Sunday, February 24, 2013

What's In Your Camera Bag? No. 1

What's In Your Camera Bag? 

By Michael Raso


This month's "What's In Your Camera Bag?" was written by Photographer Michael Raso. Here's a little bit about Michael...
"A photographer, producer and filmmaker working professionally in the visual arts for over 20 years, Michael is also the founder of the Film Photography Project and its fortnightly internet radio show, the Film Photography Podcast. Michael's goal? get as many people as possible to experience the joys of shooting with traditional film!

This article details his equipment and ALSO a recent shoot he had in the beautiful New York City. Enjoy! 


                  A themed photo shoot with a model is especially challenging when you’re working with a person for the first time and didn’t have the opportunity to scout out the location. My photo shoot theme is World War II era America as per the suggestion of talented costume designer Jill, who also served as today’s model. My frequent collaborator Paige Davis did hair and make-up.

The shoot came together when Jill contacted me via my Model Mayhem page. She was looking for photographers in the New York City area who could shoot traditional film photography. My profile fit the bill since I exclusively shoot film. Sharing similar interests including a love for all things analog (and VHS tapes!), we were off to an excellent start as a creative team.

We had first made plans to meet over coffee but e-mail correspondences between myself, Paige and Jill led us to the conclusion that why not just dive in and shoot – a test shoot, so to speak. Jill had already secured an amazing WWII-era apartment in Queens, NY, so why not “just do it”.

I spent an hour or so staring at my vintage camera collection deciding what to pack for the journey to Queens, NY.

The final selection for my mixed bag:

Mamiya m645 – The workhorse of medium format cameras and the staple camera for wedding photographers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As a matter of fact, I purchased my entire Mamiya m645 kit from a retired wedding guy. A wonderful camera that has a beautiful “magazine style” film inserts that allows you to pre-load cartridges with either 120 or 220 roll film. 16 exposures per 120 roll or 32 exposures from each roll of 220 film. I expected the location to be tight so I brought my 55mm f2.8 lens

Canon FT – I’ve had my 1966 Canon FT since 1978 when a family member handed it down to me. My first camera never gets too far from sight, A workhorse of a 35mm camera, it’s reliable and does not need a battery to fire the shutter. Today I packed my bag with both a 50mm and 19mm ultra-wide lens.

StarBlitz Pro-5000 Flash – A late 1980s hand-held flash that is always in my bag. Also in my bag is a Lowel 650 Omni light and a set of barn doors.

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye – I always say if you want that “old timey” look then shoot with an old camera! I couldn’t think of a better camera to bring to fit the mood and era than the 1949 Kodak Bownie Hawkeye camera. This particular model was literally picked from the trash and had 60 years of storage grit on it. I cleaned it up as best as possible, tested the shutter and included it in the kit for today’s shoot. The Hawkeye shoots 12 square images on 620 roll film.

The FPP Debonair Plastic 120 camera – This 1980s plastic wonder is a camera that’s exclusive to the Film Photography Project on-line store. I found a pallet of them in a warehouse up in Rochester, NY. It’s not quite a Holga and certainly not a Diana. The Debonair has its own unique, dreamy look and shoots 16 images on a roll of 120 roll film.

Olympus Stylus 80 – Never underestimate the awesomeness of the Olympus line of 1990s-era point and shoot 35mm cameras. The leader of the pack is their Olympus Stylus Epic, a coveted, cult camera and worth picking up. “The” camera to always have in your pocket. Today, I packed the Stylus Epic’s cousin – The Olympus Stylus 80. Today I brought the camera mainly as a Behind-The-Scenes camera but it didn’t surprise me that one of my favorite shots from the day was made using this little marvel!

The LomoKino – Lomography introduced this beauty last year, It’s a hand-cranked camera that shooting 144 small frames per 36 exposure roll of film. Edited together, it produces a silent movie not unlike the style of a 1920-era film. Perfect! (see video shot with the omokino here)

At the time I’m writing this all my film from the shoot isn’t back from the lab but I do have two examples from the inspired day. The black and white image was shot on the tiny, Olympus Stylus 80 / Kodak Tri-X film. The mood was captured perfectly in color by using a 19mm lens on my Canon FT with Kodak expired Kodak Ektachrome slide film. Experimenting with batches of expired film allows me to select a film stock to capture the mood on film. The style and mood is captured in-camera without any post-production or Photoshop effects, which I love!

Here are some pictures of Michael's Equipment

Thank You for reading! 

Also BIG thanks to Michael Raso for writing this up for us! Make sure to go checkout the Film Photography Project here

1 comment:

  1. Mike is the man! Thanks for all that you do, Michael.