Sunday, May 31, 2015

Random Polaroid Action

We shot some Polaroids today, and I wanted to share them with you. Yes, one could generate similar effects in Instagram, but it's not nearly as magical or unique as having a print pop out the front of your camera. Enjoy the photos. G'night!

Polaroids May 2015-3

Polaroids May 2015-1

Polaroids May 2015-4

Polaroids May 2015-5

Polaroids May 2015-2

Shot with a folding SX-70 and an ND gel to compensate for the 600 speed Impossible Color film.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ukuleles and The Dead Rabbit Diaries

We were browsing through Mastermind Toys, when I found this sweet Ukulele and instantly decided that I'm going to learn to play this thing. I know, I'm Asian so I really should learn piano or violin to fit the stereotype, but I'm already tall and bad at math, so why start now. You think I joke, but for real, I'm going to be a Ukulele master soon. Don't let me down, Youtube instructional videos!


Anyways, on to the real reason for tonight's entry. Stop here if you're squeamish. We often have rabbits chilling on our front lawn, so I wasn't surprised to see one out of the corner of my eye when I got home. Only after I got out of my car, did I notice something was atypical about this one. It wasn't running away as I got closer... because it was deceased. And not due to some catastrophic rabbit vs. car injury either, which is also fairly typical around this neighbourhood. It just appears to have died of unknown causes. Side note: is it bad that I immediately thought one of you was pranking me, cause you know I have a morbid fascination with photographing dead birds?

Cause of Death Unknown-1

Cause of Death Unknown-2

Cause of Death Unknown-3

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Go Big or Go Home - Film Camera Snobbery

A group of us got together for some film camera geekery this morning, with the theme being BIG cameras. It turned into a little bit of an absurd "Mine's bigger than yours" display at our coffee shop table. It also reminded me of a conversation I had with Anita: she uses an iPhone 6 plus, so when she recently borrowed my smaller iPhone 6 to check something, she said "It's so small". ... I thought you said it was a good size?!

Anyways, I digress.

Go Big Go Home Film Meeting-1

I ran a few sheets of Ilford HP3 film through my war era Speed Graphic camera, and despite the film being 60 years expired, it still processed with a good tonal range and contrast. With the advanced age, I shot them as if they were ISO 50, and stand developed in Rodinal 1:100 for an hour, using the taco method in a Paterson tank (4 sheets at once).

Go Big Go Home Film Meeting-2

Go Big Go Home Film Meeting-4

Go Big Go Home Film Meeting-3

Go Big Go Home Film Meeting-5
This would be a great group photo if only I didn't suck at getting stuff in focus.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015

On a sunny and beautiful cool spring Monday of a long weekend, I dragged Anita out of bed at 7:00am to force her up Mt. Lawrence Grassi in the Canmore area. The total elevation gain was 945m, with very little switchbacking, making for a tiring scramble straight up unrelenting steeps through the trees, then onto the open rock, before hitting the snowcapped summit. Only five others were on the trail, so by the time we summited, we had the entire peak and its gorgeous views to ourselves. I'm not gonna lie, there also exists a video of Anita doing a spastic dance to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off at the summit. But she won't let me post it. :(

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-9
Anita admires the beauty of the Three Sisters.

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-1

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-2

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-3

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-4

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-5

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-6
By this point, we still had a good hour and a half hike along a steep ridge to reach the summit.

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-7

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-8

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-10

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-11
That's me on the South Summit. Clearly, I need a red jacket so that I show up better in photos.

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-12
Anita declares triumphant victory on the East Summit.

Scrambles - Mt. Lawrence Grassi 2015-13
And here you can see the summit of Ha Ling, and the East End of Rundle. Canmore would be directly to the right of this shot.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Graflex Speed Graphic pt II: My very own piece of military history

I'm fairly certain I unknowingly bought THE camera used by the photographer responsible for some very iconic photographs of the Canadian Forces' involvement in the Korean war (1950 - 1953). And not just the same model of camera, but THE ACTUAL camera he shot with, as shown in this photo.

