Tag Archives: RachelCreative

New photos from an old camera

Sadly, not my camera or photos.

April 4th had many people up and about in the dead of night, taking photos of their surroundings and deserted streets for the 4am Project. Among these was Rachelcreative, whose art and photography blog I’ve mentioned before.

One of Rachel’s interests is old cameras. She not only acquires these but also uses them. So as well as her digital photos taken with a modern SLR, she took some others using a 75-year-old Box Brownie.

Here is a sample, to encourage you to go and look at the others:

Box Brownie photo of Minster Pool

Minster Pool, Lichfield, photographed with a Box Brownie
© rachelcreative.wordpress.com

What stage was colour photography at when the camera was made? Was usable colour film even available? If it was, I’m pretty sure it was still at a very experimental stage. But these photos show what an antique, very basic camera can do.

It’s interesting to me the way that photos such as these, and others from Rachel’s old cameras, conjure up the atmosphere of old photographs. For example, some of the others remind me of the results I got from my old Ensign Ful-Vue before the red viewing window fell out and I stopped using it. (The window was there to let you see the numbers on the backing paper of the film, so you knew how far to wind it on before taking the next photo.) Obviously in this case that could be partly an illusion caused by the yellow of the street lighting, but I think other effects are important too: the quality of the lens, maybe the way light is scattered inside the camera, and the fixed aperture and field of view.

Anyway do visit Rachel’s post—the rest of the photos are well worth a look too.

An art and photography blog

OK, well I want to try out the ‘trackback’ feature and I also want to people to look at RachelCreative‘s blog, so here are links to several of my favourite posts on the parts of her site I’ve explored so far–let’s see whether the trackback thing does indeed do its job.

  • Marshmallow on skewer: simple but very appetizing. How on earth does someone capture the essence of a toasted marshmallow in a few lines? Like this, evidently.
  • Dog Bignose and Ghostly: interesting glimpse of the drawing process. A curve and two dots, already with their own character, becoming a dog.
  • Chairs: My kind of photograph: making the everyday look beautiful.

When I took “A” level General Studies too many years ago to admit (which I therefore won’t), one of the questions in the exam was “How would you define art? Discuss the claims of one of the following to be an art form”, and the one I chose to write about was photography. I notice, somewhat to my shame, that I’ve mentioned “art and photography” in this post’s title. That’s not really right, since good photography is art, and I think this applies particularly to good black-and-white photography. It’s not just taking a picture of something ready-made; I think it’s showing the viewer how you see something. Or sometimes it’s taking what you’d think of as Nothing–two chairs and a table, for example–and arranging it in such a way that it becomes Something. And making Something out of Nothing is definitely creative.

What I like about Rachel’s blog is the way she lets us see the process at work; it makes me want to get my SLR out and start taking photographs with it again 🙂

And Rachel, don’t let the review go to your head 😉