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So sorry…

November 5, 2010

So sorry that I have neglected my poor blog. Lots of stuff going on this year. Work has been rather suffocating and now there is a baby on the way any minute now. If anyone out there is still waiting for me to get off my ass leave a comment. That just might be what I need to motivate myself to clear of the desk and scan all the film I have sitting around.

The Altix’s last stand…

May 13, 2010

So the voices have been heard and the camera you wanted to see featured was the Altissa Altix V. A nice old German camera that takes 135 film. More about it can be seen if you click the “My Cameras” link at the top of the page and scroll a bit. This has been one of my favorite cameras for a while but sadly it is out of action at the moment. During my very long time in the states last year this camera got a but of a work out. But…

One day the film would not advance. I was quite sad needless to say. It turned out that the little gear that turned when the film advanced in order to cock the shutter is stuck. I know nothing about vintage camera repair and I have quite big fingers so there is no way I am going to open this thing up and tinker with it. Poor thing really. Its a great little camera and when it gets it right it really makes you happy.

Now these picture were a huge surprise to me. This roll of film had been floating around in a coat pocket since before last winter and I finally got around to developing it this past monday. I don’t know exactly when this roll was shot but by the looks of it it was a long time ago. These buckets of compost are from when we moved in to our house in February 2009.

Apparently I went around the house and garden, took some shots with the Altix and probably ruined half this roll when the camera broke, as there was only 12 shots on it. (Unless it was a 12 shot roll but who knows really). Its really an exciting thing to have a time capsule like this, especially as everything is changing right now both physically and otherwise. Its nice to be able to look back at little details you have forgotten. These images already have a dreamy quality to them. Having them revealed over a year after they were taken adds to this dreaminess and mystery.

The film was Kodak Gold 100 expired sometime in the past or possibly the future. Have I ever been an organized photographer? Hope you enjoy these shots. Stay tuned for a future post featuring the runner up of the wee little reader poll I did, the LCA+.

What’s new…

May 10, 2010

As I sit here at my computer scanning some film for the first time in quite a while I feel compelled to make a little update to my increasingly dormant blog.  So here it goes.

What’s new?

Read more…

Ok, I’m back…

March 29, 2010

…for now at least.

So as promised here is a new post for all those of you that are still with me after my big lull in posts and photography.  Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t stopped taking pictures.  In fact my back log of film to get scanned up gets bigger and bigger.  But there have been many things going on in my life right now that have kept me away from the computer.

For starters, life is back to the way it used to be a year ago for the most part.  I have the same old stuff keeping me busy and eating up all my time.  That all comes with being back home with my wife I suppose.  Life is good and busy as it should be.

If you have followed my blog here the past so many months you will already know why I would be so happy to be back home with my wife.  It was a very long six months of my life when I was over in the states waiting for a visa.  In fact my whole visa troubles, that started over a year ago, are now finally coming to an end.  The final application that will give me a whole five years to live a normal, worry free life with my wife and my dog is sitting at the home office right now waiting for that all important stamp.  In fact it is sitting there in a bundle along with both me and my wife’s passports so the two of us are actually stranded on this green island for however long it takes.  Even if I wanted to leave I can’t.  After so much stress, work and tears it comes down to the final wait.  Lets hope it will be sooner rather then later.

Now dear readers I wouldn’t let you leave this fresh new post without some tasty photography.  I do have a nice new scanner after all and I have been using it.  But this offering of visual goodies doesn’t actually come from me this time.  Remember that special edition Four Corners Dark Holga that was offered up a while ago.  Well I gobbled one of the ten up right away and had it shipped to me when I was still in America.  When I finally got back to Ireland I presented it like a cat does a dead bird to my dear wife and she has been burning a few rolls through it.

The black and white shots were on some Ilford HP5 Plus which gave a great soft grey tone to the shots.  The color ones are on some Fuji slide film, I forget specifically which kind though.  It may have even been expired for all I know.  I am not very organized these days.

To my delight she really likes taking pictures with the Holga and waiting for the unexpected results.  She especially likes taking pictures of me.  The top picture and the next one are of myself.  We framed the top one as well and it sits on the mantel above the fire place.  Its a great shot in that all she wanted to do was capture something close in the foreground with an expansive background and what she ended up getting was the essence of me: wedding ring, cigarette and camera (if you look closely).  Its nice to be on the other side of the camera once in a while.

All these black and white shots were taken at a place called Nendrum at the end of the road near Strangford Lough.  Its a great place to go to take some pictures as the light is always amazing, especially at sunset.  We go there quite often when we have nothing to do and want a little inspiration and it never disappoints.

The slides were taken just on the beach near our house along Belfast Lough.  The same place that I took my first shots with the Holga.

If you want to see more of Susi’s budding talent check out all here shots on my flickr page here.

And as always, I emptily promise to keep the posts coming.

