Thursday, December 17, 2015

Model A from Missouri

Univex model A was a camera. A very small camera.
Here is one, next to my "Zorki 5":

Three ounces of Bakelite with a bit of glass and a few metal parts.
It was very popular among girls in early 30s, because it was cheap.
Really cheap. Seriously cheap.
Here is the page of the Official Girl Scout catalog, year 1933:

It is called there "A New Camera" with a price tag of 35 cents.
35 cents! For the price, it was not too bad.
Unlike some other cameras (Japanese "Hit", for one) it could actually take a picture.
Sometimes adults used it, but most of the Univex's users were kids.
The idea of the Univex enterprise was to make money selling film, not camera.
The proprietary Univex 00 film model A ate had been manufactured by Gevaert in Belgium.
The idea worked: Univex sold millions of ugly ducklings until 1940, when Belgium went under and suddenly 00 film was no more.
That was the end of Model A.
End of story.
I received mine from a village in rural Missouri. It had exposed roll of 00 waiting inside:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

118 Kodak Verichrome roll from 1940s

I received these rolls from a antique dealer in Fayetteville, North Carolina with 2 other rolls and spools of different vintage.The roll in the center never been exposed; the yellow color film (right) was empty. So what's left is this big bad spool of 118 Kodak Verichrome.118 format roll film was introduced by Kodak in 1900 and discontinued in 1961 but it was not in wide use after early 40s because the cameras made for this film format were out of production by 1930s.
I did my usual tests and developed the roll; a face appeared from the wet darkness:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Brownie Vecta from UK

I received this camera from the village North of Manchester, UK
Small Kodak Brownie Vecta had been in production from 1963 to 1966
Like many other brownies, it has dark lens and one shutter speed, not much to talk about.
This one had film inside, 127 Kodacolor II, exposed.
I developed the film as B&W just because silver survives the ordeal of time much better then the color dyes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"In Osaka" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji at Leica Store Miami 08/20 at 7PM

Join us on Thursday, August 20, 2015 for a book presentation: "In Osaka" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji. Publisher Emir Shabashvili will present the book and talk about "Provoke" photographers and about style/time relationship in photography.

Yamasaki Ko-Ji is a Japanese photographer from Kobe who documents his daily life with street pictures taken in Osaka, where he works.

RSVP on the event page:

This event is kindly sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Participants will be able to sample some of their amazing craft beers during the event. Brooklyn Brewery is one of the largest craft breweries in the United States, producing a portfolio of traditional and experimental beers sure to impress any beer drinker.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

11x14" Prints on Arista EDU Ultra RC paper

I'm out of Ilford MG IV paper and switched to Arista EDU Ultra. All I have now is 11x14 inches. Last weekend I printed a few frames from 2012 and they came out fine. The prints are somewhat more neutral compared to Ilford (I use LPD developer in 1:4 dilution) and the image takes longer to appear in developer, but otherwise the paper is great. The office scanner I used does not do the prints justice, but that is what I have for this bigger format.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bessa L / 25mm / Red filter : new darkroom prints

Up until now I had just the digital scans and digital prints for this series of downtown street photographs from Oct 2008. Last week I printed them in darkroom, they came out good; better than expected, better than digital!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer pattern

I am really enjoying working in darkroom... Here is few more of the recent prints:

Friday, July 10, 2015

"IN OSAKA" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji

So it happened: the >book is out<<.
Yamasaki Ko-Ji is a photographer from Kobe, Japan. He documents his daily life with pictures taken mostly in Osaka, where he has a day job. His work is truly unique for these days: all film, almost all in black and white, all printed in darkroom. He is not very well connected to the online photography community of today. He has a site all right: , but he is not on Flickr or Facebook, so his work is not widely known, but for those interested in the style of "Provoke" movement (Takuma Nakahira, Daido Moriyama etc) he is important as one of the keepers of the flame. I love his work. My style is very different but his pictures have influenced me deeply and that is why I published his book.

This post is a quick review of the book from the publisher's -- mine -- point of view.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Printing in dark room vs film-to-digital workflow

I started in darkroom in my early teens, somewhere in 68 or 69. Back then, everything was simple: not too many graded papers available, one developer, water from the tap, fixer and free time, which I had aplenty. I did not use any advanced techniques. Masking with my fingers for dodging and burning was the farthest it went. Because of this, there were negatives I could print easily and some I did not know how to print, the negatives too dark or too contrasty...when I had one, I just skipped it. Here is one of the prints from the time: some TASMA film pushed to 500 ISO, some old paper my father gave me:

(View from my darkroom AKA attic room. Yelabuga, 1973)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"In Osaka" by Yamasaki Ko-Ji

Yamasaki Ko-Ji is a photographer from Kobe, Japan. Here is a dummy of his book I am working on right now. Printed on laser printer to check the layout, it became a real one the moment I attached the loose leafs of paper to each other with binder clips. Somehow the images survived a truly terrible print quality. If you familiar with Japanese photographers of PROVOKE era (Takuma Nakahira, Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi and others), you will recognize the style. The book will be on Amazon sometime this year (the release date still TBD). More images from the dummy book below. The site of the photographer: