The Society of Secretive Squirrels

Secretive and Squirrely.

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What I’ve been up to since 2012.

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Basically I’ve been hitch hiking around Australia, taking plenty of photos, I’ve gone fully digital over this time – though I’m getting back into the studio now. here’s a few pics, lots of red dirt.

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July 5, 2015 at 2:57 am

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Physautotype – redux

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I finally got the process as far as this, it’s about as far as I’m going to take it for now.


This is a contact print from a lith negative. I coated both sides of a glass plate (gives a nice three dimensional effect) in a solution of violin rosin in ethyl alcohol (0.5g in 100ml) and then contact printed it for about three days exposure to blue sky on a window sill (this is not instant photography – If exposed to direct sunlight it’d be far faster), then developed it by exposing it to the fumes of mineral turps from about 1cm away on a flat plate. A separate development for each side.

This is the process that Niepce referred to briefly in one of his letters to Dageurre in the 1820’s – he said that printed on glass it makes a pleasing image when viewed in front of a dark surface. This (mine) is sandwiched in a black perspex case with a glass cover to protect it. I offered this to Geoffery Batchen, but he never responded, so it’s going in a box I guess.

I’m not taking this experiment any further for the forseable future, I’m thinking of a project involving travel, that and paying down a 78 thousand dollar student loan 😛

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June 10, 2012 at 2:40 am

Post masters

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Well, I got an MFA (jack of all trades, Master of F*ck All) with distinction, and have since come down again, I’m currently working as a cleaner for the money, and thinking of what i can get up to – I suspect it involves work, travel, and photography.

It’ll take me probably till the end of the year to stabilize my finances and save enough to be looking at Australia as a work and saving money option, from there, probably Thailand, that’ll be something like 2 years away though. I do like the idea of checking out South America too.

I’ve done upwardly and downwardly mobile, time to try outwardly mobile methinks.

Oh, I’ll be getting some camera reviews done in the near future on random camera’s I use, before i sell a bunch of em.

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June 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

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Cyan curve

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Quickie post – for a cyanotype curve (to create a digital negative);

I start with a worked out monochrome image which has been tonally corrected – thus;

Then I go into the curves dialogue in photoshop – this screen shot is gimp, but the technique is identical in either program – in the curves I select the freehand curve style and draw a curve that crosses the normal curve, this inverts the image.

You’ll notice that I started it part way down – this allows me to reduce the tonal range down to only a fraction of what it was – this is due to the fact that cyanotype is very high contrast and thus will return the dynamic range of the flat negative.

In the curves dialog you can save a curve, thus making it easier to do subsequent images –  It’s easiest after freehand drawing the curve across to switch back to the smooth option to tweak it with points.

You still have to do a bunch of test prints to get the curve exactly right, and you do need slightly different curves for different sorts of images (high key, low key, etc).

I use transparency film in an inkjet printer to print it out in an appropriate coloured ink (the one with the best resulting tonal range), but the negative method should transfer to any decent laser printer/copier with the caveat that you’ll be able to see where the toner dots were in the final print.

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February 28, 2012 at 12:32 am

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Well it looks like it’s done.


Something like 65 prints including the small cards, they ranged from 3 x 4 inches (the cards) up to 30 x 40 inches (the panda & co) it seemed to go over well, now I just need to find a job.


Photographs courtesy of Shaun Waugh.

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February 15, 2012 at 1:52 am

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This – just cos it’s funny – and really as a way of illustrating that the 5D is not designed to be used for sneaky photography* But still works fine.

And this just cos;

At 2.8 the corners are distinctly unsharp – even allowing for my crappy focussing skills.

Still, it’s a nice pigeon.


I can use this for sneaky photography if need be – I tend to hang my camera’s off the same shoulder as my handbag (I’ll note here that the 5D is a bloody heavy camera – it weighs more than my EOS-5 film camera, which is a heffalump).

Using camera’s sneaky is more a factor of how you handle them than their size, I don’t carry camera’s as a means of showing them off, so people don’t notice them – having said that – the 5D is enormous and people will comment if you show it off or put it down.

I voted yesterday in our national election – till I put it down on the table nobody noticed, once I had, everybody commented on what a damn big camera it is. Still, I can use it in the street without anybody noticing.

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November 27, 2011 at 6:39 am

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Test shot

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I’m amused by how anthropomorphic this shot is – it was a grab shot that went awfully wrong, but still looked good enough to stop and reshoot – this is the reshoot – Canon 5D w. 50mm1.4 @ 1.4 (1/25th – 100 iso).

This is still unsharp, but I’d overstayed my welcome, and it chimp’ed ok*

Chimp = the act of looking at the screen of a digital camera whilst ignoring the outside world (ideally while making ‘ook’ or ‘eek eek eek’ noises).

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November 27, 2011 at 6:01 am

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