This week saw me take delivery of a tripod from a friend - the final piece of equipment required to allow me to start making exposures with my single plate camera.
On Friday at work I loaded my plate holders with llford Direct Positive Paper ready for the weekend. The theory behind using the photographic paper is that it has a similar ISO to silver gelatin. This would be a cheap way to acquaint myself with my camera and its controls.
The weather could not have been more perfect to practice and play. The thing I think I love the most about manual analogue adventures is the slowing down of time. Firstly is the setting up the cumbersome equipment, Then, having only six exposures, considering carefully my coastal compositions. Focusing, checking exposure times, loading the plate holder, setting the manual shutter then finally releasing it to make the image.
So enthused was I in my work that I didn't realise that I had a number of people behind me who were taking a keen interest in what I was up to and I got a start when I turned round and found a German couple taking photographs of me and my camera. Interest continued with passers by slowing down and stopping to see what I was up too. My slow motion adventure had sucked others into it's magic vortex.
On my last photograph the string that is pulled to set the exposure snapped and shot all the way into the timer. The camera itself is over a 100 years old.........I'm not sure about the string as it may have been repaired before. Because these items are not stocked in the supermarket and there is no handy camera repair person to call upon, it was time once again to search the internet and get the screwdriver set out.
It wasn't long till I found a number of tutorials, the easiest of which I found to follow being made by a Melbourne Photographer called Paul Ewins. It took me over an hour to fix my Thorton Pickard Timer but thanks to the tutorial I now understand how my timer works and I know also that it is fit for purpose for when I start to make images on glass.