and don’t tell me “bring them all”, because that would require a seperate suitcase

The annual fretting over what cameras to take to Louisiana has begun. (And to a lesser extent, what shoes.) When I went last summer for Granny’s birthday I only brought the Holga, so this time I think I’ll bring the Diana F+, with both the regular and 35mm backs. I’m hoping someone gets me the Golden Half camera (pleasepleaseplease) for Christmas, so I don’t think I need to bring any other trick cameras. Umm, maybe the Pop 9. It’s small. Or perhaps the Oktomat, which I’ve barely used since I bought it. Aaargh.

Okay, the F+ and the Oktomat. And the digital and Instax, which I bring everywhere anyway, so it goes without saying. But if I don’t get the Golden Half, I’m going to be piiiiissed that I didn’t bring the Pop 9.

Last night I was organizing stuff and stumbled across a stash of film I didn’t even know I had. I must have put it in one our family’s infamous “safe places” (translation: Forget all about it until you stumble across it up to a decade later) when I moved. I found 3 rolls of 35mm color, 2 rolls of 35 mm redscale, 3 rolls of 35mm color slide, a pack of Instax, and a roll of 120 B&W Ilford. But I still hope I get all the film I asked for for Christmas, because you can seriously never have too big a film stash. It all gets used eventually.

This isn't my photo, the roll is still in the camera

I haven’t shot the F+ in months, and this morning was a beautiful sunny interlude between rainstorms (although it started getting overcast around noon). So I slapped the 35mm back onto it and loaded it with a roll of Lomography ISO 400. (Shut up, I like their 35mm film. And I don’t think it’s all that expensive.) And practically the first thing I saw upon leaving the house was that one of my neighbors had stuck about 2 dozen pink plastic lawn flamingos all over their front yard.

Leave the house with a camera, and you will be rewarded. You just have to keep your eyes open.

ETA: I think the flamingos were actually a prank, because they were never there before — I walk past that house twice a day on my way to and from the bus stop, I think I would have noticed — and they were gone when I came home in the afternoon. Not to mention you’d have to be crazy to put that many lawn flamingos on your lawn; they were so close together you couldn’t even have walked between them. They’d have to be taken out every time you mowed.

If you think about it, that’s really a hilariously bizarre way to prank someone. And it’s not even mean in the way that egging or TPing someone’s house would be.

felties & mini cameras

  • Samurai Cat: I don’t think samurai wore rice farmer’s hats, but okay.
  • Retro Alien: This one cracks me up and is one of my favorites.
  • Vivid Squirrel: The design on this one was kind of weird. It was supposed to be looking up, I guess, because the eyes were way at the top of the head. But the nose was on the VERY top of the head, and I kept thinking “But if it lowered its head, the nose would be ABOVE the eyes, and that makes no sense.” And it really, really bugged me, so I decided to make it face-forward and put the nose in the middle of the face and the eyes above it.
  • Pirate Mouse: The bullet-stuffed (silver bugle beads) bandolier came out perfect. And I like her ears. (I have decided it is a lady mouse pirate. Arrr!)

In other news, I turned 35 several days ago, and my mother still asks me for a Christmas list. Whenever I tease her about it, she says “Well, how am I supposed to know what you want without one?” Perfectly logical, yet it still tickles me.

The item that is this year’s OMG MUST HAVE OR I WILL DIE (or more likely, just buy it myself) is a SuperHeadz Golden Half camera. It’s a mini 35mm camera, which means it takes 2 photos on each negative. You can either cut the prints in half for a mini photo, or (much more interesting) make both images relate to each other in some way, like a diptych.

I’ve been researching mini cameras for a while and was struggling with the choice between the Golden Half and the Diana Mini. My first instinct was to go with the DM, because I love my F+. But I also heard a lot of good things about the GH, and when I did some reading, I noticed a lot of bad reviews for the DM, and not just from the usual suspects who don’t “get” Lomography and are always ready to bash any lomo cam.

Basically it seems like the DM has gone beyond the acceptable “cheap toy” assemblage and into “cheap junk”. A lot of users complain parts break and/or scratch the negatives on the first roll. And everyone says the shutter release is so stiff that they always wind up shaking the camera. It does have more options than the GH: 4 focal settings (the GH has a fixed focus), and the option to get single square format exposures.

But you know, I have an F+ AND a Holga, and I don’t really need another camera that takes murky, fuzzy photos. GH users say the camera is sturdy and takes really nice crisp photos. It also has a really wide lens for the size, which I find intriguing. It doesn’t come with a flash, but it has a hot shoe, and I have an adapter for my Diana flash, so I can use that (I adore that flash).

Maybe one day when I have a job again I’ll get a Diana Mini as well, but right now I want the Golden Half a lot more. The only problem is getting my mother to get over her outdated paranoia of shopping online. SuperHeadz is a Japanese company, and the only brick and mortar stores that seem to be selling the GH in the US is Urban Outfitters. But I don’t think she’s going to want to go to New Orleans or Baton Rouge just to get me a Christmas present.