Monday, April 29, 2013

So what happened to WWPD then? It all went a bit quiet!

WWPD. That's World Wide Pinhole Day to you and I [not some dodgy time-wasting war 'game' on tinternet] . And I had mentioned it before but then forgot to post here. To be completely honest, I didn't post here because I have a life. Things to do. people to see and what have you. And a blog to write. Yes, apparently the blog helps me connect with the world and prevents me from becoming isolated so I heard on Radio4 today as I sat in the car being driven back from a 'A good day out' with Eve. We had already chatted to Carolyn, the post-office lady, John, Peter, Chris. Nickolai, Beka and others. No. I am not short of people to chat to I can assure you. But I like my blog. And yes, go on, click on the links. I might even write about some of them one day. Oh yes, I shall certainly do that.

In the meantime you might have to make do with these lovely pinholes I took on the 28th with my home-made camera. I like them. Do you?

 My former dance teacher and her brother doing 'their thing' 

Through the bedroom window [and prism]

Friday, April 26, 2013

William, the lack of a crutch or two, two drinks and Ammonite.

Ammonite; over the harbour from the rotting Monaco

Town beckoned today. William was coming up from the sticks - as it happened - without his sticks which rather curtailed our little stroll around the place. We had a cup of ... all the same.

I'd noticed Gerald's little Cornish boatee Ammonite was leant up against the old jetty over by the cafe I was to frequent with William so once our thirsts had been sated we staggered along to have a closer look.
Ammonite; leaning.

Gerald once had the misfortune to work for the same company as both William and I did but he escaped before us. We went and looked but sadly Gerald was nowhere to be seen.

William went to have a closer look, tripped on the rope and nearly went rather closer than planned. Tis a lovely compact little boat and surprisingly she is made of glassfibre - not wood as one might expect.

I pointed my little Zorki4 here and there - so lovely to use with the compact yet sharp Soviet Jupiter12 lens on-board. [Many thanks to Keith Thompson - see here ]

I never said there were no trees here

It's a misconception about the place. There  are a few trees even in the village - though these are rather more bush-like than tree-like.

From time to time I wonder what I am doing here. I miss trees a bit though the walls are a recompense.

I am also wondering about my snaps; yesterday I wailed myself to sleep [slight exaggeration but I a bit misi ] . I like some snaps that show what's happening, The Crofter blog for example. But when it comes to the other work, I wonder what I am doing. And the more I attend the darkroom to play, the less inclined I am to try and produce 'normal' prints - you know the sort - looks like life as we know it, has black and white and persons don't give it a second glance - least of all me. I mean, look over my shoulder, you should be able to see a great pile of old prints of this and that of nothing much that I really don't like to admit I made.

The other day, Coelyne of the Coelynes called over [to see the cat-lettes, not me] and I showed him a nicely distressed pinhole lith print. And he DID notice it. The speck of chocolate on the print. You know, real dark chocolate. That's something I am going to specialise in I think- food related bits stuck to prints. Eh? I mean, who else is doing that?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Some days, a stroll around the village is enough to feed the soul. And other days it's not. Depends which way the wind is blowing.

Look who I met going down the road to pastures new. They are Hectors sheeps and sheeplettes dancing along with Hector in his car behind with dog in case the sheeps change their mind as to where they are going.

But they didn't change their mind. Hector waved as he passed, smiling as usual.

I was dodging the rain but the sun was shining between the showers as I shot what I thought was Foma 400@800 - but was Rollei400s@800 [yes, well, I don't usually know what I'm doing these days]. That's why the tones are a bit odd - a little IR effect and everything - goes well with the off-sharp effect I think.

And that's a house peeking over at the trailer sitting where it can out of the wind. Trailers are a bit like sheeps in that respect.

Oh, now look at the clouds; all mesmerising themselves up. Taunting my camera into not working as they leap over the poles. We like poles hereabout. They are everywhere. I never really noticed them much in England when I was there. Maybe it's just an island thing - like dead-fish and diesel.

Ah, there's the village. Or part of it - downtown area or something. Or is it the waterfront area?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Have I told you I have been to the moon?

I went to the moon valley in Chile - or was it Bolivia - maybe both in 19,,,,,, long time ago. Not a slice of cheese in sight just sand, rock and wind. The same today. But colder. A bit colder anyway. It threw Toots and I off the moon today such was it's coldness. sandblasted our faces and showed us the way back to a pot of tea at home.

Something has been going on though. The wind had sculpted the sand into little mushrooms. Never seen that before on this moon-scape. 

Look at that. Proper moonesque I reckon. Taken on a Pentax too with Tmax100 in Lc29 [for those who care about such things]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

At least I missed my foot

It has to be done. The next door neighbour submitted to a snap for testing but here's me. I shot myself - and missed my feet in the process. The box-file in which this was taken is rather wide angle so this was at arms length! And my arms are not short. I didn't smile since it's not WWPD yet.

