Sunday, August 14, 2016

Back at it

I keep looking for missing things, and finding things I didn't know I had... lenses, cameras, accessories... I think there was a period where people just started sending me things and I didn't have a chance to use or catalog it all before I stopped actively collecting. There was also that period where I didn't want to make any new pages because I thought I was on the verge of upgrading my hand-coded html site to WordPress. I think that was around 2006. Pretty much the same time I got into songwriting and music production.

So as you know I've finally converted my entire site to WordPress and have suddenly found myself shooting and developing film again, and today I found a camera I didn't know I didn't make a page for... and took it apart and cleaned and repaired it. Was just like riding a bicycle. Or fixing a bicycle.

New page for the Canadian-made Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 at

Monday, July 18, 2016

New site is online!

It's online! Matt's Classic Cameras site has been rebuilt and is better than ever!

What's not done yet: sample image galleries are coming soon - I'm splitting this into one gallery per camera section instead of having them all on one big page. I'm also still fixing dead links, as many of the sites I used to refer to have sadly fallen off the web entirely. However, there are new ones to take many of their places, I just have to gather them and update pages.

Once this is done, I will be adding in the pages that never quite got finished, including:

Elikon 35CM
Nikon EM
Nikon FM2
Perfex 55

If you find anything really broken or weird let me know. Also, let me know if you miss having the list of thumbnails and descriptions on the camera pages themselves, I'm on the fence about that.

Cheers & happy shooting!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New site coming soon!

It's officially in progress, and I mean actually really and truly in progress, the updated Matt's Classic Cameras site that I've been kicking around for years!

It's about half migrated now, after only a few days of work, and after several years of false starts and dead ends, trying to develop a custom theme for Wordpress, then learning Drupal theming and administration, and in the end, when I was ready for it and it for me, finding a Wordpress theme that was just right at the time I needed it most and just diving in with both feet.

Slick, clean, modern, and responsive, basically everything I've wanted in the site since I started looking for a solution. Once it's all ported over from my current static html site, I'll go back through and update broken & missing links and make sure everything works, but won't be changing the site content people have come to know and love. I want this version live as soon as possible.

Bonus - I've found pictures of cameras I forgot I had that I'll be adding to the site, so there will actually be some fresh content for the first time in years. I'm so glad that there has been a resurgence in film camera use and to see that the love for film continues. I hope that I've been a contributing factor in my own little way, that was my intent for this site from the very beginning!

Check my Twitter for more timely updates!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Weston Exhibit at Scott Nichols

Edward Weston, Pepper No. 30
Hey everyone - I'm getting back into film photography and home developing after a long break. One of the things I wanted to make sure I add back into my regular rotation is gallery visits. And this was one I couldn't pass up. Last week I went downtown to see an exhibit of original Weston prints at my favorite gallery in San Francisco - Scott Nichols Gallery at 49 Geary.

Scott put together a unique exhibit of multi-generational Weston talent - Edward and Brett of course, but also amazingly talented Cole, Kay, Cara, Kim, and Zach. It was extremely inspiring. The cherry on top of the exhibit was seeing not only original prints of Pepper No 30 and Nude (Charis) Santa Monica, but side by side prints by Edward and Brett of the same negatives such as Floating Nude, 1939. The old, yellowed, faded original and the 1970s era black and white print by Brett, crisp and clear as if it were taken yesterday. Just fascinating.

Also as I tend to do, I start at the 5th floor and work my way down, taking in Robert Koch, Fraenkel, and other galleries. Always a treat. Koch, another one of my favorite photography galleries, had an exhibit of talented and whimsical Kenneth Josephson prints, also inspiring. Sad to say that much of that building has become dot coms and booksellers instead of galleries. Honestly, I don't have anything against antiquarian books, but my gallery adventures are much shorter now than they used to be.

At any rate, check them out if you are in the area. Happy shooting!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Google Drama and Site Change

Well the unexpected drama appears to be over for now. When Google unexpectedly stopped serving ads to my photo site a couple of weeks ago, claiming that this page is pornographic, I panicked. Within 24 hours I removed all AdSense add from pages with nudity on them, as requested, but was denied appeal to get the ads reinstated.

So what I did instead was to split my camera subsite out into its own full website, and crosslinked it with the photo page. It would have gone smoother except that a BBEdit global search and replace went badly and required me to hand-update about 300 pages with new footers. Doh! The next step, of course, is to convert the entire site to Wordpress, as soon as I can either figure out how to get domain masking activated with Bravenet or (ugh) change hosting.

If you, dear reader, could do me a favor and go click around to help get those pages back into Google's search index it would be greatly appreciated! Also - any static links you have to the old pages will need to be updated. Thanks for all your support!


Friday, March 02, 2012


My faith in the youth of America has been restored, even while Kodak slips into obscurity. Today near Kezar Stadium, instead of the usual skate rat & digital movie cam crew was a 20something man setting up his Hasselblad to take shots of skaters on the entryway steps. The Hassy had a Planar and a Polaroid back for test shots before shooting on slide film. He had three remote-trigger strobes, one of which was the legendary Vivitar 285. Sigh. Play on.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Just developed my first roll of b/w film in... years?! Yes, the bug has bitten me again. So I took stock of my chemicals the other day and found that most were dated 2008, and one was dated 2004. Not good! (As a rule, I put masking tape on my bottles with the month and year of mixing it, or write it on the label if it's pre-mixed. It doesn't last forever, especially the developer. Fixer lasts a little longer.)

Luckily I did have one packet each left of Kodak fixer, developer and hypo clear in the drawer, and made all new batches after cleaning out the bottles. Then I developed the roll of film I had from my Konica T-3 that I finished shooting last fall -- I had found it with film in it from I'm not sure when! All shot with my very cool Konica mount Sigma 35mm lens. We'll see how it turns out when I scan the negs.

my notes - yikes!
While refreshing my chemicals and prepping the darkroom I found my well-used development notes, the ones I pieced together from various sources and modified through trial and error like any good recipe. Decided I'd type them up and print them so I can actually read them this time around!

Was surprised that I remembered how to load the developing tank reel in the dark -- guess I've had more practice at that than I thought. Again, the important thing is knowing where everything is (bottle opener, scissors, tank) so you're not fumbling in the dark. It wasn't all quite like riding a bicycle, but it came back pretty quickly, especially the smell of the chemicals. You develop a fondness for them, somehow. So to speak.

This time around I'll be scanning the negs instead of printing them, and uploading them to flickr after flipping them in Photoshop. Coming soon!