Friday, March 13, 2009


Time to play catchup on some projects I started:
  • Concerning the hiding of typewritten notes inside books, I did cut into the supply of onionskin and do exactly that, writing up about twenty little messages and slipping them deep inside the pages of various titles at the local thrift and used bookstores. This was fun, up until I got very paranoid about the security cameras and what it might have looked like I was doing, and as I'm a regular customer of these places, I didn't feel like getting a hostile warning from the manager on the next visit. On the upside: finally used some onionskin paper.
  • Speaking of hostile warnings, I took both my half-frame cameras out for a shoot-off lately, and just got the prints back. (The hostile warning came from a security guard who didn't like me photographing the local Bank of America office.) Except for some inexplicable cloudiness in the first few shots (fingerprint on the lens?) the all-manual Petri took far superior shots, I expect due to the fact that I could have more control over the exposure. Even a guesstimated setting was better than relying on the aged mechanism in the Pen. I'll try to get some representative shots of both scanned soonish. Clickthing photo tip #1: if you're buying a vintage camera for decent photography, get an all manual one and learn to use it.
  • In other film news, my experiment with a super-cheap DIY stereo camera looks just like that: super-cheap. Even the Walgreen's processing people commented on how blurry they were. I think the lens on those cameras may be made from wax. Clickthing photo tip #2: Dollar store film? Nice! Dollar store cameras? Not so much.
  • Ditto for the yellow-flash Lomography camera, and at this point you should ask yourself, didn't you get what you paid for? Well, yes, and the camera did not exceed my expectations overall. Now and then, though, it took some respectable, accidentally-good shots, also waiting to be scanned. Clickthing photo tip #3: Save your $10 at Urban Outfitters and just get a $3 flash camera from the thrift store and paint over the flash with a dry-erase marker. Same effect, way cheaper. Probably better pictures, too.
  • Speaking of lomography, I also got my pictures back from my other mega-cheap camera that I'm planning on taking to the Temple of the Mouse. It took surprisingly good pictures, though I realized how much I miss having a workable flash. Harsh southern California shadows and mandatory large-brimmed hats on the kids mean lots of faces-in-shadows. I'm still averse to taking the digital camera along, due to very high likelihood that I'll ruin/drop/lose it in the park. I've since found an Olympus Infinity Stylus 35mm camera that may fit the bill. It's got more doodads that I would have preferred -- motorized advance, date-stamp on pics -- but also a few features that I like, including a zoom and a proper fill-flash. Bonus: it claims to be splash proof, and Internet rumor has it that these are very tough little cameras. The Ansco may wind up in the capable hands of one of the kids.
  • I went into Tuesday with Grand Plans and Good Intentions to work on my novel, and instead spent the evening and all day Wednesday riddled with disease. One of my own darling little germ incubators caught me unawares, and I spent all day Wednesday laid up, inches from my novel, without the will or strength to pick the silly thing up and work on it (opting instead for tea and naps, which was far wiser.) I can only conclude that I am actually allergic to my manuscript. To reward myself for surviving, I picked up a bagasse composition book at Staples yesterday as a reward. Bagasse is the polite-company name for "leftover stuff from processing sugar cane" and reportedly, amazing paper can be made from the stuff. Folks, I'm here to tell you that the rumors are all true. I used my composition book yesterday with my cheapo steel-nibbed pen to try and round out some weak scenes in the middle of the novel, and oh MY is it nice. The pen-and-paper obsessed among you need to check this stuff out. (Staples markets this as "Eco" paper. The clerks aren't knowing from "bagasse" so be advised.)
  • Finally, fate seems to be practically hurling slide projectors my way these days. The local thrift store has three projectors at the moment, and another one nearby has a whole bin full of the empty circular trays. So.... tempted... I'm behaving, but I did break down and get two of those hand-held "Pana-Vue" slide viewers, which seems to be holding the lust at bay for now. As I have no actual slides on-hand to play with, I'm only thinking about the possibilities for them. At the moment they're perched on my desk next to Norma Jean. I think I need to fill them with some kind of inspirational quotes or snazzy typewriter art instead of what's in there right now.


Mike Speegle said...

I feel a deep and abiding shame that I have yet to do any seeding yet. On the other hand, if this idea for my won used book store ever pans out, I could seed all the books that I wanted...

Unknown said...

If you love super-cheap ideas, this one can be for you. It is old indeed, I was teenager when long time ago I used sealed plastic bag to keep flashlight working underwater when hunting for crawfish.
Though now I need it just as survival kit for my new Fuji HD2000. But may be this can be useful for somebody. Here is illustrated DIY how I made it.