Just a paper-neg inverted. If I were to contact printthis I'm sure I would be smiling then.

Monday, April 22, 2013


This Sunday coming - the 28th - is World Wide Pinhole day. That's pinhole cameras. There is no excuse not to play. You could make a matchbox pinhole camera [I have], make one out of any box, dustbin or whatever. I have one made out of a box file! And another from a film canister. The world is your Lobster as they say.

No film? well if you are on the Isle of Lewis you can always go to Malcolm's camera shoppe in Stornoway - he has some. Or give me a shout and I'll let you have some - or some photo paper should you be inclined to go that route. And if you can't make your own camera from scratch, well, An Lanntair arts centre shoppe in Stornoway has some kits for a mere £8. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE! Now read this;

And if you get hooked, you can then spend your hard-earned on delicious  commercial cameras like these from Zero and from Ilford.

If you click here  there are some of my previous efforts! eh?

No, not a pinhole snap but it is An Lanntair!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ah ha, the sun is shining and a stroll near the beach beckons

HHHCB came down from her nest with her little beings to see what it was glowing through the window, ate some food, did her toilette and went back up. I managed to capture her on film - with the only camera I had to hand - a Franka Rolfix set to f32 for some reason and consequently used on 'B'. HHHCB got bored, or maybe insulted, I really couldn't tell. Nevertheless she wandered off and I followed her for a while.

I have the snap to prove it! Sold to the first person to offer me £1000 plus a sour-dough loaf [brown].

Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm celebrating HHHCB's 5 cat-lings.

In celebration I have posted something that looks like a 'proper' snap - with the sea in the background and, some stones [although not THE stones] in the foreground. From just down the road and everything.

HHHCB and her little beings are all doing well since you ask. She is very proud and so are we. Hopefully, we will all get more sleep tonight !

We [Eve & I] are 'grandmothers' :-)

Her Highness Henrietta Cartier-Bresson, our black and white cat gave birth to several cat-lings last night. We are thrilled. No flowers please.

Details to follow soon - after visiting hours.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not again. I bet there's a whole roll of these to come.

Well, there are a few as it happens but you won't get to see them [all]. That's for me and the enlarger - and the enlarger doesn't remember anyway. I do now have a nice lith of yesterdays snap - on lovely Forte Fortezo paper. In fact I realised some liths on Fotospeed Lith too. Now that's a proper nice paper too - sadly gone.

See, this man - we'll call him Murdo because it's likely to be his name - is strolling down the road in sunny Stornoway to the chippie shop. Probably.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Anyone can do that"

"look, she's doing them funny snaps again. I'll come back when she doing proper snaps. You know, the ones you can see what they are, sharp and with a view or something - perhaps a beach! Or some Stones - like those nice ones at An Lanntair. I mean anyone can make them blurry".

Ah, but can they sell them for a live chicken? Eh?

Monday, April 15, 2013

The end

Totsta Head

You are not getting  away so easily. Tis the end of Tolsta Head not the end of the blog. Not unless something happens I don't know about between now and the next post. I took the snap with the Voigtlander Perkeo with FP4 film doused in Promicrol. Like you do.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

To many scissor experts can spoil the peg-cat

One day a while back when a gate was not agate

It was lovely. Mrs Sonja had a birthday and Eve and myself were among the select few who made the cut and got invited to the BBQ. Of course it was windy - and raining but hey, I didn't have to cook. That was down to Mr Smit - kippering himself  in garage  Master Smit busied himself creating havoc as my former dance teacher Ms Smit glued her cat-peg together with the help of the lovely Jane Harlington. I watched with admiration in between eating a terrific braised veg stick with accompanying choc and cream and black cherry thing. Now you are all jealous eh? You should be. Liz, Brendan and David were there as well as Peter. And me of course.

Thank you so much everyone, we had a fine time.

Scissor experts? Two was a bit OT eh?

DO NOT adjust your set; normal service will be resumed later.

Foreigners Eh? Where would be without them? That's what the Nederland peoples were thinking when we rocked up in Valkenburg to watch the Amstel Gold bike race - and for Eve to ride the cyclosportive over the course the day before. That was in,,,,,, flip, 2006! How time flies.

Wonderful place is Valkenburg, lovely peoples and terrific place to watch this lovely bike race [going on as I write]. But they do get a  bit over-excited, drinking lovely Amstel beers and standing around talking and things. Sometimes they wave. But mostly they talk and watch. I like the Dutch.

Eve, Carine and Mark [Mr Carine] rode the race - up and down the 30 plus climbs. Had a fine old time too. Now, we follow from a distance looking at the updates on the pooter to see if old pals are in the frame [they are not - so far!].

