One that “almost” got away….
AWESOME TOWN, U.S.A.
Happiness is a loaded camera.
Chuck Close: Daguerreotype Portrait of Kara Walker
A good portrait should reveal answers about the person, yet leave enough room for more questions. In some cases, the old ways become exciting methods for producing refreshing images and themes. A good example of this is Chuck Close’s daguerreotype portrait of Kara Walker.
Chuck Close is one of the most prominent portrait artists of this generation. He is famed for his extremely large canvas paintings of people’s faces, using varying grid and pixel methods to create smaller artworks in the larger portrait. Despite having prospagnosia (face blindness) and having suffered a seizure which left his arms and legs weakened, he continues to produce artworks on the same scale. Over the last decade, he has experimented with different forms of photography, with most of his famous photographs done with the daguerreotype process.
This particular portrait is a collaboration between Close and his artist friend Kara Walker, known for her work dealing with race, sexuality and identity. Walker poses in profile and is captured in silhouette, a more common form of portraiture in the 19th century. Close used daguerreotype photography, of the earliest photographic processes over a century old which involves long preparation, exposure and developing times.
The end result of these artists experimenting with old processes is a beautifully haunting profile portrait in the shadows, the outline of Walker’s shoulders and head clearly visible, with the bare minimum amount of light showing enough detail on her face. For this 2007 portrait, Close was awarded the 2nd prize in the Portraits category of the World Press Photo.
For more on Chuck Close, check out this previous entry on him and his not so typical daguerreotypes. Time magazine has a good profile on Kara Walker. To find out more about the daguerreotype process, have a look at Louis Daguerre, the father of photography.
The legendary Canon AE1 Program (Part I)
I just love the Canon AE1 / AE1 program film cameras that they are beginning to pile up my collection… The best things I like about it;
1. Legendary FD lenses… Not to mention low cost and easy to find…
2. Push-button Multiple Exposures(bet you can’t find it)
3. Wide ISO range
4. AE Lock button
5. Stopdown Metering for old FL lenses and others..
6. Split image viewfinder on a Laser Matte Screen
7. 39 perfect frames on a roll of 36, if you shoot the leader…(saves you film!!!)
8. Self Timer
9. PC Sync for Off camera flash
10. Release cable provision for long exposures…
11. Program or Shutter Priority for Quick shooting
12. Exposure Compensation…
and its greatest secret… _______ (you have to ask me to know…B-) ). Most people will not notice it, especially those with only one or two camera bodies in their arsenal…
These cameras has every feature needed for great photos… Try to get one NOW while its very cheap because everybody is busy buying plastic cameras having only one or two shutterspeed/aperture…Not that I have anything against plastic cameras WITH plastic lenses… I also have a ton of those in my collection… But THAT is another story ( for another post ) … ;-)
No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.
- ~Robert Adams, Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques, May 1995
My old bulk film loader
It must have been a decade since I last loaded this, time to clean it and order some Tri-X in 100 feet rolls. I noticed there is some dirt on the rollers so might as well overhaul the whole thing. I didn’t know it had so much parts for such a simple machine and it turned out to be an analog headache! Good thing I managed to put it back together…. Whew!
Now on to eboy for some films… ;-)
Very nice canon pancake lens…. want!
I can’t stop buying cameras !!!
The “paradise” that is Hidalgo….
I’ve had the Minolta AL Rangefinder for quite sometime (around a year).Picked it up at a local thrift shop for next to nothing. I particularly liked this one because it had my name on it and it looks really vintage. The problem is that the patch is shot and almost invisible so it stayed in the cupboard for quite sometime. Been to “paradise” recently (more on this later) and right there in a corner display of a camera peddler just at the bottom of the stack, eyed a poorly beaten up Minolta AL.
fotogizmo: What is the condition of that Minolta AL?
peddler: Its not functioning anymore, maybe use it for display only?
fotogizmo: Well can you bring it out and let me have a look please?…
…. held the camera and checked its viewfinder patch…. perfectly working! got the camera for a song and eagerly brought it home, transplanted the rangefinder mechanism and….. voila! a perfectly working minolta AL!
It is also worthwhile to note that there are subtle differences in the two copies that I had. For one, the distance scales are different, the one for japan consumption is in metric and the other is in english…
Also picked up a mystery lens for nothing and pictures from it exhibit a certain glow - see the last pic… should be great for portraits. Will be reviewing more of that on a later post…
I referred to Hidalgo as “paradise” because just like the paradise in the bible, there are lots of good things that can be found and yet there are also “snakes” everywhere and depending upon your street smarts, you can win or you can lose…
Good Madness! There is heaven on earth…
Due to a serious GAS disease (^0^) I unknowingly collected some 320 cameras and lenses (mostly mechanical/vintage) but managed to tone it down to around 200 or so by selling some of them…. I’m very lucky to have some rather rare rangefinders and camera lens combinations. Also lucky to have the technical prowess/skills and tools to study their technology and successfully CLA’d almost 80% of them. The very reason why I was out of the radar for about half a year now. I guess its time to get a very big cabinet or display to house all of them!
I was thinking of revealing my best kept secret of how I acquired such a collection in such a short time…….Nahhhh!… maybe some other time…. ;-)
Will try to post some camera porn soon…. ;-)
(photo taken with the Russian Zenitar Fisheye on an EOS Camera)
When things look their worst, things will look their best…
Wizard, Dungeons and Dragons
(I’ve always think this way that when things are falling apart, maybe things are falling in place…)
Having these Radioactive Super Takumars was a blast… Time for a Portrait before they went their separate ways…
As much as I would like to keep them all, I can’t… They just won’t fit in my drybox anymore… And besides three of them in the drybox is just plain wrong… somebody out there should be shooting with them!
(Shot with a Black Spotmatic F with SMC Takumar 50mm F1.4)
Every cross processed slide films have different color shifts. In order to use them flexibly, why don’t we have a color palette?
Most women appreciate receiving flowers, especially moms if given by their partners or children. For Mother’s Day, we’re sharing these dainty photos of disassembled buds and blossoms by self-taught photographer, Fong Qi Wei. We hope these flowers bring delight to all the lovely ladies and marvelous mothers!