Using a 100 year old camera

Being stuck indoors more than I would prefer recently has had a profound effect on the amount of time I've been able to dedicate to hobbies old and new (AKA buggering-around-in-the-garage). I recently passed my 30th birthday (*groan*), for which my partner very kindly bought me a near 100 year old Kodak No. 1 Pocket camera. I would have been very happy just having this photography relic as a decoration, but I have now managed to get some photos out of it! There were a few versions of these old folding cameras from Kodak, but here is the version that I have from somewhere around the 1920s. 

Quarantine Macros

Needles to say, I had a very relaxing Saturday morning messing about with the camera! (sorry).

Well… I've gone as far as I can with the DIY aspects of converting my garage into a home office / studio. After putting the skirting boards in last weekend, the only thing left to do is to get the carpet down. I'm getting someone else to do this as it's way beyond my skill! Due to the current covid-19 situation this has been postponed and I've had to entertain myself in other creative ways.

In the meantime, I thought I'd fill my isolation time by trying to pull off some of my more elaborate photography ideas. Since I was indoors this naturally meant I went to macro shots. I'm sure the following idea has been done before, but it was fun to pull it off from a technical perspective. Cross stitch combined with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon lead me to try and get a rainbow of thread passing through the eye of a single needle.

Two barbeque skewers, some gaffa tape, a box of screws, a 2x4" plank and an hour of fiddling with cross stitch floss later,  I managed to rig it all up.

I tried shooting in a few different ways, but here are the highlights.

These are all shot on a Nikon D810 with a 105mm f/2.8 VR macro lens. This lens is utterly fantastic and very reasonably priced for what you're getting. See here for Ken Rockwell's full assessment.

For this dark shot I used only a desk lamp in a darkened room with a very high aperture f-number, and a very long exposure time. 

6.0s, f/51, ISO100
For a lighter shot I kept the lamp on, room light on, flash on.

1/25s, f/8, ISO100
I ended up taking a few more at lower depths of field from the side here and here.

All this made for a quite a chilled Saturday morning just pottering around. In these torrid times I think it's vital we take the time to unwind with a hobby and (in my case) about four cups of coffee and a teacake.


Unknown said…
How you can make something so mundane look so good is beyond me.