Industrial Strength

Another image in the Women and Cameras series, featuring an Exakta SLR. The Exakta brand has a long and proud history, and can claim the first 35mm Single Lens Reflex (the Kine Exakta of the mid 1930’s). The camera model pictured is from the late 1950’s/early 1960’s; at this point Exakta was a Communist East Germany operation, and I think this camera fits the era: a sturdy, tractor-like camera that belongs in a factory. Certainly the model was surprised at how heavy it was.




Another image from my women and classic cameras series; my friend Andrea Ross agreed to pose for me with a 1950’s vintage Stereo Realist. For most of its history, mainstream photography has been an exercise of two dimensions, but cameras like Stereo Realist allowed photographers to shoot in three dimensions. Effective portraits remind me of the search for dimensionality, in the sense that the goal is not merely to show what the subject looks like, but to find some insight into who the person is.

Andrea and Stereo Realist

Andrea is a fascinating, complex person, who has been through much in her life; she is a combination of both strength and vulnerability, openness and privacy. I’d like to think I captured some of that in this image.

Don’t Let Them See You Sweat

Yet another image in my Women and Cameras series, but with an interesting story. When I got to the shoot and pulled out my trusty Mamiya, I realized I had brought the wrong finder (the part you look through; the Mamiya is a modular camera and has a number of options). Instead of bringing the eye-level finder I had brought the so-called waist -level finder, that you look down into. The biggest trick with the waist level finder is that the image you focus on is laterally inverted (backwards like a mirror) and this takes some getting use to; when you move to the left, in the finder it looks like you are moving to the right and vice-versa. Also, doing portrait orientation shots is very difficult; turn the camera on its side. and the image you see becomes upside down. I don’t use the waist level finder much, but I got through it somehow, and was very happy with the results I got of model Erikka, holding the Voigtlander Vito B, my father’s old camera, and the first “good” camera I got to learn on.


Range and Subtlety

Today’s image is another in my Women and Camera series, featuring a wonderful model named Fallon. One thing I am doing my best to avoid in this series is an expression I call “the pout.” It seems that a lot of photographers, fashion magazines etc. want their models to look angry, bored, petulant or generally hostile. These are not the expressions I’m going for, and Fallon was amazing in delivering a number of subtle, nuanced expressions that helped the pictures tell a story. Long live the Pout-Free Zone!!

Fallon with Kodak Pony 828

Kodak Retina IIa

Today’s image is the latest shot from my women and cameras series. The model Bonnie (who was great to work with!) is posing with a Kodak Retina IIa 35 mm camera, built between 1951 to 1954. Built as high-quality precision mechanisms (partly in response to the German Leica’s), the Retina’s chief claim to fame was that it introduced the 135 35mm film cassette, which rapidly became the start format for 35mm film, continuing up to the present day.

This image, like all the others in this series to day, was shot using my Mamiya M645, on Ilford Delta 400 film. This film is definitely becoming my new best friend!! 🙂

Kodak Retina IIa

Not Quite What It Seems?

If you’ve been on the Queen Elizabeth Expressway (Q.E.W.) , around exit 57 you have probably noticed this shipwreck. It is not quite what it seems. Quite a few years ago, some entrepreneurs took a non-descript boat, and started adding bits and pieces to make it appear like a tall ship of sorts. In the process, the ship was made completely unseaworthy, but that was not as issue; it was meant to be a restaurant/attraction. But then disaster struck in the form of a fire, and for many years the hulk has sat close to shore, an eyesore to some, a landmark to others, but regardless, not quite what it seems. This image is not completely what it seems either; although shot on film, it was heavily post processed with Silver Efex Pro. Given the history of the subject matter, I find this quite ironic.

Shipwreck, Sort of

Hybrid Rocks!

In the hustle and bustle of Dundas Square, I took  this picture of model Stacy, who is holding an old Zeiss 120 folder. I am continuing to find the analog/digital hybrid approach  quite effective; the Sliver Efex Pro plug-in allows me to get the last bit of tonality I’m looking for from the scanned negative.

Zeiss Folder 2