Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fish eye fun

Fish eye pussy

I'm making yet another pinhole camera one that will show all the odd things that come with the breed, vignetting and zoom off verticals.
Today in Largs though I bought a door peep hole with the idea of using it as the camera viewer and tonight I shot a few photos through it with my compact Fuji which just happened to fit it nicely(ish).
The results are quite amusing.

View slideshow

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wide angle pinhole photos.

Wide angle pinhole photo.

Yippee! got my trial set of wide angle pinhole photos back from 'the lab' and I'm so chuffed, a good percentage were actually quite presentable, not good but maybe slightly better than OK.
The down side is that the camera has a light leak (now hopefully fixed) so they could have so easily been better...ho hum the trials of pinhole photography, now I'll have to do another set to check the light leak thingy is fixed.

The down side of the photo thing, son phoning for a lift and the afternoon rain was I didn't get any exercise at all not even a run on the beach...I'll need to make sure I fix the lack of exercise tomorrow!

View wide angle slideshow here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Walking parkhill wood

A hint that spring is approaching

Went over to Parkhill woods for a walk today. Started off lovely and sunny, held up for a while but eventually the clouds came over just as we were heading back.
With it being nice and mild it didn't matter too much.
Not many obvious pictures about in the wood I took a few into the sun for a panorama overlooking Lochwinnoch and Castle Semple, unfortunately there was so much dust on the lens the photos were splatted with flair spots so no panorama- which reminds me I must clean the lens up before my next outing.
Post walk we went over to Largs for a slightly late lunch at Craigmiles cafe (well worth the little detour) and bought a few daily essentials, bread, milk and a couple of bottles of wine for this evening.
I also bought a tin of shortbread cause the tin looked just right for a 120 pinhole camera (and I like shortbread).

Short slideshow here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A walk to Largs

Wardlaw in Kelburn

Took myself off to Largs today walking along the hillside.
I was feeling a little chesty and thought I'd take it easy off the bike but I think the chestyness was a false alarm I feel fine now.

There was lots of soft going and surface water the Glentane hillside cycle track was just a slippy mess it'll need a good few days of dry weather (or a sharp frost) to make it worth riding again.
In all it took me about 4.5 hours to do the walk, a bit longer than normal.
I kept stopping for photos including a detour up to Crosbie house in the hope it might give a decent shot, didn't really, but the photo I got is in the slideshow anyway.
The best light was to the south which meant shooting against the sun and that high contrast silhouette stuff which can be nice and atmospheric.

It was kind of late in the afternoon when I got to Largs just as the bus was due so I missed out on Craigmiles coffee and cake..maybe next time.

View slideshow

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stair to Barskimming caves

Contemplating the pain

Nice MTB outing today Stair over to Barskimming caves, lots of mud and a few monster steep climbs but thankfully short.
Katy and Craig hadn't been that way before so they got to see lots of new stuff, the 'caves' at Barskimming and maybe best of all Pedens Pulpit, a Covenaters preaching spot...may be worth search on the internet.
Anyway the weather was rather fine and we all had a great time on the bikes.

Video below.

My little IXUSS 55 is sick its zoom lens is stuck, I just hope its repairable, I'm rather fond of the little thing.
We've been lots of places together both working hard to capture the essence of MTB'ing (the way I see it anyway) and never a complaint until now.
I've got a Fuji which takes better pictures and is much better in low light but it isn't a patch on the Ixuss for macro and video (including video macro), fingers crossed all will be well in the end.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The trials of pinhole photography

At last!...a decent pinhole photo

Got some pinhole images back from 'the lab' but again mostly they were lessons to be learned.
My Agfa Clack has a light leak somewhere, I'll need to take it to bits to have a look and maybe add a light proof lens cap
However my homemade cardboard ugly is working great (except for the slack shutter) but I seem to be getting most of my pinhole photos underexposed (shouldn't have changed film type)
I've been fixing them digitally from the scanned images, kind of defeats the object of getting back to the pinhole basics of really thinking about the photo I want to take BEFORE I take it and accepting the result as a finished item.
Maybe as I learn the lessons and get better the images will be presentable in their unedited that would really be something....I think?

