Category: Neat Things

Neat stories surrounding Photography. Tidbits, and odd things I come across.

The Argus Museum

The Argus Museum

Located on a sleepy treelined street in Ann Arbor Michigan in an old building is a museum, while not large, holds a piece of Americana, the Argus Museum. I was inspired by Mark O’Brien who mentioned this museum on Episode 108 of the Film Photography Podcast and decided to take a trip to visit on my way home from Ohio on the August Long Weekend.

The Argus Museum

One of the neat features of the museum is where it’s located, not just Ann Arbor, but in the original buildings that the cameras were made in. That’s right, instead of demolishing or letting them fall apart (which would’ve been neat to explore) they redeveloped them, in fact the whole neighborhood if you look closely you’ll see all the traces of the Argus Camera Company.

The Argus Museum

Argus traces itself back to the International Radio Corporation, when the summer came, and people wouldn’t listen to the radio as much, instead of laying the entire force off, they decided to reinvent themselves and in 1936 released a camera, the Argus A. The A eventually gave way to the iconic Argus C line of cameras. If you’ve watched the Harry Potter series of films or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, you will have seen one of these ‘bricks’.

The Argus cameras came at the time when Kodak was king, but the top of the line Kodak cameras were all of European manufacture, the Argus camera was truly an American Camera, and soon found it’s place as an inexpensive quality camera for the everyman. Sadly it wasn’t destined to last, and the company was bought out in the 1970s. Modern Argus cameras still exist but it’s not the same American company.

The Argus Museum

While the museum isn’t that big, you can probably spend maybe 30 minutes there, it’s certainly worth a visit for camera nuts or people just interested in a slice of Americana. The Museum is located at 525 W William St in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is open Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

The Argus Museum

Photos: Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX) @ ASA-800 – Kodak Xtol (1+1)

Undiscovered

Undiscovered

Recently on the FPP Flickr group someone posted up a link to a obscure Chicago Street Photographer named Vivian Maier. Vivian came to the US from France, learned English by going to the theater she wore a men’s jacket, men’s shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.

However one person has dicovered her works and is slowly posting much of it online you can view it here: vivianmaier.blogspot.com/.

I’ve only gotten to page two myself but I’m finding it a fantastic resource for revitalizing my work in the 6×6 format (and she shot on a Rolleiflex!).

Electric Photography…1932?

Electric Photography…1932?

As I was reading through the latest PHSC news letter I came across a neat little article that I’m shamelessly re-publishing here.

George Dunbar found this piece of news in the Modern Mechanix magazine of June 1932. It showed the latest development of an electric camera that worked without film, before the digital age.

It is described as a revolutionary camera developed by Mr. K. Wilcke, a German scientist. Light enters the camera and strikes a glass plate, on which is a very fine coating of a metal-like platinum or gold. It is so fine that it will permit the passage of light. Backed up to this metal film is a layer of selenium, behind which is placed a piece paper soaked in a special electrolyte. The last member of hte group is another metal plate, which serves as a second electrode.

Through the process of electrolysis the image is impressed upon the selenium will be reproduced upon the paper, the most metal being deposited in the dark portion of the picture.

Now, this isn’t digital technology in the sense that we know it, and I’m sure the images weren’t that great, and it was probably a very complex thing to work with. But wow, trying to get away from film since 1932.

Help-Portrait – It’s about Love

Help-Portrait – It’s about Love

As I mentioned in a previous post I was going to this year be participating the Help-Portrait event. That event was this past weekend and all I can say is that it’s all about love.

I’m not talking about romantic love (there was some of that) but love, family love, love of the art, love of people.

The Milton event in which I was a part of took place at the Darling House for kids, it’s a place were families with children who have mental and physical difficulties can go as a respite from taking care of these very special children in their own homes to a safe place with trained professionals to give them a hand and give the families a chance to be just that, a family, to laugh to play, and this past weekend get photographed…a lot.

Seriously we had three stations setup with at least four or five photographers at each. And seriously it was a blast, I had a great time working with photographers of every level, getting a chance to use full studio strobes. But the most important part was that I got to see families that love each other. Sure they may have children who won’t grow up to be the next person to walk on the moon, or invent the cure for cancer, but that didn’t matter, they were their children, or their brother or sister. And they loved them, and it showed in the photos I took of them.

And if wasn’t just the families that loved it, but the photographers also, I personally had a blast! Nothing like checking your ego at the door, not worrying about call backs, future business, no cards, no portfolios. I did it for my love of photography, and making the families happy. And I could tell that the other photographers there did it for the same reason!

Watch the Lion!
Jewels and her handy Lion helper.

Santa's Helper
One of Santa’s helpers going around and shooting candids!

One of the Team
Brent one of the candid photographers.

Does Anyone Know how this works?
Does anyone know how this works? Setting up for the group portrait.

Tom, the organizer was shooting both stills and video on his 7D and put together this wonderful video of us.

Also if you want more candid shots, check out Brent Pilgrim’s blog for a post and photos.