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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Southern Exposures


By Philip Gefter, The New York Times

"They were like perfect little poems," Walker Evans said about the three-inch-square pictures of the American South that William Christenberry took with his amateur Brownie camera.

The Brownie was never intended for exacting documentation or creative expression; it was the camera used for snapshots of family gatherings and vacations in the 1940s and '50s. What a crafty little camera, then, for Mr. Christenberry's persistent chronicle of the regional architecture and artifacts in his native Hale County, Ala. His little snapshots managed to capture the local dialect of his hometown in visual terms.

Mr. Christenberry was born in 1936 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., not 20 miles away from the migrant farmers Evans photographed that same year and later published in "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" with text by James Agee....

READ ON

Posted by DAVID EMERICK


3 Comments:

Blogger fizzy said...

You know, Dianas and Holgas are "cool" so they cost ridiculous sums for lousy cameras, but Brownies are lying around in every junk shop in America. Buy American! I'd get one myself if I hadn't forgotten what to do with the film after I shoot it...

11:20 AM  
Blogger William said...

"......Dianas and Holgas are "cool" so they cost ridiculous sums for lousy cameras...."

A Holga costs less then $20, I don't find that "ridiculous".

11:40 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Brownies are lying around in every junk shop in America. Buy American! I'd get one myself if I hadn't forgotten what to do with the film after I shoot it...

Well, there's also the problem of getting the film in the first place. Kodak hasn't made 116, 616, or 620 film in a long time, and 127 film is pretty hard to find.

To my (limited) knowledge, the only current solution for 116, 616, and 620 Brownies is to buy 120 or 220 film and respool it onto a spool of the proper size… if you can find spools in the first place. Of course, unless you develop the film yourself you'll need to un-respool it after exposure, lest you lose one of the precious spools.

2:34 PM  

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