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My Ordinary 8 x 12

8 x 2 February

Welcome back to My Ordinary 8 x12 with this instalment being 8 Polaroids from February with there no let up from the very Ordinary standard.

It was my first time with the new Now+ and I was fortunate to be spending a few days in the Highlands and particularly around Assynt and Wester Ross. I loaded a colour cartridge to get me started and kept it handy as I explored the beautiful rural landscape.

With the weather being typically wild and windy I spent a few days just driving around waiting for some fleeting light to dot the landscape. On this occasion I had ventured inland a little and stopped the car when I saw this little croft, lit by the morning sun while dark hail clouds approached from the west. The rainbow was moving fast and I had to work quickly to get a shot off as it approached, before the horizontal hail hit the front of the camera. I wasn't entirely sure how the rainbow would appear on the polaroid but in the end I was reasonably happy with the outcome and I had begun my experience with the new camera.

Further along the road I tried for my 2nd image, again hoping to capture one of the passing rainbows. On this occasion it was on a bleak landscape but I was attracted by the dark clouds behind, hoping the rainbow would stand out brightly against it. Not quite the case though, I wasn't sure if the camera had misread the lighting conditions and had underexposed the whole seen or it was the lack of a polariser that had subdued the presence of the rainbow. Weeks on and looking back, I seem to have found what the problem was here, a silly schoolboy error but that is one for later.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit this area of Scotland will have seen the plethora of gorgeous little cottages that dot the hillsides, set in some of the most idilic locations with what I imagine would be breathtaking views from their windows. This was another that caught my eye and with the threatening clouds overhead and it's bright white exterior, I fired off my 3rd shot of the day.

This day became a driving day where the weather was so wild it just wasn't appealing to travel too far on foot. So as I went out towards the coast I was just on the look out for interesting little scenes that caught my eye. What I learned from this shot is that I will need to take more care with the horizons. With errors like this easily fixed in post when shooting digital it is easy for me to be careless, but will need to perhaps take more time to get it right. I could start using the tripod more to help with this, whereas as I tend to do at the moment, treat the Polaroid as a quick point and shoot snap. If I do it's going to be a very expensive venture this.

Another stop and this time looking straight out west and shooting into the sun. This was more of an experiment to see how the camera would read the scene. The Now+ has a manual mode so in the future I may use a light meter on my Sony for instance to get my preferred exposure for a scene like this and dial it in via the app. Again this process will also slow me down a bit more and help me concentrate on making the image correctly as there really is no margin of error without having to use one more slide.

Ok, this is where things started to get frustrating. There was some very soft light outside my bedroom window, looking over Lochinvers' Harbour. My plan was to shoot the window in silhouette with the view outside being correctly exposed and I was sure the camera would read it that way. The problem, and this is one I have taken a little time to realise and correct, is that I had understood from the brief glance over the instructions (this being the problem) that the flash was always on and if you don't want it to flash, hold in the flash button on the back of the camera. I did think this was rather footery but went along with it. Of course the flash did fire and all I got was a dark exterior and the reflection of the flash. I presumed my finger had slipped off the button and that's why it had fired. One to forget about.

The previous image had put an end to my shooting with the Now+ for a little while but it came back out when I visited a local spot I've shot on a few occasions. There had been a covering of snow and while I was capturing it with the digital I got the Polaroid and thought I'd try and get a shot of it. As you will see there was a what was becoming a regular result. Why was everything so dark?

Last up was an experiment with the Multiple Exposure feature of the Now+. It can be used from the camera or via the app. Two shots is all you can mix together and I thought I'd try the typical shot of a silhouette of my daughter Martha's profile mixed with some garden foliage. I'm sure you have already worked out the recurring problem. In the first shot the flash went again even though I was holding the flash button for what I thought was to cancel it, meaning there was no silhouette to work with. What was I doing wrong?

Well, if I had maybe given the instructions just a bit more time I would have realised I hadn't to keep my finger on the flash button, no, no, no, it was much simpler than that. All I needed to do was press the button once to turn it off before each shot, with the flash indicator going off to let me know it wouldn't fire. Too bloody straight forward for me obviously, but that's what I get for just diving in thinking I'd work it out. This problem was only rectified recently and after a few more wasted shots in 8 x 3 to come. I won't bore you with them though next month as I've dealt with it here, but I will be taking my 8 from 2 cartridges in March as there seemed no point showing more duds.

This months emulsion lift threw up some difficulties themselves too. It was my first time doing them with the i-type film the Now+ use as opposed to the SX-70 film. I don't know if there is a difference but I found these ones to be a lot more difficult to remove using the same process I have used on many others. It seemed to take a long time for the lift to separate from the plastic then the glue coating wouldn't come away from the edges and I ended up trying to cut it off but ultimately ruined the whole image. If anyone has some experience of this and have a solution I would love to hear from you either in the comments or via the site. I do know that it is always better to use freshly taken images where possible but I have used older ones than these before with no problems. Anyway the first shot of the cottage on the hill over looking the ocean is ruined, it fell apart completely. So, for my second attempt I used the window view failure which still fell apart at the edges but still made it to the paper at least. Here are the Timelapse of both the failure and the completed lift.

A partial success and something I need to look into for future lifts as it's never good to ruin an image.

The 2nd attempt at least made it to the paper but there is still too much damage for what I usually like.

So that's it for another very ordinary blog. I hope for those of you that make it through these, at least learn from all my very simple mistakes although there's always the question, would you be so clumsy to make them in the first place, I tend to think not.

If you have enjoyed my 5 minutes of rubbish this month then please think about coming back next month to see where I've went wrong this time or maybe I might surprise us all but capturing one worthwhile shot out of the 8. You never know!

I hope you have a more than Ordinary month yourselves and thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment or get in touch via the website.

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