Bill Hansen considers himself smarter than the average bear, although fortunately he has never had to put that hypothesis to a test. He was born at a very young age and, much to his chagrin, has been getting progressively older ever since. He has a lovely B.A. in Cultural Anthropology adorning his bathroom wall and it is, by far, the single most expensive piece of paper he owns. An award-winning photographer currently based out of Syracuse, NY, Bill's work has been exhibited multiple times at the New York State Fair and has been featured in several shows across Central New York.

He enjoys taking long walks on the beach; spontaneously going on adventures with his beautiful wife, even if it means driving twelve-hours just to try duck-fat-fried poutine; and sometimes, just sometimes, he finds subtle satisfaction in a good cup of coffee.

If given a choice, Bill would rather be in Hawaii.

Category Archives: Lo-fi

BHF – Waikiki Sunset

BHF - Waikiki Sunset

Waikiki Sunset, taken with a flipped lens BHF, Kodak Ektar 100

Another image from my trip to O’ahu this past December. My wife & I were hurrying along, trying to get from the hotel to the House Without a Key for cocktails, after spending a little bit too long at the beach that day. We had just started our mile-long stroll when I startled my wife by suddenly running out into the middle of the street, just to capture the scene relatively unobstructed with my favorite blurry-cam.

Of course, my wife chided me for violating the “No running out into traffic while in Hawaii” rule, but I think the result was worth it.

See more:
Gallery: fBHF – O’ahu 2009

Smashing Magazine

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Newport, RI 2007. Holga with x-pro'd Fuji Velvia 100f.

Smashing Magazine has an article on ‘Toy Cameras’ featuring a piece of my Holga work.

The article is a general survey of toy cameras for the uninitiated (generally sticking to the Lomography retail line-up) and includes several digital means to reproduce the toy camera and Polaroid aesthetics.

While the semanticist in me disagrees with the inclusion of the Lomo LC-A, which to me would be better classified as a low fidelity (lo-fi) camera, as it has more bells & whistles than a typical “toy” camera and what’s left of the analog purist in me partially disagrees with digital imitation on a core level, I do have to say I am flattered that the author saw fit to include my image as representative of what can be achieved with a Holga.

This specific image, in particular, I have always felt unsure about. According to Flickr, it’s one of my most popular images, except I could never ascertain if that was because it was a good photograph or if it had something to do with a prurient phenomena of bikinis on the internet.

Maybe it’s a little of both and maybe “prurient” is too strong of a word. The image has more going on than just the foreground subjects and an easy rule in photography:

Pretty girls often make for a pretty picture.

How to flip a Brownie Hawkeye Flash lens

Brownie Hawkeye Flash

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

I’ve noticed a lot of search traffic hitting my site specifically looking for information on how to flip the lens of a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash (BHF). While there are probably multitudes of other resources on the interwebs, I figure I’ll just throw my two-cents out there.

For those who don’t know, the BHF is a black bakelite beauty with a top-down viewfinder, single element meniscus lens, shutter speed somewhere around 1/30 to 1/60 & a bulb setting, while it lacks a tripod mount, it has a nifty handle. In it’s heyday, the BHF was a very popular camera. Your grandparents most likely had one. Nowadays, you can find them cheaply at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and eBay, or for a higher premium decorating shelves in antique stores & hipster boutiques.

I got mine for free on Craigslist thanks to a kind-hearted Samaritan who was donating several cameras to anyone who could justify receiving one. I simply wrote “I’ll use it.” It arrived in the mail a couple days later and I’ve been enthralled with it ever since.

Anywho, an unmodified BHF takes a relatively normal photograph, but something magical happens when you flip the lens. It’s like the soft focus of a vintage Diana multiplied to the Nth degree. The lens’ focal point shifts from infinity to about 3 feet in the center, while the edges just melt away into blurry goodness. The effect can be quite surreal.

Flipping the lens of a BHF is actually a simple procedure with a very low-risk of permanently #@$%-ing anything up and is easily reversible. That said, I assume no responsibility with these directions if you somehow manage to accidentally bork your favorite family heirloom.

Ready? Let’s get flipping.

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Pali Pano

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Pali lookout panorama, multiple exposure, vintage Diana F, Kodak Ektar 100

I’m starting to process some of the multitudes of images I captured on O’ahu this past December. The above photograph was taken at a tourist pull-off on the Pali Highway, a scenic route that takes you over (and through) the mountains from Honolulu to Kailua on the windward coast.

By its nature, it’s a shot that probably untold millions of tourists had taken before me and a shot that millions of untold tourists will continue to take in the future; in my imagination however, I’d like to think I was the first to use a vintage Diana F with Kodak Ektar 100 to make a multiple-exposure panoramic.

I’ll continue to process these images for now, as my wife is itching to scrapbook/album our entire vacation and wants to see what I have to contribute. So, I’ll post anything of interest here and then bulk load the rest up to flickr.

In blog news:

  • – I’m learning enough CSS to finally tweak most of the little things that I disliked about the blog layout. I’m still not 100% satisfied, as I still don’t truly understand why certain aspects refuse to change, despite my better efforts; but I’ll continue to work on it.
  • – If anyone out there is knowledgeable in WordPress, how do I get to fool around with the ‘dynamic_sidebar’? I want to have widget-specific CSS, but the sidebar doesn’t separate label widgets independently. Am I even making any sense?

Polaroid PoGo ‘mobile’ printer


Polaroid PoGo printer & print

Polaroid PoGo printer & print

Last year, I received a Polaroid PoGo printer for Christmas and with it came daydreams of creating a photo-a-day journal in a series of Moleskine Cahier notebooks….

I never made it out of January.

My beloved new gadget wasn’t what I hoped it would be… instead of being a source of inspiration, it became a major frustration.  So, soon it sat on a shelf gathering dust.

The PoGo is designed to be a mobile printer: a small, battery powered, pocket-size device that could print small 2×3 low fidelity pictures on the go.  A pseudo-replacement for the middle ground between film & digital photography lost after Polaroid bewilderingly discontinued its namesake instant films.

You would no longer need a bulky Polaroid camera with expensive film to have that instant gratification of physically holding a photograph you just captured… any digital camera would do, even your always-on-you cell phone (as long as your device had bluetooth or was PictBridge enabled and had a USB cable with you).

Sounded good enough to me.

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BHF – Bridge to the Adirondacks

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Yet another flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Rollei Retro 400 developed in Diafine. Tinted in PS.

BHF – More from the Adirondacks

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NY 86, near Lake Placid, NY.

bhf-lp-ausableriver5reedtree
Ausable River.

bhf-lp-gorge
High Falls Gorge.

All taken with a flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Rollei Retro 400 developed in Diafine.

BHF – Ausable River

bhf-lp-ausableriver1
The western branch of the Ausable River, near Lake Placid, NY.

Flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Rollei Retro 400 developed in Diafine.

Phantastic Phear

Expired Film – Dragonfly

kbf-cny-dragonfly
Taken with a Kodak Brownie Fiesta on expired (Nov 1962) Montgomery Ward Panchromatic 127 film, developed in Diafine.