College on a Kodak Brownie

Posted on May 8, 2009

I like collecting old cameras. I mainly get them at antique stores. I have only three requirements: they have to be under $10, they have to look cool, and they have to work.

Most cameras I come across do work. If you think about it there isn’t much to go wrong. A little lever pushes a spring which pops open a shutter. No complicated gizmos or electronics to break. Just light hitting a negative; photography at its most basic. And that’s what I love about old cameras.

So about a month ago I found a really cool looking Kodak Brownie Super 27 that takes 127 film. This is the smaller version of roll film, though still larger than 35mm. I had a few rolls lying around that I’d gotten as a gift years ago. Turns out they were three years expired, but I figured what the hell.

I walked around campus, photographing some of the architectural attempts at 60s modern design. I had two choices for aperture – big hole or little hole. 12 frames, that’s it. It’s nice to have restrictions.

Possibly more exciting than shooting on film again was going back in the darkroom. Through my friend Ali I managed to crash the campus darkroom for free, and develop the negatives. I hadn’t been in a darkroom for a few years, though I have my own enlarger and everything and vow to one day live in a place that has a closet for a darkroom. The smell of developer was wonderful.

I scanned the negatives using just a regular flatbed scanner, inverted them, and then adjusted the levels to get a decent print. That’s the only Photoshop work done. Everything else is all from a 40 year old camera and some expired film.




View more from the roll on Flickr

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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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  1. Claire

    This makes me feel really weird about college.

    The pictures are gorgeous though!

  2. Sabrina

    “It’s nice to have restrictions.” This reminds me of a Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood song, “I Like To Be Told”.

    Spain is still hanging off Europe ya know….and we’ll be in Sevilla.

    Thanks for agreeing to the gala,


  3. lauren

    hmm i think i recognize a few of those places haha. love the graininess, they look like you spent hours photoshopping to get them that way. Picking up vintage cheapo cameras is a fantastic idea!

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