Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 7

Last night Jake woke me up with a start.  He had a very brief hacking cough.  It sounded very much like what I was told to expect.  The Vet said not to worry unless he was hacking up blood or the cough became persistent.  He had two very brief fits last night, but so far today all is well.

The other symptom I am supposed to look for is lethargy.  This has been more tricky with Jake.  Since taking him to the vet for his shots he has been a bit more mellow than he usually is.  This is most likely partly due to the ordeal of staying at the vet for 3 days with all those loud barking dogs.  He may also be calm because during this treatment either I or someone will be with him at all times and while he doesn't have separation anxiety, he does seem to prefer to have someone present.  So far he does perk up for food and treats so I am not really worried, but I do tend to over think things so this slight change in behavior (even though it is helping with his recovery) has me on guard.

"Can we play in the rain Dad?"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+
All dark on the light/dark wheel
4 min dev in hot/cold clip

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 6

Another good day, Jake has perked up but still seems to be happy to lounge around the condo as long as I am here to keep him company.  I am not complaining and I sure hope that the entire month goes as easily as these first few days have.

As for the impossible film, today's image was shot with the latest PX600 UV+.  This film is the most stable so far of the 600 films and it also has the most B&W tones of the bunch.  You can still get a bit of a sepia tone when  it is developed in to much heat.  I have been using the Impossible hot/cold clip to develop the film and using coolest indicator on the clip.  If you haven't seen the clip it has three temperature sensitive stickers on it the become visible depending on the temperature range.  There is a snowman, heart, and sun symbol.  The snowman is for between 59 and 63 deg F, Heart for 74 to 77 deg F, and sun for between 86 and 90 deg F.  I like to keep the temps for UV+ on the snowman.  PX600 SS batch 7/10 and 6/10 do well also on the snowman or with the snowman and a faint heart.

"Lounging on the couch with Dad"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 UV+
Halfway between neutral and all dark on light/dark wheel
4 min dev in hot/cold clip

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 5

Jake has been pretty lazy and sleepy these first few days.  I was told to expect that, plus Jake has been pretty laid back since I got him.  That said you are instructed to look for excessive coughing and lethargy as signs something may be wrong.  Some coughing is to be expected as the worms dissolve from the heart and lungs and phlegm is coughed up.  So far no coughing!  But I was getting a bit worried that Jake was being a bit too lazy, until last night around 1am and he decided that it was play time.  So I had to crate him for a bit until he settled down, and then I let him out and he climbed into bed and feel fast asleep.

I have also noticed that he has been drinking way more water than normal, but other than that so far things have been gone great. I sure hope that is the case for the rest of the month.

Moving onto to the Impossible films.  The first few images I shot were using the PX600 batch 7/10 (the batch number is on the side of the box).  I found that batch to be very stable and predictable.  Yesterday and today's images were created with batch 6/10.  They are much more yellow and sensitive to temperature and exposure.  Where the 7/10 film responds well to adjustments of the light/dark well, I am finding the 6/10 film to be less predictable.  I have also had some weird developing effects with the 6/10 batch.  One image had the right third of the image with a dark yellowish stripe covering it.  I find with the 6/10 batch the light/dark wheel needs to be on max dark.  I also find that when using the hot/cold clip for developing the 6/10 batches responds better to the coldest indicator rather than the middle ("perfect") temperature which creates a more red and muddy tone.  The 7/10 batch responds well to both the cold and middle temperature indicator, but does get a slight reddish tint the warmer the developing temp.

"Naps on the couch are the best!"
SX-70 Sonar, PX600 (batch 6/10)
Exposure=max dark
Developed in hot/cold clip 4 minutes (cold)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 4, Jake loves his crate

Jake has been great today, very mellow and actually spending most of the day in his crate voluntarily!  I suspect he is still a bit worn out from the excitement of spending 3 days at the Vet with all the barking dogs and noise.  In the month I've had Jake it has become apparent that while he wants to be in the middle of all the action, he really loves to come home to peace and quiet.

So yesterday I mentioned that Jake would have to be kept calm for the next 30 days, let me explain for those who have never treated a dog for heartworm disease.  Treatment involves a lot of preparation and is dependent on the condition of the dog when diagnosed.  There is a lot of misleading terms out there and some of this is the result of misunderstanding and unfortunately some Vets are just as responsible as everyone else in creating the confusion.  I don't claim to be an expert, Jake is the first dog I have gone through this with.  The test is a simple blood test and your dog can be diagnosed at one of 3 to 4 levels.  Jake was diagnosed at level 1 which basically means he has tested positive for heart worms but is not exhibiting any symptoms like coughing or intolerance to exercise.  This plus the fact that he is young and healthy are all very positive.

For Jake there was a few month build up during which time he was put on a monthly preventative and given a medication to kill the baby and migrating worms.  Then he was given 2 injections 24 hrs apart starting on the 22nd to kill the adult worms.  Over the next 7-10 days the adult worms will die.  There is still significant danger because they are in his heart and possibly his lungs with no where to go but into the blood stream.  Over time his body will slowly dissolve them.  The danger lies in taxing his heart via exercise that has the potential to cause a large part of the dead worms to enter his blood stream causing a clot and possibly death.  Thus he needs to be kept calm for at least 30 days and then very slowly returned to exercise.  In some cases it is recommended to crate your dog for the duration.  My plan is to crate him as he starts acting up.  Jake is pretty much a couch potato most of the time, so I'll let him crash where he wants and if he starts acting up then I'll use the crate.  He actually loves his crate and retreats to it often on his own so I'm no worried that he'll be upset when he is put in there.  I can't imagine going through this with a high strung dog.

"Jake and Bobo"
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX-600 (Batch 6/10)
w/ND Filter
Developed using Hot/cold clip for 4 minutes

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 3, Jake is home!

I am happy to have the pup home!  He was pretty tired and went straight to bed after a brief sniff around to make sure everything is where he left it.  He doesn't seem to have any ill effects from the injections, no soreness.  I think he tired because there was so much going on at the vet, they had at least 5 other Lab Rescue dogs for various reasons, plus all of the vet techs fell in love with him and made sure he didn't go lacking for love :)  That's my boy!

While the main reason I have started photographing this difficult time, is just to give me something to focus on rather than worrying about what might happen, the other reason is I didn't find much info about this part of the process online.  So many people, like me, when they discover their dog has heartworms do the research and get nervous at the difficult path to recovery, but none ever did more than state that their dog either made it or didn't leaving me and so many others with little idea of what to expect.  So my plan is to try and fill in that gap.

Today a brief intro to heartworms.  They can only be transmitted one way, through an infected mosquito bite.  They pose no danger to people, but are fatal in dogs.  From what I have read it can take up to 6 months from the time of the bite to to when adult heartworms are found in the heart.  This is why you are supposed to give the preventative pills all year round even if there aren't mosquitoes about due to weather.  Also it is a myth that certain parts of the country don't have to worry about this.  All 50 states have had cases of heartworms.  The theory as to why varies but the data doesn't.  The pill don't cost nearly as much as the treatment once your dog has the disease, the bill can run $1200+.  The treatment can be fatal, or more specifically there are a few dogs who die before recovering but what I have read it seems that these rare cases are more because the dogs were allowed to much exercise.  More on that in a later post. 

Jake came to me with heartworms.  Had I known how serious that was I may not have adopted him, but I am glad I didn't know because he is a great dog and deserves a chance.  The countdown to March 24th has started...

"It's good to be home and back on MY bed!"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX600 (batch 7/10)
Dark/light meter - half way between full dark and neutral
Devloped 4 minues in Hot/cold clip 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Missing Jake....

