My Little Pinhole Affair

Last Sunday was World Pinhole Day. I took that as a good enough reason to finally try out the pinhole mode of the Diana+. Crappy camera as it is, there must be something about it that’s worth keeping it. Now I can say with some confidence that at least the pinhole mode is.

I put the Diana+ on a tripod, and together with family and a friend, and a timer, we went out to shoot some pinhole. Well, it was more me standing there holding a shutter for some time while the others waited and chatted. But what can you do, be patient, young padawan.

I shot two rolls, on black & white (which for me is the best kind of film for the Diana anyway) and a roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100VS, a slide film which I had cross-processed. I can say with some confidence that the slide film was pretty much ruined. It might’ve been the cross-processing, since it usually adds a stop to the exposure. The shots were mostly overexposed. I’ll try another roll without cross-processing soon, but in general black & white is the safer choice, because it’s a lot less sensitive to over- oder underexposure than slide film.

Polizeiruf 110
Accidental
2:55 pm
Third Time's the Charme

The funny thing about pinhole is, it’s not a very big problem if you expose a couple of seconds too much. When you want a two-seconds exposure, and you end up exposing it for four, remember that it’s only one stop, you just doubled the amount of light coming in, but it’s still the same stop as switching from 1/60 to 1/125.

It might be worth writing down the exposure times. But then again it always is, but I wish I would’ve done it for the slide film’s sake. In the future I’ll underexpose it by one stop, should I do cross-processing combined with pinhole again. One shot came out quite decently though, it was of course a selfie. A 60-seconds exposure during which two adults and three kids went through the picture, but are nowhere to be seen.

Self in 60 seconds

It was pretty good fun with the Diana+, but of course now that I’m hooked on pinhole, I want this in my collection:

8F3F62CC-7CC0-47EF-A330-DC1737BFF78A.jpg

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Asparagus Season

Yes, it’s true. The rumors are in fact correct. Asparagus season has begun in Germany. Let the white and green asparagus madness begin. If you can get your hands on white asparagus, go buy it. I love it, and I cherish this season.

White Asparagus Season is Officially Open

White asparagus is available throughout the old continent, but the best is without a doubt from Germany. No need to brag any further, but the really, really good asparagus is growing right outside Berlin. I could eat it every day, just with potatoes and sauce hollandaise.

But of course I’d just eat it every other day, because the rest I’m going to eat green asparagus. I actually prefer the green asparagus, but I can get that most of the year, so in April and May it’s all about both of them. Green asparagus of course goes oh so well with the infamous Flickr risotto. Just sayin. Maybe you should make it again? I sure will.

In other news, I broke out the Spectra again. I shot so many photos of Mari with the SX-70 that I felt like the Spectra could be jealous. Also the amount of film for both was becoming too uneven. The close-up lens for the Spectra is a lot less flexible than the one for the SX-70, but it’s still awesome.

Go get some asparagus, like now!

Coffee Nerdism

Hi! I’m Mathias, and I’m a coffee nerd.

Let me just go ahead and warn you right up front: Coffee nerdism is a downward spiral! There, I said it. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the photo. What do you see? Beans. Coffee beans. Roasted coffee beans. Locally roasted coffee beans, to be fully specific.

Coffee Nerdism

When you get a nice espresso machine, it starts to be all about the bean. You don’t buy pre-ground coffee anymore, that should be obvious. You buy freshly roasted beans. I started looking around our neighborhood, and before I knew it I found three roasters in a one-kilometer radius. That’s awesome. When you look a bit closer you realize that there’s not only much coffee love in Berlin, but also a lot of local roasters, most of them caring about a really good bean, and about a good roast.

The next thing you obviously need is a grinder. Of course you can have the shop grind the beans, but it needs to be as fresh as possible, otherwise it’ll lose a lot of its deliciousness quickly. Luckily we already had one before, but now that I know better, our old espresso maker didn’t do it any justice.

But it doesn’t end there, when you start talking to the real coffee nerds in the shops, they give you all kinds of advice, the most important one being that you should clean the machine and most importantly the brewing head, mercilessly. It must become a ritual to let water go through it before and after the shot. You need a blind filter to clean the insides of the brewing head. And the list goes on.

