The above photograph was taken by photographer Mitch Dubrowner whose brilliant images were taken by cameras converted to Monochrome and made by maxmax, the company I am purchasing my new Monochrome camera from, I thought it would be valuable for you to see why I am so excited by this new form of photography and what the camera you are helping me purchase will be used for.
My digital cameras are wonderful, and I will surely keep on using them.
But they are not capable of this kind of black and white contrast, power and detail. But it's especially exciting for me to have found a way around the very expensive system that permits only the rich and the famous to participate. I think I've found a way around that, with your help.
The Internet can be disturbing in many ways, but it has also democratized culture. For very little money, large numbers of people can now contribute to causes they believe in, artists they know. I will share the photos, as well as the process with you every step of the way. That is the deal.
It seems I – we – will be making some history with my new Canon 7D converted Monochrome camera for black and white photography. As many of you know, I asked for help in purchasing this camera – I will share these photos with you here on the blog – and so many of you have responded. I have received more than $2,000 in Paypal payments and an unknown and untallied number of letters to my Post Office Box 205, I'll have a better idea Monday or Tuesday.
I have gone ahead and ordered the camera – which costs $3,000 – from a groundbreaking and innovative company in New Jersey called maxmax, it converts digital color cameras to black and white – Monochrome – and buys new Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras and converts them to monochrome and then sells them. I've chosen the Canon Xnite 7D with 20 megapixels. It is about half the price of the Nikons and one fifth the cost of a new Leica.
I think it is the best choice for me now. I am familiar with Canon cameras and can use any of my lenses on the 7D. The camera should arrive her sometime during next week, I will have to figure out what else I need when I get it
I thought at first that I would try to purchase the Leica M monochrome, the only digital camera manufactured for black and white photography, but the total package would have been close to $15,000 and I just couldn't bring myself to ask for that much money. It wasn't that I didn't think I would get it from people, I was afraid that I would.
I then explored the feasibility of converting my Canon 5D, but that camera is too old for the conversion technology, and then, I wouldn't have a spare. Most digital photographers choose cameras that shoot in color, there is not a huge market for black and white.
Leica says it loses money on the Monochrome M, it does not sell many..
So I began looking for alternatives. Susan Murray, a reader of the blog, sent me a link to maxmax and it turns out we – you and I – may be making some history. And she sent a timely link. The blog is my mother.
Maxmax is the first and only company that coverts digital cameras, there is really no other place or way to buy them or that knows how to convert digital color sensors to monochrome.
Dan LLewellyn spent the last few hours inventing a conversion process, he is self-taught and smart and determined. B &H Photo told me it was impossible, there is no such thing as a camera that switches to monochrome. But there is. I'm planning a trip to New Jersey to meet him and see his laboratory.
Some of Lllewellyn's customers are some of best known and most successful art photographers in the country.
I am hoping I can learn from this process how to take striking black and white portraits and rural landscapes. I think I have a lot to learn, but the process is exciting to me, I want to move forward with my photography, I am eager to share it with the people who helped make it possible and with anyone else who wants to use my images.
I do not watermark or copyright my pictures, people may use them in any way they wish.
I so much appreciate your support in this. On Tuesday, I will end the campaign, whatever the final amount.
I will use the $3,000 and some more, if it comes in, to cover the cost of accessories for this new camera. Your contributions are very helpful. My two existing cameras need some repair. If you wish to contribute to my photography and this work, you can do so via Paypal – go to "Friends And Family" and use my Paypal ID, firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a check, if you prefer, directly to my Post Office Box, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. The money will be well and wisely spend.
Initially there was some controversy – mostly from outside of the blog community, from people on Facebook, but that seems to have quieted down. I am only asking blog readers for support. And I like my friend Ed Gulley's advice. People can give a buck or two, or not. End of story.
This is the first time I have raised money exclusively from the blog, not through crowdsourcing, it was not really a gamble. It is an impressive community, you get it and you get me, and I am very grateful for that.