Sunday, 21 August 2011

Next weekend in St.Stephen's Green

Just a few days left to Peoples Photography 2011 in Stephen's Green. Lots of fantastic photographs to look at, to buy and good opportunity to talk to their authors.
I will show there some of my favourite pieces all set in one series called “Places” (just like last year), including couple of photographs i wasn't exhibiting during 2010 edition.
Hope to see you there! ;)

27th - 28th of August, Spot 110 again (across The Shelbourne Hotel), 9am-6pm

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The power of coffee

I just finished scanning negatives developed in “coffee”...certainly not the one I am drinking at the moment ;)
Caffenol is a home made film developer based on instant coffee (NOT decaf). Very new and exciting experiment even if such a way of developing is well known since while. I bought all ingredients after very short online research. I've had a some trouble finding washing soda but got it on ebay at last. Here i need to point very halpful websites: Caffenol blog and Maciek Lesniak Fotografia (in polish). Good set of information!

instant coffee, pure vitamin C powder, washing soda
Caffenol, once mixed is supposed to be used within half an hour. Storage is not recommended.  Well I didn't test it so far but I have to trust the experience of others.
I am using Paterson dev tank which holds 0.5 l of dilution for one 120 film so my proportions (for 0.5L dev) are as follows:

- 27g of washing soda
- 8g of vitamin C
- 20g of instant coffee

This gives me Caffenol-C-M - for medium fast film. Tested here on Ilford Pan F Plus 50 and Ilford FP4+ 125.
Recommended dev - 15min, 20°C.
Proportions are adjustable depending obviously on quantity needed.

ready developer, Caffenol-C-M
It rather smells bad (maybe because of instant coffee which is obviously a fake one ;D haha) and makes quite a mess when spilled. Dilution however is very easy to prepare, extremely cheap, very efficient and gives just wonderful results. Beside that it’s quite flexible. Usually I have to be careful with average developer. Sometimes 2° or 3°C makes a huge difference, even in tolerant black and white negatives. The same with proportions. During my tests I developed two different films in developer mixed in the same way, with the same time and almost the same temperature. I am a bit impatient so I decided to go with a few degrees warmer dilution (warmer water makes everything easier to mix) and 1 min shorter dev time then recommended (Pan F Plus 50 - 14min, 22°C, FP4+ 14min 23°C). Stop bath and fixing is exactly the same as with ordinary developer.
I must admit I am more then happy with the results.
Looks like I am gonna remove all other developers from my monthly (photo) shopping list.
So now just a few random photographs as a proof of my words:

Yashica Mat-124G with Yashinon 80mm 3.5,
Ilford Pan F Plus 50 in Caffenol-C-M 14min, 22°C

Yashica Mat-124G with Yashinon 80mm 3.5,
Ilford Pan F Plus 50 in Caffenol-C-M 14min, 22°C

Hasselblad 500C/M with Planar 80mm T* CF 2.8,
Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol-C-M 14min, 23°C

Monday, 1 August 2011

Victorian Market

Walking through Dublin's north inner-city area, from O’Connell Street (Dublin’s main thoroughfare) towards Smithfield  we will see a beautiful Victorian building - The Fruit and Vegetable Market.

Main entrance, Mary's Lane
Building, opened in 1892, was designed by Spencer Harty (Dublin City Engineer, 1887-1910) and William Cranwill Wilson (Engineer and architect, of Dublin).

Market hall
The Market, owned now by Dublin City Council "is considered to be one of the finest expressions of the late Victorian approach to open plan buildings. The use of cast iron and glass was characteristic of the buildings of the time, epitomised by the Crystal Palace in London which was built for the Great Exhibition of 1851.” (info: The Capel Building).

Market hall, detail - the head of a column
You can have a look also at development plan for this area (DCC website): please click HERE (dowloadable in pdf format). Personally I found these documents quite dangerous (especially here in boom times) - demolish Everything and build..."something"! In this case looks like The Market is preserved. However everything around is dramatically over scaled. It's a history now anyway... at least for a while.

Gate, corner of St.Michan's Street and Mary's lane
I was photographing The Market Hall (second and third image) during a quiet afternoon. Ironically the most challenging to photograph was the most obvious place - main entrance (first image). It took me over two weeks since first visit there. It was almost impossible to set camera due to constant traffic, delivery trucks etc. Last Sunday (very early morning) I made another approach and finally I succeeded.

I would like to know a bit more about history of that
beautiful building, place full of life and bustle. Unfortunately available sources are a bit poor so if any of you have an access to some interesting information or details, please feel free to post it here in comments area or just email me. Thank you!