Archive for the ‘16mm’ Category

I realize I shoot film a lot, but I have multiple bodies with film loaded, and I tend to shoot conservatively, just a frame or two on a person or a subject.

I want to change that.  I just added motor drives to two of my Nikons, an F3, and an FM2, the cameras I used as a photojournalist throughout the 80’s and 90s.

I want to shoot more content.  And not hold back.  I think I do that–hold back.   I want to fire up the cameras and move film through them more quickly.

The motor drive will let me do that.  It’s license to burn!

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An observation:

Photography hobbyists make lens analyses, compare versions of bodies, features and lenses, read DXO scores, look to get the next best thing, discuss purchases, workshops, latest tricks and techniques.  They do a lot more than make photographs.

Photographers make photographs.

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Friday night at the movies.  Time travel, but not the sci-fi kind.

I watched seven rolls of standard 8mm film that my partner brought home from her Father’s house.  The boxes are all marked “Process by” between 1958 and 1961.  When I pulled out the boxes, and saw they were all Kodachrome, I knew I was in for a treat.  The colors are magnificent.

10987577_10205035798126741_2335846436322090869_nWe fired up the projector and stood staring at the white wall.  And for a couple of hours we were time travelers.  We saw her Dad as a young man in the military in Yuma, AZ and in Long Branch, NJ.  And her Dad and Mom holding her oldest brother as an infant. I heard my partner gasp at the sight of her family.

Simple scenes of them standing around with friends, making faces, goofing around.  Pushing a car that needed a push.  We were literally traveling back in time watching them.  Looking at billboards for products and services of some time ago.  It was so much fun to see every car on the street is an old 50’s classic.  A gunfight in some tourist town.  A backyard party.

What to shoot?  It almost didn’t matter.  The time and the medium are the message so much more than the subject matter.  It made me pull out an 8mm Bolex I had lying around, dust it off and load up a roll of Cine-X, the only 8mm film I can get nowadays.

What I shoot doesn’t matter so much as the film is saved for 55 years like the ones we watched were.  I love how they took us back to their lives all those years ago.  It was fantastic, better than most movies I see.

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Me in 1988, working as a photojournalist for the Trenton Times, NJ.

I find that as more people abandon film, the more I love the fact that we have the tools to still use this amazing, great analog wonder.  And I feel like we are a lucky bunch who understand and embrace it.  Not to say there’s no appreciation for digital, because all my commercial work is shot digitally, but we get to play here still.  While the whole world has turned its back on film and dumped their cameras, we can pick them up, often for a song, and get to keep their tough metal gears moving forward.

I like that I am in the company of other film photographers, yourself included if you are one, too.  We have a magic box that many digital photographers have never even used.  Who have no idea how to use one.  And we get to still make magic.  A surge in demand for film has brought some back into production.

Keep on shooting.  2015 will bring a lot of photo opportunities to us. As long as we’re ready to go out and meet them.  I wish you a great photographic year.  And look forward to watching your blogs and seeing your work, too!

bolex2This is what I saw one day walking on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, and I had to get a photo of her.  And the camera operator, too!

Carrying my Rolleiflex, I asked if I could take her portrait.  She immediately recognized the coolness of my picture machine, and said yes.

That’s a vintage Bolex 16mm film camera, probably a Rex4, she’s shooting.

It looks to me like it could be a still from 1968.

I have another love for motion picture film, too.  I shoot Super 8 and 16mm.  A similar unique look to those images!

Cameras reunited, and it feels so good!