Monday, January 11, 2010

New Friends & New Adventures

Well, it's a new year...and for me, a new year equals new cameras! Hooray! But that's not the only exciting new thing happening around here... My sweetie just moved to Phoenix, AZ. Another hooray! A new desert-y area to explore with Nathan! Anyways, let's talk cameras. The two latest editions to my ever-growing eclectic camera family are a Polaroid Land Camera 103 and a Keystone 60 Second Everflash.

The Keystone 60 Second Everflash is one beast of a camera:

Let's just say... it's not the prettiest camera I own. It's basically a copycat Polaroid camera. I had never heard of Keystone Flash before until photographer Sean Rohde introduced me to it in his blog about it here. I was intrigued. I found one cheap off of eBay and took it to the desert to try it out:

It's pretty nice! I like it. It's different. I think it's going to become a regular in my camera rotation. My other new toy is a Polaroid Land Camera 103. Another Land Camera you ask? Yes, I know I know. I have a bunch. What makes this one so different? Well, I bought it from a old Camera Store that's going out of business up in LA for $20. It was brand new. I figured what the hey, what's one more camera, right? I put some new batteries in and took it with me to AZ to help my boyfriend move.
The first few images turned out like CRAP. I had everything set up right but the Polaroids were extremely unexposed and so dark you could barely make anything out of them. I was frustrated. Did I get a lemon? I had one shot left of a pack of expired ID-UV film and I figured it'd be worth it to test the light meter out. I cranked it all the way to lighten and aimed, this is what I got:

Quite possibly one of my favorite Polaroids ever! Look at the vignetting! I've never been able to get such vignetting out of any of my Land Cameras. Here's some more Polaroids from my time in AZ with my 103:

I'm absolutely in love... I love the colors and feel the 103 gives to the Polaroid. Can't wait to explore AZ some more with it! I already have my next trip planned and it's just a few weeks away!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Palos Verdes, CA.

Nestled just north of the hustle and bustle of where I live in Long Beach lies a beautiful and pristine area known as Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes is actually the name given to a group of coastal cities located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
I'd heard a lot about the Peninsula before but I had never had the chance to check it out. Yesterday I had the unique opportunity to explore the area for the first time. I had no idea what to expect and absolutely no idea what I was in store for: beautiful cliffs, dramatic vistas, crashing ocean waves, and oh yah, my favorite... abandoned houses! I had my Polaroid Land Camera 440 along with me for the trip and I am quite pleased with some of images I was able to capture:

The area known as Portuguese Bend on the Peninsula suffered a tremendous land slide in the late 1950's. The land movement continues to this day and requires constant road construction and maintenance. The land slide destroyed many homes in the area which still remain on the cliffs. I've been to many abandoned places before... but nothing quite like these houses. They seemed so erie and completely out of place, being surrounded by such pristine beauty...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I was up in Seattle over the summer and I found myself in a Goodwill hunting for cameras. This particular Goodwill was pretty big with a wide selection of cheap, cheaper and even super-cheaper cameras. I was only really looking for any Polaroid camera's I didn't have, but one little plastic black 35mm, an "Ansco Panoramic" camera, caught my eye. Here's one out of the package, brand-spanking new. I bought it for a whopping $2, packed it up and took it home with me to sunny California.
I honestly really didn't think too much of the camera and forgot all about it for a few months. However, I ended up heading back to the Salton Sea area last month so I decided to take my little pano with me.

Ch...I'm pretty stoked I did. I really like what I got with the first roll. I have never shot with a pano-type camera before and I really like wide frame! The colors, for the most part, are pretty so-so, but I chalk that up to my crappy expired Kodak I loaded into it. I think some b&w would look sweet.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my new cheap little plastic pano :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

The September Playlist.

As most of you know, I love photography. But, alas, there is more to me than just expired film and crappy old cameras. I also love music. Yes, yes, big shocker, I know. I often take a Polaroid or a photo that reminds me of a particular song. Or, I hear a song or album that inspires me to do something new or unique with my cameras. Creativity often inspires more creativity.
September will usher in a new aspect of this blog...monthly playlists inspired by Polaroids. Polaroids and music. It's as simple as that. These playlists will highlight current projects and photos I've been working on as well as showcase music that deserves to be showcased. Take a gander...and check out the featured artists and songs.

Sun 660, expired type 779, Salton Sea, CA.

