Camera Oddities: Yashica Dental-Eye Dental 80s medical camera.

Last weekend in Boston while visiting the girlfriend, I came across an older woman selling a few cameras. Most were your typical junk --- plastic point and shoot cameras, and then I came across this case:

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I opened it and saw a massively wide lens on what looked like some kind of modified Yashica body. At first look, I thought it was one of those undesirable mirror telephoto lenses, but upon further inspection and research, it turns out that this is actually a ringlight (and the only kind I know of that is actually built into a lens).

yashica dental eye

A bit of history about the Yashica Dental Eye: There were a few different models, the one I located being the first production model. As the name suggests, this camera was a medical tool used to take images of teeth. Because of this, that massive lens is a 1:1 macro. I don't think I've ever been able to closer to a subject before. It's kind of unreal, you shouldn't be able to focus that close with a 55mm lens.

I took some photos of my friends Kara, Dave, & Anna with some Ektar 100 film (developed at home in my sink so excuse the dust):

The built in ringlight certainly came in handy, and I've found that sliding it to the off position (on the piece that looks like a battery film winder, but it actually the power for the flash) doesn't always quiet turn it all the way off, and it's difficult to plan your shots accordingly. Seems to be easier to just leave it in the "ON" position.

As far as the digital date readout, this was for some reason only applied on certain photos. This may have something to do with the fact that winding the shutter didn't always seem to work, and I didn't want to force it.

yashica dental eye back

As far as focusing on things that aren't uncomfortably close, this is the furthest away Kara could be to stay in focus:

I've always wanted to be able to get closer to my subject than what my Mitakon 85mm allows. Also, this fabric is a piece of a fancy vintage lampshade.

This quirky little piece of history was a fun camera to mess around with, and I'd like to give it another try in the future. Maybe I'll find some ladybugs when it finally stops snowing in Jersey.

Roll #2: Sarah Roesler, Kayla Savage, and Alayna Licardi

This past week was serendipitous. I was shooting a model on a field on a farm with my Minolta when and the owner pulled up in his pickup truck. He noticed me shooting 35mm film and told me, "I'll be right back". Not sure of what was going on, and a little nervous because I was on his property, I wasn't sure whether or not to wait for his return.

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To my surprise, he came back with a dusty old Canon AE-1 and a lens that he had dug out of his barn. He handed me the camera free of charge and told me to see if I could get it working.

The next day, I took it to my local camera shop. After a little bit of cleaning, and slapping new batteries in, the camera was in perfect working condition! I proceeded to shoot my entire shoot with said Canon AE-1. Here is what I created.

 @Kaylasavage_ & @JesseMurch

@Kaylasavage_ & @JesseMurch

 Suh Dude?

Suh Dude?

Models posts about creepy photographer on Instagram, gets her account banned instead.

Oh, Instagram.

A platform that used to be about creativity, networking, and viewing inspiring images (in chronological order, no less!). In 2018, it has morphed into a platform that cares more about profit, and has allowed corporate greed to to overshadow the needs of any individual user's needs.

 

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A model, Jessica Phoebe (@jessica.phoebs) just had her account banned/removed on Instagram following her story posts discussing a photographer accused of sexual harassment.

 

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She posted a story exposing his actions. A few hours later, her account was disabled.

All she did was share her story, as well as stories of a dozen other models who had negative experiences with this photographer, only for her account to be removed. This is the opposite of the results that her, and frankly anybody else, expected to come out of this.

In this current political climate, and with everything going on with the #metoo movement, Instagram has obviously made a grave mistake. They have banned a woman from speaking out about what happened to her and countless others.

They have taken away her voice.

Instagram's appeal system is basically non-existent. Countless users have attempted to contact Instagram through the settings section of the app, to no response.

What can you do to help?

If you'd like to help, go to the settings section of the Instagram app and scroll down to the section that says "Report a Problem" and speak out about this unjust situation.

 

All we can do now is wait to see if Instagram takes the side of the problematic photographer or the model who simply chose to use her platform to speak out against his actions for the safety of other female artists.

