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Wednesday, 12 January 2011


That is very cool. Love it.

I was at the opening and I found the shooting through Vivian Maier's camera a bit of a parlor trick, at best, or a Great America Ride, at worst.

Separately, you will be gratified to learn that I was interviewed by John Maloof's crew for his documentary. In response the question of where I first learned about Ms. Maier, I cited your wonderful blog.

Wow amazing coincidence! Saturday, I was at the exhibit and looked through the viewfinder and noticed it was focused o the wall too. At the time, I thought about taking a similar shot but the guard on duty was yelling at anyone even trying to hold a camera up to their face. Glad someone got the image - well done Pete!!!

People who haven't had Rolleis probably don't realize that the hood folds inwardlly so pictures can be taken directly at eye level. It was/is a really neat, brilliantly thought-out camera.

Would love to be able to go to that show Mike, but don't see it travelling to the UK just yet!

On a side note, we've actually used that technique for a vintage bridal photo shoot here: http://www.tinoandpip.co.uk/vintagetreasures/

Not easy focussing on a moving subject though!


As I was looking at this, my initial reaction OMG not another Vivan Maier post (not my cup o' tea yah see). But then I realized couldn't this technique be used with any any old Rolli? I love the idea. I'm jest sayn'


What can we do about these yelling guards everywhere these days?

That is SO cool!!!!

Apropos Ctein's post on camera prices and inflation (and obsolescence etc.) and this thread...

If you follow Mike's like you can see that Vivian Maier's Rolleiflex TLR had a selenium meter which leads me to believe it was a model 2.8F or 3.5F. Assuming Vivian Maier bought the more affordable 3.5F at $349 in 1960 or so. Very big bucks on a governess's salary. Perhaps it was a gift from an employer. In any case, with a further expenditure on film and/or processing for almost 100,000 photographs or about 8,000 rolls of film she must have spent a substantial amount of her income on her hobby.

"What can we do about these yelling guards everywhere these days?"

Well, I can tell you what I do. I walk up to the guard first thing and ask him the policy on photography. If he says it's okay, then I shoot whatever I want. If he says it's not allowed, I put the camera away and don't shoot anything. There are pictures everywhere. I can get 'em somewhere else.

BTW the new Modern Wing of the AIC is a lovely place to photograph. Beautiful light, and photography's allowed. And there are masterpieces everywhere. Somebody ought to do a whole project in that place.


@Christopher: that is, in fact, a Whole Thing. Search for "TTV photography".

Very sensible, Mike, I couldn't agree with you more.

I should have made clear that it is the now commonplace yelling in the name of 'security' that bothers me more. What about a polite but firm "please put away the camera sir/madam, photography is not permitted"?

@Christopher, and others who might be interested in this technique, googling "through viewfinder photography" or "ttv photography" will get you tons of pictures done this way, tutorials on setting up a kit, and pictures of these, ah, "contraptions". TLRs are most popular, but you could also use that otherwise useless Sinar 8x10 most of us seem to have lying around.

@Mike. Call Candida Höfer :-). Problem solved.

@Mani: I thought I saw in the pic that is a F2.8!

Christoph Grabmayr,
If you, or the countless others reading this would like to be rid of an otherwise useless Sinar 8x10, (or other large format camera,) I would be happy to take it off your hands for a small fee.


clever, but is it one of the most clever ideas of our time?

I'm sure happy so many other people enjoyed my picture! I really enjoyed the exhibit as did my friends that are purely from the digital age.

@Mani~ I belive I read/saw something about the fact that Vivian had come into some money from a relative in Europe that passed away and willed her a part of a farm. She sold her stake in that and used the funds to travel around the world for 6 months and then returned to her nanny duties. As more of the images are scanned it may be interesting to relive her extended holiday around the world.

"What can we do about these yelling guards everywhere these days?"

I feel ya but...it seems policy is often geared around ownership issues? Generally I have found that traveling exhibits seem to be off limits and collections owned by the institution are fair game. Not always but something I have found. Some places don't allow it at all of course.

Best to ask about the policy first. No need to argue with security.


Thanks for the tip. What a great idea. I see that I can get a used Rolleiflex for under $200 at my local camera store. Suggestions anyone?



Can someone tell me exactly what Rollei model she shot with? Am having a ahrd time digging it up.

Thanks, in advance.


This is what I love about the GH2
and cameras like it with an articulated
monitor. You can use it like a Rollei
looking down at an unreversed image.
Very handy when making candid images,
not having to bring the camera to eye
level and drawing attention to oneself.

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