Graflex Speed Graphic Medium Format Film Camera

Graflex Speed Graphic with 135mm f/4.7 Lens
Medium format 4×5 and 220 film camera with 135mm f/4.7 lens made popular in the 1940’s

If you study the history of photography from it’s first shot through today’s almost incalculable iterations, you will see the art form takes on an enormous range of artistic expressions. I’m actually proud to say I started off in the age of film photography. I know what it’s like to have to be super intentional about the exposure, about getting it right the first or second time because film cost a fortune, and getting it developed cost even more. I also know what it’s like to take a photo and not see the results for a week or more (that was probably the worst part about shooting film back in the day), which made improving as a photographer a slower, more intentional process. Looking back at all that film I shot, I know it helped me tremendously when it comes to shooting in today’s digital world.

My grandad was a photographer as well, and he of course also did all of his work in film, but it wasn’t the 35mm film I grew up shooting, it was a medium format, 4×5 film, and still popular 220 film roll that he used. The one 4×5 negative I still have of his is this self-portrait, taken with the very camera showcased in this post. It was taken back in the 1970’s (when you kept cameras for more than a year or two), back in a time when these were called “self-portraits” not selfies.

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Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8 TLR with Xenotar f2.8 80mm Lens

Rolleiflex Camera

A classic. The original Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8 TLR with Xenotar 2.8/80mm lens and yellow with the green gel filters and closeup lens.

One Man's Junk Yard is Another Man's Photographic Treasure

You can find photographic opportunities literally everywhere, these were within walking distance of my house and I’m now thinking they actually look better as a photograph than they do as I walk by every day. I must have looked at these old cars for 5 years, every single day, and never thought about capturing some images until a few days ago. These trucks have seen a lot of my personal history over the years, and at some point I’ll try to get back in there closer so I can avoid all the weeds. I’m thinking about making the middle shot into a nice 16×24 print. I would like to say I have something profound to write about junk and possessions and storing up treasures in heaven where moth and rust don’t eat your vintage trucks but they were really just cool trucks sitting in the dirt being overtaken and claimed by the earth once again.

On another subject, this weeks is going to be another crazy crazy busy week, but towards the end of the week Deb and I will be heading out to Dallas for the annual National Polka Festival. We try to go every year but we missed it last year. Hopefully by Wednesday I will be posting some news about an upcoming trip in July, and then my blog will probably turn into the family trip blog on I-20 from Alabama to Texas. This time we are making the 750 mile trip in one day and I will probably attempt to max out our Verizon MiFi on the way out of boredom. I am looking forward to bringing back a bunch more images than I have in the past, for some reason, perhaps because of everything going on at the end of last year, I have keen desire for sheer photographic documentation.

Summer certainly seems to be here at this point in Auburn. We can’t seem to get out of these upper 95* days (although it seems really early for that), and everyone seems to have scattered to the wind like they always do once school lets out. This trip to Dallas is actually going to be our first trip out of the area since about January 2010. As a person who once loved to travel, I’m a bit apprehensive about this trip and others coming up this summer. Time to let go and give it up to God and let him handle the worrying, but I would appreciate your prayers, at least for this coming weekend.

Coming up, hopefully tomorrow, is a shoot from the Museum of Fine Art in Auburn, info about a trip coming up in July, and then it’s on to Polka days.

Compare Gas Prices in My Area Then and Now at $4 a Gallon :: Photos

For some reason I like to photograph gas pumps (see also Is the Auburn Opelika Metro Area Really Out of Gasoline :: Photos) they just seem like they are part of Americana. I took all three of these photos with my iPhone, on Sunday, and the last two photos are actually working pumps at a gas station about 3 miles from my house (all three shots were taken in the Auburn area). When the pump on the bottom was originally put into service they didn’t even have a way to charge over $2 a gallon, the dial didn’t include a number “3” on it, so now they don’t use a decimal point, that’s actually $3.9899 even though you can’t see it (I asked). So when they manufactured that pump (had to be before I was born) they never thought there would be a day when they would ever go over $2 per gallon of gas. How’s that forward thinking for you.

The first pump was obviously out of order some time ago, but when I looked at it I tried real hard to remember when we actually paid $1.22 for a gallon of gas, not the $4 a gallon we are paying now. I’m sure it’s my age but I actually remember paying $.79 a gallon one time when a gas station in Dallas put their gas on sale for a short time. Just something a little different for the photo of the day today. Those pumps

Scott in the 1971 Volkswagen Camper Van :: Throwback Thursday

Yes, it is Throwback-Thursday and yes, this is me in the family Volkswagen Camper Van, a shot taken in May of 1971 when we were apparently on a trip to Colorado Springs. There are many other shots of me years later when I wanted to drive (like in 1972) where I am sitting on the drivers seat, but this should be good enough for this week. My grandmother seems to have written on the back of every single photo ever taken and the caption on the back reads

Scott has his own picnic at Pike National Forest Colorado Springs May ’71

My sister hadn’t come along at this point yet so I was the star of the show. I love the classic look of this van, especially the license plate. Don’t remember exactly but I am pretty sure this van was very new at this point. Worth about 500 times today what they paid for it back then. Wonder if the “Roy Bridges” car dealership is still in business?