Monday, July 27, 2009

The 120mm Film Experiment


Over the past couple of weeks I have decided to start my own collection of vintage cameras. First, I bought an Agfa Shur Shot, which are supposedly made sometime in the 1930s. This little box camera I stumbled upon at a sidewalk sale in Denver. Well, actually I first stumbled upon an extremely old enlarger, then after asking about it, the sidewalk-sale man disclosed to me that he had a vintage camera collection. Even though he wasn't planning on it, I talked him into selling me one...then he graciously gave me one of his two Brownie cameras because "everybody needs one in their collection."

About a week later, I decided to accompany my roomate on a road trip down to the southeast corner our U. S. of A. (Good ol' Athens, Georgia). The Agfa came along for its first real photo adventure, visiting the St. Louis Arch, a Braves game in Atlanta, and numerous places around Athens. While in Athens, the Agfa picked up a new friend... the Sears Tower camera, found at a lovely store in downtown Athens, the name of which I unfortunately can't remember. Not sure if the Tower was actually functioning, I gave it a try, and to my glad surprise, after having the film developed, beautiful little images made their homes on the negatives...very exciting.

As a photographer, I find myself needing to experiment from time to time. It keeps my creativity and excitement flowing about snapping pictures. Not only that, but I still really miss working with film. I found that I loved the mystery of not really knowing what type of photos these old cameras would produce. What would the colors look like? What imperfections would I find with the camera?

With the Agfa, I found out that the viewfinder does not exactly match the angle of the lens. Therefore, most of the photos taken with this camera are weighted heavily to the bottom of the frame although I composed the photo much higher. This I find interesting in some pictures and pretty irritating in others. I guess that is the fun of shooting with vintage cameras though...not really knowing what you're going to get.

I had one of the rolls of film cross processed for fun to see what would happen, hence the funky colors in a couple of these. For a few of those, I altered them in photoshop but the rest are untouched. Let me know if you have any old cameras sitting around that you would like to have taken off your hands!