#PolaroidWeek2014 Day 2: The Frog


In 1997, Polaroid introduced a rounded, bulbous version of their popular One Step design. They were available in multiple colors, the most common of which seems to be green.   The gray version is known as the whale, and the green ones are frogs. Being among the last Polaroids produced, they are plentiful and usually still functional.


I have three frogs in my collection. Two work fine and the third had an unfortunate gavitational encounter.

I chose to load one with a pack of Polaroid 600 which had expired in July of 2009. Although not refrigerated, I know it was stored in a cool dry location prior to my acquisition.

In use the Frog is simple. Focus is fixed at 4 feet to infinity. A sliding closeup lens allows focus from 2-4 feet. The large yellow button on the side fires the shutter and flash, but a smaller gray tab below it allows shooting with ambient light only. This is a very handy if not obvious feature.

I’m very happy with the results.




Here they are with a slight bit of color correction:

201410 PolaFrog005201410 PolaFrog006


From the Archives:
(Not So) Wordless Wednesday #11

The scene: a famous central Florida amusement park.

The time: dusk on a hot July evening

The setting: your intrepid blogger and his family stand in a milling crowd of thousands, awaiting the nightly fireworks show. The lights go down, the music reaches a crescendo, and thousands of people raise their digital cameras to the sky and stare at tiny LCD screens.

Could George Eastman have possibly foreseen this? When did we become so obsessed with documenting our lives that we stopped living them in the first person?

Most of the photos and videos taken tonight will be garbage. The average CanoNikondak cannot handle low light; the average shooter has no idea how to begin trying. Most seem unable or unwilling to turn off their flashes. They have missed the experience in favor of documentation.

At my side, Beth is in awe. I intend to remember this moment as it is. My photographs will deliberately look nothing like what my eyes have seen, but will be a gateway to the memories we've made.

#PolaroidWeek 2014 – October 21

This week I am participating in Polaroid Week on Flickr and Twitter.  I’ve been itching to shoot with one of my pack cameras anyway. Today I selected the Automatic Land 220 and loaded it with FP100c color film.


My 220 is special in my collection. My grandfather bought it when he retired and took it on vacation. When it came to me it still had a customs inspection sticker from Bermuda on the back.  Of course I’ve preserved it.


The 220 features a plastic lens, the more complicated “scene selector” shutter assembly and a fixed, non-folding rangefinder. I’ve converted mine to use AAA batteries.

The weather wasn’t great today, so I chose the desolation of Hampton Beach in the off-season.

Mystery Machine

Mystery Machine

October at the beach


October at the beach



Week 81 – SnapSights and #WTCD2014

The Internet has decreed the third Saturday in October to be World Toy Camera Day (#WTCD2014.) I have had this one in process for a few months, so this week seemed like a good time to finish the roll.

At first glance the SnapSights is not very interesting. It’s a plain blue rectangle with one shutter speed, one aperture, and a plastic 30mm lens. What makes it fun is this:

It has a diving bell! The finished product is waterproof to 25 feet. It has a flip-up sport finder on top. The knob on top both advances the film and triggers the shutter.

I picked it up 2 years ago on vacation. It cost $6 in the camp store and came with its first roll of film. I didn’t expect much, but it took amazingly good photos in and around the pool. For the current roll, I took it canoeing with Beth and kayaking on the Rowley River on two different occasions.

Ipswich River

Das Auto und Das Boot

There is something attractive about a house in the middle of the marsh. I’d miss modern conveniences like electricity and running water though.

Renewable energy

This week’s images were shot on expired Rite Aid film which was further abused by riding around in my hot car all summer and then developed in my kitchen with my Unicolor kit. Scanned on the Epson V700 and slightly color corrected in Corel AfterShot Pro.

October 14



I’ve lived within 3 miles of the ocean for my entire life, yet I’ve never owned anything bigger than a canoe.  Today was fabulous, so I took my kayak for what will probably be the last run of the season.

3 miles downriver to the Plum Island Sound, 3 miles back.  My arms are killing me but it was worth it.

Click the thumbnail for a bigger panorama:


Motorcycle update

The gentleman who sold me the motorcycle told me two things: he had just rebuilt the carb so it should be OK, and he thought the lights needed a new rectifier to work.

Wrong and wrong.

It very quickly developed fuel problems. Diagnosis revealed silicone sealer on and in the float bowl. After disassembly and cleaning it runs well. A proper gasket is on order.

Occam’s Razor and common sense decreed that the first step to fixing the lights was a few new bulbs. They were burned out. All of them. It turns out that the Passport has no voltage regulator. The battery is intended to absorb spikes and overvoltage in the charging system. It will run without a battery but guess what happens? The bulbs burn out.

The legal hurdles were easy. MA doesn’t like my paperwork, but NH happily took my money. It will wear NH plates while it sits in the garage this winter.

Still to come are tires, speedometer cable, mirrors and body panels.

random musings from the life of a firefighter, paramedic, train buff, photographer, family man