If film is dead, I want to be Dr. Frankenstein. I've been on such a film kick for the past year, it's kind of crazy. I've lost track of how many film cameras I have now, but I just added two very nice retro jewels to my collection. Pictured here is a Burke and James 8x10 view camera. this thing is a beast, I don't even have a picture of the full setup with the rolling stand yet. The camera itself weighs about 20lbs, is solid wood, and has definitely seen better days. But luckily enough for me, it still operates, sort of, and only took $1.04 in parts to get it back together.
Ever since our guest speaker at Hallmark, Barbara Bordnick talked about doing portraits with Polaroid 8x10's, I've been a little obsessed with the idea. The images she showed us were hauntingly beautiful, and I think that film is undoubtedly a more sincere way of capturing a true portrait. Sure its easier with digital, and sure no one may be able to tell the difference, or care, but its an entirely personal thing to me. This is as close to my photography as I can get.
Finding a cheap, used 8x10 camera was easy in my mind, but it took a little bit of searching. It wasn't until a craigslist ad listing cheap hasselblad film bodies did I even stumble upon this one. And to sweeten the deal, the photographer selling this equipment knew my portrait teacher here at Hallmark, Rich Barnes. The whole deal turned into a steal for me, and I wasn't even expecting to get what I really wanted. It was almost in passing that a pack of polaroid 8x10's, a processor and a holder were thrown in.
A couple of wood screws and some fiddling later, the camera is temperamental, sticky, and still just as heavy, but I can see an image on the ground glass. An 8x10 film holder is definitely needed before I try out what may be one of the few remaining packs of 8x10 polaroid in the world. But now, all thats left to do is check to see if the packard shutter behind the lens will sync with some pocket wizards.
Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. -Victor Frankenstein