This 4th of July I went to L.A. with my roommate to visit his family. I had been promising myself that I would go to the Queen Mary in Long Beach for the last three times I was in L.A. and this time I was determined to go. So After I had seen the fireworks at the La Verne high school.
(Click to enlarge photos.)
4th of July at La Verne Senior High
I went to the Queen Mary, it was fantastic. After spending almost a full day on the ship, I decided to go to a camera store before I went back to where I was staying. I didn’t have a particular camera store in mind, I just looked on my Iphone and found one that I hoped would have a good selection of old film cameras. After an hour drive, I was delighted to see this store filled with old cameras. It was staffed by a father and son team. The father was weirdly intent on getting cameras out the door, one guy asked if the 150 dollar price tag was negotiable, the dad shot back “75 dollars”, finally selling it for 50 bucks. I was thinking I had found the right place.
Soon the Father noticed I was looking at the vintage cameras, he walked over to me and asked if i wanted to see the stockroom. I agreed and was lead into the back of the building, where their was a table covered in stuff. About half of it was partially disassembled cameras, like someone had been using them for parts. The other half was in fair to pretty good shape. Their was your usual smattering of orphaned cameras whose film is no longer made and there is no easy way to convert them to take modern film. What was left I sorted through quickly, placing in a “want” and “dont want” pile. My plan was to ask what each item in my “want” pile cost and try to get a deal on two or three things for around 150 dollars. After showing the father what I wanted he said “twenty bucks.” I was shocked, he wanted 20 dollars for a 4by5 crown graphics, a 2by3 speed graphic and a Kodak auxiliary rangefinder that would sell for 50 or so dollars on Ebay. After a few heartbeats I piled everything from my original “want” pile back onto the counter and he rang me up for 47 dollars, but it didn’t end their. He started pulling things from behind the counter and offering them to me at crackhead prices. A 16mm Bolex, 2 dollars! A Kodak Retina, 1 dollar! By the end of it I had so much stuff, both the Father and Son had to help me carry all of it to the car.
When I finally arrived back home in Northern California, I unloaded the car and found a gray Samsonite suitcase of unknown origin. Now I have never found a foreign suitcase in my car before, and I was a little nervous about what might be in it. Then I remembered the Father-Son duo, and I realized that the Dad had probably just put it in my car. So, after finally getting in the house, I cautiously opened the case. I instantly recognized the “fingerprint camera” from the James Bond movie “Diamonds are Forever.”
Photographing a fingerprint.
Miss. Case using "fingerprint spray"...