Whose cameras are you calling “krappy”?

What if you could take the cheapest, dingiest, slapped-together-with-spit-and-bailing-wire cameras… and somehow get a spectacular picture out of it?  Well, that’s the new challenge for me.  One last photo challenge for the year.

The Soho Photo Gallery in New York City has a “Call for Entries” in its annual “Krappy Kamera” photo competition, in which the photos must be shot with a junk camera.  Whether it’s a Holga, a Diana, one of those cheap toy cameras … that’s what I have to work with.  It’s time for Chuck to be a lomographer.  Hee.

I went back to my archive.  Certainly I could come up with a few photos that were taken with – shall we say – alternate gear.

All right… every picture that was taken with a Nikon, a Kodak or a Rollei … you’re eliminated.  In other words, if I’m picking a kickball team, I’m not using the top athletes.  I’m using the ones that were the last in line.  I know this feeling.  I remember those old kickball teams, and the battle those squads had to pick me.  “You take him.” “No, you take him, we took him last time.”

So for me, that leaves my AGFA and Ansco photos, as well as the occasional Holga shot.  Yeah, I still have that old beat-up black-electrical-taped Holga around here somewhere…  I could also use my Trio3D pictures, as well as shots from my Ansco Cadet or from that old piece-of-shift Revere Electric Eye camera … but I really didn’t have a good set of shots from any of that equipment.

For this project, I’m only using photos that were taken with my punt-and-grunt camera gear.

And after going through my archives… I found five pictures that I think are worth entering in this competition.  Two of the five have already earned awards; two other pictures have never previously entered competition.  Three of the pictures were taken with my old taped-up Holga; while the other two have AGFA branding.

And here they are in this gallery.

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So why am I doing this?  Why am I entering these pictures in competition, including a few that are over four years old?

Because I believe in these photos.  I believe in this work, and I believe in what I can achieve with this gear.  Yeah, I can photograph with Nikon and Kodak and Rollei all day, I can use brilliant color films like Fuji Velvia and Kodak Ektachrome; I can dabble with stunning B&W films like efke and Delta Ilford…

But you also know me.  I love to experiment with film.  I love to make cameras do what they’re not supposed to do.  I love trying new ideas and new concepts.

Besides, I started out the year with one of my pictures – The Three-Two Pitch – appearing in the San Francisco International Photography Competition.  How great would it be to bookend the year if one of my other pictures landed in an international show in New York?

Gotta go with it.

I won’t know until December whether any of these pictures were accepted…

But that won’t ever stop me from trying my best and hoping that what I put together makes the cut.

UPDATE: I just found out that my five entries to the competition were declined.  The winners are listed here.  Congratulations to them and to their successes.

As for me … Competition Season 2014 ended, like most of the competitions this year, with a big fat resounding THUD.