For some reason throughout my collecting of film cameras, I have been constantly intrigued by ridiculously lo-fi plastic cameras. These cameras range in form from the freebies that were given with magazine subscriptions and bank accounts to the purpose made Holga and Diana plastic beauties. The nice thing about the supremely crappy ones is that one can pick them up for a dollar or two at local thrift stores. I will run through my favorites of these plastic gems in somewhat chronological order as I obtained them.
The Time Magazine 35mm film camera. I picked this one up in the local Animal Aid thrift store. I believe it was 2 or 3 dollars. It was a cruddy and dirty mess, but I had seen some nice results so figured it would be worth cleaning up. Heck, it even had a hot shoe! It features the 50mm Kinetic Optical lens…sounds great, huh? Settings include the “Diana-ish” sunny, partly sunny, partly cloudy, and cloudy for aperture and one guy, multiple guys, or landscape for focus. I have enjoyed using this camera and have had fun with a flash on it.
I believe the second camera of this genre I picked up was the Ansco Pix Panorama. I had a very similar camera in the early 90s and really liked it, but I think I broke the rewind lever on it…go figure on an all plastic camera 😉 This one is panorama except you can remove the “mask” that goes over the film frame, which I did. I used it for a while this way and just guessed through the viewfinder until I hacked it up to resemble the full 35mm frame view. This is an uber basic camera with only a lens cover, shutter button, film winder, and film rewind. I truly love the simplicity in shooting this offers…no doo-dads to fiddle with…just pure composition to think about. I now have two of these, one with the mask removed and one intact…although I have yet to really use the intact one for panorama style images…think I prefer to just shoot “wide angle.” And on that topic…I did try a Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim and actually preferred this model…it’s not quite as wide, but also does not feel as though I am going to crush it in the pressure of my hands 😉
The third camera I will mention is my latest addition, the “no name” blue and black “Sports” model 35-55 zoom 35mm camera! Just got this for $2 at a new Goodwill store I just found. Haven’t run film in it yet, but will soon. Its controls include a manual zoom ring on the lens that even zooms in the viewfinder…how high tech!
If you are dabbling in film at all, I highly recommend this type of camera. It’s great when you are feeling overwhelmed with f-stops and shutter speeds and all of the other decisions to make when shooting. It brings photography to its purest form of light/shadow and composition. And as I like to say, it’s not the camera that takes the photo, it’s the artist behind it!
The hubby and I decided to go to a classic car show a couple of weeks ago at the Hard Rock Casino here in Hollywood, FL. I thought it was a great idea because I hadn’t been out shooting film in a while and needed some eye candy for inspiration. I checked the film drawer in the fridge just to realize I had only one roll of 120 film and no 35mm though! Oh, the conundrum! Out of film; is this even possible? I do need to place an order, but things have been tight, so I have yet to do so, so I’ve been getting by on rolls that I’ve received in swaps of camera gear, film, etc. from fellow flickr-ites.
Now I figure that there must be a roll in one of the 60+ cameras I have laying around, so I proceed to check. There it is, in the quirky old beast that is the Argus C-3…but I figure it’s an appropriate camera since it’s more than likely 1950s vintage and many of the cars I will see will be around the same age…perfect! I also loaded up the 1940s Rolleiflex with the one remaining roll of 120.
We get to the Hard Rock and once we finally figure out how to get to the show from the parking lot, it is amazing! There are beautiful concours worthy automobiles from every maker and every era. Oh, the eye candy, now I was truly inspired!
I shot many makes and models and came up with quite a few images from the old C-3 that I really like. I have yet to develop the roll out of the Rollei, but should be getting to that one soon.
All of the shots are in the Transportation section on my website here: Transportation Gallery on AnalogSoulPhoto.com
I had mentioned this wonderful city in a previous post here. Well, once again, in my “better late than never” fashion, I have found yet more images that I have deemed worthy of publication on my website. I had uploaded them to my facebook page album here and am getting them posted on my website now.
Several of these images are quintessential New Orleans to me.
This was shot on one of the days we were walking around the French Quarter. I thought being a balcony with beads on it made it a perfect New Orleans vignette.
We stayed out in the Garden District so we walked around there a good bit also. This is one of many incredible doorways we saw in the area.
Of course we had to try a Muffaletta from the Central Grocery in the French Market section of the Quarter, so we had a nice walk in that area. I thought this had a nice juxtaposition of the American flag and the Natchez life saver.
It just serves as a reminder that I need to get back there…I truly do miss this wonderful city.
Over the last week hearing about the devastation and seeing the chilling imagery on television has made me think about these people and their suffering. I can not even conceive of what they must be going through…I live in South Florida and certainly saw some with Hurricane Wilma, but that pales in comparison. It was nothing compared to what happened in New Orleans with Katrina and now this tragedy in Japan.
I have adored Japan for so long for wonderful traditions, food, and culture. I even purchased an English to Japanese dictionary and a tour book for the day that I do get to go. From the Harajuku girls of Tokyo to the wonder of Mt. Fuji…it is a place I can only dream of visiting one day. For these reasons, I wondered what I, a person of little means, could do for Japan.
Upon thinking about it for the last few days, I remembered a time that I went with my husband and friends to the Japanese gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. I took many images that day with my trusty old Minolta Minoltina AL-s rangefinder and plastic Holga cameras. Being at this place is a small substitution for the real thing. I got images of beautiful blue tile roofs, zen gardens, and picturesque bridges.
