Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Timing

Autoknips IV timer I spent my Monday unable to participate in Take Your Box Camera to Work Day since I instead was at home celebrating Deal With a Feverish Toddler Day (an adjunct of Get Only Three Hours of Sleep Night.) We're back in form for the new month now, celebrating a new (to me) mechanical marvel that showed up in the bottom of a battered old camera bag from Goodwill, aka, "The House of a Thousand Temptations." This is a small spring-driven timer, suitable for connecting to the release button of many cameras. It's shown with the timing lever all the way extended. Imagine it poised on top of a camera, point side down, the little round circle slowly inching to the 6-o-clock position and snapping a photo. Here's a more impressive collection of them, showing the original red paint in the circle, long since gone in my example (an Autoknips IV, if you're curious.) It's wonderful, a tiny little clockwork device intended to solve the very practical problem of squeezing Uncle Mort out from behind the camera and into the picture. I certainly prefer this design to modern camera self timers, which flash a very urgent-looking red light as they countdown to the snap. This reminds me of a railroad wigwag, a piece of vanishing tech that has very few examples left (including this one my area.)

There were a few other examples of old technology stuffed into the bag: a battered Argus C3 brick camera plus lenses (score!), an old Agfalux flash unit with the folding reflector (like this) and some ephemera, like a metal 35mm film can and a couple of flash bulbs. I'll work on getting them cleaned up and photographed and presentable, when I'm not wiping noses over midnight informercials.

1 comment:

Mike Speegle said...

Hey! I celebrated Get Only Three Hours of Sleep Night last night! i was reading my son a wildlife book, and he was up all night with nightmares about animals. No, not the tigers or the snakes, or even the spiders.

He kept waking up afraid that there were beavers under his bed. No joke. I finally got him to go back to sleep for the rest of the night by explaining that our beagle, Dixie, didn't like beavers, and that she would NEVER let any in the house.