This appears to be THE Speed Graphic camera I just bought off eBay, being held by Sergeant Paul Tomelin, photographer with No. 25 Canadian Public Relations Unit. Fort Lewis, Washington, April 1951. Credit: D.L. Burleson/Canada. Dept. of National Defense/Library and Archives Canada/PA-193475 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Library and Archives Canada

Let's break down some of the supporting evidence for WHY I think I own this particular camera.

1) The camera case: there is a faint stamp of "Lieut P J Tomelin" on the top plate. "Lieut" being short for the military rank 'Lieutenant' would lead me to believe this was owned by a military serviceman.

2) Quarter plate format press cameras like this Anniversary Speed Graphic were made from the 1940's onward, and were used by Canadian Military Photographers of the Army Film and Photo Units. See here for more info.

3) The Chief Military Personnel gov't of Canada website has a published .pdf showing multiple Korean War photos taken by a Sergeant P.J. Tomelin, who is also cited as having won the British Empire Medal. See here for the .pdf.

4) This Korean War website lists Sergeant P.J.Tomlin (note the spelling error) of the No.25 Canadian Public Relations Unit as one of 27 recipients of the British Empire Medal (military) for the Korean War.

5) The Memory Project website, recording stories of Canadian War Vets, has an extensive feature on Sergeant Paul Tomelin, photographer with No. 25 Canadian Public Relations Unit.

6) Library and Archives Canada has hundreds of Korean War era photographs in it's collection by Sergeant Paul E. Tomelin.

Now for you sharp eyed folks, you may note that my case was stamped P.J. Tomelin, not P.E Tomelin. However, you will also note that the published document credits P.J. Tomelin as the photographer for the very same photos that are found in Library and Archives Canada. Based on all the above evidence showing links between P.J Tomelin and Paul E. Tomelin, it seems likely that P.J. Tomelin/ Paul E. Tomelin are the same person.

All that to say, I believe the camera in my current possession has a lot of military historical significance. Check out a couple shots he took during the Korean War, below.

Speed Graphic-1
Sherman tanks of B Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse, crossing the Imjin River after completing their tour, 16 July 1952.
Credit: Paul Tomelin / DND / Library and Archives Canada / PA-115496 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Library and Archives Canada

"Face of War." Private Heath Matthews of C Company, 1 Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, awaiting medical aid after night patrol near Hill 166, 22 June 1952.
Credit: Paul Tomelin / DND / Library and Archives Canada / PA-128850 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Library and Archives Canada

Sergeant Paul Tomelin is the one 2nd from the right, with the big Speed Graphic camera.
Credit: D.L. Burleson/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-193477 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Library and Archives Canada

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Graflex Speed Graphic

Money in, money out. Got my tax return on Wednesday, and promptly blew it an hour later on eBay. Six days later and this large format press camera kit arrives at my door: the Graflex Speed Graphic 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. The camera itself is in great shape for something made in the 40's, and it came with film goodies and holders that are a real bonus. All the sheet and pack film included in the kit expired between 1955 and 1963. And I'll have to do some research, but the case it came in looks like it was military issue, with "Lieut. P J Tomelin" stamped on it, so this camera may have some interesting war history to it.

Speed Graphic-3

Speed Graphic-2

Speed Graphic-5

Speed Graphic-6

Speed Graphic-7

Speed Graphic-4

Speed Graphic-1

Speed Graphic-8

And for the vintage film nerds, check out this super expired stash of discontinued goodies:

Speed Graphic-10

Speed Graphic-9

Speed Graphic-12

Speed Graphic-11

Speed Graphic-15

Speed Graphic-14

Speed Graphic-13

Sunday, May 3, 2015

_oh so handsome vegetable_

Check out this oh so handsome vegetable... an ugly but delicious mound of celeriac (celery root). Peeled, cubed, and roasted, this ugly beast of a vegetable tasted like a really strong piece of celery, but with the texture of a turnip. Deeeee-lish! And while we were in the mood for the weird/ grotesque, we also ended up cooking and eating some gigantic turkey drumsticks, caveman style.

Grotesque but Delicious-3

Grotesque but Delicious-1

Grotesque but Delicious-2

Grotesque but Delicious-4
In case you needed some sense of scale, the massive turkey drums on the left are juxtaposed against the chicken drums on the right.