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Sound Focus

The Art of Plastic Cameras and My Book of Life

Dave Beck
06/12/2008

A professional camera costs thousands of dollars. A plastic toy Holga camera runs about twenty–five bucks. We meet a photographer who discovered the exciting artistic potential of cheap plastic cameras. Then, we hear a tune rooted in the legend of the Arkansas Traveler.


At 2:08 p.m. – Your Book Of Life
Imagine looking back on your life after you lived it. The premise of a "Book of Life" appears in the Talmud, the Hebrew Bible, and the book of Revelations. Seattle–based author Sarah Gerdes based her novel, My Book of Life, on a few key decisions that changed everything. Sarah credits moving to the Northwest as being one of the best changes she ever made. As a successful businesswoman in San Francisco, she had almost given up on life.

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At 2:20 p.m. – A Brighter Future for the Blind
Seattle Lighthouse was founded in 1918 to offer employment to people who were blind, deaf–blind and blind with other disabilities. Ninety years later, unemployment for the blind is still 70 percent. The new president at Lighthouse believes the best way to get more opportunities to people is to provide them more resources and innovative, but expensive, assistance devices. Kirk Adams would know. He's blind. He lost his sight at the age of five but still played high school sports, became a stockbroker and last year became the first blind president of Seattle Lighthouse. In an archive interview from February 26, 2008, Megan Sukys speaks with Kirk.

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At 2:40 p.m. – 'Sounds Familiar' with Amanda Wilde
Amanda Wilde, host of The Swing Years and Beyond, brings us another familiar song we didn't know we knew so well.

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At 2:50 p.m. – The Art of the Holga
A professional digital camera can cost you over five thousand dollars. A plastic toy camera called a Holga will run you about twenty five bucks. At that price, you may not expect the Holga to do much. But local photographer Michelle Bates has staked a good part of her career on this mass market Chinese gadget. She writes about the Holga and shares some of her Holga photos in her book, Plastic Cameras, Toying with Creativity.

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