Jentel Artist Residency, Part II

Guest Writer: Janet L. Pritchard

The Brownie has been an object of curiosity at King’s Saddlery during the past week; a multi-generational family business in Sheridan, Wyoming, King’s is known for their hand-crafted leather work and quality ropes. As an artist in residence at Jentel in Banner, Wyoming, Stephen took advantage of his close proximity to make images of saddles, leatherworkers, and ropes. Testing the newly re-released Ilford Direct Positive paper Stephen began work with a heavily tooled saddle. The saddle turned out to be the perfect subject for testing his new paper, which seems to have a slower emulsion speed rendering it useless for portraits but OK for still life, because it never moved or complained.

Photo by Janet L. Pritchard
Photo by Janet L. Pritchard

I stopped by to visit Stephen while he was photographing this saddle, the last saddle master craftsman and family patriarch Don King ever made. Although this was not my first visit to King’s, my current photographic project on the real and ideal landscape of Yellowstone National Park has brought me this way in the past, their focus and commitment to quality western tack always impresses me. The Don King museum is a one of a kind treasure and not to be missed if passing through town.

Photo by Janet L. Pritchard
Photo by Janet L. Pritchard

It took Stephen much of the first day to nail his set-up and learn the new paper, but then he was hitting his stride and making great work. King’s staff helped him select and move saddles from both shop and the museum. He had his pick of classic western saddle craft with exceptional hand tooling. Members of the staff generously posed for portraits as well. A few days into his work Stephen was able to turn the camera and make some overall views of the shop with its extensive collections of saddles, ropes, and taxidermy. Today is his last day and Stephen hopes to make a multi-generational family portrait of members of the King family. (I’m sure he’ll post photographs soon.)

Tomorrow Stephen will take the Brownie to Sheridan College and present as a visiting artist. Our time at Jentel is rapidly drawing to a close and the Brownie will be back on the road soon. We post this blog to show you a small selection of Stephen’s time in action at King’s Saddlery.

Photo by Janet L. Pritchard

Guest blogger Janet L. Pritchard teaches at the University of Connecticut. You can see examples of her current project More Than Scenery in Fraction Magazine, here: and here

Jentel Artist Residency, Part I

In Spring of this year, I found out that I was awarded a month-long artist residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Sheridan, WY. This opportunity seemed like it could be just what I needed – the chance to focus on my own creative work in relative isolation for an extended period of time. So often in life, I feel as though I struggle to create new work and complete projects because of life’s many responsibilities, distractions and amusements. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for what I have but – like everyone else – sometimes have difficulty carving out time for creative projects.

Just as I’d hoped, attending this artist residency has been an eye opening, transformative experience. After two weeks, I can happily say that it’s been more than worth it. I’ve been able to hike in sagebrush covered hills, experiment with new techniques (like reclaiming Fuji Instant Film negatives), meet some wonderful creative people, develop new ideas and finally shot some photos that have been in my sketchbook for months.

The Jentel “complex” sits off of a dirt road about 20 miles from the small western town of Sheridan, WY. During any given time, there are a total of six artists – four visual and two writers – taking up residence at Jentel. We each have separate studios and living quarters but come together almost every night to share meals, drinks and conversation. Despite everyone coming from different parts of the country – each bringing with them different backgrounds and temperaments – we get along well and for that I’m grateful.

Jentel AIR. Photo ©Stephen Takacs
Fall 2015 Jentel Artists in Residence. Photo by Stephen Takacs.

With only 12 days left, I’m becoming ever more aware of the temporal nature of my situation. Despite working everyday, knowing that I will have to leave in two weeks gives me an increased pressure to produce. There is still some much to see, explore and photograph here. I have a feeling that I’m going to leave Wyoming in two weeks wholly invigorated but wanting more!

Columbus Arts Invitational

I’m really excited to announce that my image “Adlai Stein: Blacksmith” with be featured in the Columbus Arts Invitational happening this month at the King Arts Complex! Thank you to everyone who voted for my work on The Roy G BIV facebook competition!