View slideshow

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Waves at Portencross

Waves by the castle

Nice day for out and about except a bit windy for the bike, so instead of cycling I went off photo shooting up at Fairlie doing some more pinhole stuff with my newly made wide angle camera. Then down to Portencross because its great down there especially if like today the sun is shining and the waves are rolling in.

View a very short slideshow

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Panorama software

Largs at night

The only real exercise I've had over the past couple of days is a daily half hour run on the beach.
Most of my time has been frittered away on photos nonsense of the celluloid type hence no return until I get them back from the 'lab'.
At nearly nine pounds a roll of film for develop and scan its a dear business and with only 8 photos a roll (120 film) the cost per photo is kinda high but there ain't much point making film pinhole cameras and not shootin' off some film.

Got a bit of software to do panoramas, its so easy to get really good results with it I went back to some recent efforts to try it out, view the results here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The coast and Kelburn

Neolithic tomb at Largs

Graham as keen to get out today but time constraints and the weather outlook compressed the time slot to make it into a local run. Still managed almost four hours on the bike along the coast Portencross, Fairlie and Largs for a bit of coffee and cake at the Harlequin cafe. I like the Harlequin cause I can keep an eye on the bikes out their big window.
On the way back we detoured a bit to the Neolithic Tomb, not a lot to see just a small chamber of stone but Graham hadn't been there so it was nice to visit it.
The way back through Kelburn meant all the hard work and mud was on the second half of the cycle but the reward was the great downhill to Fairlie.

We got back to my place just as the rain and wind was setting in so we had some soup, coffee, scones and clove and ginger wine before I ran him back home in the car to save a wet and windy end to the day.

Lovely cycling outing - view the video below or view a slideshow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home made camera

My pinhole camera collection

I was just thinking of going outdoors this morning when the postie came with a parcel of photos.
They were from my recent pinhole exploits including the ones from my home made pinhole camera.
Needless to say I got stalled at home checking them out.
I'm delighted with the ones from my home made camera, although they did show I need to make up a viewer to help stop me cropping off some of the pictures.
The rest of images had plenty of lessons to be absorbed (and I mean lots and lots of lessons).
I can see this evening being spent trying to take all the lessons in so that next time I might get some photos instead of lessons.

View a slideshow which includes images from my home made pinhole camera.

PS The other photos weren't quite the disaster I thought view the rescued underexposed pinhole set here and the f100 Portencross set here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kilmarnock to Galston

Galston Church

Got out on the bike today but had some film to get developed on route so chose to go over to Kilmarnock and do a little loop while the pictures were getting done.
The little loop turned out a bit longer than I expected about 3.5hours.
The route was a bit like this one except I added some nice single track near Cessnock Castle at the penalty of an extra climb. It was worth it though.
The photos I was getting developed were amazingly awful but I learned a couple of lessons so next time they WILL BE BETTER!

Boring video of today's MTBing below.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Old hydro electric at Wemyss Bay

Divers helmet in Seafront Cafe Wemyss Bay

My son borrowed the car for the week end to go off with his pals to Sky, that together with a couple of wet and windy days severly restricted my gallivanting.
The disruption continued today, we had to pick up the car at Gourock where he'd dropped it off on route to his work (its a long story) so we decided to have a short walk up behind Skelmorlie to break up the day and make use the nice weather.
To our delight (well mine at least) we discovered the ruin of his lordships (Kelly I think) hydro scheme, one of the first on the west coast (according to a local we asked) no doubt servicing the big house with electric lighting.
We followed the lade from the hydro site up the bank of the burn to the ruined dam, a lovely spot with some nice little waterfalls (nice spot if you ignore the fire and booze debris).
The path continues on but got too overgrown for easy progress so we turned back and made our way down the Kelly gorge to Wemyss bay and the Seafront Cafe for a bit of the usual coffee and cake before climbing back uphill to the car and pickup run around.
All in all it turned out quite a nice unplanned outing and to make the trip even nicer we were treated to a lovely sunset on the way back down the road home.

