Wandering around Grand Rapids with a TLR


  My friend Joe came into town and visit, he’s a photographer himself, well along with many other talents. He came visit me several times now but he never been to Grand Rapids, so I decided we shall go to Grand Rapids and get some dim sum, and go downtown to show him around. Well, as my film supply deplete, I wasn’t going to bring a camera out.  But just to humor myself and Joe, I figured I’ll start dipping into my 120 supply. So I bought my Rolleiflex along with 3 rolls of precious Tri X. Shortly after we got out of the car and saw some guy walking around with a Nikon F4, we heard this sweet saxophone music playing on the street. I was looking around but I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I even asked Joe “hey is that through a speaker somewhere?” (right he’s a musician also) because it sounds so beautiful. After walking down one and a half block, we found our guy. This gentleman was sitting on the bench outside the art museum playing his saxophone. He was playing towards the wall because he loves the sound reflected off it as he said. Well he’s right there, must have been one of the most beautiful saxophone sound I heard in my life, better than Dolby 5.1 surround sound on a recording I tell you. Obviously I grabbed a couple shots of him, I especially like the close up shot of him, I took that shot when he was talking to Joe. After that we proceeded further down the road and I spotted a lady with a 4×5 on a tripod. Well me being myself I have to go ‘investigate’ what she’s up to. Found out she was doing some architectural shots of the Art Museum. After we admired each others cameras I decided to take some photos of her, naturally. Left her my email so I could send her those photos of her at ‘work’, I mean it’s always interesting to see yourself working. Well I am still waiting for her email by the way. Carry on, about 30 minutes later we were already on the other side of the river under a bridge, now the kids would like to take a closer look at the water so I was just standing around, under the bridge. Soon enough two fellas showed up, one with a tripod and camera, and then all of a sudden loud music echos through the tunnel. Right, they were shooting a music video. Naturally I took several shots of them ‘at work’, I mean come on they were luring me by posing in front of me. At intermission, I went over and chatted with him. Found out his name is James Scott, a hip hop artist. I complimented on his music and basically told him, “well, while we are both here, you’re all dressed up for the occasion and I got a camera with me, can I take a close up photo of you?” That turned out to be one of the best photos on the roll, I simply can’t decide which one I like better, him or the saxophone player close up. Lots of shots from this day will be printed out in the darkroom – one day. Thanks Joe for a good excuse for me to be on the street, it had been a while, and I tend to take better photos with good company, which is a fact.

11 thoughts on “Wandering around Grand Rapids with a TLR

  1. Excellent post, great results, I particularly love the portraits. I’m always fascinated when I see someone with a film camera, especially TLRs on the street!

  2. As reflected by your awesome photos, the TLR still has its place. I always enjoy your posts and learn from your helpful Q & A suggestions to others.

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