A unique silver gelatin photograph of Adlai Stein, a blacksmith at the Columbus Idea Foundry, taken by Stephen Takacs as part of the Brownie In Motion project. ©Stephen Takacs Photography
A unique silver gelatin photograph of Adlai Stein, a blacksmith at the Columbus Idea Foundry, taken by Stephen Takacs as part of the Brownie In Motion project. ©Stephen Takacs Photography

This direct positive photograph was shot several months ago when Brownie and I visited Adlai’s studio at the Columbus Idea Foundry. Thanks goes out to Kate Morgan for her photo assisting skills!

The Brownie In Motion  Project visits the forge at Columbus Idea Foundry. ©2015 Stephen Takacs Photography
The Brownie In Motion Project visits the forge at Columbus Idea Foundry. ©2015 Stephen Takacs Photography
Adlai Stein holding a large paper negative at Columbus Idea Foundry © 2015 Stephen Takacs Photography
Adlai Stein holding a large paper negative at Columbus Idea Foundry © 2015 Stephen Takacs Photography

The exhibition will run from August 13- 30, 2015 and feature the work of numerous Columbus Arts Organizations, including Mother Artists at Work, Creative Women of Color, Urban Cultural Arts Foundation, Fresh AIR Gallery, Clintonville Arts Guild, Tacocat Collective and ROY G BIV gallery.

Awards Ceremony: Thursday, August 27, 6–8 pm @ King Arts Complex (867 Mt. Vernon Ave)

Check out the facebook event page for more info.

Camera obscura coming to the Columbus Arts Festival this weekend!

Hello everyone out there in cyber space,

If you’re tired of just seeing images of Brownie In Motion online and want to experience it in person, please come to the Columbus Arts Festival this weekend! I’ll be sharing the camera obscura with visitors from 11am – 9pm on Friday & Saturday and 11am – 5pm on Sunday.

Facade at 400 West Rich
Facade at 400 West Rich

If you’re in the neighborhood, I’d like to encourage you to come across the river to 400 West Rich for artist open studios starting on Friday from 7pm – 11pm and Saturday from 11am – 6pm. Although, I won’t be able to be able to participate in open studios this year (since I’ll be at the arts festival) I do want to encourage everyone to check out the work of some of my friends and explore the building where I spend so much of my time creating!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FYI – If you’re feeling really adventurous, the World Naked Bike Ride will be happening on Saturday evening starting from 400 West Rich around 9:30pm.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Rejoice! Ilford Photo’s Harman Direct Positive Paper is Back.


I’m really, really excited by the return of this wonderful paper! The Harman Direct Positive is what the Brownie In Motion Project has used almost exclusively to produce images with our room sized camera. Our paper supply has dwindled to almost nothing, so this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time!

Originally posted on :

Oh it’s a very, very good day. After over a year of it being out of production for various reasons, Ilford’s Harman Direct Positive fibre based paper is to make a return. Pinhole photographers the world over will be punching the air in delight.


As described, direct positive paper has been popular among many analogue photographers because of the way it produces a positive image using normal black & white developing procedure. This makes it perfect for people experimenting with large format and of course the ever popular pinhole photography craze.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 15.13.04

From the website:

HARMAN DIRECT POSITIVE FB paper can also be successfully used in other applications such as direct exposure in large format cameras or by cutting small sheets for exposure in LOMO type cameras. Creative and unusual effects can be achieved when used to make photograms or perhaps substituted for standard photo paper when printing from…

View original 56 more words

The Great Camera Build Off @ EASE Gallery


Reader of this blog may be wondering, “What happened to the Brownie In Motion team? Why did the story leave off so suddenly? Where are Micah, Steve and the world’s largest Brownie camera..?

I truly must apologize to you.  I left you hanging and for that I’m  very, very sorry.  The journey is far from over! Please let me explain.

What happened was that I returned to Columbus. I returned to take advantage of the opportunity to teach my dream class – Alternative Camera Systems – at The Ohio State University!

It was a very busy but very rewarding semester! During this upper-level photography course, undergraduate and graduate students explored an a-typical amalgam of photographic systems, including pinhole cameras, plastic lens cameras, peel apart film and a variety of DIY tricks. Though the class officially ended in mid December, our experience will culminate in an exhibition titled, ‘The Great Camera Build Off.’



The Great Camera Build Off opens this Friday, January 9th at EASE Gallery in Columbus, Ohio and features photographs and handmade cameras created by OSU students.

