Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Philly Typewriter



If you follow photography and YouTube, you might know of a fella by the name of Jared Polin, who has a popular channel about photography, and is known for his signature “Fro knows Photo” intro tag line.

It came as some surprise to me that he recently made an extended documentary video about Philly Typewriter (http://www.phillytypewriter.com) and its proprietor, Bryan Kravitz.

While I personally am not attracted to Polin’s style of video, I really enjoyed this film, and appreciate his approach to documenting Bryan Kravitz’s life and work. The personal connection between Polin and Kravitz resulted from Jared having a family heirloom typewriter needing service.

There were some things I didn’t know about Mr. Kravitz, such as his former typewriter business, Just My Type, went out of business in the 1990s because of the computer revolution. It wasn’t until he started getting busy repairing machines at home, in the mid-2000s, that the idea of restarting the business came to him.

I really love Kravitz’s approach to the typewriter business. He says in the film that he may only have about ten years of productive life ahead of him (though we wish him many more). And therefore his mission is to spread his knowledge as much as possible, so there will be people in the future able to service these machines. He also has a typewriter lounge in the front of his shop where people are free to come in and use an assortment of typewriters.

This is such a refreshing change from what I see as an outdated mindset of harboring knowledge to oneself. Going forward, the typewriter community will grow, and typewriter businesses with it, as the overall knowledge base of enthusiasts grows. A rising tide floats all boats. Not a classic model of capitalism, for certain, but one that might be more sustainable.

It becomes evident in the film that Bryan Kravitz is motivated by a vision to keeping the world of typewriters sustainable into the future, and this vision directs his business model. What a fantastic role model he is to us typewriter aficionados.

I also enjoyed seeing YouTube vlogger Jared Polin get bit by the typewriter bug as a result of this encounter with Philly Typewriter. This was also reflected in some of the video’s comments.

The result of Polin’s photo-documentary work was also to enable Philly Typewriter to better market their service, with the quality of the images thus created.

I’m not certain exactly how, but I sense some inspiration bubbling under the surface as a result of watching this film, both as a YouTube creator and typewriter aficionado. How about you? What thoughts do you have after watching Polin’s film?

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Typing Assignment No.16



Assignment Number 16 in the Typing Assignments Series is to find a personal artifact and use it as the subject for your one-page typewritten piece. The artifact can be any object you find interesting, even including a typewriter! You can write about its actual history; or merely speculate. Write a future-based piece including the artifact, or something totally imaginative and made-up.

What I'd like to do with this assignment is also have you submit an image of the artifact itself. Try to shoot the image in flattering light and well-focussed, and please make the image in landscape mode (i.e. "horizontal"), so it'll fit better on the 16:9 YouTube screen.

Post publicly-accessible links to both the image of your typed page, and the object itself, to the comments section of the above YouTube video; or, alternatively, email me the two images at: jvcabacus@yahoo.com. The deadline is April 29. I look forward to reading your work and seeing what artifacts you used as subject matter.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Drive Home

Next to Burger Culture, San Antonio
The Drive Home

Post-Script: It was a great trip. We enjoy the open road, the seemingly desolate landscape that is, in truth, full of life if a person were to take the time to look closely enough. The trip is in the journey, not just the destination.

Some people are put off by decrepit small towns, like the kind we find ourselves driving through in the west. But these are testimony to the history of the land, both the ups and the downs. Unvarnished reality. And it's great to find people living in these towns who are, day by day, trying to make their lives better.

It was also great discovering a new vacation destination like San Antonio. We intend on returning soon.

Our tiny house rental was fun, and we learned a lot more about these novel ways of living than from just watching TV shows.

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

All You Can't Eat at the K-Bob

Fort Stockton, TX
San Antonio Trip Day 5

Post-Script: Here's part 1 of our trip to San Antonio:


And part 2:

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Saturday, April 07, 2018

Lumen Photography on the Road

Lumen Reversal Of Tiny House
Lumen Print Inversion using iOS

Post-Script: When I got my Mac mini in 2017 I didn't have a recent version of Photoshop or any other 3rd party photo editing software that could do a decent job of tonal inversion, other than the raw editing software SilkyPix for the Panasonic Lumix cameras. And since I was traveling, I only had the iPod Touch as an iOS device - and didn't want to get into trying some other app to do this. That's when I hit on the idea of using the screen inversion feature of iOS, then taking a screen shot. It's true, using a screen shot image is limited in resolution; but for quick pics of lumen prints suitable for blogging, I think it's sufficient.

The dark streak across the middle of the image is glare from the glossy surfaced paper negative - reversed. Semi-matte finish paper would work better for this.

There's something elegantly simple about exposing lumen prints. A small tripod - or none at all - and a simple box with paper. No post-exposure developing needed, the image forms itself on the light-sensitive paper as the silver halides auto-develop due to the action of light itself. Despite the fact that I'm using a glass lens with sub-f/5 aperture, it takes longer than a pinhole camera to make a usable image.

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Friday, April 06, 2018

San Antonio Trip Day 4

Writing at Halcyon Coffee, San Antonio
San Antonio Trip Day 4, Part 1
Day 4 Part 2

Post-Script: I uploaded a sharper (I hope) version of the 2nd page, now that we're home from our trip. Using strictly the tiny iPod Touch on the road for photos and editing blog articles is a challenge.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

San Antonio Trip Day 3

Kitchen Typing
San Antonio Trip Day 3

Post-Script: After breakfast we walked through the King William neighborhood, ogling the ritzy mansions, then ended up at the H.EB. Grocery store for provisions. Then I hit the cigar bar for a respite, followed by dinner at Burger Culture. And yes, I got that much needed haircut too.

Tomorrow we plan on driving to Corpus Cristi and the gulf coast.

Thus far, this tiny house has proven adequate in size for us two; we’re not at each other’s throats - rather the contrary!

San Antonio Trip Day 2

Tiny House Typing
San Antonio Trip Day 2

Post-Script: I’ve noticed one key to tiny house living, from just one night’s stay, is neatness. I have a drawer in the kitchen for all my chargers, electronics and related items. Having clutter out of visible sight makes the small space seem bigger.

Also, micro-cleaning seems to help. Wipe the counter of water drops from washing a coffee cup. Straighten this, sweep the floor of bits of gravel tracked in from the yard. It all adds up to neat and clean, which translates to a seemingly bigger space.

I’ve also noticed our vehicle becomes de facto overflow storage for whatever doesn’t need to be in the house.

The yard outdoors, and the wooden entryway steps, becomes an additional space for living. I don’t seem to sense this in a bigger house. The tiny house draws me outdoors, a pleasant surprise.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

San Antonio Trip, Day 1

Remington Quiet-Riter

San Antonio Trip, Day 1

Post-Script: I’m really enjoying this Quiet-Riter, even the case looks nice with its rounded corners and stitching on the edges. This is one machine I don’t mind using in the case bottom.