Black/ White Filter test

When in the Netherlands earlier this year – I managed to take a few test images using my Black/ White filter set on the Rolleiflex TLR Planar 2.8 camera. I have been using the yellow filter a little more of lately because of its heightening contrast within an image – and have tried the orange and red filters on occasion – but I had never really gotten round to using the green, or blue filter at all!

 

The camera was mounted on a tripod during exposures, during a sunny spell during this January day and the ground was covered in snow. I have taken the first image without a filter by way of comparison – and when scanning with a Canoscan 9000f have set the parameters to this image, not shifting them for the others. No further editing has been done – not even spot removal. There was no lens shade on the camera. Images have been shot on Kodak T-max 100 ISo film and developed in Rodinal (R09).

 

I was fairly surprised to find such a big shift in contrast when using the red filter and actually a reduction from the Orange and Yellow ones. I would have expected to see a gradual build-up, but that might just be subject matter related. The overall tones of the scenes were Blue (sky), brown/ grey (trees, posts), murky green/ brown (water) and white (snow, clouds). I did actually like the effects of the blue and green filter as they make the water a little more clear and define the snow on the tree branches – but I cannot really understand where that flash of overexposure on the left side of the ‘blue filter’  frame comes from! I’ll have to look into that – just a well as I’ll have to find a better way to deal with the dried drops on the film and the ‘rings’ that show up every few frames when scanning.

 

These rings are actually called ‘ Newton rings’ : ’Newton’s rings usually form due to interference created by reflection of light from a flat surface onto a spherical surface. In scanners moisture on either the negative or on the glass surface (the tiny spherical droplets of moisture are responsible for the concentric rings in the pattern) can result in this problem.’ (lomography.com)

 

The answer seems to be to not let the film touch the plate, which is easier said than done, but I’ll give it a go on next scans 🙂

 

 

no filter

no filter

Yellow filter

Yellow filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no filter

no filter

Orange filter

Orange filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no filter

no filter

 Red filter

Red filter

 

 

no filter

no filter

Green filter

Green filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no filter

no filter

Blue filter

Blue filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elfia 2013 – Elf Fantasy Fair, Haarzuilens, the Netherlands

 

A few weeks ago, Sean, our friend Kaya and myself visited the Elf Fantasy Fair (a.k.a. Elfia) at Haarzuilens. This 2,5-day event is held annually on the ground of the beautiful Castle de Haar at Haarzuilens, a tiny village near the city of Utrecht.

 

I decided to don my best semi steampunk outfit, which is nothing more than my actual everyday garb, but it looks slightly Victorian gentleman-ish. It must be the pocket watch, waistcoat and cufflinks that do the trick. This year, I also brought my Rolleiflex TLR and 3 rolls of film, not including the remainder of the roll still in the camera. Ha! A whole 39 (3 x 12 + 3) images to burn on the day with thousands of people, costumes, scenes and props to photograph! Such an enviable position – well, maybe not according to the many people I have seen with their big, bigger or biggest digital cameras slung over their shoulder.

 

Apparently most people don’t even know that this Rolleiflex is an actual camera! I did get more than my fair share of stares and comments when wielding it about or changing the film rolls. I did like to occasional ‘now that’s a real camera’ remarks made as folk casually walked past. It did take me longer than usual to develop and scan the images as my scanner only got back into my possession last Sunday night as our household shipment from Australia arrived – but here are the images I’m happy enough with to share:

 

 

no images were found

 

Making a Portable & Collapsible Darkbox

I have spoken about this darkbox numerous times now, and showed pictures of the various stages of the construction. Here’s the full story on how to build your own portable, collapsible darkbox. And a stand for it.

It may not be the best looking thing around and it did take a fair amount of effort, but it seems to work. If you cannot be bothered and would just like to buy one, check these guys out for some fantastic examples: Blackartwoodcraft.com

 

I’ll tell you what I did, and what I would now do differently.

 

finished darkbox

In theory (and hopefully in practise) the darkbox will have the following advantages:
Small, not too heavy to carry
Sturdy (being made of wood) (this was actually unintentionally tested as it tumbled to the ground from 1,20m high – and it’s still intact)
collapsible on itself, everything folds away into 1 box
cheap(ish) to build
height adjustable as the lid of the box will be your working surface
use standing or sitting

 

The downsides:

 

It will take some time and effort to build this thing – it will be a lot easier buying a tent and lightproofing it.
You will have to be a little creative, especially it you cannot source all the materials you’d ideally like to have.
Not a lot of space to move around in.
If something breaks (hopefully not) it will be a pain replacing it!

 

 

At this point I’m fairly proud of myself of how far I’ve taken this project, as I’m not a greatly skilled woodworker – on the other side I could have saved myself some trouble and just buy a tent!  (next time I will!)

 

 

The dimensions of the box will be roughly 63 x 43 x 29 cm when closed.

The inside working space is about 56 cm wide x 48 cm deep (worktop) x 83 cm (tabletop – tent overhead). It is around 100 cm deep.