Managed a few photos view them here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A few quiet days

Deer enjoying the winter
sun in Bellisle Park Ayr

Haven't been out on the bike this week yet just pottering about walking and taking a few photos (see previous entry for some pinhole photos at Alloway).
Tuesday we were down in Ayr to pick up photos and fill the day with a walk along the river at Auchincruive, lots of ice on the river but nice uderfoot for walking.
Yesterday was super mild, grey, misty and still with intermittent drizzly showers. It was lovely down on Seamill beach in the grey mistiness until it started seriously raining but we were on the way home by then so it didn't matter much.
Today I went down to Portencross to shoot off a roll of film with my homemade pinhole camera, its first outing.
All went well until the last photo when the film advance jammed up.
Just managed to get over the problem with a bit of brute force, turned out to be a silly bit of sticky tape I'd put in the feeder for some reason.
Now I've got some more film running about or posting to do.
Ho..Hum life's just so hectic.

Couldn't get the usual slide show to work so view the photos in Flickr

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Agfa Clack pinhole debut

Burns monument Alloway
taken with my 'new' Agfa Clack pihole camera.

Over the WE I modified an old Agfa Clack for pinhole photos.
Yesterday Anne and I went down to Ayr to get some 120 roll film and to shoot some photos along at Burns monument in Alloway. A lovely spot for a bit of pinhole nonsense. I got a few 'nice shots' and learned a few lessons about stuff I should have known anyway.
Got the negatives back today (Ayr Jessops couldn't print them just develop) and got them digitised by photographing them on my digital camera with the colour balance adjusted to reduce red and increase blue and green (same thing really).
I'm very pleased with the outcome, got some 'nice' pinhole photos and learned some more about shooting with pinhole.

View the Alloway pinhole slideshow here.

If you have to ask 'what is the point' just remember these photos were NOT taken with a fancy lens but a very small hole, a tiny little circle of air punctured in a thin bit of metal. Still don't get it? Well the photos have a soft quality that all pinhole photos have and can photograph thing very close and far in the same photo. They compress time, each image takes many seconds to capture so can produce time shift effects. Still don't get it....oh well maybe its not for you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

More photo nonsense

Photo taken with a home assembled 90mm f60 lens

Ive been playing with pinhole and lenses again in between mountain biking, walking and blogging. Latest thing is modifying an Agfa Clack bought on eBay into a 'Lochlomo' as per this site info and reducing the size of the pinhole in my 35mm SLR to see if the image improved. Sure enough the images were sharper but I now understand why pinhole nerds (not quite there yet, its a 3year apprenticeship) go for big format basically the bigger the format the better the apparent sharpness (and the longer the exposure).
I must be a bit dull cause I've read loads and still had to go and make all the basic mistakes to understand all the things I'd read. I now understand loads about pinhole photography and am about to learn all about how to get my first two 120 films from the Agfa Clack ('Clacky') developed in these days of digital, it seems to involve lots of running around or snail mail but in the realm of trial and error, the trials are great and the errors boundless or alternatively let me guddle maybe it'll work.....nope that's crap (obviously)!

View my newest pinhole photos here but they won't win prizes

First MTB of 2009

Ailsa Craig from Carrick hills

First MTB outing of 2009 today with Katy and Craig over the Carrick hills to Croy shore and Culzean.
Nice day for it the ground was frozen and it was cold and clear.
Carrick hills are a bit on the rough side for good mountain biking a touch of the '4th dimension' but has some great views over to Arran and Ailsa Craig. Its worth it just for the views alone.
Unfortunately the Culzean centre was closed today so no coffee we just had make do with our packed lunch before a loop in Culzean and back to the car. About 3.5 hours of some quite tough cycling. Loved it not so sure if Katy and Craig did though, but its all part of the MTB experience.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

More frost at Dailly

Frost crystals

For the last MTB outing of 2008 Graham and I went down to Crosshill to cycle over the moor to Dailly (similar route description here). Mid moor there is an old limestone quarry cut into the rock strata at a steep angle and forming caves filled with floodwater, a good place to stop for a breather and a look see. On the far side of the moor is a nice bit of singletrack through woodland, it could be great if some local MTBer took it upon themselves to fill up the muddy rough bits that break up the trail. I was even thinking I may go down there myself and do the job. It would be a worthwhile day of work but its a long way away so not a lot of return for outlay.
We stopped off at Tilly's tea room in Dailly and returned along the muddy trail on the side of Graigfin.
Great last day of mountain biking for 2008, lots more to come in 2009.

Been out with the camera capturing night scenes around the village view slideshow here.

Happy new (cycling) year

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