Day 311: An informal portrait.

This weeks fall colors are being interrupted today to present part of a project I’ve been working on.

My father died seven years ago today. I don’t mark this day by bringing flowers to the cemetery or reminiscing. Instead, I try to do things that he would approve of: changing the oil in my car, taking a long ride in the country, or sing at inappropriate times.

This year, it’s pictures.

My father bought a Polaroid Land Camera 100 in the year 1965. That camera saw a lot of use over the years. When we got a small 110 camera and one-hour photo development was more popular in the late-70s and early-80s, the Polaroid spent more and more time on the shelf. Eventually, it remained permanently on a shelf.

Earlier this year, I dusted off that Polaroid, got new batteries, bought some pack film, and started shooting. At first, I was just testing it out to see if it was anything I wanted to keep doing. It didn’t take long to know that I didn’t want to just put it back on its dusty shelf. I wanted it to be useful again.

Day 311 - Garage

And so I’ve been using it. Because it was my father’s camera, I started taking pictures of things that remind me of him. I like to think he’d appreciate that I’m using his camera again, but he always wanted a person to be in the picture. He said it would prove to people that we really did go to the places we said we’d gone to. I think he just liked getting goofy pictures of us.

Day 311 - Garage still life PI have been taking pictures of the same subjects with my pinhole camera as well. I think he’d get a kick out of it, even if there were no mechanical parts for him to take apart and try to put back together. I think there’s still a stand mixer somewhere in the basement that has never quite worked properly since he got his hands on it.

Day 311 - Oil cansIt might not look like there’s a person in any of these pictures, but to me, my father fills the frame in each one.

You can see the ongoing project on Flickr.

Thanks for

Day 280: Pinhole in action.

This is a shot I took of my pinhole camera in the process of making this picture:

Day 280 - Pinhole in actionFunnily enough, both pictures were developed in Caffenol!

I’ve got more plans for that spot, but I need a sunny day.

The Weather Channel tells me that the sunny day I need won’t happen for more than a week. I guess the pinhole camera will have to play somewhere else until then.