Day two of Jake's heartworm treatment.  No word from the vet which is a good sign.  Hopefully tomorrow he will be able to come home :)

"I miss Jake.."
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar with ND filter, Impossible PX-600 (batch 7/10)
Light/Dark wheel on max dark 
Developed using Impossible Hot/Cold Clip 4 minutes

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An empty house again...

Well Jake is at the vet today starting his heartworm treatment.  He will be there for 3 days, then he comes home and has to be rested and prevented from exercising for 30 days while he recovers and his body slowly dissolves the dead worms.  It was almost a year between the day Tucker (my last dog, a chocolate lab) passed away and the day Jake came home with me.  It was a huge adjustment to coming home every day and not being greeted by a wagging tail.  Now after only a month I can't imagine not having Jake here.  It is only for a few days, but heartworms are serious and there is the very small chance Jake won't survive the treatment so that help makes this time apart a bit harder.

During the next month Jake will need to be monitored 24hrs a day on the off chance that complications arise.  I am so lucky that I have been able to arrange to work from home for most of that time.  My Father has also volunteered to stay with Jake on those few days that I need to go into work and I am sure I will be calling on my sister to puppy sit while I run errands.

I have decided to try and take at least one photograph each day to document this difficult time.  If I manage to stick to this I will post the results here.  I will use the new Impossible project films and use this time to test out the films and really see how the work.

This first image was taken with my Polaroid SX-70 Sonar, the film was Impossible PX-600 Silver shade (the second batch without the exploding chemical problem).  The light/dark wheel was set all the way to max dark.  The darkslide was taped over the ejection point to prevent the film from being exposed to light and then the film was placed in this hot/cold clip heated to the correct temperature range as indicated by the temperature sensitive indicators for approximately 4 minutes.  As you can see the film does well.  This was the first time I used the hot/cold clip for developing and it would seem that the film is much more evenly developed than sticking it in my pocket or warming it between my hands.  None of the splotches and white areas that are typical with this film can be seen.  Maybe I was just lucky, or maybe the pressure and even temperature of the clip helps.

"An Empty crate..."
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX-600 (batch 7/10)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Iphontography, and Jake!

So I am sure it is not news to anyone reading this that cell phone photography is quite popular.  You may not be aware that many “photographers” look down on these type of images and can’t stand that some people claim to be photographers when all these use to create pictures is a cell phone.
Personally I find that sentiment funny and a bit elitist.  I suppose you could ask the deep philosophical questions, “What make a photographer?”  Some would answer anyone who shoots and develops their own film and makes traditional darkroom prints.  Some may say anyone who uses a fully manual capable camera and chooses the setting themselves.  I am sure you could ask any number of people and get varying answers from all of them.  Me I think a photographer is an artist who creates beautiful images.  We don’t care what type of brush or paint the great painters used why should we care what tools a “photographer” uses, right?  There are many great photographers that didn’t develop their own film, shoot on fully automatic, don’t make their own prints, shoot digital.  What really is the difference between a point and shoot and an expensive SLR shot on fully automatic?  Basically the cost.  Do “real photographers” use the auto settings on their fancy cameras? Hell yes they do.  When I shoot my automatic cameras I rarely shoot on anything other the Aperture priority mode where I select the aperture and let the camera select the shutter speed.  There are plenty of instances where I will even use the full auto setting because I know the camera will choose the settings I would want and allowing it to take care of that frees me up to frame the scene.
So I ask what does it matter if someone calls themselves a photographer if they use a cell phone camera?  Yes the “quality” of the images will be different (read in general worse by any measure) than a fancy SLR, yes there are limitations to what you can and can’t capture.  But so what, if that is the look and feel you want then a cell phone camera is the right tool to create your art.
What about editing your images? Anyone who knows me or has taken one of my classes knows that I am a firm believer that the art of photography is a two step process.  Step one is capturing the RAW information using your camera (either on film or as a digital file), the second is brining your vision to life by post processing (using the wet darkroom or something like Photoshop).  Cell phones these days offer a range of Apps that allow you to quickly and easily post process your image.  I see these as no different than more traditional darkroom or Photoshop methods.  Yes they are more automated, but that isn’t to say you can create stunning images without learning a lot about what the various apps can and can’t do.  Just like the wet darkroom you need to spend time making images to learn what the limits are for creating an image.  Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying anything you can do in the wet darkroom or Photoshop you can do on your iPhone, rather they are different ways you can create images, but both produce photographs and in the right hands both can create amazing art.
So my answer to the question “Can you be considered a photographer if you use a cell phone camera?” Is of course you can.  But your images will still be evaluated the same way as any other images created with any other camera.  Much like toy camera photography once you get past the awe that the images were created with “inferior” equipment and the coolness of the effects of the camera used the images still have to say something, tell a story, instill emotions in the viewer, make an impact.
Personally I like to try and make photography a part of my everyday life, I always have a camera on me even if I don’t take a single picture.  I am always looking for images and having a cell phone on me means I can grab something if I see it.  I have unintentionally started creating a series of images of people on public transportation. 

