Yesterday was Worldwide pinhole photography day. If you do a search for “pinhole” in flickr, you’ll see a lot of great works. Mine? Not so great.
A conversation with the milliner.
Moi: What’s the name of the new show again?
Moi: Cortéo? That’ll never work.
Milliner: Why not?
Moi: It’s too hard to pronounce! You guys should stick to one or two-syllable names, like ‘O’ or ‘Ka.’
Milliner: Or Dralion?
Moi: Exactly. Besides, what does corero, I mean cortéo, mean?
Milliner: It’s from the Italian for courtesan.
Moi: The show is named after the world’s oldest profession?!?
Moi: Courtesan: prostitute, mistress.
Milliner: Well, it might actually be for “courtier.” It’s really commedia dell’arte.
Moi: Okay, then, Italian prostitute clowns. Why not call it the ‘tute show? Simple, yet effective.
Milliner: Go to bed.
Well, okay, not me. But, walking on Ste-Catherine near St-Marc last night, I kept hearing this piercing shriek. I’m no ornithologist, nor do I know anything about birds, but I’m pretty sure a peregrine falcon has set up a nest on one of the buildings.
If anyone has heard about this, speak up.
Took advantage of Sunday’s amazing weather by heading out to a cliff near Morin Heights with a friend to climb a route we had seen the week earlier. Back then, I had seen two guys climbing it, and one fellow seemed to have a hard time at a specific section. Well, that and he was heading toward a pigeon’s nest. My friend and I believed it was a moderate route, just a straightforward early season climb.
So, we gear up and my friend starts out. Gets to the same section and has the same devil of a time. From down where I am, it looks simple enough, so I’m thinking that I’ll dance through it by the time I get there.
It was hard. And this was the beginning of a long day. We stopped in a notch on the wall, sitting behind an unstable rock flake. And, because another team of climbers crossed over above us to climb the rest of the route, we were stuck in that spot for about two hours. In the sun, with (as seems to happen with me) no water, no food and, um, no way to relieve ourselves.
We finally get the chance to continue climbing, my partner heads up, and has an even more difficult time. By now, I’m fed up. I’m thinking, “screw this, we’ll rappel down as soon as possible. My friend gets to the second ledge (another scary flake) after much struggling, and calls me to follow. He also mentions that, “Oh, btw, that really great hold? Don’t use it, it’s about to break off.” Dammit. Struggle, struggle, pull myself over.
“I want down,” I’m bitching. No go, he convinces me that the last two parts are easy, and that we’re finally on the route we meant to climb originally, because it seems that we’re on a route a few levels harder than we’re used to climbing. We’re idiots.
He goes off, finishes the rest of the climb, I’m turning lobster red in the sun. I head off, and get to this whole section of the wall that’s dusty white. With pigeon shit. Everywhere.
Regardless, we finish the climb, rappel down, pack up and head back to car. Luckily, I remembered seeing some stalagmatic icicles the week before, so hike over and, sweet, they’re still there, though melting. Break one off, it tasted soooo good.
Was in Old Montreal last night when I came across a poster for Kung Fu Hustle. Yup, this looks like fun.
Still left the car window open. Again. The car interior smells spring-time fresh.
Saturday morning, I was driving around with my pinhole camera, wanting to take a picture of a boarded-up dépanneur in the west end. Get turned around a few times, trying to navigate all the one-way streets, etc. Find the store, park, and set up the box on a concrete block across the street from the store. It’s overcast and windy, the camera is rocking back and forth, so I pile everything from my pockets onto the box. No luck.
Pack everything up, and drive some more, trying to find something that catches my eye. Give up and drive to the Atwater market to get some food. Get a flash while there, and set up the camera, again, by the canal, on the train tracks. By now the wind has really picked up and the rain is cold and heavier. I try to offset the wind by ballasting the camera with rocks from the tracks. Open the shutter (i.e. I pull the tape off from the hole; it’s complicated, I know), and stand in the freezing rain for about 10 minutes, getting shrieked at by the gulls.
Once my fingers and the back of my neck are completely numb, I put the tape back on the shutter, pack up and finish the rest of my errands.
Because I don’t have a darkroom, I have to wait until late at night to set up my trays in the bathroom, which I darken by taping black paper over the window, and by turning off all the lights in the apartment. I don’t even have a darkroom light, so I’m practically working blind. So, late last night, I go through this process: get in the bathroom with my box, turn out the lights, and pull the top off the camera. Now, when I grab the paper, it somehow doesn’t feel right. The charged side, which is supposed to feel sticky, is facing away from the shutter. Crap, I loaded the paper the wrong way. Of course, I have no way of knowing for sure, so I go through the process of developing it. And, sure enough, when I finally turn on the lights, I’m staring at a blank piece of photographic paper. Sigh.