I have recently been acquiring a small collection of lenses for an old Mamiya RB67 medium format camera. If you are not familiar with this camera, let’s a take a moment to consider that it weighs about five pounds, has no battery, and is cocked by pushing a large lever on the right side forward and down. If Hasselblad is the Ferrari of cameras (chic, stylish, and very capable), the RB67 is the 80-series Land Cruiser (big, slow, and unstoppable). Fitting these both come from Japan.
And as the Mamiya was made in Japan, it seems that most of the lenses for it are still there. eBay can help with that though, and every purchase I have made from Japan has proven to be a smooth transaction.
It was two recent shipments that were different, however. In each of these packages was a small handmade origami swan and a handwritten thank you. I am sure it took no time for the sellers to knock out the swans, but this was still an uncommon gesture. So much so that I couldn’t just throw them away, at least not without photographing them.
And so it was that I decided to keep things simple: one sheet of white seamless, one gridded light, and two paper swans. Of course I used the RB67 and 140 mm f/4.5 macro lens. I also dug out a precious roll of Efke R100 film for the grain that I wanted. It seemed fitting.
There was no real story planned, just try to get ten shots (one roll in an RB67) that looked different. I didn’t quite succeed (only nine), and some of them look a bit similar. Nonetheless, a story somehow developed, and so it is presented as such.
Paper Lake was thus created. There is no editing, just raw scans.