 

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • Wood, I used MDF board as it was on offer and perfect for a test run on this project of 1.2 cm thickness
  • Asparagus-foil, 6 meters (or similar, this is black/ white plastic, fairly sturdy but not too light-weight, whilst still cheap – I would advise anyone to get a bit more as 6m is cutting it close). The width was 2,7 m
  • a baby-tent or similar, to use the folding sides and supports
  • Ruby-lith foil or similar
  • Hinges (I used piano hinge strips on the top ( x 2), and normal flat hinges on the front( x 2), and on the ‘window shutter’ ( x 1))
  • Tool chest locks ( x 2) sold in the Netherlands as ‘eggbox locks’

 

  •  White tape, 10 m roll
  • Carpenter tacks (round headed tacks)
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Self-adhesive hook and hook strips/ dots
  • Glue, bisonkit woodglue
  • Drill + bits
  • Screwdriver (for those hard to reach places)
  • Screws
  • Saw (jigsaw, electrical or a plaster saw)
  • File or sanding paper or electrical
  • Paint, base coating and blackboard paint (In hindsight probably not necessary as it only complicated things by not drying properly and sticking to itself)

 

 

Cut the wood into the required sizes (Or have someone do it for you at the DIY shop where you are buying the materials)

 

1. boards to make darkbox

boards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom plate (tabletop): 63 cm x (25 cm + 2 x thickness of the wood)

Sides x 2: 40 cm x 25 cm

Back plate: 63 cm x 40 cm

The front (tabletop = lower bit): 63 cm x 25 cm – Measure how long you want your ‘table’ to be and cut a width accordingly. I chose to make it 25 cm so my total working surface depth is about 48 cm.

The front (top part); 63 cm x 15 cm – The top: holds away completely. You’ll need hinges for this and I used a wind hook to support the lid and keep it from crashing onto my tent. In hindsight I should’ve used just two screws and a piece of string on the outside.

The top; 63 cm x 25 cm

Window shutter: depends on if you want one, and how big you want your window to be.

 

 

Cut the window in the back plate

Drill a hole near a corner, then use a (electrical) figure saw to get the window out. This will cut the wood in the window in several bits, so make sure you get a spare piece of wood to cover this hole if you want to be able to shut it. I chose to do so, to protect the rubylith foil from outside impact when carrying this box around.

 

 

(optional) Paint the parts in ground paint

4. ground paint on the boards (optional)

ground paint on the boards (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assemble the wooden parts to the box, starting with the bottom, sides and back plate

Using the drill to pre-dill holes for the screws, and the wood glue to keep the plates firmly in place. Use supports (like a cardboard box for instance) to support the bottom whilst you screw in the sides, or the backplate.

Using a nail and hammer, punture small holes in the other wooden parts to show where the screws of the hinges will be.

(optional) paint the wood in the desired colour. I painted the insides a matted black – but there is no proof that this will be more functional than a white / different coloured inside.

 

5. box assembly

box assembly

6. box when shut - testing the sizes of the lid

box when shut – testing the sizes of the lid

5. lid assembly with hinges

lid assembly with hinges

7. box put together

box put together

 

 

 

Put in the window ‘shutter’ and the rubylith foil whilst you have open access to them

I was not clever enough to do this at this stage, but it will save you some trouble (and dust!) later on if you do it now. I used a couple of screws to attach the foil and 1 central hinge + 2 violin case hooks to keep the window shutter in place.

window shutter closed

window shutter closed

window shutter

window shutter

attachment of the Rubylith

attachment of the Rubylith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember that babytent? time to take it apart!

cut almost everything way, but keep the sides intact. Put any additional tent poles aside, and keep a bit of gauze if that was part of it as you’ll be able to use that for your ventilation gap later on.

 

secondhand babytent

secondhand babytent

baby tent cut up

baby tent cut up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attach the babytent sides to the darkbox.

You will need a system that will be easy to assemble/ take apart. I opted for a non-elegant solution using electrical wire guides and some coated copper wire.

The copper wire is attached to the wood by a wire guide, and twisted to form a hook. The hook slots into a second wire guide. I cut a few small holes into the baby tent sides to let the hooks through.

It would possibly be easier to use clips of some kind.

Use the smaller tent poles to keep the tent sides at a distance from each other and to provide some support to the tent as a whole. I stuck sticky hook and loop dots on the end of the tent poles and on the sides of the baby tent to keep them in place.

 

attachment of the tent poles

attachment of the tent poles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attach the black out foil to the box.

This is the tricky part as I have no pattern for this. I started by attaching the foil over the whole width of the top, black inside – white out, working from the centre to the sides, and attaching them with round-headed nails to the backboard, on the inside. These nails were slightly long for the thickness of my wood, so I cut of the end of every single one of them!