I finally thought of what I could do…I will sell the Japanese themed images that I shot at the gardens and send a portion of the profits to a charity organization that is directly involved with helping those in need in Japan. The images here are just a sampling of what I will be offering. Click on any of these images to see more in my gallery on the website.
Also keep in mind that any items purchased through my website are not signed as they are shipped directly from the manufacturer. If you would like hand-signed and titled versions, contact me directly and I can get those to you. Direct from me prices are for an 8×10 (approx) print in an 11×14 mat one for $29, 2 for $50, or 3 for $60. Again, with any images sold from my “Japanese Inspiration” series will have a portion of the proceeds send for relief in Japan, whether from the website or me directly.
I just wanted to let you know. I have a website where most of the images shown on this blog are sold: My Photography Website and I usually upload images to my flickr account first here: My flickr Account . If you see images in my flickr that I don’t yet have on the website, just send me a message and I can see if I can get it up on the site.
I sell through RedBubble primarily and they offer a range of products from greeting cards to matted prints to framed images. So, no matter your budget or needs, they’ll be able to make my image into a piece of art you will cherish forever.
I also sell in person at art and music festivals. If you follow me on facebook here: Analog Soul Photography on facebook , I’ll give a heads up whenever I am doing an event. The images I sell at the festivals are ones prepared by me personally, so are a bit different than what is sold on my website. The prints I sell are usually close to an 8×10 image and an overall mat size (frame size) of 11×14. This size is standard so that you can either custom frame it or just pick up a ready-made frame from somewhere like Target or WalMart or Michaels. I hand sign and title all of the mats on these images also, so there is an added value to purchasing directly from me. You can also email me about any image you may be interested in from my website and I can send you a hand signed one…I accept PayPal for these transactions and can ship them safely and securely to you.
Thank you very much for your interest in my blog and I look forward to sharing much more of my photography with you!
Recently I have been going back through my photographic archives. I have brought up images that I thought were okay and converted them to black and white and I loved them. I was amazed that this simple conversion could make me go from “like” to “love” with a simple Ctrl/Alt/Shift/B stroke.
It started with my aforementioned images from New Orleans and more recently some that I had taken with my pseudo Rollei Pearl River twin lens reflex camera. I had some shots from our Fisheating Creek, Florida camping trip and some others from that camera.
And just the other day, I picked up a roll of film from the processors that I shot in my Olympus XA (c-41 that I don’t develop at home) that was color. I got home with it and didn’t even scan it as color, I went straight to black and white…and the images were great! I’m amazed at how much just doesn’t work as well in color and once it’s made black and white, it becomes “art.”
So, from now on, I am only going to be using black and white film (unless I get a crazy good deal somewhere) and process myself. That way, there’s no question…it’s black and white and that’s it. Also, the film itself is predominantly less expensive and home developing also is much more reasonable in the long run. I am the “starving artist,” after all 😉
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to go on an adventure in Miami to the Gold Coast Train Museum. Little did we know what an adventure it would be…as my GPS in my Android phone took us all the way west …though I told the hubby it looked suspicious, he wanted to follow it. We just got to go through horrendous Miami traffic from west to east and finally found the correct location which was right by Miami MetroZoo (where he initially thought it was).
One of our reasons for visiting on this day was that it was free admission (as it is the first Saturday of every month) and there was a caravan of gourmet food trucks to be there. The hubby’s a foodie, so he really wanted to try the food trucks…and we really needed some inspiration for our photography which we knew the trains, our friends Robert, Michelle, and Bobby, and my step daughter Melissa and her daughter Aliza would give.
I took my post WWII Argus A2b and trusty Pentax MX with me. I needed to get the Argus out “just because” and I knew my MX wouldn’t let me down (since I’m still not well versed in the use of the A2b) so I’d get at least some decent shots.
We were starving after our driving adventure, so we headed straight for the food trucks. Luckily, they didn’t let us down. We scarfed a couple of fish tacos immediately, then the hubby and I went to separate trucks for the rest of our meal. I had a wonderful Mediterranean chicken wrap from a truck that only does wraps…super yummy!
Once we finished lunch, I realized there were a couple of old fire trucks and a Case steam powered farm tractor just outside the train building. I thought they would make excellent photographic subjects, so I proceeded to shoot away. Got some shots I really like of the tractor and especially the details of one truck (an American LaFrance). I just love rusty old historical vehicles like this. They have so much more meaning when they were used for saving lives or for producing food. As always, I thought about this history and wondered about the tales they would tell if they could.
We gathered up our crew and headed inside the train building. It was amazing, they had many different eras of passenger cars, engines, and cabooses. I loved the passenger cars most…imagining the lives of the people that rode in them. The most luxurious of these was the Ferdinand Magellan Railcar made by the Pullman Company. This railcar was used for the three presidents prior to Kennedy (Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower) to transport and do “whistlestop” campaigning. It was replaced with Air Force One for President Kennedy. The appointments in this car were amazing…it had an early version of air conditioning, two “suites” with adjoining washrooms…one of which even had what they called a “bath tub,” but it was more of a basin for the shower.
It was a great day checking out all the cool rail cars and I think we’ll go back soon. We had a good time, but with everyone in our group it was hard to shoot as much as I wanted to. I like to document the details and it takes me a while to do so…so the hubby and I will have to make a trip on our own to spend more time shooting. We highly recommend it and if you’re going to the Miami Metro Zoo any time soon, definitely add it to your agenda!