Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Photo Tsotchkes

 Taken at the Columbus Museum of Art. 

It's fun seeing what's out there for gifts for the photographer.  With film cameras seeming so retro and chic, they are often used in advertising and as models for novelties and art objects.  Museum gift shops are often a great place to find obscure photographic-related gifts.  Not that I need any, but I appreciate that they are out there.  As part of the legacy of photography of the last century, old film cameras present an immense variety of form.  The mechanical aspect and solidity of them makes them special, and are often works of art in their own right.  So, wait for the day when instead of seeing a plastic reproduction of a press camera in the gift shop, we see a press camera on a pedestal in the museum.  

The latest cool thing I saw was a mechanical pencil sharpener that looks like a twin-lens reflex.  They almost had it right...but the crank for tirning the sharpening mechanism is on the back of the camera, not the side where it would be for the film advance.  Still, a fun and useful item (if of course, you use something even older than cameras.. a pencil).

Of course, there are those mini keychain cameras that have a flashing LED and make a shutter sound.  Might be something good to enrage mall cops with ;), and the multi-faceted lens in a card that looks like a Hasselblad (which can actually be used to good effect with a real camera).  Some museums  (such as the DIA) have plastic pinhole camera kits.   I think it's all good, and there is something for everyone.. even a $65 Weegee tie. (Note, I know that tsotchkes usually refer to freebies from trade shows, etc., but I think that is an appropriate use here.)
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1 comment:

John Banbury said...

I've. got one of those sharpeners! Aside from looking pretty cool it is a ripper of a sharpner!