I also use my iPhone to capture images of my new rescue, Jake!  Jake is a 4 year old lab/hound mix and he has had a pretty rough life from what I can tell.  He came to me with heartworms, intestinal parasites, a cherry eye and a few pieces of either BB's or buck shot embeded in him.  He recoils from certain movements like he has been beaten, yet he still is so gentle and happy to meat anyone and everyone.  All he wants is for you to scratch his ears.  Since Jake is about to undergo heartworm treatment and will be required to be crated almost 24 hrs a day for th next month I will post these images in honor of him.  Please keep me and Jake in your thoughts as we go through this difficult time.  Heartworms are nasty creatures and treatment once a dog has them is pretty scary and requires what seems to me an almost inhumane confinement.  I did the research and understand why he needs to be kept calm and confined, I understand that it is what is best for him, but he won't understand.  He is just now recovering from the intestinal parasites he came with and is feeling energenic and desperately wants to play.  I have only had him for 4 weeks now, but already he is part of my family, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they become part of the family.  How anyone could have treated Jake like they did and allowed him to get so sick is beyond me.

"Waiting for Jake to come home"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"Jake on his bed"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"Do i really get a bed all to myself?"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"Big Paws!"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"Napping on the couch!"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"Four Paws!
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"I Love Duck!"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

"Dad, why can't I go outside to play?"
iPhone 4, Hipstamatic App

Friday, February 11, 2011

China Town, San Fransisco...A great place for a nap!

Here is another image created on my recent trip to visit my sister in California.  Taken with my new Fujipet.  The original was color, but this one definitely works better in B&W!

 "Nap time!"
Fuijpet, Kodak Porta 400

A recent blog post by friend and photographer, Blake Stenning got me to thinking about the nature of my street photography and how I seem to be drawn to the solitary figure.  I wondering if I photograph people as solitary figures because I often feel like a lone individual especially while traveling.  Right now this feels like way to deep of a thought to follow on a Friday.  Enjoy the image and have a great weekend!

Friday, February 4, 2011

TOYCAM Best of 2010!

This week will be a short and sweet post.  First in case you hadn't heard the news Holga Inspire selected TOYCAM as one of it's 4 best toy camera photography book for 2010!  I think I speak for the whole book team when I say we are happy that the book has been so warmly received!

TOYCAM Best of 2010

Moving on, below find another image from my recent trip to San Fransisco.  Taken with my trusty Holga.  You really can't beat the Holga for an easy camera to carry around while on travel.  This image just goes to show you that with ISO 400 film you will have pretty good range of light levels you can shoot in.  Normally I load Ilford's HP5 into my trust Holgamods Holga with 2 apertures and I carry a 2 stop ND filter giving me 4 stops of shooting capability.  Here I shot wide open with no filter and you can see that I got some pretty good detail in the low light of the cafe.  With a bit of dodging and burning I was able to bring down the outside details and create some nice tones for this type of lighting.

 "Coffee Break"
Holga, Ilford HP5