Thursday, December 23, 2010

Digital IR

I've been experimenting with digital IR methods, using a R72 filter on my D70, a filter which passes only IR. (though if you hold it up to a light, you can see a dim image through it) It requires the use of a tripod, as long exposures are the norm, do to the limited IR sensitivity. I prefer the film look, though the digital camera adds color to the IR, which produces some interesting effects.

Self Portrait in IR

My first successful digital IR image, featuring myself (I was finally able to figure out how to get a good white balance.)

Ferns on a tree

A cluster of ferns growing on a tree in the park behind my house, not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest forest.

Spring Creek Pond Outlet

The outlet of a large pond in the park, known as Spring Creek Pond. I chose to leave the color, as I thought the color was rather interesting. (The color in the other images didn't really add anything.)

On Spring Creek Pond

A tree growing on the pond bank.
Thanks for looking, and as always, feel free to comment!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Macro photography

Much of my photography has been about seeing things from a different perspective, one that is not often seen. The medium of photography has been always that way, as it gives us a means of seeing the world as others view it, but the average individual with a camera tends to take photos without really looking closer at their subject or finding a diffrent means of photographing a subject. Macro photography is one of my favorite techniques of looking at a subject differently. It is a method that is effective because the human eye is not capable of seeing close up easily due to the nature of the eye, which is designed to see things from an average perspective. Cameras, on the other hand, can be designed to look at up to microscopic levels. Looking at the world from a life size or half life size perspective produces a window into things that we do not naturally see.
American Flag
This American flag is a prime example. Most people wouldn't notice without the aid of a camera that there are actually tiny holes in the fabric that allow light to pass through the fabric.
Nor would they be able to notice the subtle play of light and texture of this leaf.
Dandilion Seed pod
The subtle texture and softness of this dandilion seed pod is also better emphasized through macro photography. Thanks for looking, and feel free to comment!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My first image with my medium format camera.

My parents bought me a Bronica ETRS medium format camera as my Graduation gift, and I was finally able to put it to use (after the first camera, an older model, went belly up). I also put the "new" Besler enlarger to use with it, which will be its primary duty, as my other enlargers are primarly set up for 35mm printing.
Two Cats in a window
The two cats belong to my next door neigbors, posing in their front window.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Newcastle IR project part 3

The railroad was an important part of the mining operations and the town of Newcastle, as it was at other coal mining operations in the state. It provided the important function of transporting the coal to the market, and the connection to the outside world. Orginally built as the Seattle and Walla Walla, it was Seattle's first railroad and eventually connected all of the coal mining communities in King County, including Franklin, Black Diamond, and Renton. It later became the Columbia and Puget Sound, then the Pacific Coast Railroad, reflecting its purchase by the Pacific Coast Company.
Turntable pad IR
This is all that remains of the turntable which was used to turn locomotives at the Coal Creek end of the railroad, just a concrete pad with some bolt sticking out of it. There was another larger turntable at the Seattle end of the railroad.
Coal Creek Bunker Foundation IR
These are the footings that supported the bunker which was used to load coal cars to transport the coal to Seattle.
Ford Slope Hoist Foundation
This concrete foundation supported a large hoist that hoisted coal carts out of the Ford Slope Mine, so that the coal could be hauled by electric locomotives similar to the one pictured at the Roslyn museum in my previous post to the bunker, where the coal was washed, sorted, then loaded on to the train to be hauled to Seattle.
Gearbox IR
This object, which was located in Coal Creek until recently, was the transmission of of a White Truck, according to a former coal miner that is a member of the Newcastle Historical Society. After Pacific Coast quit the coal mining business, and the railroad was abandoned, coal was hauled to market by trucks until the coal mining stopped in the 60's.

That's all for now on Newcastle. Comments are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roslyn Museum

While surveying for the Roslyn IR project, I stopped at the Roslyn Museum (which was closed, unfortunately) and took a few photos of the mining equipment. I finally found the roll of film that I took with the fisheye and had it processed.
Fisheye mining locomotive
This is the mining locomotive that is exhibited outside, leading a trip (the mining equivalent of a train) of mine carts and other cars used for coal mining. The mining locomotive hauled coal carts underground. Originally, they used mules for this duty.
Man trip cart
This is a man trip cart, which was used between shifts in the coal mine to lower the miners into the mine. The seats are angled so that the miners would be sitting upright while the cart traveled down the main slope of the mine, which was sloped along the angle of the coal seam.
Fisheye flag
This flag is in front of the mining equipment.
fisheye Miners Memorial
This memorial honors fallen coal miners and is located in front of the former Northwest Improvment Company store, just down the street from the Museum.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A sampler from my Lomographic Fisheye

I mentioned in a previous post that I own a Lomographic Fisheye. This camera is a fixed lens camera that produces 170 degree circular fisheye images. It has no controls other than a flash, and is generally a grab bag. Here is a sampling of some of my favorite images from the camera.

