Roll 42: A sheet a day

In August I began a project in which I shot one sheet of 4×5 in my Zero image camera everyday. I am a big believer in daily practice as a way to learn something which was exactly my goal – to really learn how to use this camera. The 25mm ultra wide angle on this thing was confounding me so I was hoping that familiarity would make me feel less intimidated. I shot these with Arista 100 because it’s cheap and you can buy it in packs of 50. I would shoot six days and then develop it with my Mod54 (it holds six sheets of film). Then I would scan them by taking a photo of the negatives on a lightbox with my iPhone and then inverting the negative in the Photoshop iPhone app. It became a nice routine that I really looked forward to. I uploaded these shots to Flickr and didn’t share them publicly – just with a few contacts. I was originally going to keep them private but I am glad I did decide to share them. It was really interesting to see which ones got “Liked.” It was interesting feedback. Since I don’t have a V700 scanner I chose a few that I liked and scanned them at Newspace in Portland (you can rent time there). Here are a few that I scanned.

I had to stop doing this because I ran out of film before the end of the month in October and was broke and then I didn’t order more film when I got paid in November. Also, Work has been busy and I feel like I need to focus my energy on other things. I am planning on starting this up again at the beginning of the year with a new film. I like the idea of choosing one film and one camera setting and trying all possibilities.

9 thoughts on “Roll 42: A sheet a day

  1. Why can’t I like these more? I love the rocks in the stream, but they’re all wonderful.

    I know how you feel about the Zero 4×5. Really, any pinhole camera is something that I’ve struggled with. I miss being able to use Polaroid sheet film in it as it gave immediate feedback. Mine is also really beaten up and the spring behind the shutter has gone awol. I was thinking of sending it back to Hong Kong for a rebuild and adding the bulb shutter at the same time.

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    • Thank you Heather! I am looking forward to New 55 so I can try doing instant film with it. I still need to buy a back for it though.

      Yes, you should totally do that! this wonderful camera is worth it 🙂

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  2. I really like the shore line shot, and the stream shot as well. I struggled with my CL 21mm lens as well, (no lines on the view finder), it was a whole lot of “OK, point this at the horizon and hope for the best”. As we near the end of this project, one great thing was picking out my favorites for a 12-month calendar. Three cameras figured prominently, which probably means I can get rid of the other 15. With your work, I know you are going to keep the pinholes as they have captured your vision.

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    • So true! I had the the exact same experience, a few cameras stood out for me and you are so right, the Zero 4×5 is pretty much the one. I kind of feel like dropping everything else and focusing on that. 🙂

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  3. The rock offshore is very nice. I play around with cheap 4×5 film, my favourites being Shanghai and Fomapan. I agree that you need to regularly shoot to become better. I will often sheet 6 or 12 sheets on a hike over a weekend. Might get a pinhole for my 4×5 this year in a Copal shutter. Would like to improve the accuracy exposure times.

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  4. I see you’ve tried the same “redneck film scanner” thing as me! :-] Except so far I’ve been using my phone’s screen AS the lightbox, and shooting the negatives (only 35mm so far) with my Olympus E-PM1 for which I don’t have as close-focusing of a lens as I’d like. Hopefully a real lightbox will be brighter and let me use a lower ISO for better results.

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