Here you will find regular updates on what gear I use and how I use it. I like to explore all kinds of sides to photography and will experiment regularly with modified gear to get the results i like.



Digging for gold...

In my last post I mentioned ebay as a great way to find old film photography equipment and camera gear so this time I wanted to share a nugget of gold I dug up a while back. Please meet the Mamiya ZE Quartz Timed Automatic Exposure Camera, the coolest camera money can buy... ( at least in 1980...).

Sporting a quartz-controlled focal-plane metal shutter and a center-weighted photo diode the Mamiya Z series was the last of the 35mm cameras produced by Mamiya. But even as this format was going away Mamiya showed innovation by introducing an electronic coupling system to let the lens communicate with the camera body. This was a risky move since it would render lots of older glass (lenses) useless. Following a bankruptcy in the mid 80’s by the only distributor of Mamiya the 35mm format cameras ended production. This did not mean the end of Mamiya but since the late 80’s Mamiya only distribute high-end medium format cameras. So how much did this baby set me back you ask? A whooping $55.00 including two lenses, a 50mm f1.7 and a 75-150mm f3.8. And all of this in MINT condition, how could you go wrong?!?

 one night in Reno... (Mamiya ZE, Kodak T-Max 400)

Here are some super tips on Mamiya cameras and history. (Awesome site by Ron Herron)




Shooting film in a digital world

Why would anyone use film in today's digital world of facebook, flickr and other on-line oriented media?

Well, perhaps for the same reason musicians still play on acoustic instruments. The invention of a new medium will not necessarily spell doom for another. There is still something magical about holding a print in your hands or looking at great photography in a gallery.

Personally I enjoy the special look of a photo taken with film. I am sure you can obtain the same “feel” with a little work in photoshop but that is not where I want to spend my time. I like to use different kinds of film, filters and exposures to get the shot right the first time. I learned to shoot on digital and I still think this is a great way to discover photography. You can take hundreds of photos in a day while trying out new things and if you don't like them you delete them and try again, but instead of sifting through thousands of mediocre RAW files I try to use the right tool for the job. I shoot film as often as I can but I also use my digital rig and even my Blackberry camera (check out my photos at As the old saying goes “the best camera is the one you have with you” and I ALWAYS carry my phone... =)  photo taken with my Blackberry Bold

 The development and innovation of film have by no means been standing still over the last 10 years. Film making is still alive and well in today’s digital media world and the products out there are some of the best ever, some are even designed to fit your hybrid media workflow. Sure, production has been scaled back but film photography is still a viable and not too expensive option to digital.

But is it really that expensive?

Take this for example, you can spend about $1,200 today and get a good digital camera like the Canon EOS 60D or the Nikon D90 but how will these cameras match against the competition in 3 to 4 years? That doesn't mean that they are bad cameras but in an ever changing digital world the next model with all the “must have” features is always around the corner. You can find a great film camera such as the Canon EOS 630 on eBay for under $20 and load it up with tons of great and ever developing film products. This camera might be from the early 90’s but the film you shoot with it will continue to evolve in the future and better products are being released every year. Try that with your 60D in 2020... ;-)

If you want to discover more about film photography I highly recommend the following sites and pod-casts.



Photography simplified

Photography, simplified

In the early 80’s some genius in China decided to bless the world with a cheap mass-produced excuse for a camera and the Holga was born. The Holga concept is very simple - a plastic camera body with a plastic lens, using medium format 120 film. The camera was plagued with light leaks, vignetting and fuzzy boarders. Despite this the Holga developed a strong almost cult-like following of lo-fi camera aficionados and photography work using Holgas can now be found from college dorms to the most prestigious galleries in the world...

So, how can a plastic $20 “toy” camera have such a following in today's gear driven photo market with HDR, mega pixels, ultra high ISO sensors, Photo Shop and iPhone apps?!?

Because it simplifies photography.

The whole idea of using a camera like the Holga is to free yourself from the technical aspect of photography and embrace the randomness and built-in flaws of the Holga. Using the basic “rules” of photography or better yet, breaking the basic “rules” of photography, this camera is capable of producing the most incredible photographs. I am a total gear-head and given a million bucks I would blow it all on camera stuff at B&H ( ) in one sitting. The Holga slows me down, makes me think about what I’m doing and does not give me the instant gratification of looking at the LCD after each shot. But for all of you who know the feeling of getting a few rolls of film back from the developer knows what I am talking about.... Christmas, birthday, tax refund and the anticipation before a second date all rolled in to one!!!

In short, put that DSLR up for sale on eBay, sell your CS5 copy to grandma and get with the lo-fi movement today using these great links...

So excited you can’t wait for the postman to deliver your new camera?!? Pick one up at Urban-outfitters right now but be prepared to pay the outrageously high price of $60 for your Holga.

Living in San Francisco? I develop my film at or

Please checkout my Holga photos in the Film Photography section.

Have fun...



How to modify a 35mm camera...

In this post I will show how I modified the camera I use to take the 35mm panoramic pictures I have in my gallery section of this website.

For my 35mm panoramic shots i use a modified Black Slim Devil by SuperHeadz. This is a great little plastic camera with a 22mm lens.

 To get the panoramic look i make two small strips of aluminum (from a regular soda can) cut to app. 43mm x 5mm. This can be tricky since the aluminum is "flimsy"and dents easily.

I use regular flat black enamel paint (can be found at any hobby store) to pain the strips black before I glue them to the camera body.

Once the paint is dry I put a small amount of super glue to fix the strips of aluminum in the camera as shown in the picture.

I end by covering any glue or exposed aluminum with the black paint.

You want to ensure that the strips of metal don't have any sharp edges since this can scratch the film and ruin your day.

You can find this camera at several places on the internet however I bought mine at for about $30.00. This is a great website for plastic "toy" cameras, accessories and film.

Time to go outside and shoot!


Page 1 2