Straw Camera by Sam Lustig. Photo by Joe Kapferer.
Straw Camera by Sam Lustig. Photo by Joe Kapferer.

Every artist participating in The Great Camera Build Off was tasked with creating a new camera using a piece of obsolete equipment that Bob Hite (the OSU photo lab manager) and I collected from dusty nooks, forgotten boxes and rarely touched cabinets at OSU and my own personal collection. The resulting exhibition features both the handmade cameras (many of which are quite sculptural) and the images produced by each.

Photograph by OSU student Joseph Kapferer from his four hole GameCube pinhole camera.

Although all of the cameras and images were created using analog (ie. film-based) materials, the output varies and includes digital inkjet prints, as well as those made in the darkroom.

Macro Instant Film Camera created by Ua Chamberlain. Photo by Joe Kapferer.

The Great Camera Build Off opens Friday, January 9th at EASE Gallery and runs until February 7th. If you’re local, please come to the opening reception tomorrow from 7-9 to say hello, meet the student artists and enjoy food and drink on us!


EASE Gallery
30 W. Woodruff
Columbus, OH 43210



The Brownie In Motion team will return to regularly scheduled postings very soon. Thank you for sticking with us!




Catfish Junction

A few miles west of the Oregon-Idaho border, after driving through Boise and what felt like a high altitude wind tunnel on Highway 84, we happened upon a little RV campground called Catfish Junction. On a less dramatic portion of the Snake River, the grounds are nestled in golden hills. There we met the tall, scraggly-bearded groundskeeper, Daren. Wearing a dilapidated black hoody and blown out denim jeans, his demeanor was laid back as one would expect from a cat fisherman and rural RV site overseer. He kindly lent us an old taped-up fishing pole and some fresh night crawlers. Seemingly, Daren doesn’t often meet many young travelers willing to step out of their RV’s, and was happy to chat with us about our adventures with Brownie In Motion.

Darren the groundskeeper at Catfish Junction. Holga photograph by Stephen Takacs.
Darren the groundskeeper at Catfish Junction. Holga photograph by Stephen Takacs.

On the boat dock, we cast out our lines while I played guitar to the rapidly shifting sunset. Ten minutes in, Daren got a bite. Casually working his fishing pole, he effortlessly reeled in a catfish over 2 feet long. “That’s your breakfast,” Daren said as he plopped the fish into a bucket for overnight storage. While removing the hook, he muttered, “Stupid cat,” over and over….

Apparently, this small portion of land is the only place where the sun sets in Idaho from the  Oregon perspective.
This small, historically rich portion of land is the only place where the sun sets in Idaho from the Oregon perspective.

Friday morning, we mingled with Daren while I prepared our catfish and French press coffee breakfast. He regaled us with stories about the Junction: natives raiding travelers on the Oregon Trail, an eccentric who used to farm a small island in the lake, and his own experience working heavy machinery in L.A. As we drove off, I couldn’t help thinking of this adventure as our own little salute to the Oregon Trail.

Until Next Time

  • Brownie In Motion Team

Twin Falls

The day after our sunburn-inducing adventure in the Bonneville Salt Flats, we spent time in Twin Falls, Idaho reaching out to contacts in Oregon and lazing in the park next to the local library. This was much needed rest after our foray in Bonneville’s muddy expanses. Before leaving town, we felt compelled to do some sight seeing.

Twin Falls Scenic View from a Highway Pull Off
Twin Falls Scenic View from a Highway Pull Off

Snake River runs westward through the awkward little town in an epic canyon ¼ mile deep. The site of Evel Knievel’s failed Skycycle X-2 steam-powered rocket jump across the river, a dirt ramp on the south side of the falls still serves as a tourist attraction. The canyon is littered with waterfalls cascading brilliantly into the river, however the overabundance of strip malls and buildings around the falls dilute its natural beauty.  I’m not sure if it was the town or the lack of sleep, but it left a strange taste in my mouth.

The amount of distance traveled and total waking hours began to take their toll on us. From Carbondale in Colorado, to Idaho via Utah in 72 hours, with no more than 10 hours of sleep we longed for rest. But movement is the name of the game; with only 48 hours until The Great Oregon Steam Up, again we hit the highway.

Have Camera Obscura. Will Travel. Based in Columbus, Ohio. 614-721-5367.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 184 other followers