Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Photography Year in Review - Part Two

As far as a review of last year I think this will be the second and last part.  At least it serves as the title for one more post.  My history in photography goes back to the 1960's.  My first camera was a 127 camera that the Boy Scouts sold.

After my experience with the old box camera  I decided to see what other film equipment I still had.  One of the first things I found was the Boy Scout camera.  I also found a roll of Verichrome Pan film that had expired in December of 1967.  The film has been at room temperature and from what I have read it is possible that images still could be made with it.  My plan has been to try the old roll of film in the Cub Scout camera.  However while I learned about the possibilities with this old film and camera I haven't felt the inspiration yet to test that knowledge.

My mother, aunt, brother and sister from around 1965. Taken with Cub Scout Camera.

Now, while I am aware of the shortcomings of some of the simple cameras, like my Cub Scout one, I actually always kinda liked some of those less than perfect results.  So when I decided to do film again one of the first things I sought to learn about was the other simple cameras.  One thing I found is that there are many people who have the same interest.

I remember spending quite a bit of time looking at the Junk Store Camera site. I also found that there is a Toy Camera group on Flickr. There also is a whole movement called Lomography based on using often simple cameras and almost seeking out less than technically perfect results.

So my first phase in a return to film was getting and trying out several box-type cameras from mostly the 50's and early sixties.  I also got one of the famous Holgas.

Taken with Agfa Clack.  The Clack was a popular family camera in Europe during the 1950's. 

Taken with Imperial Reflex 620 Duo Lens. Another camera from the 1950's.

And here is one from a Holga. 

These are just a few of the cameras I tried.  I learned that each camera has its own character.  And that character can show even more variety as it interacts with different films.  There can be a lot of surprises with these cameras.  They are probably not the best camera to use when you want a reliable predictable result, however if you enjoy image-making they can be a lot of fun. And at least I find that I am much more emotionally engaged by the images these cameras make than I am by my digital images. I suppose part of it is from my love of history and feeling that I am connecting to the photographic past with these cameras.  I wonder who might have used the camera before me and what images they made.  

So this is as much reviewing as I'm going to do.  Hopefully, I can come up with better and more creative titles as this blog grows. 


  1. I really struggle with lo-fi/lomographic photography. Maybe it's my own perfectionistic tendencies. But I do like comparing results among my cameras. I have probably 20 photos from various cameras of the office building in which I work, and you can absolutely see how each camera leaves its mark on the image.

  2. Jim, I can understand your mixed feelings. I find that I use the lo-fi cameras most when the weather is consistently nice. When the weather limits the time I can be out taking pictures I usually pick one of my better quality cameras. I think for me the lo-fi cameras fall into the category of "I'll try this and see what happens".