Kodak Instamatic 104 – Monday Morning Redemption

Kodak INstamatic 104 outfit box set 1975

My dad’s habit of finding quirky gifts strikes again. A crisp $1 bill got him this nifty Kodak Instamatic 104 Outfit box set at a garage sale. Sweet yellow Kodak box contains an Instamatic camera, unused flash cube, old AAA batteries and box from the last 126 cartridge that expired in May 1975 all stored inside. Now I’ve just got to find a 126 film cartridge to reload and get snapping with this camera!

The surprise gift just sucker-punched this sluggish Monday. It was his original find of a manual Minolta 35mm camera that got me hooked on photography way back in the teenage years. A Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, Agfa folding bellows camera, this Instamatic 104, and a handful of garage sale and auction treasures have been great surprise gifts since then!

Can’t wait to try out some Instamatic 35mm photos!

Monday reminder: go shoot some photos today! -eB

Just Married! Katie & Brian

Palais Royale ballroom South Bend Indiana wedding dance 01

Congrats newlyweds Katie & Brian!

It finally feels like a summer weekend, and just in time for Katie & Brian’s wedding celebration! We started off in Plymouth while everyone prepared then headed to Saint Michael’s church where the newlyweds were married. After a drive north to South Bend it was time to celebrate the night away at the Palais Royale ballroom downtown.

Thanks to the Sikorski & Nifong families for inviting us to join your celebration and tell Katie & Brian’s wedding day story!

Check out their stunning summer wedding album designs here!

June Wedding Palais Royale Ballroom Reception Album


What are you (am I) waiting for? Shoot.

Sailing ship Jacksonville Florida 2001

“I need a newer/older / film/digital / manual/automatic camera/lens/computer first.”

This new year has been 3 days -and a few leading up to it last year- of kicks in the pants to get a camera and use it. Not a new one – one within reach. A phone if I have to. Create already. Reminders I find in old film photo prints I keep running into that I had no idea what I was doing when I took most of the shots, but I tried an idea anyway. Reminders I find in the photos of friends very new to photography who are trying their ideas wildly and doing so with great creativity.

The shot above is flawed, flared, and yet is a favorite (from film photography follies in Florida if we’re going to go on with the alliteration). My job at the time relocated me to live on a ship in a tiny town marina outside Jacksonville, Florida. In what has been a trend since my elementary school days I am up awake into the morning hours writing, and did so often in my travels. I had a pair of 35mm Minolta SLRs, a compact tripod, and hours of the night to think. For my first eBay purchase I picked up a light meter to help me judge nighttime and long exposures and began to photograph the ships, marina, and town around me after dark.

I had an idea of how to set the film camera to get correct lighting where I wanted it. I knew a few tips. Most of all I knew that if I wanted to take a photo I’d have to press the shutter release. I’d have to just try.

When I got the prints back from my evening shoot around Jacksonville I was a bit let down that I had been blasted with lens flare. I liked the way the street light looked in the foreground but forgot altogether what might happen with a light source right in the frame shining my way. I shot for 15-30 seconds to soak up more background light and let the lines of people going by blur. This much had worked as planned.

What surprised me was that behind the moving crowd sat a couple along the walkway’s railing. They sat still enough to remain sharp in contrast to the crowd in motion that now appear as streaks. If I had arranged the shot I could have recreated this look easily. They are a happy discovery from a photo made while just tinkering with ideas and playing to motion blur during long exposures, reminders that you never know what you’ll find unless you try.

Go create something.

Shot by Eric Bucholtz with Minolta 7000i and 35-105 lens on the cheapest ISO 400 or 800 35mm film in bulk packs, summer 2001 in Jacksonville, Florida

Everything I ever learned about lighting…

Strobist LEGO tribute

Was probably from LEGOs and the Strobist blog. (Click the photo to see all the geeky comments on this super LEGO lighting rig.)

It’s fair to say I did learn something from my college courses with Craig Sheaks, and tinkering with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System to get the flash and the light off the camera’s hot shoe. I rigged and patched my school’s set of (maybe) 16 PAR64 cans and 6 ellipsoidal spotlights to light the auditorium for various assemblies, Christmas specials, concerts and video projects. All of it learn-as-you-go style. Photography and lighting go together like peas and carrots. And peas and carrots go together great with a pot roast.

One day long ago I was looking for something lighting related online and came across the Strobist blog and my brain all but exploded from the amount of ideas that flooded my head all at once. This site is a gold mine for using the flashes I already had (or lots of other ones that are far less complicated or pricey!) to get some amazing off camera lighting without hauling a studio strobe rig. If you’ve seen me on a shoot I still haul more than the LEGO rig above. 🙂

Though I’d seen his work for years and years in National Geographic I didn’t run across the writings of Joe McNally until this last year. This week his shiny new paperback arrived in the mail.

I don’t read a whole lot, not even camera manuals thoroughly. This one’s been hard to put down. (Click here to check it out if you like – The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes)

Gonna go play and put it all into use again this weekend.

Love of the Irish – Notre Dame Basilica Weddings

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Now that it seems Spring is finally here in South Bend, Indiana, everything is greening up beautifully outside. Today, of course, it seems everyone is trying to do the same for Saint Pat’s celebrations. (Of course, with the exception of my friend Joel who wore red in support of those with red/green color blindness.)

What better time to celebrate Irish heritage than with our favorite photos of the LOVE of the Irish?!

Enjoy the albums below as well as galleries of our favorites from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Notre Dame University campus

Bridget & Doug – 6/7/08

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Photography - Album Design

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Photography - Album Design

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Photography - Album Design

Kim & Scott 6/21/08

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Photography - Album Design

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Photography - Album Design

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Photography - Album Design

Enjoy! Eric

Zack Arias sums it up in video

“Johnny 5, now you are hitting the nail right between the eyes.”

Wow. I caught this video following Zack Arias‘ blog.

For those of you outside the photography world, this week is the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention in Vegas. Yes, warm Vegas. Shiny, warm, not Indiana Vegas where rock star photographers show you shiny new books, cameras, software and toys related to making you an awesome photographer. Everyone pats each other on the back and has sparkles in their teeth when they smile. They’re all booked for a year straight and still have time to travel the globe and make awesome photos, albums, software, and…….

It’s my week of skipping almost every single blog post, Twitter tweet, and email news update from these photographers because one stuck in a rainy, snowy gray Indiana can be quickly overwhelmed at reading “this is so awesome” so many times a day while feeling totally left out of the fun. (And I’m pretty sure it’s marketed that way on purpose.)

And in this winter funk… much needed inspiration and reminders to push on have come over and over in the last week. This one sums it up best. Enjoy.

If you don’t see this video check it here http://blip.tv/file/1785698/