Thursday, September 28, 2006

Krappy Kamera Night

Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
Tuesday evening I hosted the monthly meeting of the Ann Arbor Krappy Kamera Club. It was our best urnout so far, with over a dozen participants, including some new faces, and people from much farther away than Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti. Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Dexter were also represented. We started the evening presenting the results from our assignment, which was to do a photograph, or series of photographs, representing something about the future. A couple of people really got into presenting some future scenarios, such as Mike's "Skin Farming" series. His narrative was hilarious, and the images very imaginative.

I followed with a demo on mounting and matting using both archival methods, and the dry-mount press. We had planned on watching the movie "Pecker", but it was getting late. It certainly was a fun evening, meeting some new people, as well as meeting some people for the first time that I have "known" on Flickr for quite a while.

Erin (e50e on Flickr) was having a great time shooting some of my old cameras with her Holgaroid -- which was also a very interesting camera on its own! Presented below is one of her very cool images from Flickr of my Crest 120 camera:


It will be interesting to see how this group goes- having been involved with it from the start -- I'm optimistc that we will have a going concern of people that enjoy using and producing some real fine photographs with these crappy cameras.

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.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Stone House Memories

Stone House
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
I've been in sort of a reflective mood all week, and in looking for a negative for a photo that is to appear in Lightleaks magazine, I came across of series of negatives that i shot with a Holga in 2002. Funny how things turn up. I scanned several of the negatives, as I don't recall ever making prints from them -- I'm really pleased with the images. I have taken a lot of color slides of Ives Lake and Stone House in the Huron Mountain Club while I was doing research there a week or so almost every summer, from 1984 - 2003. I don't think any of them have the emotional appeal that the shots from the Holga do.

Of all of the places I have been in Michigan, the time I spent as a researcher at Ives Lake remain some of my best memories. The quiet lake with it silence punctuated by the loon calls, is a place that I have been priviledged to stay at. I may never have a chance to go back, and there are some shots that I know would be an improvement over the ones I took back in the 1980s and early 90s. The Stone House is an amazing structure, built by Longyear around 1910 or so.