Mechanical: Still Running Since 1940
Somewhere along the line I bought this Revere Model 80 projector at a Good Will. When my children were young we ordered several 8mm silent cartoons and they were fascinated. The Model 80 was manufactured in the early to mid-1940s still works flawlessly and is an impeccable example of simple, perfect, industrial design. Everything about it is engaging from the distinctive sound of the film loop to the smell of the bulb to the gentle heat it generates. The power cord is still in perfect condition. Since it came with B&W rocket research films I wonder how many secret briefings did it see? How many projects did it support? We will never know, we can only imagine.
How I Shot This
I put a cardboard screen on my gray backdrop. Then I used a dome light on the floor and adjusted the distance get uniform lighting between the projector and the screen and keep the rest of the room dark. The first two shots were done with the tripod in a low position. Shooting in full manual I experimented with shutter speed to get the right effect on the reels. I ended up at 1/6 second which showed motion, but maintained the integrity of the reel as a shape. A fixed whitebalance of 'sunlight' was used since the floor light is 5000k. Then I did the shot of the projection itself (shown) with the camera on auto/no flash.
Shot with Nikon D7500
F3.8 & F4.8 & F5.6
1/6 sec & 1/250 sec
ISO 100 & ISO 5000
Focal Length 36mm & 75mm & 210mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS
The theme is mechanical which means that we are going to step out of the matrix this week and go analog. Our focus will be on metal rather than plastic (though it is often combined) and the raw, physical realness of the machines what we or have ancestors have built. Though we live a very digital and plastic world, we still have a surprising amount of mechanical machinery and industry all around us. Just think of windmills, clockworks, bicycles, farm machinery, steam engines, assembly lines in factories, shipyards and processing plants. This is also an excellent week for trying the lesser known genre of industrial photography. Industrial photography can include anything from a company’s products, the CEO, machinery, infrastructure, or the employees working in the manufacturing section of the company. Focus on a mechanical element in your industrial photo and you have nailed this week’s theme!