On this episode, we’re talking to Jenny Sampson (@jennysampsonphotography on IG), tintypist and author of Skater Girls. We’ll also be taking a good long look at disposable cameras – from the very first in 1886 to the very last … to be released by Kodak in the near future – Apparently, the future is disposable too. We’ll also share some news from Shanghai and ORWO, as well as talk a bit about what we’re up to. Then there’s the answering machine and a couple of zine reviews. Let’s go!
We both recently discovered Jenny Sampson through stumbling upon her book Skater Girls – filled with tintype portraits of skater girls. Then we realized we briefly met at Polacon in San Francisco right before the pandemic hit.
Jenny is a third generation Californian, has been shooting film from an early age, and has spent the last decade or so making tintypes of skaters. She’s also the board president of the East Bay Photo Collective, and is a member of the Rolls and Tubes collective.
Here are a few of her tintypes:
Disposable Cameras: History and Future
From the very beginning of photography, shooting and developing pictures yourself was a huge pain in the ass. The cameras were complicated, unwieldy and expensive. The film wasn’t film, it was glass or tin. And developing was dangerous, highly flammable, toxic and required a cadre of chemicals with names like pyrogallic acid, sulphate of uranium, and chloroplatinate of mercury.
But then in 1888, the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company from Rochester New York released a camera called The Kodak – a wooden, leather-covered box with a single shutter speed, and a single aperture. Inside was a roll of film – invented a few years earlier by Eastman – long enough to take 100 pictures. There was no focusing, no metering, hell, since the photos were round, there wasn’t even a need to level.
Here are some ads and whatnot from various historical disposable cameras:
Portrait of a City by Ben Yount
Bulldozed Future #3 by Ryan Berkebile
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THE CREDITS OF ENDING
Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers