What is the coolest medium format film camera?

Article Dedication

In honor of

Victor Hasselblad

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That was the question on one of the photo forums. Well, for me the Hasselblad SWC is my all time favorite medium format film cam. Here is a selction of photos taken in the 1970’s when I was in my late teens to early 20’s with a beat up SWC.

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Stripper on Rooftop copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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This was shot with my second fav 6×6..the Hassy 500CM.

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'Sunlit Slipper' Copyright 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr V16.

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Burt's Devotee copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr...

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'Vietnam Veteran in His Backyard' Copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr

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Girls of the Beat Generation - Daniel D. Teoli Jr Archival Collection

Girls of the Beat Generation

A forthcoming artists’ book series by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

A complete list of artists’ books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/artists-books-by-daniel-d-teoli-jr-2/

Piercing Darkness project update

From Piercing Darkness artists’ book project.

PD Project Daniel D. Teoli Jr. G300 mr

Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 41 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash Daniel D. Teoli Jr. 22 mr - C Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C  Piercing Darkness 88 Infrared Flash Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - Copy Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - - C Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C

Transwoman & Friend 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. hr

Piercing Darkness is a limited edition, hand-printed artists’ book by social documentary photographer Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The book is composed of candid street and social documentary photographs taken in the dark with an infrared flash and camera.

Expanded preview to follow.

De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Meet on the street…shoot at the home.

Article Dedication

In honor of

Wayne F. Miller & Eugene Richards

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As a social documentary photographer my preferred method of operation was to ‘Meet on the street…shoot at the home.’ I would meet people that interested me on the street or otherwise and then set out to photograph them at their homes. Many of my best images came from this way of shooting. I would never know what I would find at their home.

Crazy Copyright 1975 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

‘Crazy’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1975

‘Crazy’ was his club name. I never found out his real name. I was going to give him a copy of this photo in exchange for his letting me photograph him. But, within the week or so it took me to get it developed and printed, he had left town.

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‘Captain Jim’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1974  

‘Captain Jim’ had a tattoo parlor in downtown L.A. When walking by it one night, I asked if I could shoot him. This was shot with a Hasselblad Super Wide C. I was thinking about giving up on the 4 x 5 Toyo View by this time and was testing the waters with 6 x 6.

Traveling Transvestite Copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

‘Traveling Transvestite’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1974

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‘Pensioner Skid Row’ Los Angeles, CA 1974

He was an old railroad worker. His kitchen was a hotplate in front of him and he cooked rice and beans or soup as he looked out his window. He lived in a cold water flat with the bathroom down the hall. I saw him in the open window looking down at me on the street. So I yelled up to him and asked if I could photograph him. He agreed and I got my pix.

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‘Gypsy Woman’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1973

Back in the stone age, our cameras used mechanical shutters. They worked like a clock work mechanism and made a buzzing sound. The longer the exposure, the longer the buzzing. Every time I shot off an exposure, the dog would move its head to look for the noise.

Jenny copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

‘Jenny’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1972

Burt's Devotee copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr...

‘Burt’s Devotee’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1974

This is not a staged photograph. Everything is as exactly as shown.  In this case, I just asked him why he liked Burt Reynolds so much. He showed me…I shot it.

Stripper on Rooftop copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

‘Stripper on Rooftop’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1974

It was too hot and cramped in the apartment, so we went on the roof.

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‘Christmas’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1971

Sylvia Haskins copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr....

‘Sylvia Haskins’ ~ South Los Angeles, CA 1972

A cleaning woman at home.

Barbara LeMay coptright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

‘Babs’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1974

Barbara LeMay aka Sam Leslie Hoover aka ‘Glamazon’ (April 5, 1930 ~ 1992)

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‘Hakenkreuz in a Dress’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1973

An American Nazi in her bedroom…photograph is not staged. I have to mention this disclaimer once in a while. The poor photogs on the photo forums think I stage these. They can’t conceive of anything like this unless it is all contrived.

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‘Captain of Wall Street 90014’ Los Angeles

I met the Captain on Wall Street in downtown L.A. 40 years ago. We talked for a while and I asked if I could photograph him in his room. He agreed, so we went up to his cold water flat that was painted with a green jungle scene. He was an old merchant marine and had been all around the world. He had a shrunken head hanging in the window. Can you imagine trying to get a shrunken head past customs nowadays?

'Vietnam Veteran in His Backyard' Copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr

‘Vietnam Vet ~ Los Angeles, CA 1974

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‘Christmas in Compton’ ~ Compton, CA 1972

'Sunlit Slipper' Copyright 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr V16.