Emulsion lift of an expired ID-UV shot onto a 600 blank Polaroid. Joshua Tree, CA.

Sun 660, expired 600 from '03, Joshua Tree, CA.

Countdown 70, expired ID-UV from '08, Joshua Tree, CA.

Sun 660, expired type 779, Orange County, CA.

Countdown 70, expired ID-UV, Salton Sea, CA.

SX-70, expired 600 from '03, Los Angeles, CA.

Spectra SE, expired 2004, somewhere out in the Mojave desert, CA.

Land Camera 440, expired ID-UV from '08, Los Angeles, CA.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Morocco Through a Plastic Lens

It's August 31. Summer is officially over. I thought I'd mark this grim and sad day with a blog photo update. I'm sad to report that I did not shoot half as much as I wanted to these past few months. Life has been extremely busy, as usual, and money for film has been practically non-existent. I blame the bulk of my money woes to an AWEsome trip that I was able to take in July to Northern Africa. My boyfriend, Nathan Watkins, is an extremely talented photographer with a passion for travel and helping those in need. He spent his summer in Morocco working and doing photos for Friends of the Rif , an amazing organization that helps provide homes for villagers displaced by a massive earthquake that hit the area in 2004. He invited me to come out for a few weeks to see Morocco and take part in the work he was doing there. I was super stoked, to say the least. The trip was incredible and totally surpassed my expectations. I can honestly say I fell in love with the people and culture there.
I brought along a bunch of cameras with me. They also seemed to take quite a liking to Morocco. Here's a few of my favorites, taken mostly with my Land Cameras and my trusty old Holga:

Polaroid Land Camera 440, expired 689, outside Fes, Morocco.

Polaroid Land Camera, expired ID-UV from '08, Chechaouen, Morocco.

Polaroid Land Camera 440, expired 689, outside Al Hocima, Morocco.

Polaroid Land Camera 440, expired 689, outside Fes, Morocco.

Polaroid Countdown 70, Fuji 100B, in the Fes marketplace, Morocco.

Polaroid Land Camera, expired ID-UV from '08, Chechaouen, Morocco.

These photographs don't do the country justice. I offer them merely as an unique and somewhat different look into Morocco, through cheap plastic lenses and vintage old cameras. I can not wait to go time with plenty of more film!

Photography wise, I have a few outings planned for September. It has been far too long since I've been to the Salton Sea and I've been itching to explore more of the Joshua Tree area. Ironically, now that summer is over I'll have more time to go shooting and exploring. I promise to keep posting and to keep this updated.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet Miss Diana...

I recently adopted a new camera into my family... An authentic Diana F! I found her all alone and abandoned in a house full of single bachelors. She was up on a mantle, dusty, unused, and broken. She cried out for a good home! I gladly embraced Miss Diana into my lovely little fold of cameras...
Mind you, Lomography lovers, that this is one of the original Diana cameras, created way before Lomography was ever created. The camera itself is a medium format toy camera completely made out of plastic. They were originally produced in the 1960's to the 1970's in Hong Kong by the Great Wall Plastic Company. Other then that, there is little else known about the true history of the Diana camera. She is still somewhat of a mystery. After the Great Wall Plastic Company started producing the Diana, many variations of the camera started becoming popular as well. These 'variations' are commonly known as Diana Clones. Even though all of the clones have slight differences, they all, for the most part, take 120mm film and take 4cmX4cm sized negatives. My Diana F is an "F" because it originally came with a flash attached to the top of the body. My new Diana's flash, unfortunately, was completely broken and was left in pieces. I decided to take it off of the camera for both shooting connivence and for aesthetics. 
I was, at first, unsure of the Diana, even though it was an 'original'. A while back, before I knew any better, I purchased a Diana+ recreated  by Lomography. It lasted a whole two rolls of film. And the images it produced were nothing to get excited about. But this new Diana was authentic and even better, absolutely free. So, I decided to give her a chance.  
I took her along with me on my last trip to The Salton Sea. Here's some results: 

All in all, not too shabby! I was quite surprised when I looked at the negatives. She created some classic light leaks and some random out-of-focus soft vignetting throughout the pictures. The verdict (so far)... she's a keeper! 

Friday, May 29, 2009

A little ego boost never hurts...

The New York Times' photography blog put a call out for it's readers to send in their Polaroids. One of mine was accepted! And it's Friday. Hallelujah.