Collin J Örthner – Photographer

May 19, 2015

Crazy ’bout a Mercury

Of course David Lindley is singing about a car – oh well! This old Mercury truck was found on an old farm south of Brooks, Alberta, near Rolling Hills. It was a creepy place too! My travelling partner Michael Chesworth went exploring the old farmhouse and discovered old bank deposit slips from the early fifties,  and an old shot up television that had only the original dial that let you choose one of thirteen channels. I remember being a kid watching our old B&W TV that had this same sort of dial, unfortunately, we couldn’t even make use of the dial as we had the luxury of getting only one channel! So, if we didn’t like what was on we were back outside riding our bikes or playing hockey on the local rink, depending on the season of course. Anyways, back to this farm, there was no sign anywhere at the start of the dirt laneway indicating “No Trespassing” so we felt OK checking it out. This truck was one of three in the yard and the one I liked making images of the best. I made a lot of close-ups of the patina of the metal with my digital camera, but really felt a pinhole image would add a sense of being in a dream and also would give some indication of how I was feeling in this farmyard. It really makes you think about who it was that lived there and why it was left in the state it was. Someone had a full life here and we only got to see a few remnants of it. I would have to think it wasn’t a creepy existent either, but just the way things have gone since whomever it was departed, left us feeling a bit unsettled. This image was made with a ten minute exposure with my camera mounted to my tripod and awkwardly arranged just inside the cab of the truck. I thought my meter was out to lunch indicating such a long exposure, but here you are, and it was rather dark in the shadows of the cab. An hour or so later we hit the highway to a new destination still heading further south.

 

 

[ Zero Image 6×9, Kodak Portra 160 ]

 

 

May 14, 2013

Gull Lake, Alberta

Filed under: Abstract, Autumn, Medium Format, Movement, Nature, pinhole, Trees, Wind, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 11:05 pm

Back in fall I spent an afternoon wandering along the shore of Gull Lake with a good friend. The wind was very intense and there was certainly no hope of a crisp image, so I let the wind do what it does best – blow. My pinhole needed about 8 seconds for a proper exposure which allowed the trees and grass to move wildly in the frame.

 

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

March 29, 2013

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Filed under: Ice, Medium Format, Nature, pinhole, snow, Travel, Trees, Water, Winter, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 8:45 am

I was on my way to Banff and decided to stop in for a couple of hours at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park a couple weeks ago. This is a fairly small park about 1.5 hours drive from my home just a bit north and west of Calgary. It was quite cold and windy (-13C), but hey I didn’t have to worry about any batteries freezing up, just my nose and fingers!! I had the place to myself for at least an hour and had a good time exploring along the creek which flows year round from underground springs. There are quite a few small waterfalls as well which add to the interest of the place. I followed the creek for maybe a kilometre or so along very icy paths, and made it out after falling only once. Bruised my butt, and I managed to keep the camera away from impact and it still looks really pretty.  My exposures ranged from around 30 seconds to a couple of minutes on Lomography 100 ISO film.

 

 

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

March 1, 2013

Bower Woods f/235-3

Filed under: Autumn, Medium Format, Nature, pinhole, Trees, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 7:12 pm

 

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

February 28, 2013

Bower Woods f/235-2

Filed under: Autumn, Medium Format, Nature, pinhole, Trees, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 8:36 pm

 

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

February 27, 2013

Bower Woods f/235-1

Filed under: Autumn, Medium Format, Nature, pinhole, Trees, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 11:31 pm

Last fall I wandered into the Bower Woods in Red Deer with my Zero Image pinhole camera. The aperture on the pinhole is a mere f/235(normal lenses range from about f/1.4-f/22) which means very little light can get through. My exposures on this somewhat cloudy and dark day ranged from about 2-4 minutes each. This sort of photography, at least for me, allows me to really soak up the ambience of a place as you need to slow way down while waiting for the exposure to finish. Knowing that each exposure is so long also helps in finding just the right place to set up as I realize the time necessary for each image and I want to be sure that each one counts. There are two more posts coming in this series all from the same roll of film and all made on the same day.

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

February 13, 2013

Alyth Yards Bridge

This was taken only minutes after my post a few days back of this same bridge. I think I had put a “new” roll of film in my camera, which may account for the different colour cast. I say “new” as I am slowly using film I have had in my freezer for as long as 24 years with not much for ill effects save a slightly different rendering of colour which I am OK with.  This view is looking southeast and the image a few days back is looking to the northeast. I do recall it being quite brisk this day as Doug Williamson and I explored around the Ogden area of Calgary a bit. You can see there is ice flowing down the Bow River in this, roughly, 7-8 second exposure through my f/235 pinhole.

 

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

February 11, 2013

High Water in Kelowna

Filed under: Hand of Man, Medium Format, pinhole, Travel, Water, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 11:07 am

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

February 8, 2013

CPR Bridge – Alyth Yards

Filed under: Architecture, Hand of Man, Ice, Industrial, Medium Format, pinhole, Winter, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 7:33 am

Canadian Pacific Bridge (Alyth) connecting main tracks with CPR Alyth Yard in Calgary. Made with a Zero Image 6×9 pinhole camera.

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]

 

 

December 4, 2011

What’s the Destination?

Filed under: Medium Format, Nature, pinhole, Plants, Travel, Trees, Zero Image — collin orthner @ 9:20 pm

The  luxuriant greens of ferns and the huge leaves of Devil’s Club drip with rainwater under a canopy of huge cedars and hemlocks in the interior rainforests of Mount Revelstoke National Park of B.C. Cloudy days make for long exposures with my Zero Image pinhole camera. But dive into a rainforest while it’s drizzling and you have the recipe for practicing your patience. I was making 240 second long exposures on ISO 400 film, much to the complete delight of my family! :)) In actual fact it is much quicker to shoot my pinhole than say my 4×5 or even the 8×10 behemoth I’ve been known to drag along on holidays. I don’t bring those along on family vacations any longer as I always feel like I need to rush things and my family is just a little bit annoyed with how long it takes to traverse even short trails while shooting an image every now and again. The pinhole is simple to set up, small, light and I feel totally confident leaving it do it’s thing for a few minutes as we go exploring the trail together. I do love the fact that just standing(sitting) while waiting for a long exposure really helps me tune in to the place I am visiting as now I can observe not just the beauty in front of me, but I can become more aware of the way breezes are moving through the scene and the smells that are present, giving a complete story to my senses. I wonder why we so often can’t resist our destination over and above enjoying what is right alongside us as we travel towards the goal. Maybe sometimes we shouldn’t even have a destination in mind and instead just head out and completely relax knowing that even if we only get 100m along a trail over an hour that it has been enough for our senses. Not to say goals aren’t good and fun to achieve, just that sometimes they are not the whole reason we head out into nature. I can recall as a kid under 10 years old (I know this as I was t10 when we moved from this place) I would simply dress for rain and head out into our yard to just sit and listen, smell, and take in an hour or two of what rain is about. I would think 46 year olds could do the same today with the similar end result of becoming very relaxed and free from the day to day things happening around us. You will know when it’s time to go back inside, just don’t have a goal of staying out for one hour or two, or fifteen minutes, just go and do it without that goal or destination. Doesn’t have to be raining either. Maybe listening and feeling the wind would work.

 

 

[Zero Image 6×9, Fujicolor 400H]

 

 

 

 

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