photography, writing, fine art... stuff ... other stuff ...

Shona ... Rebecca ... Yu Mi ...

These were all taken with Kodak folder cameras, either a Vest Pocket Kodak 3A or a Folding Brownie 3A. The 3A series were designed to give postcard-sized images on 166 film, an obsolete size. The pictures were taken by running modern 120 film across the 3A film gate, giving a negative roughly 6 by 14cm.

The first row shows early efforts ... focus and exposure off, also problems with film fogging on unloading the camera. But they sort of work.

After trying tungsten lighting and the camera's own shutter speeds, I shifted to flash ... using an open flash technique; I've also shifted to using a 'ground glass' sheet (actually, these were all greaseproof paper) instead of relying on focusing scales.

Lenses on the 3As vary greatly in quality, from basic meniscus to Bausch and Lomb triplets. The better ones give surprising sharpness in the center of the neg, but most go pretty fuzzy at the edges (though top and bottom of the 120 film are, of course, still fairly central in the 3A film gate). But I like the effect. The main drawback of these older lenses is that they're very prone to flare, which is why I've stuck to black background and side lighting.

Next step is trying to go in closer, using lenses from more recent folders, either 6x6 or 6x9 cameras with standard lenses around 80 - 105mm. The 3As have lenses in the 140 - 170mm range, so the bellows extension will allow much closer focus on the shorter lenses. This will also allow me to experiment more with panoramic shots of body sections, rather than just full-length figures. And real ground glass!