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Izumi's Diary Page 44     Monday 6 February 2012  
         
         
Flora and the Ancestors
         
     
 

Hello! It is Izumi here who greets you again.

Today I have some happy photographs to show you that I thought for a time would not be happy ones and perhaps even would not exist at all.

I shall tease you with one or two of them then I shall tell you the story of how they came to be. If you have been following my seekings for Decisive Moments off the beaten paths and footpaths you will probably know what they are.

 
     
     
         
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (042)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w (I can't tell you yet, although you probably have guessed).
   
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (156B)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w (I can't tell you yet, although you probably have guessed).
 
         
         
     
 

You will perhaps remember that I experimented with various types of pinhole lenses, including the Pinwide, the Lomo and the Loreo and showed you the results mainly taken at the resting place of the ancestors.

Well, I went there again recently when there was a short period without raining but this time with a definite purpose in mind. Here is my PEN dressed for that day and you can easily see what he is wearing.

 
     
     
         
 
 
 
My PEN and his SLRMagic Pinhole Lens
 
         
         
     
 

It is a pinhole lens from SLR Magic who you will remember made the manual prime lenses that I so enjoyed handling when I started searching for those Decisive Moments and could put aside my little Pentax camera that did not have a proper viewfinder and start using my PEN which did.

SLR Magic told me that they had a different design of pinhole lens and asked me if I would take some photographs with it that they could use as samples of its abilities. So naturally I said Yes and when it arrived I went out as soon as there was clement weather so see what it could do.

You will notice that unlike the other pinhole lenses from Wanderlust or Lenox Laser it has a sheet of clear glass covering the whole front and protecting the actual pinhole from dust and dirt.

Now please have a look at some more standard photographs that my PEN and I took with it.

 
     
     
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (016)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/3 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
         
   
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (017)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/4 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (018)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/40 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (019)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/13 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
         
   
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (020)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/6 sec, f/128, 800 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
         
         
     
 

You will see that it behaves very much like all pinhole lenses. As I looked at the little screen on the back of my PEN I could see that I was getting somewhat the same results as I had with the other pinholes. But of course I could not be sure exactly what the quality was until I returned home to a nice hot cuppa (see, I am becoming an Ozumi) and a big screen.

I also had Man Friday with us and all the photographs were taken with the PEN mounted on him so they could be as steady as possible. Also I put PEN on two-second delay to avoid shaking him even further.

I used the same cherub that I had used before with the other lenses so I could have a comparison. The weather made the photographs look a bit different but it demonstrates that pinhole ability of closer objects to be sharper (or certainly appear so) than distant ones.

Here he is, in various ways.

 
     
     
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (055)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/4 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (056)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/5 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (057)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/3 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (058)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/4 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (054)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
     
 

So we were capturing pretty much the same type of photograph that we had captured before, with the same constraints as to near and far objects and their relative sharpnesses, as well as the general sharpness (or softness) overall.

Now I have a belief that not only can there be places of Serendipity (as I have written about before) but it can also be a state of mind. I was determined that I would make happy photographs with the lens so I sat next to a stone angel and thought about why I went to the resting place to test the lens. It was because, as I have mentioned, contrary to what should be the laws of optics things that are close to the pinhole are sharper than things at a distance. And at a resting place you can get up close to interesting things while still having a background where it does not matter if it is not sharp. But the background still has a meaning and relevance to what is in the foreground.

So I looked around for what else I could put close to the lens and I saw a scattering of little yellow flowers. "Hora ā," I thought. "Not only close but really close. Just like the bee's knees."

The first few photographs that we took did not work at all because, as it was a cloudy and gloomy morning, all was dark and uncontrasty. Then I suddenly went to Serendip in my head.

See…

 
     
     
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (034)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (069)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (051)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (123B)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
   
         
         
     
 

You will know what my Serendipitous thoughts led me to do but here I'll let my PEN reveal it for you, as it was really he who made it all work.

 
     
     
         
 
 
 
 
PEN sans illumination
 
PEN avec illumination
 
         
         
     
 

And here are some more happy photographs that resulted. You can imagine that I was a very happy photographer as well, and a contented (but not boastful) one as I had had a little triumph over adversity, which can be like the cup of tea you have when you're not having a cup of tea.

Because the shutter speed was really being determined by the flash (you will note that it is always 1/60 second), and because I had to get up really close and down really low to the ground for these ones, I hand-held the PEN to give me the ability to compose and frame freely as I needed to.

 
     
     
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (081)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
   
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (098)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
         
         
         
   
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (097)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (090)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (091)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
   
   
Flora and the Ancestors  (099)
   
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
         
         
     
 

So thanks to serendipity the photographs became happy ones, my PEN was happy and I was happy. Triple happiness abounding!

 
     
     
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (105)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
         
 
 
 
Flora and the Ancestors  (155B)
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w SLR Magic Pinhole lens, 1/60 sec, f/128, 400 ISO, 24mm (eqiv)
 
         
         
     
 

I think the pinhole image quality suits these plants and flowers especially with the gravestones and statues as presences in the backgrounds. I wonder if another trip to my mental Serendip will tell me of other places I can go with the pinhole lens. I guess I'll just have to set sail and see. What I have learnt is that you have to go to Serendip – it doesn't come to you.

Thank you again for reading of my problems and their resolutions and looking at these pages.

Your friend with the Serendipity,

Izumi.

 
     
     
 
 
 
 
To fully understand my footsteps, please read me from the start.
  
Izumi's Diary Page 44
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