Project Reflection and Development

I’m still unsure of the full direction of the overall project. I have ideas working with camera obscura, working on the main theme of scenes within scenes. Using one of these sub themes, abandoned buildings and their surroundings, agoraphobics and their relation to the world outside, I believe both of them would fit under Psychogeography.

Published on the 15th October 2019

During the webinar, Paul mentioned previous student Phillip Singleton’s work, which is based around abandoned buildings and the trace of past human involvement. The context between was has been left from human involvement is very interesting and could be a factor in the project.

One of my peers mentioned Tom Hunter’s – Holly street which has a great relationship between people and the places they reside, there are definitely similarities with of the exploration agoraphobics and their relationship with the world outside

I am still unsure of which I want to build on more for this project as I like both concepts and feel they would both work very well with the camera obscura process.

Technical development

Most of the last few weeks I have spent researching and developing the technical side of the camera obscura.  Development times of capturing the projection camera obscura. After reading a vast number of articles on Abelardo Morell. I found the first useful piece of information.  

“After sealing up the room and creating an escape route for himself from layers of black plastic, he spent the 8 hours needed to expose the photograph having lunch, visiting his gallery, and going to a movie”

Abelardo Morell

With this time in mind, I started to prep for my test on Saturday 10th October on 4×5 film.

I thought I would try my first camera obscura with an actual lens instead of just the pinhole in a sheet of tinfoil or piece of paper. On Friday evening I got on with the construction of the backboard for the lens to be mounted on, then started to black bag most of the windows in the room I will be shooting in on Saturday

Saturday 10th October 2019

After a problematic beginning to the day, the lens on the Graflex 4×5 camera being not as wide as I hoped and the batteries and spare batteries dying on the Mamiya. I finally managed to get a four hour exposure of the projection on the Mamiya using 120, Kodak Tri-x-400 film. Not sure how it will come out yet if it will at all. Very overcast and raining. I will try again Sunday and will hopefully get a full nine hour exposure.

 Sunday 11th October 2019

I decided I would also shoot digital today to have an overall comparison of the test images once the Tri-x has been developed.  The digital side of the day was set to iso 100, F22 and the exposure time of two hours and thirty-seven minutes.  

Digital capture of first camera obscura test 11/10/19

The Tri-x exposed for eight hours, the film will still need to be developed as there are three shots still to be taken. There has been an array of problems that have happened during this process, it was good to have the digital version of the projection so I could see before the film is developed to see what I need to work on.  

These were to do with using the lens, which has taught me that you need to use the correct lens for the correct distance. I managed to get in contact with Brendon Barry via Instagram about this subject. (As shown in figure 1)

figure 1

“What lens are you using? Bare in mind that the focal length of that lens will determine the distance that infinity will be in focus. I.e. if that lens is a 250mm then the horizon will project in focus 2.5 meters away from the lens on your wall. I might be wrong but it looks like you have used a normal camera lens to make a camera obscura hoping it will be focus when you need to either determine a focal plain or use a pinhole which would render everything in focus. Hope that makes sense?! PM me if it doesn’t or you have any more specific questions  😃”

Brendan Barry

Brendan’s advice was very useful, it has made me think that I will start out with just the pinhole method so the loss of focus can be eliminated at this point in time. I have started doing more research into using the correct pinhole size for the distance, as this can still affect the sharpness of the image projection, not by much but it can.  When I have worked out calculations I will carry on with the test’s  

References:

Image Source: Singleton,P,n.d.,n.k,photography,accessed October 2019,https://www.philipsingleton.art/work/#/junctionworks/

Image Source: Hunter,T,P,n.d.,n.k,photography,accessed October 2019, http://www.tomhunter.org/holly-street-residents-series/

Quote Source: Waterman,J,2018,Abelardo Morell Considers the World Through a Pinhole,14/10/2019, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/features/abelardo-morell-considers-the-world-through-a-pinhole

Quote Source: Barry,B-Justin_Hopes,13/10/19,What lens are you using? Bare in mind that the focal length of that lens will determine the distance that infinity will be in focus. I.e. if that lens is a 250mm then the horizon will project in focus 2.5 meters away from the lens on your wall. I might be wrong but it looks like you have used a normal camera lens to make a camera obscura hoping it will be focus when you need to either determine a focal plain or use a pinhole which would render everything in focus. Hope that makes sense?! PM me if it doesn’t or you have any more specific questions, https://www.instagram.com/p/B3kYnvtHwgw/