David Wilson

"When I was a young child, my Grandmother gave me an old box camera as a gift. She had used it when she was younger, but it had just been sitting in the garage for the past years. I was pleased with the gift, thinking that it would look great with some of the other old cameras(mostly Instamatics) that I had picked up at garage sales. It never occurred to me that it was capable of actually taking pictures. After all, look at the size of the film it must take! They don't have that kind anymore. Years went by, until recently I stumbled across this very webpage, and found out that yes, indeed, pictures can still be taken with these things! I immediately went to work identifying the camera I had, and found out that it was a Brownie Hawkeye Flash. Also, since my model says "LONG" on the long exposure pull up button, it could take 120 roll film(who's existence I had learned about since the time I first acquired the camera.) without modification. I went to the camera store, picked up some Tmax, and waited for a good opportunity to shoot. It came when my family and I went up to Fairplay, Colorado, and visited a recreated mining town. Carefully composing each picture, I took all 12 frames. It was a very fun experience. When I got home, I went into a dark room to rewind the film off the 620 spool and back onto the 120(my lab had to send the film out, and I didn't want to lose me 620 spool.) What an ordeal! I somehow got the film back onto the 120 spool, after many trials and tribulations in the total darkness. I drove over to the camera store, and had the film sent off for development. During the two weeks wait for processing, I discovered that there was a lab a mere two minutes from my house that could process black and white, and give me back a contact sheet. I shot a roll of film around my house and at my local community college, which I attend. I dropped off the film, this time wound onto the 620 spool, and a few days later received a contact sheet with my photos on it. Surprise! Ten out of 12 turned out! My little brothers slightly messed up the sheet, so the scans you see here do have some flaws in them because of that. A week later, I received back my original roll of film, with nice shiny 5x5 prints! They all looked great, and I was rather surprised to see that my compostition actually seemed to better than it is with my 35mm SLR. I think the waist level finder helped me out with that. So, I think that it the future I will continue to shoot with my Brownie, and show all these digital happy consumers that you can take good pictures with a little plastic box with a lens on the front!" -David Wilson

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