Windows & Windows — Gakkenflex

During a visit to San Francisco in August of 2010 I picked up a Japanese magazine at Kinokunia bookstore called Otona no Kagaku which means "Science For Adults." Issue number 25 of the magazine included a 2.5 inch thick box that contains all the parts to build a plastic 35mm twin lens reflex camera called the Gakkenflex. I have always told students that a camera is just a tool; what you use for camera does not relate to the intrinsic quality of the photographs. The trick is to use a camera for what it is best suited for. I found the Gakkenflex a strange camera at first in that the film runs through the camera vertically. As a vertical twin lens reflex it was not easy to take horizontal images. Also the pressure to push down the shutter tended to create camera movement. My solution was to frequently use the camera on window ledges and pressed against the glass. That got me interested in windows and the view from windows as a subject. Unlike most of my previous work I did not go out searching for photographs. Instead these were taken in places I frequent regularly and hotels while traveling. I shot 35mm color negative film and used drugstores for processing. The film was then scanned on a nearly 20 year old Leaf film scanner; generally considered one of the best scanners ever made for 35mm color negatives but also as much as a step back in time for me as 35mm film. Although my goal was to publish the images in a magazine format, all of the images were printed at 17X24 for proofing purposes. Prints that size are available as well as the publication. Images are presented here as pairs as they appear in the magazine.

Select the white "i" in the black box in the upper left corner for caption information.

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