Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Old Methods

baling crew
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
On Sunday afternoon, I was asked to photograph some equipment at a threshing/baling gathering in Bridgewater, MI. My friend Dick wanted me to photograph the old Ann Arbor Baler that was there -- a model he had used as a kid. The baler used Sunday was made in Ypsilanti, MI - sometime in thw 1920s. The entire operation is very labor-intensive, and it took at least 4 guys to slowly turn the pile of wheat straw into bales. Other than the intrinsic antique mystique of such a process, one has to ask why? Of course, these guys were not using old equipment to do their every-day farming, but found a satisfaction in using cantankerous old machinery that was 80+ years old. Just to show that they can. That sounds a lot like why some of us use old cameras. Not that we can't get a good image quickly from a modern camera -- but the old gear forces us to slow down, savor the moment, and try and get the best image we can out of sometimes cantankerous old cameras. So, even though the guys there didn't realize it ... that guy with the fancy cameras has a lot in common with them. Of course, my camera collection takes up a hell of a lot less space than their old tractors, balers, and threshers!

By the way, I was there for a little over an hour, and shot about 200 digital color images, and 45 black and white film images with my Mamyia 645E. I love those larger negatives, as the photo here illustrates very well.

No comments: