Frugal Film Project – New Member – Dan Marinelli

I’ve been shooting film on and off for 20 years. My work is a bit of a compromise between landscape and street photography. I am more of an anthropologist than a photographer.  Despite the fact that you rarely see a person in any of my pictures, traces of humanity are omnipresent. The fingerprints society leaves behind provide evidence of its impact. I am especially interested in the roughly defined line between nature and civilization, as well as man’s attempts to harness its beauty. I am also a bit of an archivist. Southern California has seen more development in the last 100 years than anywhere else in America. The world of my childhood is rapidly eroding and my vision of San Diego is altered on a daily basis. As people bring different values, ideas and visions to the region, they physically change the landscape as well. I enjoy documenting the change and taking little snippets with me. I almost always shoot at eye level with a lens to closely mimic the human experience. A half-frame camera enthusiast, I founded www.halfframeclub.com back in 2016 to function as a community hub for half-frame film photography and we’ve been chugging along quite well since then.  

For the Frugal Film Project, I changed speeds a bit and selected an old 120 Zeiss Ikon folder that I purchased on eBay a few years back for the tidy sum of $25. It’s a Nettar 517/16 with a Vario shutter with speeds of B, 25, 75 and 200 and the 75mm f6.3 Novar-Anastigmat scale focus lens. For having such a limited feature set it can be cumbersome at times but I find it is really a joy to work with if you embrace the constraints as a means to promote creativity.

One of the best features of the camera is its size. It can easily fit into a jacket pocket when folded up. You can take it anywhere and I have been wanting to produce a body of work with it for a long time, so this project seemed like the perfect opportunity.  

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