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Forgotten Northwest New Jersey Homesteads.

4 people. 4 Photographers. 2 models. 3 different states. We all meet to explore an abandoned section of Northwestern New Jersey.

My partners for this adventure:

Kayla (CT)- www.instagram.com/KaylaSavage_
Devin (NYC)- www.instagram.com/DevinTimothyNelson
Jennie (NJ)- www.instagram.com/AyitsJennay

The day started out with us visiting an abandoned homestead/ranch that myself and Jennie have previously explored. The site has been abandoned for some time, and although it is located just off the main road, it has somehow avoided vandalism. A beautiful home with white walls that haven't been yet soiled as a canvas for frustrated teenagers...this is rarity in New Jersey, especially up north.

Kayla set up her tripod, stripped down, and posed for a few shots. It's always interesting how open everybody in the art world is with each other. A certain level of trust is created by first impressions, the quality of your work, and those who you associate yourself with.

After she achieved the image she was working on, I was itching to show then the shed out back. This shed houses a bed surrounded by shelves with old cans, cleaning supplies, and old farming equipment.

After shooting this room from inside, we decided we'd to run to the other side and shoot through this conveniently dirty old window that we couldn't have asked for in our wildest photographer dreams.

Devin running to catch me on the other side.

While shooting here, something terrifying happened. A large black SUV pulled in while Jennie and Kayla were undressed and in the shed. My heart stopped. Here I am in the middle of nowhere with two people that I convinced to travel a long away to adventure with me, only to disappoint them.  To give the girls some time to get dressed before they had to face another disgruntled owner (or the Police), I walked out of the shed and approached the vehicle, making sure my camera was visible.

Inside the SUV there was an older couple, most likely the owners of the property before it was abandoned.

I cleared my throat nervously and asked them if they needed directions, and made a comment about how the beautiful the property was. I knew they had seen the girls nude, and they had to have knownwe had been inside the home.

I was ultimately convinced that I was about to have to return to court for trespassing, and on the verge of a panic attack...when something insane happened. The husband told me that they just wanted to make sure that we weren't vandals, and to carry on. My jaw dropped. This was hands down the best experience that I have ever had when getting caught trespassing. They smiled, waved, drove off and left us alone. We couldn't have asked for it to have gone better. Usually the best scenario is one where you are told to leave, and you comply.

Not wanting to press our luck, the girls got dressed and we went on to another location...another abandoned building.

This next one wasn't a home. It was an old summer camp school building, complete with school desks, pamphlets, and of course tons of raincoats.

After talking a quick walk through the building, we decided to clean up a cluttered section and have Kayla and Jennie pose together. It was a strange experience sweeping and moving things around in an abandoned building, but I can honestly say that it was probably more effort than I've ever put into cleaning my own room.  Don't tell my girlfriend that.

Kayla with her tripod and trigger taking some self portraits on the windowsill.

Who doesn't love window blinds?

Then it was time to get Jennie and Kayla together.

Devin capturing a different angle.

Remember when I told you about the school desks? Well, we just had to carry one outside for a few photos.

After a few shots, we were ready to move on...to yet another abandoned homestead. This next one was a bit more off the beaten path. After driving around on back roads for a while, we turned onto a dirt road with a gate. The gate...being a rope tied between two trees that was easily lifted by the girls as I drove my little Honda under it. The last bit was the toughest. A muddy, not maintained, rocky road in a FWD car. We made it halfway, and took the rest on foot.

Shoes muddy, backs sweaty, we made it...and it was well worth it. Another beautiful home, sans vandalism.

Kayla put on a beautiful thrifted vintage nightgown and we started snapping away.

After some time in the house and all of it's multicolored rooms, we ventured to the nearby barn.

Jennie doing anything to get the shot.

Lastly, we entered the silo. Unused wood, nails, and moss covered the interior. Kayla stripped down and we took turns climbing the shaky ladder to get the best vantage point for an overhead shot.

I have no idea how to close out this blog post, and I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to all this so I'll just ask you to check out these talented people on social media and I'll see you next time!

 

-S