I am bribing you to read this post.

Imperial Satellite

Yes, there is the potential to win a free thing. I will tell you how at the bottom of this post. In case you just want to jump down there and read how to enter the contest, here’s the cliff notes version of the meat of this post – I started an Etsy shop for vintage camera stuff and photography-related funtimes. You can get to it through that link or through the widgety thingy on the side of the page.

Okay, long version now.

Whenever I get interested in a subject, I go way, way overboard. When it comes right down to it, I just really love learning how to do something. And I don’t just want to know the basics, no, I want to know why things happen, what the history is behind this subject, and hey, what happens if…? The what happens if? may be my favorite part.

I’m interested in photography – not just recovering found images, not just using old cameras and film, not just making prints – I’m interested in the whole big ball of photography. So, this has led to my accumulating a myriad of photographic stuff in order to experiment with.

And I’ve made some progress in narrowing down what I really like dealing with. There are certain cameras (the Savoy, the Yashica C, etc) I find myself reaching for, certain films that I have fallen in love with (Kodak E100G and Vericolor III, I yearn for you!). There are also things that, for whatever reason, I haven’t connected with as well. I really dislike dealing with 35mm film for the most part, although I’ve come across some ways to use it more joyfully. I have two Canon AE-1 35mm cameras, one with a wide lens and the other with a telephoto, and those are probably the only 35mm full frame cameras I need. This doesn’t mean 35mm is a bad format, it just is a personal preference. The same thing with Polaroid integral films. I’m absolutely thrilled that the Impossible Project has managed to raise these films from dead, and I do enjoy goofing off with my Polaroid One-Step every now and then, but it’s just not a camera I find myself reaching for frequently.

Basically, I have a lot of camera-related material that I’m not putting to full use. So, in the interest of making some excess cash (that will probably be funneled right into more photo paper or something like that), and also in the interest of getting this stuff to people who will actually use it a lot more than I currently am, I started a new Etsy shop called ‘i shoot film like it’s digital.’ Because I do.

Yes, I already have an Etsy shop up and running – Gaslight Dyeworks, which focuses on the yarn/fiber materials I produce. I figured, though, that I would probably be getting two entirely different customer bases, that I should have two different shops. However, if anyone does want to buy yarn and cameras at the same time, I will combine shipping. 🙂

Right now I have mainly cameras and some other paraphernalia listed. I’m slowly sorting out the equipment and materials I haven’t been using or have duplicates of – I currently own 4 Brownie Hawkeyes4! – and getting them listed in the shop. I haven’t started going through my film stash yet, but I’m sure that some of it will wind up there, too. That may include things like respooled 127 or 620 film.

Also, I’m planning on selling little bundles of found slides if people want to use them for crafty projects, and maybe selling some prints of my own photographs if I can actually print them and make them look decent. In addition, I’m also offering, conditionally and with no guarantees, film developing, particularly of film that has been neglected for a long time. I say conditionally because it would depend on how busy I currently am, and with no guarantees, because there’s no way that I can guarantee that a 35 year old roll of Kodacolor-X is going to develop. However, it is something I have some experience with, and something that other people may not have the time or resources to be able to try.

It’s my intent to keep the items available in the shop limited to things that are either interesting in some way or are actually still functional. Trust me, I’ve gotten enough boxes of crap from ebay to know exactly what to save and what to pitch from them. Also, if I’m selling a camera, for instance, that’s broken, I will come out and say that it doesn’t work. If I even suspect that the camera doesn’t work, like in this Ansco listing, I’ll say that, too. I’m in no way interested in selling things under false pretenses – I’m not going to be the person who lists a hundred cameras, and then coyly says in every description, “I don’t know anything about cameras!” I hate that.

It’s also my intent to keep the prices of what I’m selling actually in touch with reality. Do I want to make some money? Of course. But I don’t want to fleece people either. For example, I saw someone on ebay a while ago trying to sell a plain old Kodak Autographic Jr. for a buy it now price of $200. And the listing had a blurry picture with a one sentence description. Really? I guess, if someone buys that, they get what they deserved, but I don’t want to be that person. If I have a camera that I’ve tested out and works fine, if it’s clean, if it comes with additional stuff like a manual or box, I’ll have a higher price on it than a cheap little plastic camera that looks cute but is broken. My goal is to be fair.

I happen to be extremely uncomfortable with self promotion, and I definitely do not intend for this blog to be ‘Oh hey! I’m selling these things! Come give me moneys!!’ If I have something for sale that’s particularly neat, I may mention that, but for the most part, the Etsy widget on the side of the page will probably be the biggest mention of the shop here. I’m going to keep doing the photography related madness, just like usual. In fact, I have an order from Freestyle on the way that contains the few missing pieces to my brand new darkroom set up. Yay! Two word preview of coming attractions: lith printing. I haven’t tried it yet, in fact, I haven’t even successfully made a print using an enlarger yet, but is that going to stop me? No, of course not! Once my secret underground lair (read: makeshift darkroom in the bathroom) comes together, there’s no stopping me!

Which is all well and good, but by now you’re probably thinking, ‘For the love of god, wasn’t there something about winning a free thing?’ So, yes, let’s get back to this little number:

Imperial Satellite

Travis and I went trolling around the more Amish-y part of Ohio a few days ago, and I came home with an embarrassment of cameras. Most of these were bought at an antique store actually run by the Amish, which was a little strange. Anyway, as a gesture of thanks for reading about the shop, I’m giving away this camera as a prize. The winner will be picked at random from anyone who leaves a comment on this post between now and noon Eastern time next Friday (April 30).

Did I mention this?


The camera still has film inside. It’s on frame 10. So, if anyone wants to experiment with developing found film on your own, here’s a little bugger to get you started.

I haven’t advanced the film or opened the camera, so I don’t know what kind of film we’re looking at (I hope it’s not Triple Print!), or even if the camera still works. So, theoretically, this could turn out to be a dud. But, the camera is a cute enough little thing, so even if it’s full of FAIL, it’s still retro-nifty.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far, and for checking out this little photo blog in general. 🙂