Archive for the ‘ polaroid ’ Category

A Slice of New York City

"The Apartments" Polaroid Type 809 print by David A. Goldfarb

My APUG friend, David A. Goldfarb, sent me this wonderful 8×10 Polaroid print. David is an accomplished photographer, University Professor, and prolific writer. I think David is one of the most knowledgeable persons on photography that I have known. He’s always trying something new, both visually and technically.

Sharing a love of working with Polaroid film, and celebrating its demise, we engaged in a Polaroid print exchange. I had sent him my 4×5 Type 52 print, “A Slice of Western Kansas” and now I have “The Apartments”, a slice of NYC, in return. David explains the photograph’s meaning in a note enclosed with the print. with the print.

“This print is one in a series of nine of four highrise apartment buildings known simply as “The Apartments” on traffic reports for drivers headed in and out of Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge. It was also the view from my window in Washington Heights, where we lived for about a year until the day this series was made. These are my last 8×10″ Polaroids.”

“Ted Harris offered this box of Polaroid Type 809 to anyone who offered a proposal to make good educational use of the film and I said that I would make images to be exchanged in the APUG Polaroid exchange and Traveling Portfolio, so that as many people as possible would have a chance to see or own an 8×10″ Polaroid print. I hope this fulfills his intention. After the Traveling Portfolio makes its full circuit, I plan to send the print to Ted’s widow, Amy Rafferty, as yet another reminder of Ted’s generous spirit.”

Ted Harris was a prominent US photographer who passed away, most untimely, earlier this year. I too had sent Ted a proposal for using the box of 809; David had a much better idea than I. I’m glad he got it and commend how he has used it.

Kansas goes to NYC; NYC goes to Kansas, all via Polaroid photography. Most gracious thanks David.

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Old Stone Fort – Flint Hills

Old Stone FOrt, Wabaunsee County

Old Stone Fort, Wabaunsee County

No one that I’ve talked to knows much about the The Old Stone Fort. Located in southwestern Wabaunsee County, Kansas, this old building sits atop a small hill overlooking the old Trail Drover’s Road and a stream crossing. Privately owned, it serves as a convenient place to feed cattle who are grazing on the rich Flint Hills grass. Going west from Volland on Old K-10, find Trail Drovers Road on the right and follow it for a few miles. You should some to the Old Stone Fort.

My guess is that originally this was a Cavalry outpost for Fort Riley. There is also a stable, just to the left of where I was standing. Both buildings were not built for ranch or farm service; they don’t appear to have had the amenities for permanent occupancy of either humans or livestock. The location makes sense as a good place to station a detachment of Horse Soldiers. Trail Drover’s Road was the main cattle trail in the area for driving the herds to the railroad, some six miles away at Volland. The nearby stream crossing was probably important for the cattle drives too. And, the stream could supply water for the men and horses stationed there. All this is just my rank speculation of course.

The negative for Old Stone Fort was taken on 4×5 Polaroid Type 55 sheet film. I loved that film! One more sigh for its demise.

Prints of the Old Stone Fort are available for sale through my APUG Portfolio. Please contact me via e-mail or a Blog comment if you are interested.

All photographs copyright Alex Hawley

New Black & White Still Life

Skull #1 by Alex Hawley

Skull #1 by Alex Hawley

This may be the obligatory Polaroid Type 55 cow skull photo. Seems everyone does one but that’s not why I did it.

Both elements shown came from the backyard; the wood (which is a walkway I built years ago) from my yard, the skull is from the neighbor’s. The skull is an authentic Kansas Flint Hills cattle skull.

Those of us that used Polaroid Type 55 film have been crying our eyes out ever since Polaroid’s demise earlier this year. I bought five boxes and swore I was going to put it to good use. A final fling I suppose.

Gearhead info: 8×10 Deardorff field camera with 4×5 reducing back. Schneider 305 mm G-Claron lens, Polaroid 545 film holder, and Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative film. This scan was made from an 8×10 enlarged print on Kentmere Kentona fiber paper.

A Slice of Western Kansas

A Slice of Western Kansas

My trip to Ft. Collins, Colorado was a double success for it allowed me some photo opportunities in Western Kansas. I got to spend a few hours at the Monument Rocks/Chalk Cliffs in Gove County. I liken that area to a miniature Bryce Canyon. Took some 7×17 shots and I hope I did the place some justice.

From Gove County, I headed South and got on Good Ol’ Highway 50 which took me to this setting just a couple miles West of Kinsley. As a small child, we passed by this elevator frequently on our way to Dodge City. Luckily, it has been preserved by placing it on the Historic Register. Other wise, it would have been torn down long ago. These small Gano Grain Company elevators were once an iconic symbol of the region. Photographer and author Wright Morris made a quite iconic photo of one in the 1940s. I have another shot, done with the 8×10 and from a different perspective, waiting development.

This particular photo was made on Polaroid Type 52 sheet film, another superb product that has been recently discontinued. Such a shame. I feel lucky to be able to show what Polaroid film was capable of. So much more than just the quick snapshot. Ansel Adams knew this well too.

FLASHBULBS!!!

M3 Flashbulbs

Who remembers FLASHBULBS? I can’t remember the last time I saw them used; probably 30 years ago. But I can still remember the spots in my eyes when they went off!

For the past few months, I’ve been collecting some old Polaroid Land cameras for conversion to large format. Today, a Polaroid 250 camera arrived and amongst the little trinkets with the camera was a whole box of these M3 flashbulbs.

So what will I do with flashbulbs? Take pictures of my kids, just like flashbulbs were meant to do. None of my kids, even though they are grown now, have ever had flashbulb spots in their eyes. Now I’m sure they can go through life just fine without that experience, but I’m going to give it to then anyway! And it will be a good bit of retro fun for me to use them one last time.

Here’s a picture of a Polaroid 250 camera. I intend on just using the pack film back from it for one of my roll film Land camera conversions. The back has a very nice stainless steel frame. Made in the USA too. What a shame we don’t make stuff like this anymore. This was really a nice camera in its time and could still be quite useful.

If you have any interest in the Polaroid Land cameras, the Land List website is about as good as it gets.