box camera

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In a country where about 40 percent of people self identify as indigenous, the National Indigenous Queen of Guatemala contest carries great prestige. In contrast to mainstream beauty pageants, the contestants for the Rabin Ajaw title, aged 14 to 26, have to demonstrate proficiency in their native language, Mayan traditions and worldview; awareness about mining and other threats to Mayan livelihood and resources; a nuanced view of gender roles; and leadership in their community.

The 19th century style Afghani wooden box camera used by the photographer meant that the women had to sit still for several minutes gazing into the camera, enabling a depth of engagement rarely achieved with today’s hectic technology.

Photographer: Rodrigo Abd

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❝In private life, she was not in the least what her calumniators would have wished her to be. She was very quiet, had a great natural dignity, and was extremely intelligent. She was also exceedingly sensitive.❞  - Dame Edith Sitwell

There was no such person as Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe was an invention of hers. A genius invention that she created, like an author creates a character. She understood photography, and she also understood what makes a great photograph. She related to it as if she were giving a performance. She gave more to the still camera than any actress- any woman- I’ve ever photographed.❞  - Richard Avedon

❝ She went right down into her own persosnal experience for everything, reached down and pulled something out of herself that was unique and extraordinary. She had no techniques. It was all the truth, it was only Marilyn.❞  - John Huston

I found myself in the privileged position of photographing somebody who I had first thought had a gift for the camera, but who turned out had a genius for it. She had a naive quality, but she also had a great sense of showmanship and self-promotion. She was very clever. She was able to assess each photographer. Even if it was only an amateur with a box camera, she worked with the same diligence that she would have if she were working with a top professional. She would photograph ten pounds lighter which is against every rule in the book. The smile was brilliant. Her skin was translucent; white luminous. She was always sort of golden-looking, and because she had a down of just very fine golden hairs on her face, it trapped the light and caused an aureole to form, giving her a faint glow. It was extraordinary. I’ve never seen it before. It was nimbus, so that she looked almost angelic.❞  - Eve Arnold

Marilyn would have been 91 today. I want to wish her all of the love in the world. Happy Birthday, Norma Jeane. You are so special. I love you. ♡ 

Another year, I’m reminded to keep Marilyn’s legacy alive in the truest way I can; sharing truthful statements, tidbits of knowledge and accurate quotes. It was important to Marilyn to be remembered as she was, to be quoted correctly.

❝Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one. I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity.❞ - Marilyn Monroe

1ˢᵗ of June, ¹⁹²⁶ - 5ᵗʰ of August, ¹⁹⁶²

In late February 2011, Blanca Montano, a apparently loving and devoted mother, rushed to the University of Arizona Medical Center with her seven-month-old daughter and her son for symptoms resembling that of the flu. Test results, however, showed that both children had E. coli infection. The children’s health improved after treatment, but a short time later the condition of Montano’s daughter got worse again, thus resulting in a month-long stay at the hospital for the little girl after repeatedly testing positive for unusual and rare infections. When sick with another infection, the medical staff assumed this might be a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, meaning that the girl’s mother might be responsible for the recurring infections of the seven-month-old due to the fact that the girl’s health rapidly worsened whenever Montano visited her. Following this, a hidden camera was installed in the hospital room of the girl. The recordings allegedly showed Montano, after learning that she was being watched, stuffing tissue into the box where the camera was hidden in order to prevent the staff from seeing what she was doing with her daughter. Montano was arrested in April of the same year as the suspicion grew. The police and the state Child Protection Service had been informed earlier by the personnel about the girl’s ongoing health problems. After Montano was prevented from seeing her daughter, her condition luckily improved. In May, 2011, Montano was sentenced to 13 years in prison. She still maintains her innocence.

Since people keep asking, here is a pic of my setup. I am using a device called Bird Photo Booth 2.0. It consists of this camera box, much like a trail camera, that has a macro lens on the top and a regular one on the bottom. Inside is a little shelf on which I place a small camera (sold separately, you can also use a smartphone or a GoPro) that has, amongst other things, a motion sensor function that I can set to take 10 pics per second. The bowl attachment comes with the camera as well. So whenever a bird makes it to the bowl, the camera takes pictures. If I leave the camera out the whole day, which happens a lot, I end up with up to 7000 photos, depending on the activity of the day. My evening pleasure and routine is to go through all of them, delete the bad ones and keep and slightly edit the ones I deem publishable. I have no affiliation with the inventor, I just came across his invention through the almighty internet and participated in his kickstarter because I loved the idea.

I installed my camera on a fabulous heavy inherited tripod and installed a baffle to keep the squirrels out. I put it in my yard each day, rain or shine, and so far have not had any major malfunctions. Since I have been feeding birds before I had the booth, they are very interested and willing to take mug shots. I am currently also experimenting with the bowl attachment, addding a tiny hummer feeder and a jelly container. When the weather gets warmer, I will hopefully get pictures of some more irregular visitors.

This picture was taken by Photographer Oren Jeffries while he was exploring some un-mapped area of the Grand Caverns(Virginia). Jeffries liked to use long exposure technique to catch anything without any light what so ever. While he was setting up for his snaps, he heard something in the distance which spooked him. He set off one of his Blitzlicht flashes he used for taking traditional photos underground and ran. In a later interview he gave to a local newspaper, he said that he saw “humanoid” figures looking back at him. A few days after that he went back with a few friends to retreive his box camera which had this picture recorded inside of it.