Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kodak Brownie Starflex: The camera that started it all

A through the lens picture of the waist level view finder.

Some years back I acquired this Kodak Brownie Starflex from a thrift shop for $5. I had never seen anything like it. (I come from the generation of manual SLR tanks) and this camera is definitely before my time. I was intrigued by it and at the time I purchased it there was no internet to do research. I didn't know what kind of film it took or anything. So I hung on to it for a few years. One day I took it out and gave it another good look, I did some research on the internet and found out that it takes 127 film but 127 film hadn't been produced for a long time. I was bummed and put it back on the shelf for few more years. Once again I picked it up, did more research because by this time there were other weirdos "out there" like me who wanted to use these old cameras again and to my utter delight found out that 127 film was being produced in very small numbers once again. So of course I ordered a few rolls of black and white film. It was expensive but I saved a little money in development costs since I develop my own BW negatives and then use a scanner to digitize them. This camera has no focus mechanism so you have to guesstimate the distance of your subjects. I picked up a close-up filter for it so that I could take pictures that were as close as 3 feet away. Unfortunately for some of the pictures I forgot that close up filter was still on the camera when I had intended to take it off so some of my pictures turned out blurry but no matter I was still very pleased with my first attempt. Following are the photos that this little "toy" camera produced.

All these photos were taken in Panama City Fl. I only scanned cropped and added a signature to them...none of them are otherwise digitally edited.

365 Grateful Day 57 "Squinchy Face"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

365 Grateful Day 56 "'Street Art"

Polaroid SX 70 Land Camera for sale on ebay

I took these photos today. The first is my flower bed full of poppies and the second is my dog with a double exposure of the poppies. I did the double exposure by immediately ejecting the photo into a dark bag and then in complete darkness re-loading it into the film pack. It worked pretty good and gave an interesting effect. This film is so unpredictable but I think that is its main charm, I still have so much to learn.

This camera is currently for sale on ebay.

I LOVE these cameras but I have three of them now and I need to get a handle on my addiction. Besides I need money to buy more film.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

365 Grateful Day 51 "Sisters"

New Skin for my Polaroid SX-70

Got a good deal on this Polaroid SX-70 model 2 because it had a deteriorating covering.

I literally spend days carefully removing the crumbling sticky vinyl whatever it was. Then I cleaned it up with adhesive remover.

Nice and clean and ready for a new skin.

Bought some really nice red vinyl upholstery with texture and re-covered the camera.

Total cost $2.50 + a LOT of elbow grease = satisfaction of a job well done and the joy shooting with my "new" camera.

Friday, July 15, 2011

365 Grateful Day 45 "Unexpected Surprises""

I found a really old undeveloped roll of film in my grandfather's basement. Since I was scanning photos from the family albums I asked my grandfather if I could try to get the roll developed. Of course he was more than happy to oblige. It was a roll of 127 film and no one has developed that size for many years. I would have developed it myself if it had been black and white but it wasn't so I had to do a lot of research online. I found a company who specializes in developing film such as I had. It was very expensive and there were no guarantees if anything would come out right. When I got the developed negatives back in the mail I was absolutely stunned to see myself in them. I totally expected to see my mother and aunts but instead they consisted of the grandchildren. What a delightful surprise.
This is baby me, about 5 or 6 years old here. Look at the training wheels on my bike and check out my fish! No wonder I still love to fish!

Monday, July 11, 2011

365 Grateful Day 41 "My New (old) Polaroid SX-70"

So I got this circa 70's Polaroid camera on Ebay. I had never seen one of these before until I was perusing a book on camera's at Barns and Noble a couple weeks ago. Some of the older generation may remember this benchmark camera with an oh so cool history. So naturally I instantly fell in love with this instant gratification machine. Sure digital cameras give you instant pictures but they aren't instantly tangible like an actual photograph in your hand is.

This is the first ever Polaroid picture I have taken. I am super stoked...I mean SUPER STOKED on the results. The film is from the Impossible Project. Their story is a cool one which I won't repeat here because it can be found on their website. The film is really expensive so one really has to think about their shot before taking it. Also it is really finicky (so I've read) so I did a lot of research on how to work with the film. Apparently my hard work paid off because I am thrilled with my first Polaroid photo. It is a really hot day and the film is hyper sensitive to heat so that may account for the sepia like coloring rather than shades of silver. Maybe that is how it is supposed to look, I don't know. But I love it regardless!
Oh and by the way, isn't it appropriate that I took my very first Polaroid on the first day of Polaroid Week 2011! I didn't plan it must be destiny!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

365 Grateful Day 40 "Meer Cats"

These inquisitive creatures provided endless entertainment for my 8 month old which in turn provided endless entertainment for me!