The hidden bonus to press cameras

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Kawaiithulhu

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So I told my grandkid that I was going to take an informal portrait of him because no one had a recent one. Out with the groans and "let's get this over with" as expected :munch:

Instead of the usual camera he was expecting I show up with a Century Graphic that I've been restoring, all folded up into its small lunchbox cube. "What the heck is that?" he asks.

Pop the button and it unfolds like a Transformer complete with shiny knobs and levers everywhere, little bits of tubes and glassy insect eyes poking out all over and red bellows topped with f2.8 glass staring out the front like the eye of Sauron...

"Woah, that's cool."

The hidden bonus to press cameras is the "woah" factor. What could have been an uncomfortably forced time turned into a fun chat on what all those knobs do, how cameras work, the progression from wet plate to 35mm film stock, why the ground glass image is upside down, and a quickie introduction on what happens in the darkroom after the picture is taken.

Sometimes you have to pick what you're going to shoot with based not on the technical specs, but for the hidden bonus of the press camera's woah factor :D
 

kintatsu

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That's awesome. It wouldn't work on my daughter, she's seen too many cameras for her age. The good thing is that she loves to be photoraphed most of the time!
 
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gleaf

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Small formats 'click' is taking pictures and they know you are taking. Medium to some extent and large format you are bringing 'the show'. A visible putting time and effort into the photo. I have begun to believe that the larger the format the more respect you are presenting to the subject. Maybe it is the nearly seismic shutter sounds behind the glass optics weighed in pounds. Like the fellow buying the 300 Winchester Magnum said.. "It's only considered light for three things on earth... Cape Buffalo, Rhino, and elephant..."
 

mweintraub

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"What could have been an uncomfortably forced time turned into a fun chat on what all those knobs do, how cameras work, the progression from wet plate to 35mm film stock,"

Did they have a nice nap after? Just kidding. I guess your grandchildren actually want to learn. :smile:


I was taking some shots with the RZ67 and Polaroid back and one of my cousins (2nd cousin in law?) was speechless when I started peeling the print off. She just loved it. She was then disapointed I couldn't show her the roll film pictures. She was then shocked it would be a week before she sees them. HA
 
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Kawaiithulhu

Kawaiithulhu

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The actual portrait was really just a shutter calibration + film speed and development test, but that's OK because he chose the location. I think I'm finally getting close because the black t-shirt still has some fabric detail and the side-light from the winter sun isn't blown out. But if you're into "kid standing next to a cinderblock wall I'll see if I can't get a scan this weekend.
 

winger

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That's awesome. It wouldn't work on my daughter, she's seen too many cameras for her age. The good thing is that she loves to be photoraphed most of the time!

This. My son (almost 4) knows the black box on the shelf (Crown Graphic) is a camera even when it's all folded up.

Bonus points for the Sauron reference in the OP! :smile:
 

ntenny

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Pop the button and it unfolds like a Transformer complete with shiny knobs and levers everywhere, little bits of tubes and glassy insect eyes poking out all over and red bellows topped with f2.8 glass staring out the front like the eye of Sauron...

That's the best description ever!

I agree with the whole thing. My son is pretty jaded about weird cameras, but when I take the Speed Graphic out in the world, people of all ages fall all over themselves with amazement. I sometimes end up with kids peering through the ground glass at one another and giggling "You're upside down!"

It's interesting---I never thought about this before, but in a world where people are paranoid about any interaction between their kids and an adult male, and paranoid about cameras, somehow combining the two things at the same time makes it OK!

-NT
 

Truzi

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This will only work until he wants to use it to take a picture of you, which is great, but you'll then need a new tactic to get a portrait of him :smile:
I suppose taking portraits of him could be the "trade" to letting him learn to use it, though.
 
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