Oh, well, off to a BBQ to celebrate Mrs Smit's birthday in a moment - if the BBQ hasn't been blown away that is. Happy Birthday Sonja.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I have lifted my derrière from the rather upmarket Waitrose bag now.

It wasn't here I sat down on the bag.  But it was near here I sat down - on a chair with a warm Mocha in front of me. No, the upmarket bag came into it's own today on our stroll around Tolsta Head, counting The Crofter's young sheeps, checking out the Skuas and generally enjoying the warm sunshine - that has now gone being replaced by a gathering storm.

We'd sat down, me on the posh plastic bag to consume our luncheon, gazing out over The Minch listening to the sound of nothing much. Apart from the raven who flew by and surprised us both with it's 'bong' sounds - just like it had a little drum strapped to it's body that it was tapping with its wings. It didn't have a drum but the sound did sound odd. So much so I had to look it up on the pooter.

I show this snap, taken on Foma400 film in the Zorki4 as it was the same scene taken on the 4x5 glass plate that wasn't 'quite right'. Nevertheless  it may get a  chance to see the enlarger whence forth some light will be shone through it onto paper that will be dipped in Lith chemicals. Eh? That's the plan anyway.

Now, excuse me while I eat my veg curry please.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I have extracted my head from.........

I am doing all right since you ask. My head is firmly stuck on my shoulders now, the sun is shining and I have been doing 'things'. Like this image taken on 4x5 Ilford Glass plate [R25] [With Toot's MPP 4x5 - and glory be, had a card from Spain from Mr & Mrs Toots this morning ]and printed as Vandyke print. I didn't smile. I didn't even think of smiling at the time - I was just doing 'things'.

It hasn't all gone well, the glass plates I shot this morning in the castle grounds [not my castle - the Stornoway one] didn't develop at all well. Still, I should be able to print a Lith from one should I care. And I do care.

HHHCB is still larger than life and currently without cat-lets - although she has just rather ungraciously passed wind in my general direction as I write!

We are off to a BBQ on Sunday to celebrate... I'll tell you another day. Needless to say the weather in breaking and blow is coming in.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I can't face the world today. Come back Friday.

I met the troops of Sergeant Joan 'Bilko'. At least, some of them.

Sergeant Joan 'Bilko' at ease.

I had the pleasure of our newly promoted Sergeant Joan company the other day. [I mean I was with her - not all her Company or whatever she has under her auspices. Oh please help me!]. Walked up the village with me - no doubt to make sure I went home and didn't lurk about the place taking snaps willy nilly. Then, knock me down with a feather and all that, I was invited in for a cuppa. How lovely that was and I got to meet some of her troops - well family really. Her troops are elsewhere I am told. I shall have to do some research on that, lurk in a hedge somewhere to take a sneaky snap - if only there were some hedges here.

 Troops; family that is. [some of..]

It was all quiet after a while. The troops had gradually crept out the room where I was taking tea with the Sergeant - to escape my yabbering I should imagine. And one cannot blame them for that. They were found later building an escape hut on the path at the back. Eh? 

I was still smiled at as I snook a snap there, sneakily like. Well, as sneakily as one can do when they know you're there and have a camera in your hand anyway.


A new Tolstonian - Moira and her Mum.

Oh, and we have another new village person. People actually, Moira and family who live not far away. How lovely they all are.

Oh, and we still have not received a postcard from Spain this year!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It takes a lot of work to make images as bad as this.

Actually, now I look at this 'properly' [through squinty eyes that don't really want to open this morning - on account of a Bad Night] the thing doesn't look bad at all. It's just a neg scan of a construction celebrating this and that over at Bhaltos.  If it were straight..... If were straight it wouldn't be my snap!

Took this snap whilst re-assessing my Vogtlander Perkeo that I'd adjusted the front element of the lens. Despite me not knowing what I'm doing, and the fact that I just snapped what I saw as I strolled to the Shoppe to see Up Yours McIver and Sergeant Bilko, it's quite nice.  I think it's quite nice - apart from the grain which is a tad overdone. I should have developed for a mere two cups of green tea rather that the four I had.

If I can survive walking the Barking Dog [who often does not bark at all with me these days] this morning, I shall have a peep in the darkroom and [try to ] produce a 'masterpiece'. eh?

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I met The Artist [formerly known as Jon] today. I pointed my re-squiggled Perkeo at him and then snapped. That's the sort of person I am. Then I idly looked out the window, and snapped again - but not before I had wound the film on.

Out the window a cloud decided to pass by and distracted me from my Artist snapping. Still, I have this nice skyscape with roofs and everything. Where everything includes a lamp-stand.

