Sunday, October 31, 2010

a reason to rethink my top five?

For some time now, I've not wavered on my list of top five favorite cameras. This said, having finally gotten around to testing the Bratz camera I got for 80 cents last March, it may be time for me to rethink that list.

I'd worked with this particular camera before--well, kinda. The 35mm mini Bratz cam a quirky little thing--a small, plastic promo/give away camera that came packaged with Bratz dolls. NOTE: The thing is a real pain in the ass to load, and frankly, each time I load the camera I worry that it may well be the last time I'm able to use the camera. To explain: A new film cartridge must be placed upside down in the right side of the camera. The film is then wound (by way of a very, very fragile plastic winder on the bottom of the camera) to the other side (i.e., the supply side) of the camera. This is done, of course, with the back of the camera closed. There is no need to rewind the roll when finished since cranking the film advance wheel between shots essentially winds the exposed film back into the 35mm cartridge.

When I got my first Bratz camera, I immediately took it apart and flipped the lens. In order, however, to keep the lens in place, I needed to glue it in place which meant that I wasn't able to reverse the lens and see what the camera could do--or might have done--before I flipped the lens. But then, back in March, I found another Bratz mini cam. I'm not sure why I put off testing the new Bratz for so long. I guess I hadn't really expected much of the unflipped version and with so many other cameras still left to test, well, this one just kinda got lost in the shuffle.

Long story short, I finally got around to testing the camera this fall and I think I've taken it on every shoot since. Like I said to start, this is a serious contender for the top five fav list. Problem is, I'm not quite sure which camera it might knock out of its top position. Featured below is a sampling of the different images I've taken with the regular (non-flipped lens) Bratz. The image above depicts the same farm scene taken with the regular and flipped lens Bratz cams.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Subject #346. Eden

for more on The Quackenbos 566 Project

Subject #199. Egyptian Pyramids

for more on The Quackenbos 566 Project

Subject #203. The Influence of Woman

for more on The Quackenbos 566 Project

The Quackenbos 566 Project

In 1854 George Payn Quackenbos published his Advanced Course of Composition and Rhetoric: A Series of Practical Lessons. Offered as something of a more advanced follow-up to his First Lessons in Composition, a chief aim or goal of this text has to do with offering the “pupil” a “comprehensive and practical view of our language in all its relations” while providing him “with the most philosophical method of digesting and arranging his thoughts, as well as the most correct and effective mode of expressing them” (5). Of particular interest to me is the extensive “List of Subjects” Quakenbos offers at the end of the text. The 566 subjects offered are grouped into six categories: Parallels; Historical Narratives; Biographical Sketches; Fiction; Essays, and Argumentative Discourses. While Quackenbos’ subject list was clearly intended to be the basis of, or inspiration behind, written (alphabetic) compositions, the list re-presents for me another kind of potential or challenge. To this end, my goal with The Quackenbos 566 Project is to try to work through Quackenbos’ extensive list of subjects, taking a photograph (or choosing from among those I have already taken) that responds to each item contained in his subject list.

zero image 135 modification

We recently ordered the cable release kit with plans to put it the 135 I had purchased some time ago, but didn't realize the instruction included with the kit and online did not apply to the 135. The (very time consuming) installation process continued and we noted that the fixed round body of the mount contacted the movable shutter when mounted and the post head (that is on the end of the release mechanism) did not seat very deeply into the movable shutter when you added washers behind the mount.

We used our Dremel tool to grind some of the round barrel to allow access for the shutter mechanism. Things seem to work well (with a minimum number of new holes), we used the one hole already there to attach the movable shutter. We did not notice the offset mount of the cable release on the deluxe 135 (and the instructions did not refer to it either). Ours looks nicer and works well,
without seeing the holes (from the old mounting location).