The Ann Arbor Area Crappy Camera Club

” The Ann Arbor Area Crappy Camera Club is a democratically based group of photographers who share some common interests.  They are all using silver halide photography to make images. This means using film to express their various views of the world.  The crappy camera moniker refers to cameras that to others may seem outmoded or obsolete.  Devices such as old box cameras, toy cameras, Polaroid cameras, pinhole and zone plate cameras are a few examples.

“Many are into alternative processes such as cross-processing film, various printing methods like lith printing, salt printing and others which can be discovered and rediscovered.  Some really enjoy using outdated film and paper just to see what whacked images they can get out of them. It’s always a surprise.  These people get a thrill out of this kind of thing.”

A Manifesto

At this moment in history, the technical aspects of photography are receiving unprecedented attention. New cameras of amazing sophistication are breathlessly analyzed by photo magazines and websites. Photographers are draining their bank accounts attempting to keep up with equipment purchases.

But a few photographers are reacting against this conspicuous consumption and rampant technophilia.

The essence of photography – to place a particular frame around the world at a particular moment – remains unchanged. So some choose to pursue this act in the rawest possible way: by using the most obsolete, flawed, and low-tech cameras available. Most were created as economy snapshot cameras, some even as toys. Many are decades old. All share very limited controls, and optics of questionable quality; sometimes a mere pinhole.

The toy-camera aesthetic turns its back on sterile technical perfection. Instead it celebrates the
messy unpredictability and dreamlike imagery that only a truly rotten camera can provide.



  1. Is there a 4C? Chicago Crappy Camera Club?

    • I’m not aware of one; let’s start one, eh?

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