On the common occasion that I cant get a successful night’s kip I’ll venture out into Dublin’s darkness and see what I can shoot. This helps me use all the unspent energy from the day in the hope that when I return to bed I can finally get my forty winks. I thought I’d share with you the images I have taken over the last year which helped me drift off into a deep coma.
The Howth Marina Shot Collection. Commissioned by Ray McCabe of McCabe’s Deli’s.
I was asked to think about taking a few shots for a new cafe opening down on the River Liffey by Mr. McCabe himself. He loved the fact that the opening was going to coincide with the Dublin Tall Ships festival arriving down the Liffey in late summer. As a result he wanted nautical themed pictures that would look great even when the festival was over and the ships had sailed. As his new branch is a stone’s throw from Dublin’s central artery, this made perfect sense. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided that the best place to fit the brief was the Howth Marina, situated thirteen kilometres north of Dublin. Emails were sent and within a day or two I had the location set. I packed a lunch, warm jumper and weatherproof jacket and set off. I knew Ray was looking for around eight images, so if I aimed for about ten to fifteen, he’d at least have a choice. Here are a small selection of the final prints I’ve chosen to show you which will give you an insight to what was going through my head that day with regard to fitting the brief and the customer’s specifications.
I had the lass in the print shop finish off the days work which she then submitted to Ray and he was delighted. He just received a custom collection for a great price, and in the space of a couple of days. Aim to be a little cheaper and a whole lot more reliable. I think this small business tip should fare you well. Three jobs like this per week would make life very comfortable indeed and would make the Canon 5D mkiii seem ever that little bit closer to being mine. Ach, I’m dreaming again, till next time.
Ok so now I have your attention. I should make it clear that I’m not going to be showing you a boudoir session with the missus. Rather I’m going to show you how I made the bedroom into a fully functioning camera. Sorry if I appear to have misled you. There will be no provocative shots today. Ach well sure, maybe next time.
So again in class we were assigned a task to enhance our Photographic knowledge. For this project we were to build a camera from scratch. The only thing we couldn’t do was use a lens. Amidst the chaos of empty shoe-boxes, baked beans cans and biscuit tins. I decided that I would prefer to be inside the action to really understand what was going on. Since I’m far too big for a wee carton or container, I’d have to think outside of the cardboard box. I wanted something I could walk around inside in. So there we have it, the reason I chose my bedroom.
This is how I set it up.
Black out the Window leaving a penny-sized hole.
Even though the window was not completely light-sealed, you should start to see the image projecting on the opposite wall or in my case, the wardrobe.
Fix any light leaks with black tape, you’re going to use plenty so stock up. I used everything from old bills and pizza boxes, to past birthday cards and even a magazine that was lying around. I hope someone had the chance to read it. For the print to take effect I knew I had t0 make a smaller hole. I made some apertures from a pinhole in a piece of tinfoil and attached it to card with plenty of black tape.
With the smaller aperture, you cant project so far from the light source. So I got a tripod and attached a cardboard mount for placing the Photo-sensitive paper closer to the light hole.
Make sure that there is no light in the room, except a red safe-light if you have one. I bought a red light bulb but it failed the paper test. Apparently not all red light bulbs will work. Be sure to check with Camera stores. You can buy a dedicated light here. Set up the dark room chemicals and use whatever space you can to be safe when the lights go off. At least in my room I can find the light switch when its dark. I had to do everything in the pitch black until at least 3 minutes of the print being in the Fix solution.
I’m almost there. I just have to remember to have a system in place to avoid all the possible reasons that could spoil my exposures, ie my girlfriend coming back from college early and opening doors and turning lights on. Safest thing I did was lock myself in and leave the key in the door.
The final image took roughly 15 minutes to burn into the paper for the correct tonal values to be displayed. The end result was pleasing to say the least and didn’t take as long as I thought to set up. And I didn’t get into as much trouble either from the missus. I definitely recommend you try this at home. Or anywhere you can find the space with a view.