Instagram Love

Thanks to everyone who tagged, Facebook and Tweeted this week, here are some random selections from Instagram. The winners this week are: from Instagram @dallenp51 and @rocafish the third winner is from Twitter, @ThePhotoBusKC. Tag, Tweet and share Facebook post for a chance to win each week! Winner please email contact@fourcornerstore.com with your addresses.

See you all next week!

 

February 20, 2014 by Nic Nichols

Alcatraz photographed with our C-41 Black and White Film

Setting off on the ferry to the island, it really doesn’t seem like it would be that far of a swim. Cold, yes. But really, not one of those guys could make the swim? They said that Alcatraz was one of the few prisons with Hot showers- as they didn’t want the prisoners to acclimate to the cold bay water. A certain sense of weight is felt the moment you start walking around the complex, and it gets much stronger while you walk through the rows of cells that once housed some of the worst Men who ever lived. We have always found a strange beauty in old prisons, and we are lucky to have Eastern State Penitentiary close by in Philadelphia. Both prisons are kept in a ‘preserved decay’ so that you really feel what it would be like to have been there all those years ago. 

You can find the Black and White film here.

For more info on how to visit Alcatraz, click here.

 

                 

February 18, 2014 by Nic Nichols

Instagram Wednesday!

A sampling of the Instagram Post tagged with #fourcornerstore this week. Tag us each week for a chance to win some fun prizes. This weeks winners are: jjuan68archarmaineabuya, nevin_himmel and j_a_n_e_t. They each get a Gizmon Soft iCa iPhone case. Check back next week for more winners!

February 13, 2014 by Nic Nichols

The Bushman of San Francisco

After an early morning trip to Alcatraz, and a very nice Ceviche lunch at Butterfly, We went for a cab to Chinatown. Standing on the curb We noticed what looked like a man with two home-made trees sitting next to a trash can. As I walked up behind him, he jumped up and scared the passing tourists. They shrieked, We laughed. So did quite a few other people. We only wish I’d been further down the street so We could see the act from the front.

We stopped over and gave him five bucks and asked if we could snap a few photos, which he agreed to if ‘I was quick.’ I got my Holga out and he posed for a few shots and then told me to move on so he could make some money. And apparently he makes quite a bit. $60,000 plus a year, for jumping out and scaring tourists. And they say he’s still homeless after 30 some years of this. Even taking into consideration that he’ll have good and bad years, and most likely didn’t pull 60 grand in 1980, that’s still probably over a Million dollars. Tax Free. Even when people complained enough to have him tried for harassment, the jury found him not guilty.

So if you ever find yourself strolling on Fisherman’s Wharf, keep an eye out for a strangely placed shrubbery on the sidewalk. Then just sit back and watch the action, but don’t forget to drop that nice crisp dollar in the coffee can. He’s got that second Million to make…

Photographed with:

The Holga 120n

Ektachrome 100 Film

February 11, 2014 by Nic Nichols

The History of the Holga Camera

Holga cameras were first produced in Hong Kong in 1982. The Holga 120 was the very first medium film format with almost all it’s parts made in plastic.

The product concept of the Holga 120 was born our of the market situation prevailing at the time of it’s creation. At that time, which was the late seventies,  the photographic market was dominated by 120 format cameras. These camera’s were precision optical ‘machines’ which naturally commanded high prices that were not affordable by the public in general. From such a background there sprang the vision of a dream 120 format camera which, while encompassing the basic functions needed of a camera on the one hand, would be priced at t a level within the reach of basically anyone on the other.

The project was commenced in the year of 1980 and it took two years before it came of the drawing board in 1982.  However things had changed quite drastically during those two years and, by the time the Holga was released into the market, handy 135 cameras had already become popular.

Ironically and most unfortunately, the mass market of 120 cameras was already displaced by 135 cameras when the Holga became ready.

Nevertheless, it was not the end of the world. Although the mass market was gone, the Holga 102 still found itself welcome by consumers in the educational markets because, exactly in accordance with the product objective, it was and still is a very affordable 120 camera. The Holga 120 was recommended by teachers around the world, particularly in the United States, to photographic students because of it’s affordability and general capabilities. It is far from being perfect, but sufficient for the students to taught he fundamentals of photography, explore their talents and sharpen their skills.

Life is full of amazements. Just when it was the that the Holga 120 would only stay in schools, the Holga 120 suddenly dawned on a group of unorthodox photographic talents who, unlike their conventional counterparts, spotted the beauty of the camera in it’s imperfections.

The appearance of Dark Corners, the irregular edge of a photo caused by the accidental waviness along the edge of the film, the occasional partial light leak due to the inability of the plastic parts to shut out the light completely, ect, ect… have all converged to one point – the fun and uniqueness arising from unpredictability, almost on a random basis, and the satisfaction resulting from the creation of a piece of art which is the one and only one in the whole world. There are people who, half jokingly and half seriously that no two photos from a Holga would be alike as they are acts of God. It’s the unpredictablitiy of the Holga 120 that has fascinated, if not mesmerized altogether, it’s foams’ and made itself a popular product around the world.

The design of the Holga 120 was a thorough implementation of the concept of simplicity. Despite it’s simple construction and the use of plastic as a basic material, it has the majority of the functions expected of a basic camera. When the back of the camera is opened, basically all of the mechanisms of the camera show themselves immediately.

Other then the product concept of an affordable 120 camera in plastic, the Holga 120 also amazed the market at the time with an extremely special feature which dwarfed even it’s counterparts from the major camera brands – it has a built in flash, which was almost non-existent in those days.

