About Joe shoots resurrected cameras

I am primarily a musician/songwriter/composer currently studying music at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. I also take pictures.

Trip 35 and color slides

Some of these go back to last fall, when I thought I’d try doing the tourist thing in my own town, but really just by snapping pics when I was supposed to be giving the tour.

I used an expired roll of AGFAPhoto Precisa CT 100 (aka Fuji Provia 100F) giving the Trip 35 the ultimate exposure test and I’m quite pleased that the selenium-powered autoexposure works perfectly fine, even after a period of 40-50 years.  I’m now starting to see that the Trip 35’s lens isn’t the most contrasty ever, especially when the sun sneaks behind the clouds, so I’m happy that I’ll be able to shoot slide film in here.

Armed with that knowledge I took the Trip 35 to Wales with me to shoot a few rolls of Velvia 100 and am very happy with the results (I’ve been posting them for the last few weeks).  The more I use this camera the more I love it.  At $8.00 from a thrift store it was a real bargain too, and one that I’m happy I sprung for.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised that it did so well with slide film since that’s what people were shooting back when the camera was being made, but it’s nice to know that after such a period of time it still has what it takes.

Quo vadis?

I had a surreal moment recently, as scrolling through my Facebook feed was someone I know only from the WordPress world:

My worlds are colliding.  Also surreal: having a link to the Resurrected Camera from Petapixel (I’m #46).  But though I forgot about it in the 2 or so years since Jim first put me on this list, Jim’s description of my blog really bothers me: “Joe explores and discovers with his old film cameras.”  I don’t know if I’ve ever brought that up with you Jim, sorry.  Really it’s something that has caused a bit of an existential crisis for me.  If that’s the description that sums up what I’ve been doing here for almost 3.5 years now, I think I need to reexamine what I’m posting, what my motives are, and what this blog should actually be about.

It’s been a journey for me, and I started posting January 1st, 2014, after having taken an Intro to Photography class at my university.  I found that one photo class wasn’t enough and ended up going for a minor in photography.  Then I started shooting super 8, made a short film, and over the past year have been taking that to festivals.  My long-term photo project begun in Advanced Photo has been the chronicle of making the film from beginning to end, and photographing the film festivals has been the tail end of that.  But what is this blog actually about?

My intention at the beginning was to show the world that film photography is not expensive, and often cheaper than digital, as well as visually superior.  If that’s not what people think of when they think of The Resurrected Camera, I probably didn’t do a good job emphasizing this aspect.  Maybe it’s time to bring that back in again, or start finding a new theme, new direction.  The name itself, Resurrected Camera, came from the astonishing generosity of other people who have given me cameras, and the incredible deals I’ve come across for items that no longer hold value to people.  Is that still relevant?  And am I still following that goal?

Here’s a self-portrait with my beloved SPII.  I always talk about it because I paid $5 for it at a garage sale, it’s still my main camera, and really if I needed to, I could get by the rest of my life using nothing else.  Maybe it’s time for one of those one camera, one year challenges.  Or something.  The trouble is, since I’m done taking photo classes, I don’t really have a direction anymore.  All the stuff I’m down to are pics I took back in April (or earlier!) that I’m doling out once a week.  Sometimes posting even that much seems like a chore.  It was my goal to make what I’d already shot last all summer, but maybe it’s time to get all that out of the way quicker and start afresh.  I don’t know what direction I’ll take now, but it is my goal to make this blog a little less aimless in future.

(suggestions welcome)

Old stone

Some brick and stone work around South Wales.  Some of it is old, some of it is newer but made to look old.

Talking to Britons, one of the things that came up is architecture and how they feel so tired of everything being made to match Victorian architecture, and wished for more modern-looking buildings.  And of course, being American, I’m sick to death of modern architecture and love seeing buildings, houses, churches, that might only be 200 years old (or younger), but look like they’ve been there for a millennium.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle stands in the middle of the city of Cardiff, just North of the city centre (I’ll use British spelling), quite easy to get to if you’re out on the town, just remember that they close at 6 and stop letting people in at 5.  Definitely go see it if you’re traveling in the area.

From what I remember from watching Secrets of Great British Castles, Cardiff Castle stands on the ruins of an old Roman fort, and was originally constructed during the reign of Edward I.  Talking with an Englishman at the bar one night, evidently castles of this sort are called “war castles,” built during either the Norman Invasion or the English conquest of Wales under Edward Longshanks.  As you can see, it’s a motte-and-bailey style, but of course the original structure would have been made of wood.

Cardiff Castle is sort of looked down upon by locals specifically because it isn’t all original, though I don’t know why, if they were already building it in stone by the 1200s.  The main problem is that the Marquesses of Bute started their own “restorations” in the 1800s cashing in on the gothic revival fad of the time (many wealthy noblemen of the time tore down castles built in the 14th and 15th centuries to make something more in keeping with what was considered a castle at the time).  I believe there was rather a large stink raised about the demolition of the medieval inner bailey wall along with other buildings dating from at least the 1300s.  The grounds of the bailey would have held extensive gardens, but now are just lawn.

There was a rather impressive collection of buildings on the outer bailey wall built (or restored) during the 1800s and containing rather impressive living quarters, said to be kept as close as possible to medieval dwelling conditions.  Unfortunately I did not have enough time to take the tour, preferring to wander the castle grounds by myself and only leaving right when they closed.  I’m still impressed with what I saw, and coming from a country where something built in the 1850s is considered old, Cardiff Castle is still properly ancient.

Cemetery (repurposed)

Rock Chapel, Blackwood.  A converted church that is now a private residence as well as a B&B, the husband and wife team who own it are big supporters of the Wales International Documentary Festival.  The chapel was my base of operations, and the graveyard outside provided much photographic inspiration over the two days of the festival.

As the chapel itself has been renovated and repurposed, so too has the cemetery outside.  I’d make a joke about the neighbors being quiet, but actually they weren’t, especially at feeding time in the morning.  I never knew sheep could be so excited over breakfast, but what they lack in facial expressions they make up for in the height that they can jump.  I thought for sure I had more pictures with the sheep in the graveyard, so maybe they’re there and I’m not looking hard enough…maybe they’re lying in wait, ready to pounce…

Bittersweet

I already started posting pics from Wales, but before delving into more of those rather bigger posts, I’ll share a few miscellaneous pictures with you.

I grew up watching British television, and though it wasn’t my goal while I was in Wales, I did get to catch a few episodes of Father Ted actually being broadcast on Channel 4 reruns (RIP Dermot Morgan, and now Frank Kelly).  On my walk around Cardiff I went past the Doctor Who Experience, but was unfortunately too late to take the tour.  I snapped a few pics of the exhibitions in the lobby, and of course you have to get one of the daleks!  John Hurt was one of my favorite actors and I was looking forward to see him star in Terry Gilliam’s newest film before he was diagnosed with cancer.  I always thought he’d make a good regular Doctor, but sadly that dream, like so many others, will never come about now.  Since coming back from Wales I’ve learned that the Doctor Who Experience will be closing at the end of the summer, so I’m really disappointed that I wasn’t able to get further than the lobby.