The Last Basement Party: Holga Tim

holga tim (9)In Montreal for about 3 years, my life was all about the ‘Basement’. The “Basement’ was a clever name for a basement suite that many of my friends lived in and had come and gone from – the place to be – the place to party. That place had so many memories – we and Victor lived within a blocks walk from it for 2 years. Eventually things change though, it’s crazy looking at these photos now and realizing that half of these people have left Montreal now (mostly not by choice thanks to the government). I had this roll of film in my Holga Tim for over 1 year, just collecting random moments and it was really cool to find these shots of the last party that ever happened in the basement last week when I picked up my film from the developers. This party was probably just around a year ago. My favourites are the shots of Arturo, it’s too bad the shot of me and him my face is completely cut off (or maybe for the better – lol). Hope you like and RIP Basement.
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Moments of Summer: Polaroid

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The last set of Polaroids from my amazing trip to Vancouver. These were taken on my second to last day there when I met up with a few friends (and meet some new friends too) to have a piknic at Trout Lake. Trout Lake is such a lovely park right in the middle of Vancouver – I highly suggest going there if you are ever in Vancouver it’s just very relaxing. It was a great time, we had an assortment of snacks thanks to my friend Pang and everyone seemed to have just randomly brought with them goodies for everyone to enjoy. I got to hang out with my brother for the second time that trip. He lives in Calgary and was travelling for the summer and decided to come to Vancouver to see me which was so amazing of him because we don’t see each other enough. We all just sat on the grass and watched all the dogs go by and enjoy each other company and chatted. It really made me miss Vancouver….honestly in that moment I realized how much I missed being around people I love. I tend to forgot how nice it is to be lost in conversation with people… My Polaroid Colorpack wasn’t agree with me much that day and ate a few shots but I love the ones I managed to get and wished I had brought more film. Enjoy!

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Ana was so nice to take a photo with me and my cute friend Pang-Pang (who is so adorable).

I wish my trip to Vancouver was longer!

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Metro-Flex and Me

I wanted to start a series with Self Portrait Sunday documenting me as a photographer as currently I have very few photos of me with my cameras which to me is so odd because I carry them around with me everywhere. It feels like there is a large part of me going undocumented so I thought the best way was to once a month or so to document myself with one of my many camera. I thought it’d be great to capture me with my cameras and do little mini-shoots with them as the subject and dress in an outfit I thought suited the camera’s style. I’m usually one of those people who scorns at shots of people with their vintage camera or toy camera because they always seem to be a prop (which I find it frustrating as a photographer because even though I understand their beautify it seems sacrilegious to deprive them their actual function as that is what intrigues and delights me about cameras and it’s what they can do not how I look with them in my hands that I love). Yet at the same time the desire to share a camera from my collection with you that I have experimented with and invested in to use at capturing moments of my life seemed worth it as I feel like I try to use them as an extension of myself. So without further ado I present the first in the series:  Metro-Flex and Me.

Self-Portrait Sunday: Metro-Flex and Me

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Metro-Flex is a half frame pseudo reflex camera made in the 1940’s that uses 127 roll film. I picked mine up over Etsy because I loved the art deco Bakelite metal exterior that has an almost a quilted pattern to it. Mine doesn’t have the usual string strap to make it wearable around the neck which would have been helpful because to take photos and properly view the viewfinder you have to hold it around waist level. It’s in great condition and I love how satisfying the sound of the metal shutter is when you press it down. For the shoot I thought my black jacket with coat tails and the crazy pattern of my tights would work great with the cameras art deco appearance.  It was hard to find something perfect to wear with the camera because it’s hard to imagine who exactly would use a camera like the Metro-Flex (there isn’t a lot of information available about this beauty). Below you can see me lining up a shoot and getting ready to press down the shutter…if you want to view photos I’ve taken with it check out my Vintage Tuesday post: here!

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Vintage Tuesday

I just had to feature more of my Polaroid Colorpack instant shots from Vancouver today even though I did last week too (I spend a lot of time organizing and making sure I don’t repeat camera too much but I couldn’t resist). Seeing my best friend Ana was magical and it was so nice of her parents to let me stay at their place while I was in town. These were taken on my last day just hours before jumping on a plane. The one thing I love about the Colorpack is how simple it is to shoot with, although Ana and her mom were both terrified to take photos with it so what I did was setup the shots and frame it and then have either Ana (for photos of me) or her mom (photos of me and Ana together) click the button. It’s really becoming one of my favourite vintage cameras.

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I am getting better at controlling the distance and judging for myself instead of relying on the metering tool on the camera. I feel like I am really improving, although I still tend to mess up at least 2 shots out of a roll of 10 which frustrates me but this guy tends to jams or I don’t double check settings.  I cannot wait to pick up a modern Fuji instax camera and be able to have it on a tripod and with timer, it’ll make group photos so much easier. I love spending time with Ana and miss her already so much. I want her to visit Montreal so badly, it would be incredible. These photos just put a smile on my face.

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Vintage Tuesday

autographic junior, kodak autographic junior no 1aThis beautiful guy is a Kodak Autographic Junior No 1A, made in 1914 by the Eastman Kodak Company in either New York or Toronto. Its a folding camera meaning that it has bowels that expand, and the autographic part of the name is because there is a place on the back of the camera that will open allowing you to use a stylus to write directly on the film. This fantastic camera I got off of Etsy has the stylus still and after purchasing it I was able to find the leather case for it as well. I am so charmed by this camera and it appears to be in working condition, which means hopefully I can convert film for it soon. It takes 116 film which is not made any more but I’ve been playing around with re-spooling 120 film for quiet a few other cameras and its very easy when you have the right spools. I wish to pick up another Autographic camera soon just for display, one I don’t mind getting a tad dusty on the bowels as its really just absolutely beautiful.I bought the leather case for it afterwards from a different shop, it has black velvet on the inside and this metal clasp that is engraved with company logo. It’s such a wonderful camera!autographic juniorautographic juniorautographic juniorautographic juniorautographic juniorautographic juniorautographic juniorautographic junior, kodak autographic junior no 1a

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Vintage Tuesday

Kodak Brownie Six-20 (9)

These giant prints were taken with the Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 which is considered a type of box camera and has been kicking around my house for a little less than a year. I picked this guy up at an antique store in Quebec City while on vacation with Victor last summer. He actually bought it for me as a present and I am so happy to have it. It takes 620 film which means I had to convert 120 film to be able to use the camera. I followed a few different tutorials on how to make 120 film become as small as 620. It didn’t look that difficult but I found half way through my roll that my film got stuck and I had to start using pliers to move the frames…and then at some point the pliers stopped working and I had to open up the camera and expose half the roll and manually roll it up to save the film that was already exposed because the film advance would not work. So I learned my lesson to just re-roll 120 film onto a 620 spool and leave the converting behind me. lol (at least converting 120 rolls with nail clippers to be the size of 620 that is). All the shots I got are from a trip to Jacques Cartier Bridge which you may see a lot of this summer as we’ve went a few times already and it’s a really fun walk from our house. I hope to pick up another type of box camera soon as they are lovely and now that I know this guy is in working condition I’ll happy take him out again and this time get a few more shots then this!

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Vintage Tuesday

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Today’s photos were taken with the Metro-Flex vintage camera from 1940’s. This is one of my new additions to my vintage camera collection and I love having the chance to try it out. I am using 35 film because 127 film is not made anymore except one company that only offers expensive color negative film (black and white was being offered by appears to be discontinued). If you want to know how I converted my 35 film to fit a 127 camera, check out my How To….! I was so excited to try it out that I just toke it with me when I went to the shops, so the subject matter is not very interesting but I wanted to see what kind of shots the camera could produce and try a few things to see what type of results I could get. This is a great thing to do with old cameras, especially if you note down the conditions for each photos like subject distance, light conditions, time of day/weather and compare with the results. The Metro-Flex has no settings so it really trial and error, especially since using my method of conversion I don’t have an indicator marks on the film to see when I’ve reached the correct spot when advancing the film. The shots are neat and I will show you more next time I take it out with me.

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Butter of the Week

polaroid colorpack (18) (1280x1009)Butter of the Week today is in theme with Vintage Tuesday`s Polaroid portrait shots. I’ve only taken a few shots of my cat with the Polaroid Colorpack as I don`t use the flash with the camera and Butter is an inside cat. I always crank the light setting but there is still not enough light for a really good shot but I love them none the less. It doesn`t help that she moves way too much, her eyes are always ghosts like which is freaky. I hope to grab a good one of her in the summer when she goes outside a bit more. Hope you like these, have a great weekend!

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Lomography Wednesday

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad_qPdvJPfw&feature=youtu.be”]
I’ve never used my LomoKino camera before now even though I’ve had it for 6 months so this summer is the summer of mini-movies! It takes 35 film and makes roughly 90 second length of film. My first attempt was taken at the Mutek weekend of Piknic Electronic Festival of random scenes that I liked. For those of you not in Montreal, Piknic Electronic is an electronic music festival that takes place every Sunday all summer. San Proper was playing and I love his live set, it was a great day and I was really excited to try out LomoKino.

lomokino*this is how it looks when I scan the film, it’s a long process but I’m happy with my first round of LomoKino

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Lomography Wednesday

Diana F+ (9)My first try at the Diana F+ cameras after years of being a Holga girl! I developed these myself as well, first time doing 120 mm film (I did one roll before this one, so technically it was number 2). So many things went wrong with this film I’m having trouble deciding if I like them or not. The guy who I bought the camera from put black tape on the inside of the camera where the film counter is and I didn’t figure it out until I had loaded the film and kept on winding and never seeing the film counter advance. So I had advance the film all the way to the end and then reload it. And last week when I was developing it I made a mistake on my calculations for the fixer and added extra water diluting it incorrect. Plus I’ve never used Kodak 120mm film before, I’m so use to Lomography’s re-branded film and the contrast you achieve with that. So lets just say I cannot tell if this is what end results normally look like.  My first impressions are though that I love my Holga and I love the results I get with it (I haven’t developed my own Holga film yet) and I’m on the fence with Diana F. So we’ll see, definitely it deserve another roll of film to try, and hopefully things will go smoother. lol.

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