Sunday, November 10, 2019

Historic Fire Escape Shadow Obsession

I have boxes and boxes of photos that no one but my photo lab tech has ever seen, and found this representative example from a test roll to see if my Target Brownie Six Twenty works. 

Conclusion: it works!  It is a very old fashioned box camera, and has a little window that pretends to be the viewfinder, with little angled mirrors that more or less tell you where you are aiming.  More or less: the boundaries aren't especially accurate, and I'm a full frame composer, so it was vexing.  I wasn't sure what its focusing range was, so I have a stack of out-of-focus close ups of signs in this stack.

This print (from somewhere in the Mission, maybe on Bryant?) is a good example of  "things that are so detailed I don't want to draw them, but which I LIKE."  For some reason, which I never explain, fire escape shadows are one of those special things.  And you are lucky I don't post more photos like this.

Note that, if I drew this scene accurately, you would be convinced that I got the shadow of the ladder wrong, because the treads aren't visible from the side. But look!  The shadow makes sense!

The redness of the fire escape and alarm bell are satisfying.  I also like the inconsistency in my test rolls - I really AM testing cameras when I wander about.  I don't think I used this camera again, however, mostly because I have to respool film for it onto smaller "620" rolls (which take 120 film, but are just small enough to be a pain).