Ahh, now that's how the newspapers arrive these days. On a lorry from the ferry. All ready by 2pm to take to Tolsta Shoppe. They were not refrigerated either.

That's what I did today. For some of the day. Before, during or after I met Barbara of the Coelynes who bought me a mocha. Just as I met The Artist.

Barbara of The Coelynes

I had a lovely cup of tea with Sergeant Bilko later but the image will just have to be imagined for now. It resides in a camera.

Now, how about this lovely little place?

I've passed this place many's the time in my horseless carriage. Reminds me of a building I came across in the mountains on the edge of the Atacama desert some years back. I left pretty smartish then as some rough looking fellows came rushing out at my vehicle. It wasn't long after that the particular horseless carriage was stuck in the snow with a faltering engine due to the lack of oxygen. There's no problem here though. The house looks like it's been empty for a while and the sea glistens / rages not too far away.

And look at that wall. Ooh, lovely.

I think I may have overdone the ND grad here. Just pretend its a shadow :-)

And no, it's not where that sign is!

Does this help?

Monday, April 08, 2013

So, where is this? Eh?

Mr William Holden Sir, had a celebration for his birthday. Then I find out the village shoppe has a newly promoted Sergeant. How does that work?

It was a significant birthday was it not. We were there to toast his day and everything. He didn't want a fuss so we didn't have lots of small candles in his Tarte au Framboises but one, stuck in his hand then lit by his dear wife Gemma. The bubbly drink was drank then we chatted the afternoon away. How good was that? Very.

This morning, on arriving at the village shoppe I am informed by Up Yours McIver that there has been a promotion and now it's Sergeant Joan Bilko or something like that. Not sure if this is a shoppe position or the Beavers are getting ahead themselves - or maybe that TA thing Mrs Sergeant Joan goes to. It must be the uniforms!

Of course I have been celebrating; I just rodded the drains out.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Ooh, I like this too. Even though I say so myself

Look, see that. Proper Lith print and everything. It's that lovely wall again.

Tiredness pervades this morning. Her Highness Henrietta Cartier Bresson was making a nest in the bedroom or something last night. Then rushing around the room, down the stairs and back up again. I didn't sleep well. No wonder HHHCB is asleep beside me on the settee now.

It's William's 65th this weekend so we shall be paying a celebratory visit on the morrow - delivering his bus-pass cover and all.

Friday, April 05, 2013

No. It's a portrait of a road.

Despite me spending most of my time tickling HHHCB under the chin in the hope that this will bring on the birth of her cat-lings, I have managed a short stint in the dark. This time trying some old Forte Fortezo paper I acquired. Dunked it in Lith developer. I like it.

Snap was taken on Bhaltos / Valtos last weekend on a short stroll. I liked that too.

The sun is still shining BTW.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

I have nothing to complain about. Still, that won't stop me!

Her Highness Henrietta Cartier Bresson in contemplative mood.

What a day. The sun is shining yet again and it's warm too. Just had a lovely stroll down the road chatting to all and sundry as one does. HHHCB is blooming nicely and should calve soonish rather than laterish I should think - unless of course she faking it just to get extra food. Only time will tell.

On arrival at the Village Shoppe I find Mrs Up Yours, her of Unhinged/Unsound/Unbound blog or whatever it is promoting the thing on TV outside the shoppe. At least I thought that was she was doing - and having a few local extras walk in and out of frame to make it look 'real' whatever that is. Then I find it's the local TV station filming a non-story about the papers no longer being flown at great financial and environmental cost to the island early in the morning. They will, instead come on the later ferry. Back to what it used to be - and back to what makes sense. Surely.

But the TV didn't want to hear a view that didn't match their non-story. They just want to hear people complaining. Only I was complaining about the papers coming by plane! Sorry. I want a biosphere to live in not just read about it's continued demise in the papers!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Master Framer's hand, Toots sings and HHHCB sits

Did I tell you I went to Glasgow yesterday? Eh? No, well I did. Flew there and back. And a right waste of time it was too. I cannot even be bothered to tell why I went, you'll just have to make it up for yourself. Needless to say I was not impressed!

Instead I shall delight you three snaps. Taken on Kodak Tmax 100 - which came from I know not where. Just as well I had it though as I managed to capture the hand of The Master Framer Coelyne of The Coelynes. See, that's why the frames are good!

Then I was in the right spot when Toots Wilson decided to sing a Spanish folk song - so pleased was he to be off to warmer climes - again. And a lovely voice he has too - especially when he's warming his rear in front of the revamped stove.. What a change has come over he man since he got married to Anne.

And now, see, what you have all been waiting for; Her Highness Henrietta Cartier Bresson [please curtsey] sunning herself - after getting bored waiting for me to sort the camera out. Oh well, one day....