Fisheye sky
This image resulted from simply pointing the camera at the sky. I like it because it looks almost like a water planet!
fisheye cat
This cat was exploring the caboose in front of the Black Diamond Museum.
Franklin minecart bridge fisheye 2
This is the minecart bridge at Franklin as viewed from one end.
Fisheye waterfall
This waterfall is near the Green River Gorge Resort, across the Green River from Franklin.

Stay tuned for more images from this fun and interesting camera!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Newcastle IR project Part 2

The town of Newcastle was orginally located near the current Newcastle Nursery, east of the present town, where the original mine was located. The town later moved up the Coal Creek canyon to what is now the Red Town Trailhead of Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. The area had been previously known as Coal Creek, but became Newcastle when the Post Office moved from the old town site. Red Town was a neighborhood where the houses were all painted red. Other neighborhoods were were known as Rainbow Town and Finn Town. Some of the houses came from Franklin, when that town was abandoned. The town disappeared when the major mining operations shut down in the 1920's and 30's.
Red Town dam IR
This dam provided water for the town site from a small creek known as Red Town Creek. Wooden planks that formed part of the dam can still be seen at the base of the water.
Electrical plant foundation
This foundation supported an electrical dynamo that provided electricity for the town and the mines. It is located in the back yard of a former miner named Milt Swanson, who lives in a former company house.
Coal Creek Flume IR
These planks formed part of a wooden flume that channeled Coal Creek through the area.
Power plant foundation IR
This foundation was the foundation for a steam plant that generated electricity for the mines and the town. It actually straddled the Coal Creek flume.

Stay tuned for the next installment in the Newcastle IR Project!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Newcastle IR Project Part 1

Newcastle, as it's name implies (taken from the City of Newcastle on Tyne, the famed coal mining city in England), was another important coal mining town in the early history of Washington State. The town was second only to Black Diamond in coal production in the state. Coal was mined in the region from the 1880's until 1963, though large scale production ended in the 1930's. Like Black Diamond and Franklin, it was a company town, orignally owned by the Oregon Improvement Company, which also owned Franklin (Black Diamond was founded by the Black Diamond Coal Company, which had previously mined near Nortonville, CA, before moving to the Pacific Northwest), which later sold both towns to the Pacific Coast Company when OIC went bankrupt. PCC also owned Black Diamond. The coal mining area is now largely a part of King County's Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.
Ford Slope IR
The Ford Slope Mine was the largest producer of the Newcastle area, and operated from 1906 to 1926. The shaft is 1740 feet deep.
Ford Slope Fan House IR
This is the remnants of one of two fanhouses that served the Ford Slope mine. The fanhouse provided fresh air for the miners, dispersing dangerous gasses within the mine.
Mineshaft IR
This is an airshaft that was part of a mine in the #3 seam. I believe this shaft was part of the first mine at Newcastle. The airshaft provided an intake for the ventilation system.
No. 4 Seam Airshaft IR
This is the airshaft for another mine in the #4 seam.

Stay tuned for the next installment in the Newcastle IR Project!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Roslyn IR project update II

I was able to work more on the Roslyn IR project just before graduation. I was hoping to finish up the project around September, but was never able to do so. (Hopefully I will be able to do so this spring, as Roslyn's snowed in right now.)
No.1 Mine Structure IR

I'm not sure what this structure was, but it bears some resemblance to a fan house, though it's much smaller, and there is no exhaust vent or housing for the fan itself. It's near the site of the No.1 and No.2 mines.

No.1 Mine foundation IR

This is another unknown foundation from the site of the No.1 and No.2 mines.

No. 3 Mine Shaft IR

This structure is the concrete tunnel that made up part of the No. 3 mine in Ronald, a small town about two miles from Roslyn, and also owned and operated by the Northwest Improvment Company as part of the Roslyn coal field. The shaft appears to have been closed by the Federal Office of Surface Mining by knocking the shaft down. (I've seen a photo of this shaft in its original configuration on

I like the quality of the IR that the Roslyn area has as a result of the bright sun on the east side of the mountains. Stay tuned for further images from Roslyn!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My photo on the King County Parks blog!

One of my photos of Newcastle made the King County Parks blog!

Mineshaft IR