Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Let me try this again
Saturday morning, I was driving around with my pinhole camera, wanting to take a picture of a boarded-up d├ępanneur in the west end. Get turned around a few times, trying to navigate all the one-way streets, etc. Find the store, park, and set up the box on a concrete block across the street from the store. It's overcast and windy, the camera is rocking back and forth, so I pile everything from my pockets onto the box. No luck.
Pack everything up, and drive some more, trying to find something that catches my eye. Give up and drive to the Atwater market to get some food. Get a flash while there, and set up the camera, again, by the canal, on the train tracks. By now the wind has really picked up and the rain is cold and heavier. I try to offset the wind by ballasting the camera with rocks from the tracks. Open the shutter (i.e. I pull the tape off from the hole; it's complicated, I know), and stand in the freezing rain for about 10 minutes, getting shrieked at by the gulls.
Once my fingers and the back of my neck are completely numb, I put the tape back on the shutter, pack up and finish the rest of my errands.
Because I don't have a darkroom, I have to wait until late at night to set up my trays in the bathroom, which I darken by taping black paper over the window, and by turning off all the lights in the apartment. I don't even have a darkroom light, so I'm practically working blind. So, late last night, I go through this process: get in the bathroom with my box, turn out the lights, and pull the top off the camera. Now, when I grab the paper, it somehow doesn't feel right. The charged side, which is supposed to feel sticky, is facing away from the shutter. Crap, I loaded the paper the wrong way. Of course, I have no way of knowing for sure, so I go through the process of developing it. And, sure enough, when I finally turn on the lights, I'm staring at a blank piece of photographic paper. Sigh.

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