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how to open a can of worms

July 28, 2010

we didn’t get off to a good start, yashica and i. ours is a relationship that requires constant work. it all began with its mercury battery, which was long ago discontinued and hence required the purchase of some special makeshift battery from the yashica guy. i thought that would solve the issue of the camera NOT WORKING. sadly, it did not. but i wasn’t willing to give up on her just yet. not without giving us a fighting chance. and so. one sunny sunday morning, i decided to look under the hood…

how to open a can of worms:

  1. choose full moon and, coincidentally, day of ovulation to decide now is a good time to fix the shutter blades on ye olde yashica.
  2. disassemble without proper tools. go macgyver on her ass with rubber bands and nail polish remover and needle nose plyers.
  3. clean blades, hence solving the problem. do a little victory dance.
  4. reassemble. did i mention this thing has the smallest screws known to man?
  5. test again, only to find that this time the aperture blades are stuck.
  6. fuck! or any variation of what is, to me, the most gratifying of expletives. explosive really. as it involves teeth against lips at the onset and ends with a hard consonant. there is no harder consonant than a well placed ‘k’ i assure you. except perhaps ‘t’. which is why shit is also a good substitute for the situation at hand.
  7. dissassemble again.
  8. fix problem. do semi victory squirm.
  9. reassemble. a million pieces and 6 tiny screws.
  10. watch in slow motion as one screw falls to the ground. all units, this is a code red. go on a search & rescue mission immediately.
  11. subject found in the crack between floorboard and wall, lieutenant. roger that, soldier. return to base.
  12. test again. this time, auto setting doesn’t work.
  13. mothernutsack.
  14. dissassemble AGAIN.
  15. fix problem AGAIN.
  16. reassemble AGAIN.
  17. have big ass glass of wine as a reward and tap yourself on the back for superior geek skills.
  18. everything appears to be in working order so take the thing out for a spin.
  19. bring roll of film in to get developed. wait (not so) patiently for results.
  20. discover, much to your chagrin, that 90% of your photos are out of focus, which mean the focus ring likely needs to be realigned, which entails… you guessed it. another can of worms.

i am tempted to give up, friends, but that really goes against my stubborn pride and i do believe in the power of the yashica. so the yashica saga continues. until then. here are a few shitty out of focus photos with an interesting ghostly quality to them?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2010 11:09 pm

    I love this post! I also love a good curse, placed just right off the tongue. And, the blue fence! Clear as a bell! I still like the shots.

  2. July 28, 2010 11:17 pm

    You are so brave! I have 2 of the same camera… and I am guessing maybe with the same issue as yours. Neither works even though I wish they did. I really should take them in for some professional help. Your photos, ghostly as they may be, make me hopeful that someday there will be good things to come.

  3. July 28, 2010 11:34 pm

    Love. Love, love, love. The first number six. Exactly. And I have children! Fuck! Adore your way with words. Perfect. Wonderfull. Exact. Love, love, love.

  4. July 29, 2010 1:39 am

    LOL! You are far more dedicated than I would have been 🙂

  5. Leonie permalink
    July 29, 2010 4:02 am

    I’ll save my SX-70 for you have a crack at when you get to London. I’d nothing else, so I can witness (and maybe participate in) the victory dances and swearing rituals that accompany such endeavours.

    Your photographs are beautiful even in their fuzziness

  6. Jae permalink
    July 29, 2010 5:40 am

    If you do open it up again, more pictures of the guts please. Also, how many cameras do you have?

  7. July 29, 2010 9:22 am

    i “heart” them anyway and man, you totally rock …good luck with it!


  8. July 29, 2010 9:52 am

    I gasped when I saw that first photo of your broken camera – in the same was I would if I saw a photo of someone with their eye hanging out.

    I once managed to fix a Polaroid Land camera, but only because it actually WAS made of elastic bands and silver paper (and what looked suspiciously like chewing gum) in the first place. Your worms look a lot more complicated.

    That said though – the photos you’re getting are mighty fine. Good luck!!!!

  9. July 29, 2010 11:18 am

    oh dear…you are better than me…about the 2nd time it would have been on my shelf of pretties.

  10. July 29, 2010 12:04 pm

    Your catchy title caught my eye at Carla’s site, so I followed it. I’m glad I did. Thank you for the smile this morning! Best to you with that camera. As an aside, their parts make great material for sculpting, and it can be very satisfying. 🙂

  11. Ashley Erin permalink
    July 29, 2010 2:20 pm

    I actually really love the second to last one. It looks great!
    And Kudos to you for trying to do this on my own. Whenever I try and do something like this is usually starts out calm, but ends with me stamping my feet and cry as my fiance tries to fix things. I am not mechanically inclined. At All.

  12. July 29, 2010 3:18 pm

    i really love the photos and that you said mothernutsack. xo

  13. July 29, 2010 3:31 pm

    Karl wants to play!

  14. July 30, 2010 11:26 am

    Ha ha : ) Loved this post. I too love the feeling of digging my fingers into some gadgetery and FIXING it. I’m not especially techie but I like to feel a bit geeky and useful. And I do think these photos have a neat ghostly quality to them, totally. #s 6,7, and 8 are my faves – I love that blue fence. They all feel like they came out of a dusty old photo album, esepcially the one of the vw van ; )

  15. July 30, 2010 1:15 pm

    #13, first time. My husband says a bunch of things but #13 I did not hear yet! Funny post, you are fun. I love photos from vintage cameras. I love that orange Samba. You make me want a Yashica!

  16. July 30, 2010 8:09 pm

    Those photos are actually pretty cool. And a semi victory squirm? Love it.

  17. July 31, 2010 9:12 am

    Uh… Okay. I love that you fixed your camera – at least enough to make it work. I definitely would have given up swearing and crying and most likely drunk – especially after that mini screw dropped. I love that you used the word “mothernutsack”. I will definitely have to work that into my effin’ repertoire. But most of all I LOVE your shots. I have to admit I’m a bit of a fan of the artistically blurred photos (which I find these to be). The first one hooked me in all dreamy-like and begging for a cool soundtrack. I can see these in motion. Some of them make me think of memories or flashbacks. Nice! I think what makes these stand out for me is the colour saturation.

    BTW, I also love that you stopped to take a shot of you dissembled camera. Great. 🙂

  18. July 31, 2010 6:59 pm

    Not so bad. What would life be without a little adventure. Of course some of us seem to always be having more than our full share.

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