Although it was started as a 120 format camera, adapters to enable the use of 135 films are also available. Moreover, through the efforts over the years to satisfy the needs of users, a whole line of accessories ranging from color filters to fisheye lenses, to wed angle lenses and to macro lenses have been developed to bring more fun.

Today, Holga Cameras, not only limited to the 120 model are love by multitudes of photographic enthusiasts in all four corners of the earth. Lovers of the cameras in China even created the cute name “Big Brother Monkey” which is a Chinese phonetic approximation of “Holga” pronounced in English, for the series. We are truly grateful of the patronage for Holga products which has been afforded to us by users worldwide. It is our pledge to continue to devote our resources and the best of our efforts to developing more products in the range for the fun and enjoyment of all those who have been our patrons over the years and also those who will be joining this Holga world of fun for years to come.

Check some great Holga items that we use everyday:

The Holga 120n Camera

The Holga 135 35mm Camera

Shanghai 120 Film

February 05, 2014 by Nic Nichols

Cross-Processed Holga Goodness

Usually when we load up to hit the post office, Fed-Ex or UPS we’re shipping cameras and film all over the world. But today we got a nice big box from the folks at OldSchoolPhotolab.com... a nice big box of Cross Processed goodness.

Many readers and customers have asked where to get really good cross processing on the East coast, and now you have a great resource with free shipping both ways. Not only is the service quick, but the scans are great- saturated, clean, and with the 8 year old Kodak 100 Chrome, we got some great colors. Check out their site for more info. All images shot with the Holga 120n on Expired Ektachrome

 

 

All Images ©2014 Four Corner Store

January 29, 2014 by Nic Nichols

Using 120 film in a 620 Camera (the lazy way...)


Disclaimer: this story has an unhappy ending.

Since I started in with toy cameras people have gone out of their way to dig up old relics and hand them over. It’s like, “Oh, you enjoy using crappy film cameras? Boy do I have a treat for you!” I’ve been given everything from a dusty Smena to an original Diana. Aside from taking over all available shelf space, the cameras often turn out some nice shots.

But not all old cameras are immediately ready to rock. I was stumped when a friend gave me an Argus 75 that uses 620 film. 620 isn’t made anymore and it’s slightly but critically different from the ubiquitous 120 film.

I learned I could respool 620 onto 120, but my darkroom fieldtrips are sporadic and I just never got around to buying a changing bag.

Then one day I was hanging out with the SF Toy Camera Meetup group (which, incidentally, is hosting a 620 workshop at Photoworks SF this week…) over at Bill McClaren’s studio in Oakland. When Bill heard my dilemma he offered a brilliantly simple solution…

120 film (on the right) has a flange around the ends of the spool, which is made of plastic. 620 spools are metal, slightly smaller in diameter, and also employ smaller holes. Thankfully, the film itself is functionally identical.

The holes aren’t so important (a 620 camera can almost always turn a 120 spool), but the flange will prevent 120 spools from fitting in 620 cameras.

What’s a retro-camera-phile to do? Just get yourself some toenail clippers and start trimming!

Snip the flange off both ends and you’re set! Just load the film and shoot away. The numbers on the paper backing will line up perfectly. I was able to use trimmed plastic 120 spools on the take-up side as well (all cameras are different, and I can’t guarantee this will work in every one). If you do use a metal 620 spool for the take-up, be sure to tell your lab you want it back after processing — they’re in rare supply these days!

Here are two shots I took on 120 film with my 620 Argus Seventy-Five:



I mentioned an unhappy ending… Unfortunately we’re out of time today! So please stay tuned for next week’s post covering the tragic true story of my septuagenarian Argus 75’s epic high-altitude demise, ensuing rescue attempts, and the poor crippled camera’s bittersweet fate.

Ian Tuttle is a photographer, writer, and MBA student in San Francisco, California, USA. His website is: ituttle.com.

January 23, 2014 by Nic Nichols

Putting your Subject in the Camera

From Photographer Ian Tuttle comes this ingenious DIY. We met Ian in San Fran during our Photowalk, and were quite impressed with both his work and his exubarent personality. See more from Ian on his website, and read on to see how you can Put Your Subject Inside of the Camera.

Toy cameras don’t have a lot of moving parts or complicated mechanisms, so there’s lots of empty space to play with. I got some 1/8” figurines meant for model railroads, some Elmer’s glue, and my Diana F+, and went to work.

The Elmer’s glue takes a minute or two to dry, but the benefit of this type of glue is that it holds tight while you’re shooting but is easy to remove when you’re done. Try to find figurines that are standing in interesting poses. Notice the man waving, and the guy with the brief case…

Elmer’s glue takes a minute or two to harden. Be patient.

When you glue them in there, remember that the light passing through the lens is inverted, so if you want your people right-side-up, you’ll need to glue them to the ceiling of the camera, so they’re hanging down like bats.

Now shoot away! Here are some examples of the results…

January 13, 2014 by Nic Nichols

C-41 Process Black and White Film Examples

We love Black and White film here at Four Corner Store, but we don’t always like the hassle of processing it by hand. We searched around to find what we think is the best all around solution, and boxed it up just for you guys. Each pack of our new film contains 4 rolls of C-41 Process Black and White specially packed just for us using Ilford stock. That means you can drop it right off at any local hour-lab and have gorgeous Monochrome images in less then an hour. It’s 400 asa, so any light situation works just fine. Below are some examples that we’ve shot with a Holga 135 at the amazing Longwood Gardens

January 09, 2014 by Nic Nichols