Category: Archive projects

Moldy Cameras

(This is an update and repost of an earlier article)

I have a collection of toy and cheap cameras that I started about 30 years ago. My rule for the first couple of years was that I wouldn’t spend more than a dollar. Sometimes I would find 5 or 6 at a thrift store. Then my family started looking for them. I still get a bag of garage sale cameras every Christmas from my brother.  I now have probably 500-600 cameras stashed in cardboard boxes on some industrial shelves at the studio.

For a while there has been a tiny leak in one of the concrete studio walls and I was dutifully collecting the water in a bucket. When I went to the studio yesterday during a downpour I discovered water dripping from a new place, right under the shelf that holds my collection. Turns out a trickle of water had been going into one of the boxes for the last few months. Unwrapping the cameras was gross and sad. I had to throw away about a half dozen, including a nice small wooden view camera that had fallen apart. The biggest shock was this Argus C3, which was in its original box. The box was a black, sodden, smelly mess. I’m guessing that the combination of water, darkness and the leather case made a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

(Update)
When this originally happened, I set up a softbox and took some forensic photos as a document of this beautiful catastrophe. Those documentary images of moldy evidence have turned into some of my favorite photos. This is a lesson I’ve learned repeatedly, that I’m often really not qualified to judge or edit my photos at the time I take them. Time has a way of revealing the depth and meaning of a photo.

Heavy Metal Department

Thank you Tanner Electronics

Tanner Electronics, just north of Dallas, is one of a dying breed of real electronics parts stores. Don’t judge them by their website. They’re too busy stocking cool stuff and helping customers with their projects. They’ve been in business for decades and actually carry parts that you can use. My wife didn’t understand why I hated going into Radio Shack until I took her to Tanner’s a few days ago. Now she understands.

This is a bag of goodies for the film scanner project; SPST N/O momentary switches, header strips, jumpers and a small speaker. What every Arduino-based project needs.

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Miss Corkern’s 3rd grade class

I was going through some boxes of papers and photos that my Mom left behind when she passed away and came across this little gem. This is Miss Corkern’s 3rd grade class at Richardson Heights Elementary in 1962. Yup, that’s me, looking off camera and probably wondering if that key light is at a 2:1 ratio with the fill.

Miss-Corkerns-3rd-grade-class-Dallas-Center-for-Photography