‘The Sunlit Slipper’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1973

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‘Final Inspection Before a Date’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1975

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‘The Barroom Madonna’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1974

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‘Joe’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1974

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‘Ann on Her Waterbed’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1973

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‘His Perfect Woman’ ~ Hollywood, CA 1974

Jennifur Copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.mr

‘Jennifur’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1974

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Many people have to make their home on the street. This fellow died 40+ years ago. Let me honor his memory here…

‘Tramp with White Fingernails in the Style of Daido Moriyama’ ~ Los Angeles, CA 1971

Back in the 70’s photography was esoteric…now a toddler can do it…even a monkey can do it!  I still approach people to let me into their houses to document them, but I very, very seldom get any takers.  In 2016 they project that 2 billion cell phone cams will be in operation. Nowadays everyone has a cell phone cam and a $29 inkjet printer from Wal-Mart. I’m effectively shut down. They are self-sufficient and don’t need me.

The other day I approached a person with an offer to let me make a book about them. They pulled out their cell phone and showed me some pix. They said they had 25,000+ followers on Tumblr…why would they need me?

Well, in 2015 that is just how it is. I suspect as long as the electric is on, things wont change. But, even with no in-house access from prospects, I still have 2-3 years of image files that I have never even looked at. That is the blessing and curse of digital street photography. You never run out of subjects and digital allows for almost limitless prolificity.

BTW…my backlog of work is not some harebrained scheme to let them marinate a la’ Eric Kim style. I just don’t have the time to look at them.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/the-real-truth-on-marinating-your-photos/

Cartier-Bresson on the subject or marinating photos

YesYesYes…photography is like that and there’s no maybes. All the maybes go to the trash. There is a tremendous enjoyment in saying yes, even if it is for something you hate. It is an affirmation…Yes!” .

De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Gypsy Woman

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Gypsy Woman 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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An example of what 2-1/2 hours of Lightroom can do for a photograph.

'Sunlit Slipper' Copyright 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr V16.

The Sunlit Slipper copyright 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

I shot it 43 years ago when I was 19 or 20 with a beat up Hasselblad SWC I bought from an Art Center College student for $400 or $500….I can’t remember. The window light was the only light source. Back in the 70’s you could pick up a well used SWC for next to nothing.

Below is an Agfa Brovira vintage 1970’s silver gelatin print on the left and a Hahnemühle Baryta inkjet print right. An example of what 2-1/2 hours of Lightroom can do for a photograph.

The time consuming work with post processing is making the work prints. What looks good on the monitor is not what always comes out on the printer. Lots of fine tuning involved. This version of The Sunlit Slipper is #16. Some of my print versions end up in the 30’s or more.

Sunlit Slipper Silver Print vs Inkjet Print Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The Fashion Statement

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The Fashion Statement ~ Los Angeles, CA 1972

From Peephole: Peering into the World of 1970’s Hollywood and L.A. artists’ book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

He had worked in the fashion industry in NYC before becoming homeless. He said his pants were made from old drapes. He folded up the jacket he is leaning on to keep the outside clean to give a “good appearance” to the world. He was homeless, but he still had dignity.

It was shot with a Toyo View 4 x 5 with Super Angulon 65mm (or was it a 75mm?) In any case, the Super Angulon lenses were beautiful little gems. I loved the wide angles back then and still do today…they are so all encompassing!

My view camera work eventually evolved to a pop-up focusing hood to replace the black focus cloth. I was just too vulnerable getting under the cloth in the areas I would shoot in. While the pop-up hood made a big difference, it still did not make the view camera a viable option for my style of shooting.

I call that period in my photography my ‘Edward Weston’ period. I wanted everything to be razor sharp. I was all about sharpness – that was where I put my pride. As I look back on the 4 x 5 images I produced…many of them were pretty boring.

After a year or so of shooting 4 X 5, I started thinking about giving up on the view camera and began testing the waters with 6 x 6. And as it turned out, I was much happier shooting medium format instead of trying to walk down the streets and alleys with the 4 x 5, extra lenses, film holders and a heavy tripod. It was just too crazy.

The day I stopped ‘forcing’ things, by being hell-bent on using a large format camera that did not fit my needs, was a day of enlightenment for me. But as the saying goes…sometimes you don’t know you have gone too far until you do. I’m just glad I didn’t need to take my delusion to a 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 view camera and hand-coated wet plates to figure that out!

I won’t argue that large format can give you beautiful results. But, one must also take into account all the missed opportunities by using a camera that is not appropriate for the type of shooting one does. And if nothing else, when you’re in an alley on skid row, focusing the view camera under the black cloth…it is just plain dangerous!

Barbara Lemay ‘Gone…Up in Smoke’ project

Putting the finishing touches on some stills taken from a student movie I made in 1975 of Barbara LeMay called ‘Gone…Up in Smoke’  Babs does a reprise of a little trick with a cigarette that she did in the 1950’s when she worked the ‘hoochie’ shows.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/gone-up-in-smoke-barbara-lemay-doing-a-reprise-of-the-hoochie-show-she-use-to-perform/

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