Greetings. Welcome to another edition of Camera Clips. This edition comes graced by a panorama from Helen Whitford as our banner. Helen has captured the movement of Polo horses as they gallop across a field, stirring up the sand as they go. Blurred in the background you can see the other players on the field completing the story. It is a powerful and evocative image. Well done Helen.
We recently had a “back to basics” skills workshop where the audience split into “Nikon”, “Cannon” and “other camera” groups and discussed how to get the most out of your camera. It has almost become the norm that camera club photos will be taken on a digital SLR. However I was interested in the “other” group. There are a range of other cameras being used by members of our club, from small compact cameras to older film based cameras. This months edition is based around—”The Camera”, and in particular the “other” camera category. The theme was first prompted by Ray Goulter whose article on view cameras has been sitting on my desk for 3 or so months. Ray gives us a great insight into these cameras that go back to the very birth of photography. The primitive box cameras used by Fox Talbot and Daguerre were very similar in structure and design to the View Cameras. As Ray points out, it is quite a drawn out process making an image with one of these cameras. Something we forget when we can take 8 frames per second with automatic focus and exposure,
I went to a barbeque earlier this year at a mates house and he pulled out of his cupboard his first camera. This was given to him by his father when he was a boy. He told me the story of his father having acquired it from a German soldier during the war. Interestingly Eric had the same model camera in his own collection. I don’t think Eric got it from a German soldier. Eric has kindly done some research on the Universal Mercury, and written a short article on this old American camera.
Deconstruction is the process of pulling a discipline apart to reveal the essential elements. In photography some artists have deconstructed the practice by reverting to older forms like the photogram. Some of the earliest photograms were done by Charles Wedgewood (the ceramic maker) who experimented with laying ferns onto light sensitive emulsions to capture their shadows. Unfortunately he did not know how to fix the image and it faded. I have included a photoessay of photograms by a UK photo-artist Adam Fuss. It fits into the current theme—as photographs without a camera.
We have a special treat this month. Ashley Hoff (our president) has written an article on his passion for medium format cameras. You may have seen Ashley with his odd box shaped cameras on club excursions. Ashley has produced a number of stunning images with these cameras. To describe this unique quality is difficult. Often monochrome, often related to motor sports, with unconventional angles and creative use of depth of field. Read what he has to say in his article, a useful insight.
David Douglas Martin reminisces about two of his former cameras that he has sold.
Lastly I have written a short guide on how to get the most out of your compact camera. This has been my main camera for the last 10 years. I have been thinking for a while of writing this article as there are a lot of newer members doing some very fine work with their compact cameras. I feel however that my advice may not be needed. Might I mention Glori Broomfield who received two 10’s at last months competition. Well done Gloria.
Perhaps I should finish by stating that the camera is only the means by which we attain an image, and at the end of the day the image is more important than the process. However exploring new processes is very fertile ground for creativity and can produce some stunning images. Read on and be inspired,
- View Camera – Ray Goulter
- Universal Mercury – Eric Budworth
- The Photogram – Adam Fuss – James Allan
- The Medium Format Camera – Ashley Hoff
- A Reminiscence – David Douglas Martin
- Getting the most out of your Compact Cameras – James Allan