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August 6, 2019

Double Double

I was driving along and the idea hit me. It was just like in the movies, where a beam of light comes through my sunroof and highlights my head. It was THAT good of an idea.

I'm not saying I'm the ONLY person, or even the FIRST person to think of doing this, but, as one who is alone a lot of the time often does, I'll take full credit for its brilliance.

To confirm its magnificence, I called a few friends, starting with Moses Rodriguez.

"I've had a brainstorm," I said, after Moses answered his phone.

"What's that," he replied.

"We get a bunch of us film shooters together, all with 35mm cameras, doesn't matter what kind, loaded with film."

"Uh huh..."

"We meet for coffee at The Roasterie and each of us goes off and only shoots brick walls, concrete, whatever..." I explained. "Maybe take an hour. Then we all get back together, roll the film back into the canisters, but not all the way, put the rolls in a hat and each of us draws out a roll we didn't shoot, load them into our cameras and go shoot objects."

"Love it," Moses confirmed.

This is Russell
While at Blip Roasters, I let someone hold my camera and they snapped this one of me. I don't know what the first exposure is, but kind of looks like gravel.

So I pulled Bo Gray, Moses, and Mark Sanderson into the deal and we were off.

We met at The Roasterie, as discussed, only to find out it was closed at that hour. So we had to do the texture shots without fuel. This was going to be tough.

If you've not been to the The Roasterie just off SW Boulevard in Kansas City, there is A LOT of texture within walking distance. It's an interesting part of town to wander around.

I was ambitious...I shot two cameras. I packed my Leica M3 for her maiden voyage, loaded with Kodak T-Max 400 and also took my Minolta CLE with Kodak Ektar 100.

Moses shot his Chinon, Bo Gray his Petri, and Sanderson had his Pentax K1000 in tow. If you see a pattern here, we all had old school, fully manual hunks of metal so heavy it was a morning photoshoot with cardio.

After the textures were captured, we were able to finally get into The Roasterie and caffeinate. We drank our Joe, rolled our rolls back in (almost), shot the breeze, and drew the shot film out of Sanderson's Alpa hat.

Try to imagine, if you can, all of the energy we all put into theorizing the various techniques for best double exposure results in this situation. Do we over expose, under expose, stay spot on with the meter? Oh my. It's a good thing it was coffee, instead of beer.

As we neared the bottoms of our cups, we discussed options for the second part of the shoot and settled on more coffee, this time changing venue to Blip Roasters in the West Bottoms...Sunday mornings is when the bikers are there. Score.

We all headed north to the West Bottoms, Moses and I on scooters, so we could blend with all the Harleys parked in front of Blip.

It was a blast for me. Taking pictures I know are going to be double exposure, but not knowing what's on there.

We shot bikes, people, cars, signs, more bikes.

I want to do this again, but with a thousand people. I've got ambition. I would be happy doing it with the same gang as before, but I somehow thing "the more, the merrier."

So here is a gallery of my shots. The color shots are from my Minolta CLE. Sanderson shot the textures for this round and he has given me reason to put some rules on the next time I do it, the first of which might be putting SOME limitations on what film is allowed. He brought some crazy art film some group is marketing to hipsters who want an expired film look, or something. I really don't know, but I'm not into it. You'll see it when you look at the pics. There are random color "blemishes" throughout. I may go as far as naming this type of behavior after him. So the next time someone brings expired film, or some "artistic" trick film, I'll say "Oh, I see you pulled a Sanderson."

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The black and white shots are with Moses’ textures he shot from his Chinon.

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Russell Viers

I'm just a guy who finds the world an interesting place and likes to capture certain moments with a camera. They aren't for sale, or anything. I just like them. Well, usually. I've taken a lot of photos I don't like, as well.

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