So after about a year, I decided to make one specifically for me. If you hear me referring to the Populist, it's usually this specific camera I'm talking about.
About the only difference from any other Populist is that it's made from some really cheap twenty-five year old black 4-ply Railroad Board, Dick Blick's economy brand sign boards. I've always liked black body cameras.
The first change was to put a sort of handle at the top of the shutter to make it easier to slide open.
The Populist is supposed to be reliable, but also easy enough to make that anyone can do it. Sometime you have to compromise a bit. The shutter is one spot that happened. There's no mechanism for preventing the slider from coming out when you open it. Friction is the the only thing that keeps it from falling out in general. After losing a couple in the field, I first tried to glue a little stop to the bottom of the slider, but it kept breaking off when I pulled it open.
Occasionally it would come loose and get in the image, and have to be reinstalled. Sometime last year it came off and I lost it, and about a week later lost the slider itself. So I pulled off the original shutter and replaced it with a three-layer shutter with appropriate stops and handle.
So I made a winder minder from a little strip of beverage can aluminum with a slot encased in several layers of 3M #235 hinged on to the side of the camera which is then held down by the rubber band.
Viewfinder lines are included on the printed pattern, but they wear pretty quickly too. 3D objects to line up are much better to imagine a line in space (like a gun sight), so after replacing these lines about four times, I added some beads from pins I got from Sarah's sewing kit and covered the rest of the camera with tape. There was also the exposure chart on the back that was no longer readable, which I didn't really need anymore that got covered too. By the way I just guess at exposures. I only measure in the rarest of circumstances, although with my 120 experiments, I'm a lot more careful about that.
Most recently I cut a bike inner tube apart to make black rubber bands and spray painted the winder to complete the professional black body look.
It's no surprise I continued the themes from the Precursers and Prototypes.
I take pictures around the house.
In the garden...
With the cats, mostly Spenser...
I take pictures on the road.
At Sarah's family farm in western Wisconsin...
And of course, self-portraits and Mosquito Hill.
Hey! Wait! I think I'm detecting another theme here!
OK, I have to fess up. I just read an article in the Guardian about Emmet Gowin, whose body of work includes many portraits of his wife.
This camera seems to be working out. I'll think I'll keep using it.