Still trying to update…

January 30, 2010

Again I must appologise to all of you who keep visiting here hoping for an update. Life is so busy at the moment and I haven’t had time to get around to much of anything. I still have all my film sitting on my desk waiting to be scanned. I did geta few new cameras for Christmas and have already burned some film through them as well. So, again, sit back and be patient for some new stuff from this very busy photog. Maybe I should rename the blog the Lazy Penguin.

The lost photo(g) (and a wee update)…

December 8, 2009

So I haven’t had a new post in a while. I am very sorry about that. My readership sometimes surpasses the teens so I know how much the world depends on my ramblings and accompanying photos. Well how about a little update and a long lost photo from a long time ago.

For those of you concerned, I am back in Northern Ireland with my wife at long last. Six months apart was in many ways the worst experience of my life. Right now life is back to normal, whatever that is. This of course means that for the first time in half a year I am busy. This will remain as my excuse for not posting in such a long while.

I finally have the scanner that I planned to get before my lovely little exile and I am slowly realizing how frustrating technology can be. I am trying to find the time to scan all my negatives but life being as it is that time is scarce (and I am also a huge procrastinator and slightly lazy). With the weather being as it is here on the emerald isle there isn’t much chance to get out and shoot so my only photographic plans in the near future are to get all my film scanned. I even have plenty of new photos I would love to share as soon as I get through the other 500+ but for some autistic reason originating from the dark chasm of my head I need to scan all my film as chronologically as I can.

So on that note I hope you were admiring the photo at the top of this post. I know I am. For some reason this photo was never printed when I first got it back from the lab. It is actually from the second (I think) roll I put through my Holga back when this crazy obsession of mine started and I only had the one camera. Naturally as I am just starting to scan my film this little beauty was one of the first surprises I got. Come to think of it, I might have just written this shot off as a blurry piece of crap like I had with so many other shots. Huh, funny how aesthetics evolve.

Anyways, I hope I didn’t bore too many people away from my little blog here with my lack of new posts for so long. I promise to keep the film flowing from now on, I swear. I have a few ideas floating around in this brain of mine so do come and check in every once in a while.

The story behind the sign…

October 14, 2009

If you follow my photographic adventures you undoubtedly have seen quite a few shots of this street sign from Berlin.  I figured since today is my last day in America before I finally go back to Ireland to join my wife it would be a perfect time to give the full story behind this shot and share my most meaningful photo I have ever taken.  After all, this one photo represents everything I have been working towards these last six months and makes all the suffering of forced separation worth it.

Around the end of January this year my wife and I were in Berlin, Germany to register for our upcoming wedding.  Since my family has always traced it’s heritage back to Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the Diesel engine, we always wondered if there was a Diesel Street somewhere in Germany.  Susi’s dad informed us that there was actually one right there in Berlin.  We rushed out to a book store and bought a road atlas to send to my family with the street circled in it for when they come for the wedding.  We left Berlin and returned home content with the knowledge of Diesel Street.

Months passed and the next time we were in Berlin was for our wedding this last August.  The idea of finding Diesel Street had taken a back burner to everything else going on until we were at the reception.  During her dad’s tremendous speech, we were presented with an A4 sized picture of a white street sign that read Dieselstraße.  Upon closer examination we saw that our names and a heart were on a piece of paper hanging from the bottom of this sign.  The family had went out of their way to find this street, clean the sign and hang our names under it, which wasn’t a small task since they sent the shortest person they could.  Now we had to go and find it.

About five days later we finally had time to look for Diesel Street.  We got on the train for the forty minute long trip all the way to the other side of Berlin.  We really had no idea where we were going or even if our names were still there but we were determined to find it.  After what seemed like an hour wandering around under a very hot sun we rounded a corner and lo and behold there it was.  We ran up to the street sign and were hit with a big disappointment, our names weren’t there.  Still determined to find what has now become a symbol of our union we traversed the street both up and down.  Up the street there was yet another empty sign so we turned around to go the opposite way, constantly scanning the ground in case it had fallen off.  All the way at the other end of this very long street we saw one more white sign.  To our delight it had a piece of paper hanging from it with the words DJ ♡ Susi on it.  We felt incredible.  After a long train ride and a couple of times walking in giant circles on a very hot day we found it.  There was a furry of clicks as I wasted lots of film with every camera I had and in the frenzy of excitement I snapped this shot with my Holga.
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This image embodies everything that these past six months have been for.  Here are Susi’s and my names under one common banner.  We are now the Diesels and that is forever.  And just like this picture, life is not perfect.  We had to suffer the agony of months apart while I tried for a visa.  But there is always a prevailing light shining through.  In the imperfection our love and affection keeps growing.  This image encompasses all that is my life, all that is our life and all that we strive for it to become.  This one shot marks the beginning to a happily ever after.
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