Photo Friday


Took this shot this morning outside a Paris Cafe. I’ve been waiting since last June to buy a new camera but all the ones I want seem to be back ordered. Anyways, all to say that I haven’t taken as many pics lately as I’m frustrated with my current setup (thought I could handle no viewfinder but I can’t). Anyways, went out this morning and threw on a 75mm voigtlander onto my Nex 3. I bought the lens cause it was a good deal but I don’t use it much. But on the Nex it really seems to shine, and my hit rate is far better than with my Bessa film camera.

Back to the picture, I like the people in the background that you can’t quite make out, makes you linger and think about the picture a bit. Might have preferred if they weren’t quite so out of focus, but overall I’m pretty happy with the shot. Now if my new camera could just show up…

Blurb – Black and White Text Book quality review

I’ve made several books before, but I’ve always been tempted by Blurb’s “Black and White Text” books.  They come in both Trade (6×9″) and Pocket (5×8″), and are significantly cheaper than their other offerings.  You still get a full colour cover, however the inside pages are “cream” and while called “Text only” books, Blurb advises that:

While perfect for text, the textured, low-contrast paper also gives black and white photos and drawings a decidedly edgy and lo-fi feel. 

I’d been reluctant to try as I couldn’t find a single review on the web about printing pictures in this type of book.  So I thought I’d give a quick summary of how it turned out and a few sample pictures side by side with the originals to see how it looks.

Sorry about the thumb, had to hold the book somehow!  Anyways, as you can see, the paper is definitely cream colour, which affects the whites.  Also, the blacks are not that “deep” compared to the original (a scanned black and white negative).  That being said, it still looks fine, not sure if I find it edgy, but lo-fi perhaps.  The type of picture above (contrasty, lots of light and dark but not so much midtones) seems to work best with this format.  It isn’t as good as the original but it’s not bad and not a lot is lost due to the printing.


The above picture shows where this format doesn’t work.  The picture has very small differences in shades of dark grey along the fence line.  In the original you can see these differences clearly, in the book however, most of the detail is gone, in fact the one pedestrian is even hard to see.  While this is disappointing, now that I know, I will refrain from using this type of picture.

Finally, this picture shows the quality of the printing up close.  The picture was printed 3.5×3.5″ so it has been blown up significantly.  As you can see, the printing really looks a lot like newsprint.  Good quality newsprint, but newsprint nonetheless.  Again I’m not being critical of this, just pointing out what you can expect from this type of book as examples are hard to find on the web.

Overall I’ve been quite happy with the book.  You can’t beat the price at under $10 for a 150 page 5×8″ book.  So long as you know what types of pictures to include or not to include, you can have an excellent book for a rock bottom price.

If you’re in need of a 5×8″ calendar (day planner) with pictures of Paris, or if you just want to check out the print quality for yourself, click here to see my book (or buy it if you like!).

Paris Day Planner 2012 – Buy me!

With some of my many Paris photos, I’ve made a 2012 Daily Planner (Calendar).  It features pictures taken with my xpan, voigtlander rangefinder, Holga, and Sony Nex 3.  I wanted to stick with only film cameras, but the cover shot was just too good to omit.

There are 14 pictures including the cover, and the last 20 or so pages are lined for notes.  It’s 5×8″ or “pocket book” sized and is available on Blurb for only $9.95  Click Here to see the book and purchase if you are interested.

52 Create – The Wrap up

I started on 52 Create last January as an attempt to make something each week for the entire year.  There weren’t many guidelines, and it was mainly meant as a way to get me to find time to make stuff (which I love doing). Along the way we sold our house, packed up my tools, moved across the country, then across the world, so needless to say there was a bump or two in the road.  For the first half of 2011 there was a full woodshop stocked with tools and lumber, while the second half I had a leatherman and cardboard (or whatever else might my neighbours might be tossing in the garbage).  This led to some less ambitious designs, and even some slim weeks where nothing got made at all.  Did I achieve my goal? Read on…

Obviously goal #1 was to create 52 things.  I made 33 things during the initial 52 create weekly phase, then I made a further 24 things as part of my daughter’s Craftvent Calendar, so 57 total, check!  Did I make more time for myself to make things… yes undoubtedly, and even better is that I made time while without tools or materials.

So what were the popular posts?  Top item I made (in terms of page clicks) was the VW Camper Van Toy box.  Number Two was the flat pack rocking chair, and following in third was the Wooden push Bike, although the hockey stick cutting board has been making a surge over the last few weeks.

What’s in store for this year? Well knowing there is no new workshop in sight, I won’t have any ambitious plans, but I do have some projects to be posted over the next few weeks as well as a Day Planner I’ll be selling on Blurb with some of my photos from our Parisian adventures, so stay tuned!

Photo Friday

Took this shot a few weeks ago while walking around Place de Concorde (Paris).  I rested the camera on the edge of the fountain and took a long exposure.  I think I’ll go back and redo it in order to better frame it (ie. remove the head from the bottom right corner).  It was dark, I was in a rush, not the way to take a well thought out picture.  Anyways, a cool attempt.

Photo Friday

Holga eh? Sure why not.  While I whine about the thousands of pictures I still have to go through from last year, I didn’t go through any this week.  I’d love to say I was all wrapped up in some incredible new endeavour, but honestly I’d have to say it was more due to laziness.


Anyhow, can’t go wrong with a picture of bike now can you?  Not sure why but I love bike pictures, probably should move to Copenhagen or Amsterdam, but until then I’ll just drool over my pictures.  Taken with my Holga on some type of colour film, quite likely Kodak VC160.

Photo Friday

Took this photo about an hour ago from the Tuileries in Paris looking onto Place de la Concorde.  The Ferris Wheel is here for Christmas and is such a beautiful sight at night.  Also lined up the Obelisk in the centre of the wheel.  While I haven’t been thrilled with my NEX 3 lately, I took this shot handheld at 1/15 of second, pretty sharp if you ask me…

Photo Friday

Still tons of scanned negatives to go through, but I saw this one and couldn’t resist posting it.  I absolutely love the contrasting pattern in the foreground.  This is at the palace of Versailles, just outside of Paris. Taken with my Voigtlander Bessa R using the 15mm Heliar lens on Fuji Neopan 400.  Scanned and no adjustments added, I did straighten the photo slightly (it’s tough to keep the 15mm level!).

52 Create – Craftvent Calendar, Day 1

52 Create, my “weekly” creative output for 2011.  Seeing as I missed a few weeks over the summer and fall, I”m making my daughter a “Craftvent” calendar (ie. an advent calendar filled with crafts).  One craft a day from December 1st till the 24th.

I figured I should start it off with something to give a bit of decor to our Parisian apartment.  We don’t have a lot of decorations back home, but here we don’t have any at all.  A 1 metre Christmas tree will set you back $50 in Paris, so we aren’t in a hurry to buy one of those…  So for December 1st I made my daughter a simple garland.  The irony is I used a toy catalogue for the paper as it was full of colour and looked nice.  It’s now hanging in our not very well insulated window.

My other 52 Create Projects