Peter Wiklund head

Twenty-five years ago, I purchased a Diana camera when I was thrifting for Brownies and box cameras, trying to figure how these old cameras assert their own personality. In 1991, I saw a flyer for a guy selling Holgas for $12 and I arranged to meet him in a convenience store parking lot one night. That was sort of a strange buy. Not a Robert Johnson selling his soul at the crossroads sort of strange, but still buying cameras at sunset from a dude at a Circle K carried a bit of dark magic. So I started messing with those Holgas, scratching the lenses, putting Vaseline on them.

These days, I will use digital for commercial gigs or for family snapshots but I am always trying to add certain subjects to my catalog of plastic camera work… Americana, religion, sub-cultural groups…

Some folks use these cameras as a way to let go of their more retentive photo instincts. But weirdly, I try to make great images with these plastic crapjacks. I enjoy making a perfectly exposed negative in a ridiculous situation. And I love to print the work beautifully. Which all makes about as much sense as a lobster corndog or Brahms on a banjo.

Gordon Stettinius