It’s fair to say that TTV has become somewhat popular. Over in the Flickr TTV group, the membership has grown to nearly 5000. This blog should really start to reflect what’s happening. My time is very limited so again I ask for contributers / moderators for the blog. It’s a shame we’re not putting more stuff out there related to the technique.
For some time now I’ve been keen to work on some specific photography projects. Until now, time hasn’t really allowed me the chance but that’s all set to change. My biggest bugbear regarding TTV is whether it has longevity as a technique. It’s challenging, considering I set the TTV blog up as I felt there was definitely something going on worth documenting. And now i’m here ready to face these doubts head on.
I’ve always thought TTV would work well with portraiture. I think the style adds a unique view of a person. Maybe that’s to do with the subject looking somewhat bemused when faced with a contraption for the first time. But that aside, all the little quirks that makes TTV what it is, brings something out of each subject. I don’t know what that is yet, but that’s half the joy of trying…
From scouring the discussions on the Flickr group, there are some who have used the technique for specific purposes or projects. Some have also had exhibitions which we hope to feature on the blog before too long. I guess it would be useful to get these highlighted and blogged so that we can see what has already been achieved, and in turn, this can give us ideas and inspiration to go forward with our own projects.
In a way, by writing this post I have answered my own question somewhat. I know that by documenting the technique and making it available to others, allows it to grow and develop and take it to a wider audience. Most of us are inspired by other photographers and I know many photographers have already been inspired by the likes of Mr E, Russ Morris etc. I guess i’m just looking at how those who take up the TTV challenge now and in the future, use the technique to forge their paths creatively, how we should document this and how others could benefit.
If you’re just getting into ‘Through the Viewfinder’ photography (TtV), you’ll soon discover that there are a number of common base cameras to choose from. The classic is the first edition “Kodak Duaflex” (image #1). It has the advantage of being lightweight (12oz) and streamlined without a light-reflection-shield, as you’ll find on later models: “Duaflex II”, (image #2), the “Duaflex III”, and “Duaflex IV” (image #3).
If you can’t find an affordable Duaflex, a common alternative is the “Argus 75”. This bakelite framed camera is noticeably heavier in weight (18oz) than the Duaflex styles, but you’ll generally find a bright, clear viewfinder glass within the Argus series. There are a couple name variations, yet except for cosmetic trim, they are virtually identical from a TtV standpoint. Shown in the center row, (images #4, #5, #6) are the “Argus Seventy-Five”, the “Argoflex Seventy-Five”, and simply the “Argus 75”.
Another camera which tends to be plentiful on the resale market is the “Kodak Brownie Reflex” (image #7) This slim profile, lightweight (14oz) camera sports a standard size viewfinder. I’ve collected a few of these, and each had mold growing on the mirror or lens interiors—this results in a dirty lens style, which some TtV’ers seek.
My personal favorite TtV base camera today, is a “Ansco Rediflex” (image #8), It’s a little larger than the previously mentioned cameras and weighs 16oz. What makes this camera special is the very large and bright viewfinder, with surreal edge distortion–if the black vignette mask is removed/missing. On the other hand, the larger “Anscoflex” (image #9) has a fun retro exterior, yet often is found with a plastic viewfinder lens, so it may not offer as bright and clear an image as some of the previously mentioned base cameras.
Really, the selection of base cameras for TtV is broad and wide. This small collection is only a sampling if you look around a bit. Share your story if you have a favorite TtV base camera, by leaving a comment! –Val Cox
There are about 12 finalists on show over at JPEG mag now. Not sure if that is the end of the competition or whether they will wittle it down some more. Anyway, here’s the link and I’ll update with a review sometime soon.
Just a quick post to announce that the TtV group over on Flickr has tumbled past the 3000 mark….There are many signs that the technique is gaining interest within photography circles (especially online) but we still await some signs that it has reached the mainstream consciousness. Got quite a few things in the pipeline for the blog but time only permits so much activity.. So for now, as our AWOL friend would put it… Love ya work!
Thanks to Chrys for posting on the Flickr group.