Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gift Ideas

It's that time of year when in just a few days, the official christmas shopping insanity starts. I confess that there is really nothing I need this year. But perhaps you, dear reader, are wondering what to get for a favorite photographer, and maybe you need to leave a hint for your favorite Santa.

Plastic Camera

It's been a good year for photographic books, and my favorite book this year is Plastic Cameras by Michelle Bates. This 228-page book published by Focal Press (ISBN 0-240-80840-1) is an excellent guide to the history of toy camera photography, with many prime examples of photographic excellence by other photographers (some of whom are on Flickr). Plastic Cameras also has chapters on how to use the Holga, how to modify it, and tips for shooting. It also has an index! I like the way this book inspires me to try some things out, and I believe that Plastic Cameras is a must-have for anyone using toy cameras, or if you want to inspire someone else to try them. Obviously, available at discount from

Of course, to go with the book, you might need a Holga camera. In Ann Arbor, Big George's Home Appliance Mart on Stadium Blvd. has them - Mike Myers tells me it's the best-selling FILM camera in the store. Otherwise, get online to Freestyle and buy a Holga there. Don't forget 120 400-speed film. 400 from Freestyle is a wonderful bargain at less than $2 roll. Of course, if you can't develop your own B&W, I suggest Ilford XP-2 in 120 format which is a C-41 process film. For color, any 400 iso film will do.

There -- all your shopping done for less than $60. Don't forget a card. You can buy mine online at Cafe Press. I'll thank you for that -- and, don't forget a mug or other item for the non-photographer!

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