Essays / s /

Hacking DX encoding

My main shooter for a while was a Pentax P3n, a mass-market plasticky 35mm camera. It was light and easy to use, but it set ISO from the DX encoding on the 35mm cartridge. There was no way to override, which was a bit of a problem because I usually shoot Tri-X at 800 or 1000. I ended up shooting in manual using a handheld meter.

I was cleaning out some old magazines and found an article in the 1993 Camera & Darkroom about how to hack DX encoding by exposing or covering up some of the squares which make it up. Here is the key chart. An X indicates a covered or non-conductive spot, no X indicates bare metal.

Expose squares by carefully removing the paint - the article suggests using "a dull jackknife blade so as not to scratch the bare metal underneath." Cover exposed squares using stickers or tape.

An example: To trick your camera into thinking Tri-X is ISO 1600, scrape the paint off position 3.

March 2014 - ONWARD!

March 1 – April 27, 2014: See me at ONWARD 2014. “Curated by guest juror Andrew Moore, the exhibition of ONWARD Compé ‘14 features 56 images by 52 emerging photographers from across the US and around the world.” Opening reception is Saturday, March 1, 6 – 9 pm, and the ONWARD Summit runs through the weekend. Project Basho

February 2014 Shows

Through Feb 8, 2014: My photos are featured in Parade of Spirits, an exhibition of work from Philadelphia's Krampuslauf. Closing reception on Feb 8th is a potluck dinner and a chance to make your own Krampus mask. iMPeRFeCT Gallery in Germantown

Feb 20-August 31, 2014: Jennifer Baker's exhibit Northern Liberties: From World’s Workshop to Hipster Mecca and the People in Between. I have a photo of human skulls in the show. In the accompanying book I tell the story of how I found them, along with photos of some of the other artifacts I've collected over the years. Opening reception Feb. 20th at 5:30. Philadelphia History Museum