The downsides of really caring about coffee is that you get very picky about the coffee shops you go to. But then again, if the coffee shop doesn’t care as much about coffee as you do, why bother? Coffee for me is all about enjoyment, it’s not about caffeine getting me high and worked up. I like good coffee, I like a good flat white, I like a neatly pulled ristretto. I stopped drinking my espresso without sugar, for the most part, mainly because without it, you really get to suck in the full aroma of it.

As if I didn’t have enough things to worry about with film photography and Polaroids. But seriously, I think there’s worse things than coffee to be picky about.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to pull myself a ristretto.

A Day Full of First Times

With a newborn your life changes in a lot of ways, no doubt. But recently I realized one thing you start to do every day. It’s thinking: “My gosh, Mari just did xyz for the first time, that’s so awesome! I need to remember this moment forever!”

First Times

If you had a baby at some point in your life (which you should, it’s exhausting but awesome), you know what I’m talking about. Coincidentally we went out for a long walk around Berlin with friends from Australia who now live in Germany.

What follows is a short list of first time moments we had during that walk:

  • First time on the tram
  • Changed diapers in public for the first time
  • First time on the train
  • First time in the city
  • First time out with her for more than two hours (she slept like a baby during the night after that. oh wait!)

There’s things to add to the list every day. Weird stuff, but it’s small moments to cherish, even though it’s kind of normal, and she won’t remember any of it.

When we went shopping for a baby hat I happened to snap a Polaroid of a small car for kids just outside the shop. I walked in with camera and the slowly developing peel apart shot in my hands, and the woman at the counter told me that she thought the camera is awesome. Of course I ended up giving her advice on which camera to get. Coincidentally, just around the corner from the baby shop, Berlin’s very first Polaroid shop will open on Monday, including products from PolaPremium.

I’m guessing they’re slowly building up a retailer base for the film that will hopefully come out of The Impossible Project. The opening party is on 30 April, and there’ll be a nice film on sale, and one of my Polaroids will be projected on the wall. See you there!

Sundays

Even though our priorities shifted dramatically recently, and our daily schedule is cut into small iterations of 2.5 hours, it’s still nice to celebrate Sundays. Not particularly because J. and I don’t see much of each other the rest of the week, because we do, but because it’s nice to have some rituals. Of course you’ll still find me in front of a computer, and with a camera in hand like any other day, but still.

One of my favorite rituals for Sunday are pancakes. No doubt, pancakes go with every other day of the week, but there’s something about getting up, mixing the dough (and don’t you dare use a pancake mix) and letting the pancakes sizzle in a pan, one by one, all the while trying out new tricks for making the dough. As with a lot of things I somehow connect pancakes with Australia. When I was in Byron Bay for the first time, we stayed in a nice backpackers for about a week. Even though we slept in a ten-bed dorm it was still nice. I made a didgeridoo, and every morning I would go out, order some pancakes and a cappuccino, and then sit down on a bench with a view of the subtropical woods surrounding the village.

Long story short: I love pancakes, with maple syrup and butter, just like Aunt Jemima used to make. I need to be honest here, my first encounter of American-style pancakes was Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix. It was okay, but I tend not to think about that a lot, because self-made pancakes are so much better, and so dang easy anyway.

We also had our first strawberries this Sunday, some fruit is a must with pancakes, it’s the best way to justify them as healthy. Plus, I managed to get some decent foam from the new espresso machine. I’m sure by now Jördis must think that I’m out of control when it comes to coffee. I actually discovered that there’s several roasters within a one kilometer radius of our apartment. So much coffee to try, and I’m looking forward to each and every one of them.

Another thing that fits in perfectly well with a lazy Sunday is Molly’s book “A Homemade Life.” I love Molly’s writing, and if you do too, you should get this book. Although, between you and me, I think you probably own it already, right?

On a last note, I also made a special appearance at this new thing called “Bench Monday” on Flickr, trying out the self-timer for Polaroid Automatic cameras that Carolyn sent me. Thought you should know.

Bench Monday

I also blatantly used Jördis’ photos for this post. I’m sure she’s cool with it.

Have a great week, friends!