides. I may even be able to fix the image counter!

All in all, I was happy with this first roll. Here is my favorite of the bunch!

Hopefully, I will get my film back from my CotW 4 (Holga) in a few days. This week's camera is the Pinhole Blender Mini 120.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


So, this week will have no post for CotW since the east coast had a blizzard and my film is stuck in Richmond or Fredericksburg. So, hopefully I'll have 2 posts for next week. My Holga film is here and ready to be developed when the snow melts. :)

In the meantime, a view from my porch...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Week 2 - Agfa Clack (CotW)

So, week 2 (Jan 17-23) was spent with a camera I had not picked up (except to move out of the way) for almost 2 years! The Agfa Clack is a medium format camera that takes 6x9 cm negatives. Nice and BIG! Well, I finished the roll left in the camera (from 2 years ago) and one other roll. The rolls were color, but there is not much color in the world in the middle of January! And since I'm such a black and white junky, I had no problem turning the only picture worth sharing (out of 11, since 5 were taken 2 years ago)into a b&w beauty.

I think I am almost finished the roll in the nameless panoramic camera (the counter is broken!!). So, maybe I can get that to the lab this week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Diana F+ (+ accessories!!)

So, on my last birthday (over a month ago), I decided to go ahead and splurge on something I'd been looking at for awhile. And since it was nearly Christmas, and the Lomography Store was having oodles of sales, I decided to make a purchase (or 3). I really thought I'd like the Diana Mini, but it was So, I decided to get the Diana F+ because you can buy so many more accessories! There was a great sale if you bought 2 or more, and I'm always a sucker for a sale. So I ended up with the Diana F+, the 35mm back, and the wide angle lens.

I'm happy...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 1 - P-Sharan (Camera of the Week)

The week of January 10-16 was the first week of my "Camera of the Week" challenge. Of course, it would happen that the P-Sharan was the first out of the bag (literally). That has been the camera that I've been using almost exclusively since I got her. Ah well, that was the chosen camera. Not too much exciting to talk about, except when I got that roll of film back, pressed it against the window of the van to see it better, my breath was taken away.... I am amazed EVERY time I unroll that film. Everything looks lovely through that pinhole...

I'm using the Agfa Clack this week... Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's Been So Long..

...that I actually had a "Welcome back to Flickr" comment on one of my pictures. Has it really been that long? Apparently, 6 months or so. Wow. It's amazing how things fall through the cracks when life gets crazy.

I've still been working (albeit slowly) on the "Impressions Through a Pinhole" book. My motivation ebbs and flows, which is to be expected in any creative endeavor. I have rolls of film just waiting to be scanned! In time, in time...

With this new year, I've decided to "share the love" with all my various toys. It seems I have cameras (and "toy lenses") I've completely forgotten about! So, I've written all of their names (including the Lensbaby & Pinhole Bodycap) on small slips of paper that I will pick out weekly. The goal is to use only that camera for the week and shoot at least 1 roll of film.

That should mean I should have at least 1 blog post a week, too. Just in case you missed me!


shari pastore photography © 2010. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness