At the last Noise Night, Chris stopped by and noticed my camera. He thought it was interesting, so he took a picture. Since the camera has already made to Make, Dig, Gizmodo, and Boing Boing, I thought I should write up a bit of information on the camera’s story.
Back in 2005 I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to do some volunteer work. Within the first week my camera was stolen. Being that I was volunteering in some of the communities there, I spoke with some people about it. They said that all digital cameras are worth money, but none of the film cameras are unless it’s an SLR.
One of the other volunteers has this model of camera, and I thought that with the LCD closed, it almost looked like a film camera. So I bought one in the US, had it shipped over, and then I covered it in tape and sharpie marker. I also took off anything shiny.
I would take a picture or two, and then check the light levels with the LCD. After that, I would then close it, and would proceed to take pictures with it as if it was a film camera until light levels would change. The camera lasted me the remaining five and a half months in some of the most impoverished areas of Rio. Just about every picture in my Flickr is from this camera.
I was able to take over 5,000 pictures with it in Brazil. I was able to follow around a number of well known graffiti artists, and you can check out some of the pics here. I was also able to go into some fairly dangerous areas, and walk out with my camera. I was even mugged a second time, and they left my camera alone, and took my $20 cell phone instead.
The reason wasn’t just the camera. It was my whole image. All my clothes I had bought in the communities, and I had little of anything on me when I went out. Speaking some Portuguese helped as well. I also NEVER took pictures of people openly (you’ll get your camera taken regardless). I don’t advocate going into the same areas I went, but try to be smart anytime you are in a place that theft is common.
Oh, and for the picture, Chris set my camera on top of my box of circuit bending supplies. I sell components for bending at Noise Nights, as well as electronic kits and the like.