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Argosy III - Brian Sherman

Stop No. 6
Location: Lancaster, California
Photographer: Brian Sherman
Date: June 2006



Brian states that he does not fancy his mug being on the Internet so he sent us a photo of the Argosy C4 in action and tells us he is in the frame in the shadows - can you spot him?


About the Photographer:

My interest in photography began several years ago during my mountaineering exploits. Back then as a novice I just took pictures of what I was doing with little regard to any aesthetic value to the end result. I spent many nights under the stars and began playing with long exposures. Concurrently I had become interested in non electronic cameras because the cold climate of mountaineering was killing the batteries of my point and shoots. I still can remember the day I purchased this ugly 'brick' of a camera with a lens attached to it called a C3.

Instantly I loved the basic simplicity and best of all no batteries!

One day while sorting through slides of past trips I began to notice these fabulous images that i gave little regard to before. These of course were these experimental night images I had taken so I began to specifically go out and photograph old places at night. I think that is when I began to understand photography because it took time to preconceive what I wanted to capture. Now I pretty much only photograph at night with an assortment of vintage cameras.  Mostly Rolleicords, Voigtlanders, and of course my trusty Argus C3 'brick'.

I am delighted to have to opportunity to participate in this event. I had a few places I wanted to explore and photograph here in the Mojave desert, so I ventured into the night with the C4 and Fuji Velvia 50 film. Some may notice the Voigtlander Kontur finder on the C4 I used. This finder is unique in its use and is very helpful in composing in very low light conditions compared to the finder window on most rangefinder cameras.


The Photographs:



"VW Farm"

First stop was an abandoned homestead near Edwards Air Force Base that had about 20 junk cars around about the property. I shot this site for 2 nights just before full moon and on the full moon. Half of the cars were VWs and the rest were 1970's American made iron.

Shooting automobiles and machinery at night is difficult because of all the dark crevices and interiors that do not register on film so I use some flash with coloured gels to fill in the dark areas.

Most of these exposures lasted from 30 minutes to an hour and a half in length. In this photo, 'VW Farm,' I used my daughter's battery camp lantern with a red gel wrapped around it to fill the interior of the Beetle red to contrast with the surrounding colours. This exposure is 45 minutes with the red light on for 15 minutes with the aperture set at f/8.

I went out a couple of nights and tried some very long exposures, 5-7 hour but none of these came out very good because of camera movement on the tripod due to a stripped tripod socket on the camera. This problem I later solved using an Argus tripod head instead of my more expensive head.




"Mercury Shed"

The last night shooting was an abandoned ranch only  300 yards away from the bulldozers that will soon raze this piece of history away to make room for Cracker Jack Styrofoam tract houses.

I chose this photograph, 'Mercury Shed,' because of the beautiful greenish hue that mercury vapor lights give off.

This exposure was about 30 minutes at f/8.

All in all I enjoyed using the Argus C4. It is a wonderfully simple camera that give great results.

Thanks to all who put in the hard work of organizing this event.


All photographs this page 2006 Brian Sherman