Fifty years with a camera | News, Sports, Jobs

SARANAC LAKE – The Canon Demi, a compact and luxurious half-frame 35mm camera, hit the Japanese market in 1963 for 10,800.

For an additional 1,000, one could buy the case.

300 others marked the bracelet.

In 1968, Barry Lobdell picked up the camera for $20 from a pawnshop in Ocean View, Va., while on leave from the U.S. Air Force while visiting his mother, Nancy. .

The Demi’s half-frame format allowed it to take 72 exposures on a 36-exposure roll of film.

Lobdell used the budget camera for several years, and thus began his photographic odyssey featured in his September exhibition, “Fifty Years with a Camera: Photograph by Barry Lobdell” at the Adirondack Artists Guild in Saranac Lake.

The opening will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 2.


Born in Syracuse, Lobdell worked on fishing boats in Ocean View as a teenager before joining the US Air Force right out of high school.

“Going to university was not a tradition in my family” he said.

“The service seemed like a good alternative to me, stupid that I was. It was during Vietnam and all. But I made it through the Vietnam War without having to go anywhere but the United States. After I left the service, I first got married, then went to college, and that’s when I started to get serious about photography.

In 1972 at SUNY Albany, Lobdell purchased his first SLR and enrolled in several classes where he learned the technical aspects of conventional darkroom photography and was exposed to criticism and a deeper understanding of the art of photography. photography.

At the Maine Photographic Workshops, he attended one given by photographer Eva Rubenstein, which explored “why we take the pictures we take.”

“I used to go through a lot of photography books quite often in those days, you know, just to see what good photography was,” he said.

“I met some of his, so I recognized his name. I was flipping through a catalog of the workshop there, and I spotted his name and thought, ‘Oh, well, that would be interesting.” And it was. No way. It was a very creative week. I just enjoyed it a lot, but it’s the only long workshop I’ve been on.

As a freelance photographer, Lobdell has photographed weddings, portraits, and a wide variety of other subjects, including a 12-year-old “novelty memory” photography at Saratoga Racetrack.

In his full-time employment, he was a New York State Staff Development Specialist, generating photography and video production work for educational and training purposes.

“My stepfather was a big shot in the state,” he said.

“So he managed to get me placed and then I had to take exams later to make it legit and everything. So that’s how it went.

Lobdell moved to the Adirondacks in 1996, retired in 2002, and has had a camera — three digital cameras or the ever-present iPhone — in hand ever since.

“I did photography and I did the photography that I wanted to do, which inspires me whenever and wherever I am”, he said.

“It can be a lot of different things of course. This exhibit kind of proves that I think. I knew at least at the beginning of the year that I would have a show in September, so I was thinking about what to do. It suddenly dawned on me that it was 2022, and it had actually been 50 years since I took my first class at SUNY Albany. So OK, let’s do 50 years.

Quarter-Century Highs

About half of the photos, mostly black and white, showcase his “Street Photography” in the first quarter of a century of his career.

“What I define as candid photography of people and things that we give meaning to – buildings and such”, he said.

“The second part of my career, which was to last 25 years, was mainly landscaping. I moved to the Adirondacks, and there just weren’t as many streets as I used to.

Lobdell counts the works in this exhibition among his favorites and all of them are newly created, whether original negatives and slides or digital files, according to a press release.

The images were made with a variety of cameras, both film and digital. Specialized cameras among his equipment have been Hasselblad and Noblex panoramic cameras as well as a Fujifilm X100 model, which is modified for infrared shooting.

“I had it modified so that it only takes infrared photos”, he said.

“It is used for various things. Most people think infrared is heat sensitive for scanning buildings and stuff, but that’s not what I use it for. My use is strictly for the artistic effect it creates or helps me create.

His photographs have been featured in exhibits ranging from Texas to Massachusetts, as well as most galleries in and near the Blue Line.

He has won awards in numerous competitions, including Best of Show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Gibson Gallery and NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery.

51 works

Much has changed in photography over the past 50 years, but the basics remain the same.

“There are certain rules for composition, etc., etc., all the usual things with photography, and developing an eye, developing a sensitivity to look at things in terms of finding something that will be an interesting photograph,” he said.

The film left a while ago for Lobdell. “I really like the versatility that digital gives you,” he said.

“Working in Photoshop, you use a lot of the same techniques that I used in the darkroom, like burn and dodge, that kind of stuff. But you can do it much more accurately with PhotoShop or other programs like that. .

There are 51 works in the exhibition.

“One to Grow” he said.

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