Michael Arenella's Jazz Age Lawn Party is truly one of the most fun events around to shoot. The costumes are brilliant, the dancers are bunch of fun, and capturing it all on vintage cameras couldn't be a more perfect match.
Last year I had the pleasure of shooting for the Penumbra Foundation and the Penumbra Tintype Studio which had a booth at the event, shooting portraits on bona fide tintypes. I was brought on to both document their process as well as the event overall, using black and white Super 8 film (Tri-X for those who care). Aside from bringing a Super 8 camera, my trusty Nizo 801 Macro, I also brought along my Polaroid SLR680 and my Polaroid Land Camera 250 to try and capture the weekend in many different ways. A special appearance was my newly acquired Keystone 8mm camera, courtesy of my now-wife's grandfather. I'm sure it hasn't had a roll of film run through it in 40 years so that was pretty exciting to test out. A myriad of cameras all together. The film below is a mixture of the Super 8 as well as the Regular 8mm. I'm sure you'll be able to tell the difference with the Super 8 being much sharper although I think that's also due to Fomapan being a rather muddy film for 8mm.
It was quite a weekend. Possibly one of the hottest of the summer and spending it outside all day was a doozy. With that said, I still had a lot of fun grinning and bearing it with the Penumbra crew and was utterly fascinated by their amazing tintypes being created in mere minutes; the "original Polaroid" as they called it. Other than observing the tintypes shot by Jolene and Olivia and the Fujiroids being shot on a Graflex Super D by Geoffrey Berliner of the Penumbra Foundation, I strolled around and took footage of different guests, the performers on stage, as well as the amazing choreographed dances by Gregory Moore & The Dreamland Follies.
I also managed to get a nice headshot from Geoffrey which is probably one of the few times I'll ever look nice in a photo. I also took the negative and salvaged it and scanned it on my own and it really is a beautiful negative. Love doing that. Also Dean Chooch Landry was shooting some 4x5s for Penumbra on his own century old Graflex Super and snagged a couple of portraits of me. Pretty fantastic stuff!
Last year when I went, it was just for fun and I casually shot some Super 8 and some black and white Fujifilm FP-3000B on my Land Camera which is an incredibly rare film now due to being discontinued. This year since I was shooting mainly the Penumbra crew on Super 8, I decided to make an effort to take more portraits when shooting my Polaroids. I'm glad that I did because it was fun chatting with the different dolled-up guests and ultimately it landed me a spot in a group show featuring film photography and motion picture film from the Jazz Age Lawn Party at the Gowanus Darkroom, "Portraits from the New Jazz Age" . The show itself was really cool and it was great getting to see other film photographer's work displayed let alone, show some of my own work. Looking forward to the next Jazz Age Lawn Party!