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.
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….
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.
Last week, I was amazed by how many people came out of the woodwork during the final hours of the Brownie In Motion campaign and showed their support. Although we did not meet our goal, we did raise almost $4,000 for the project! Thank you so much for believing in this project! Everyone who publicly contributed has now been added to the Brownie In Motion Donor Hall of Fame on stakacs.com
A huge shout out and thank you to Molly Burke, Alison Stittsworth, Thomas Wagner, Ralph Fredericks, Miel Paredes, Darryl Baird, James Smith, Ed Gately, Berry Booth, Brittney Denham, Brad Baillie, Jenna Gordon, Roman Holowinsky, Amy Cubberly-Yeager, Chad Cochran, Dan Hausman, Larissa Hall, Elizabeth McManus, Casey McCarty, Chrissy Gillogly and those other generous contributors who prefer to remain anonymous! Your support means so much!
I’m now in the process of planning the next road trip with the camera obscura. If you have any suggestions on places to stop or artisans to photograph, please shoot me a message!
Please keep checking back for updates on Brownie In Motion!
A huge thank you goes out to my friend and OSU STEAM Factory colleague Roman Holowinsky. I’m not only thankful for his generous donation to the Brownie In Motion campaign but also for his ongoing enthusiasm, and encouragement. Without Roman’s sense of long-term vision, neither the OSU STEAM Factory nor the Brownie In Motion project would exist as we know them today.
For those of you not familiar with The Steam Factory, our purpose is to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in the OSU community across the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. To disseminate research, technology and pedagogy through public interaction and to create new ways in which our work can impact a broader audience. Brownie In Motion was actually constructed with budgetary support from an Outreach and Engagement Grant that the STEAM Factory wrote together.
Hello Readers! I wanted to let you know that we are now approaching the final hours of our fundraising effort for the Brownie In Motion project on Indiegogo. Please consider donating to the campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/brownie-in-motion/contributions/new before midnight tonight! There are lots of great rewards available for backers, including limited edition prints, postcards, and even the chance to have the camera obscura travel to your town for a visit! Help us document disappearing trades across America with the world’s largest Brownie camera!
If you’d like to hear what Japan Camera Hunter has to say about the project, click this link!
Please take a look and support the work of Rachel Smith! Rachael’s project recently came to my attention when she donated to my indiegogo campaign, Brownie In Motion. Rachael is also in the midst of running a campaign to fund a creative project seeped in historical significance. Normandy: A World Apart is a documentary film that seeks to preserve the stories of WWII veterans, 70 years after the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
There are 3-days left in her team’s campaign, please share their project and consider donating today!
A huge thank you goes out to my friend and fellow photographer Nevin Price-Meader for his generous donation to Brownie In Motion! I’m continually blown away by everyone’s support! Thank you so much man!
I just want to send a quick thank you out to Lisa D. Iacobellis for her donation to Brownie In Motion! Lisa is an extremely knowledgeable enthusiast of photographic history. As Assistant Curator for Rare Books and Manuscripts at OSU, she has been kind enough to share some wonderful examples of 19th century photography with my photography classes over the past few years!