photography

Very Tall and Very Old by Will Ringland

Words and photos just aren't working to describe the Size of Things in Tofino. We are in the forest primeval on an endless ocean and it dwarfs everything I've ever known.

This stump is about two point five @Alyska tall.

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I find myself watching our feet as much to keep sure footing on the wet boardwalks through the rainforest as well as in some sort of attempt at deference to the Very Tall Things what existed Well Before.

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All life grows from worlds like this.

Tide pools by Will Ringland

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The Pacific Ocean is 165 million square kilometers big. That is 110% the size of all of the land mass of the Earth - 110% of the space humans can inhabit on the Earth. And that's just one ocean and that's not counting mountain peaks and deserts and the arctic.

The ocean is unfathomable (see what I did there?) in its vastness that trying to capture that Bigness is a photo is nigh insulting.

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Dipping in and retrieving a piece of the ocean can be magical. It offers us a place to see reflected everything outside us in the universe. A handful of ocean water is a powerful scurrying tool. A handful of significance for owner so insignificant. But as we watch the water calming again best out palm, we fail to see the waters reviving and can be taken and dashed against the rocks.

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The Moon, our spirit mother watching over human kind, wishes to save what little lives we have. As the tides ebb and flow, she laces the beaches with pools of ocean water for us to find. They are moon sized scrying mirrors.

We can find them, the cleverest of us and following them like a breadcrumb trail to the edge of understanding. Where they saturate, so too does the future sight grow out of turbid waters. Maybe we can glimpse our futures under the shining moon light without being dashed to pieces against against the rocks?

Fantasy Camera by Will Ringland

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Leica, renowned for their quality and reliability, were (still are in many cases) considered to be the best cameras you could buy. Many of the best photographers in the world used Leica cameras - Carier-Bresson, Frank, Capa, Leibovitz.

I have always wanted a Leica camera. They are compact, beautiful, and the optics are indisputably top notch.

This is not a Leica camera.

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I collect weird cameras, generally Russian, because I enjoy odd designs, weird functions, or just silly history.

Lomo SuperSampler

Lomo SuperSampler

The Argus "Brick" 

The Argus "Brick" 

Zorki 11

Zorki 11

Most of what I have are Russian Leica knockoff cameras. As part of reparations for WWII, Russia were (was?) given the schematics for the original Leica cameras. Over the following twenty years, the KMZ plant would churn out dozens of Leica "inspired" models ranging from total, complete rip offs to ultra-modern design.

Zorki 4k, the first well designed, popular of the Soviet FED-Zorki line.

Zorki 4k, the first well designed, popular of the Soviet FED-Zorki line.

Zorki 5

Zorki 5

The first commercially successful of their cameras, the Zorki 4K, arrived in 1955 and started the slow march away from German design. The Zorki 5 started moving to boxier designs while retaining the Leica-styled front and center logo.

The Zorki 10-12, Z-10 pictured above, were the last in the line and a total departure in styling. Blocky, square, and heavy, they more closely resembled the Argus C3 Brick. All boxy and emblematic of 70s modern lines.

Now, this ridiculous bastard...

After the cooling of relations between Russia and the US in the 80s, tourism increased. Attempting to make a quick buck, enterprising Russian entrepreneurs bought old back stock of the early Zorki lines for dirt cheap and either buffed the brass under the coated skeletons or coated them in a brassy/gold cover.

They removed any markings from the original KMZ manufacturer, the Zorki logo, and any Russian indicators - like the B bulb letter - and re-engraved them with German/Leica indicators.

Especially clever ones would further decorate the cameras with German iconography to sort of up the ante on rarity.

The model I found is one of the better done knock offs. It has no Russian letters, sports the collapsed "Elmar" lens typical of Leica I and II models, and incudes a very fake serial number and German THird Reich '36 Olympiad symbol.

All the words are even spelled properly!

On first glance, t's pretty convincing. You know... except for being gold... But a 90s tourist otherwise unfamiliar with WWII era cameras could be swayed readily. A number of these came home with rather disappointed families when they were further investigated, especially if they paid the multiple thousands of dollars often asked for.

It's so delightfully ugly....