 

3. light tight plastic - asperagus foil

asparagus foil – ordered online.

attaching the foil. step 1, cover the whole width of the top

attaching the foil. step 1, cover the whole width of the top

 

 

 

 

 

Once the top was covered, I shaped the sides to fit around the baby tent sides – so I created a dome-shape with the white tape. Any knowledge of tailoring will help you with this part! Make sure to keep some extra material in the middle as you’ll need it later to create the doorway (I didn’t do this and it would have made my life a lot easier!). Then cover the sides with the additional asparagus foil, using the white tape to stick it to the already created dome, then make the circle full by putting a bit underneath – basically making a full tunnel out of the foil material. Tack the appropriate parts to the box.

 

attaching the foil, step 2, the sides

attaching the foil, step 2, the sides

attaching the foil, step 3, full circle

attaching the foil, step 3, full circle

 foil fully attached

foil fully attached

sides and foil attached, from the inside

sides and foil attached, from the inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now create a doorway. Pull a scissor over the center seam at the back, till about 3/4 way up (not till the highest point at least). Fold the material over at the top and tape it down so it can’t tear – and attach either a zipper or self-adhesive hook and loop band to the doorway so you will be able to shut it. I chose the hook and loop band because it was available to me – but wish I would have taken the extra trouble and attach a zipper instead.

 

opening in the back

opening in the back

opening in the back, hook and loop band

opening in the back, hook and loop band

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t descibe how to create your air vent, as mine doesn’t have one yet >< but I’ll get to that soon!!

 

 

And that’s it.

 

 

folding it away

folding it away

folded up, put the tent sides and tent poles in there

folded up, put the tent sides and tent poles in there

now shut the box

now shut the box

 

 

 

 

 

 

only…….

 

You still need a stand for it….   -_-

Mind you, I thought this would be the easy bit, but it turns out it’s not amazingly stable. Perhaps once I have made some improvements it will work a little better. If you have any suggestions, please comment on this page! 🙂

 

 

What you need:

 

  • 4 x length of wood, approx 130 cm long (exact length varies due to height requirements), 4 cm wide, 2 cm thick
  • 4 x length of wood approx 50 cm long, 3 cm wide, 1 cm thick
  • 2 x length of wood approx 25 cm long, 2 cm x 2 cm
  • 2 x length of wood approx 23 cm long, 2 cm x 2 cm
  • 2 x bolts
  • 4 screw-in hooks
  • length of chain/ cord, string
  • 2 x wooden plates, 50 x 20 cm

 

  • screwdriver
  • screws
  • various sized drills
  • bits of screwdriver
  • electrical figure saw

 

 

Attach 1 slat of thinner wood of 50 cm wide over the tops of 2 lengths of 130cm wood, attaching each to a far end side. Do this for both ends. Place these two made pieces next to eachother and decide where you need the hinge and therefore the bolt to be. Drill the holes and insert the bolt.

 

 measuring the distance

measuring the distance

sections to bring together

sections to bring together

strengthening the top of the posts (optional)

strengthening the top of the posts (optional)

 wood to create a stand

wood to create a stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now attach two of those shorter 50cm slats over the bottom halves, and (if needed – it was in my case) attach the 50 x 20 cm planks underneath those slats to provide it with some more stability.

Attach the screw-in rings to the sides. Measure out a piece of string/ chain and attach it to the rings. This will prevent the whole construction from falling all the way open and provide it with some additional stability.

 

Attach the 4 wooden bits of 2cm x 2 cm to the bottom and lower front of your darkbox. When opened and on the stand, it will prevent your box from sliding off the side.

add a few supports to the bottom and lower front of the box

add a few supports to the bottom and lower front of the box

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put the darkbox on the stand. Mark on the top at what angle to cut your wooden posts for it to lay flat. Do this, then mark on the bottom where to cut them in order to get the height you need. Either cut the legs at the right angle or round them off. I’ll need to go with the last one, I find them rather ‘sticky’ when on a slightly uneven tiled ground.

 

bolted, reinforced and able to take the box

bolted, reinforced and able to take the box

feet to be rounded

feet to be rounded

top to be levelled

top to be leveled

it can take a plank underneath, which makes it a bit sturdier

it can take a plank underneath, which makes it a bit sturdier

I have a very untidy workspace!

I have a very untidy workspace!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubylith window, when tent is shut (small light leaks)

Rubylith window, when tent is shut (small light leaks)

 camera testing!

camera testing!

 inside of the darkbox

inside of the darkbox

test 1, POP

test 1, POP

 test 2, POP

test 2, POP

and then.... evil came!

and then…. evil came!

test 1, dried - Sean, 1 second on f16, full sun, then waved in daylight.

test 1, dried – Sean, 1 second on f16, full sun, then waved in daylight.

test 2, dried, flowers, 30 seconds f5.6, full sun. shutter not closed when removing plate holder

test 2, dried, flowers, 30 seconds f5.6, full sun. shutter not closed when removing plate holder

test 3, dried, plants, 5 minutes, f5.6 shade, started to cloud over

test 3, dried, plants, 5 minutes, f5.6 shade, started to cloud over

test 4, dried, plants, 15 minutes, f5.6, shade, very cloudy

test 4, dried, plants, 15 minutes, f5.6, shade, very cloudy