Dialing in the Nimslo

Okay.  The last time I used my animated four-shot Nimslo film camera, I tried taking pictures of ducks in the pond.  Although I did get some successful shots, I felt that I hadn’t really achieved what I wanted with this camera.  I needed to experiment.  I needed to take pictures here and there, and hope that whatever I caught would help me get to a better (read: award-winning) photo for Competition Season 2016.

So I experimented.  I kept fresh film in the Nimslo and kept shooting wherever I could.  I shot at Saratoga…

And it was there that I learned about shooting three-dimensional perspective.  You need something in the distance and something in the foreground.  I’m too far away from the jockey and security guards in the photo at left.  There’s very little three-dimensional perspective going on here.

And anything you photograph, whether it involves water, smoke or fog, will show up as opaque in the photo.  In other words, the groom at the photo on the right is not feeding that horse a garden hose full of Kahlua.

I tried a few other things with this camera.  A week or so ago, when the demolition crews started tearing down a burned-out building in Albany’s warehouse district, I got this photo of an old tackle pulley.

Tackle pulley. Nimslo camera, Kodak BW400CN film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Not bad.  But instead of shooting directly into the ground, I should have looked for an angle that would have displayed the curves and gears with something static in the horizon.  Right now, this angle looks as if I’m photographing an earthquake in the ground.

This next shot was better, though.  I needed something WAY in the distance… with something close in the foreground.  This would probably work if I photographed in a wheatfield or cornfield, or if I had somebody stand about six feet away from me and toss something at me just as I’m shooting.

Foliage and horizon. Nimslo camera, Kodak BW400CN film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Oh yeah, one more important thing.  Make sure your flatbed scanner is free of dust and hairs and dirt and other impurities that will show up as white dots or hairs in your final image.  My bad.  Sorry.  Makes the image look like a silent movie, as if I’m expecting a “Fractured Flicker” or something like that.

But still, I’m feeling that I’m making progress with this camera.  And maybe by Competition Season 2016, there might be an image that will work.

Of course it will.  What, you think I’m giving up now?

Silly you.