Shush, don’t speak too loudly, you’ll spook it… But over there, behind the trees I think there’s a blog post emerging!
Trees you say? Yes indeed! Trees (and changing my painkillers and enduring the resulting withdrawal) have indeed been the cause of my empty blog.
So you may recall my year long tree project. Well it’s so far involved a leaf book, a mostly finished may day canvas and, drum roll please, my very own tree oracle deck! Which I love so be polite and coo over it like it’s a baby…
Made from my own photos and carefully curated from my many tree photos the deck was printed by makeplayingcards.com.
I very much rushed the design stage hence it’s simplicity but I really wanted to get the cards printed…
I love them! And it was a lot cheaper than I expected as well. I’ll probably do it again, possibly with water based images and probably make a bit more time over the design stage next time!
To start with I liked this camera. its a nice size and easy to use because you don’t have a lot of control options. You can set weather and distance and shutter speed.
The first thing that turned me was the catch to get into the back. It’s fiddly and stiff and needs holding open to open and close the back. The first roll of film didn’t stay connected to the take up rod. So attempt number two. You have to remember to reset the shutter cock for each photo. Bit irritating but I’m sure you’d get used to it.
To rewind you need to pull out the rewinder and turn it whilst depressing the shutter release. Another negative in my opinion with my rubbish hands… And then the final straw for me; my rewind wheel was stuck. Nothing I did would change this so I went into a dark part of my house, got the film out and pushed it back into the canister as best I could. This is probably quite simple if your hands work, mine do not work well at all*.
So expecting nothing I took the film to my friendly photo shop and didn’t get too excited. And wasn’t surprised when I got nothing. I was a bit disappointed. I’d hoped for at least one image but I wasn’t very surprised…
*I have a condition called ehlers danlos syndrome which causes me joint and muscle pain, fatigue and full or partial dislocations amongst other things.
This 35mm is lovely. It was produced between 1974-1989, it feels lightweight (233g apparently) and has weather symbols to help you with settings. It wad also easy to load. My favourite thing about this though is the cocking lever. It has a pleasing mechanism which, unlike some film cameras, seems to be placed so that it’s a really intuitive step to take after shooting. Wind on wheels etc on some of the cameras I’ve got are in strange places, such as underneath the camera which makes it easier to forget (it probably didn’t at the time of making but digital has spoilt us!).
I was pretty chuffed when I got the pictures back – all of them came out and the only issues were user error (not changing the focal distance mostly which results in blurry images). I even managed to get some pics of the ducklings and a local cat!
Note to self: to unwind, you need to press the button underneath the camera whilst turning the rewinder.
If you follow me elsewhere, you’re probably aware that I am currently housebound. I’ve been this way for six months. The first four months were because I lived in a house with a step so I couldn’t get my electric wheelchair out and I can’t go far without it. I could only leave the house with someone strong enough to get it out and then back in when I was done. Or with someone who can push the manual wheelchair.
I have since moved house. There are no steps. There is instead a really really heavy front door which I can’t open. So once again, I’m stuck unless someone is there to open it when I leave and return. And as I’m not getting all my care hours, this is rare. I can leave with my carers in the morning but I don’t have a reliable way of getting back in until they return at night.
I realise I’m lucky in many ways, I’ve moved, I have a wheelchair and I can get out the flat with help. And the council has assured me they’ll put a door opener on it. Many are not so lucky. And often, it’s down to ridiculous policies or situations. Such as not enough accessible housing. Such as you can’t have an electric wheelchair if you can get around your flat without it. Without paying thousands for my chair, I’d be in that situation – you can move around at home but can’t go out because you can’t get anywhere. Such as not providing care support to help you leave the house.
This camera was a charity shop find which turns out to take 126 film which is no longer made… But is for sale on ebay although it’s quite expensive given that you have no idea if it’s still usable or not… In my case it wasn’t…
In my job lot of cameras I also got a 224, 233 and 333-x which were made between 1963 and 1974. Instamatic are a series from kodak of inexpensive and easy to load 126 and 110 cameras.
I’m probably not going to test all of them, simply because of the price of 126 film. There are hacks you can do to use 35mm instead but my hands aren’t up to it. I suspect I will end up keeping the Instamatic 25 (sentimental reasons – I’ve used it and it was my first one) and selling the others. If you’re interested in buying them, let me know and make me an offer. Otherwise they will probably end up on etsy at some stage.
Today I’m going to look a a few cameras together, the non functional ones. Well, the ones I know are non functional as I’m sure there’ll be some in the job lot that don’t work.
Agfa Super Silette
This beautiful camera with it’s case was introduced in 1955. I haven’t had any luck opening the back of it but the camera is special to me all the same. I recieved it from a close friend and it belonged to his grandad. In the back of the case there are some notes written on the back of a cereal box to remind him how to use it.
In my job lot of cameras, I’ve got an Agfa Silette from 1953. The Super Silette has the same body as the Silette but has a coupled rangefinder which can help with focussing.
No 2 Brownie model F
Made in Canada, this camera was released in 1924. Mine is missing some of it’s inside parts and the wind on lever is stuck. But it’s a nice piece to own. As a simple and inexpensive camera, the Brownie series made photography more accessible and wikipedia claims it introduced the concept of the snapshot. Perhaps then the forebearer to selfies?
A present from my sister, this camera is a thing of beauty! And purely for decoration. They were made between 1915 and 1926 and mine includes the stylus which I think is pretty cool! You would lift the metal flap on the back of the camera and use the metal stylus to write. Once developed your words would appear in white on your photograph.
It turns out 24th April is world pinhole photography day. Or so I’m reliably informed by lomography who go on to say…
“To understand pinhole photography, we’ll have to travel back to before photography was even invented! Before the camera, artists used the camera obscura, a dark room or chamber with a hole in one side. When light passed through the hole, an image was projected on the inside of the chamber, allowing the artists to create a starting draft of their intended subject. And then one day, the idea crossed someone’s mind to permanently fix this image of light onto a surface—leading to the birth of the photographic image. Today, pinhole fans all over the world have used different kinds of unlikely objects, such as cereal boxes and juice cans, to create their very own pinhole cameras—all in celebration of our humble beginnings!”
As much as I’d love to get creative with pinhole cameras, my hands are just not up to it. Enter the Lomography Multi Pinhole Camera. As well as offering the expected function of a pinhole camera, you can also fit this with a Diana instant back.
I’d like to play with super long exposures and night photography with this at some point.