My friend Maher was in town a couple of weeks ago and it seemed a perfect opportunity to take my OM-1 out for a spin. I picked this one up on ebay for under 10eur ...I'd had my mind set on finding one ever since I read that the legendary Observer magazine portrait photographer, Jane Brown, used only these... buying them whenever she saw one. So here's a selection from my first roll of film on it...
My brother was in Paris playing with his original Jazz Trio last week... with Julien on drums and Justin (who flew in especially from San Francisco) on the double bass. Great to see them play together again after a fair few years, and to see a host of friendly and familiar faces in the audience. It was also so nice to spend a couple of days in Paris on 'leisure time' and not for work... managed to squeeze in a few exhibitions, seeing friends and family, some touristing around Montmartre and testing out another camera (results soon if they are any good!)
A couple of shots from my test run with the Kodak Retinette 1A - mine is one of the later models, produced around 1963 (I could be off by a year or two). It's all a bit of guesswork... guess the exposure, guess the focal distance and cross your fingers! On the plus side, the lens is lovely & sharp and the exposure seems to be quite forgiving ... and the wind on lever is on the bottom of the body, which is a nice touch. These shots from the Ste Catherine/Canal area of Brussels.
Just came across these shots from early July when Zeebrugge (on the Belgian coast) was host to a European beach rugby tournament... of all things. Our club entered a men and women's team and we actually won a couple of bouts which was nice (Beach rugby is ridiculously exhausting!). It was a great day, aided by the sun making her first appearance of the summer & capped off by a bbq at the camping ground. After surveying the scene, I decided that spending the night there - tent to tent with hundreds of drunk rugby lads - was not for me and headed home to collapse in my own bed.
I thought it was time for a little tip! Since January, I have been collaborating with a great collective of ceramic artists who work from a studio next door to mine. Studio Porcepolis is a working porcelain studio but also a teaching space, open to everyone with an interest in working with porcelain. I've been shooting their headshots, products and classes... and learning a little bit about the techniques and methods as I go along - I'm definitely going to try it out soon. You can contact Eve (who runs the studio) for info about classes or buy some of her funky ceramic creations online.
I'm freshly unpacked from my summer holiday in the South of France - one week in the Pyrenees and another in the Lot & Garonne. It was beautiful, relaxing, sporty, fun ... and I think I managed to consume enough rosé to last me till next summer... maybe.
I took the Canon EF along for the ride and found her pretty fun to use.
Another in my series of testing out old analog cameras. This one is not so old, a fully automatic point and shoot Kyocera/Yashica (Kyocera bought Yashica in 1983 but continued using the brand name as it had a pretty good reputation) - manufactured sometime in the 90s. Picked up for me by my mum at a garage boot sale for a couple of euros. I ran an expired film through it so the colours are a bit off but all in all, I quite like it!
Lately, I've become mildly obsessed with old film cameras - some for their simplicity, most for their design, all for the fun of not seeing the shots until the roll is finished. I am also forced to be a little less obsessed with straight lines and absolute sharpness which digital photography with it's lack of grain and, hence, very polished style, calls for. As I discovered using a throwaway camera in Montpellier, sometimes I just don't feel like shooting on my 'work tool' (much as I love her) when on holiday or walking around town. It helps that these cameras are generally cheap meaning I'm far less paranoid about having them ripped off me!
So here's my Agfa Clack test roll. I picked this funny little box up in a garage boot sale in Evere. It's pretty easy to know it works since the Clack is basically just a plastic casing for a medium format film, with a clunky shutter and two aperture options (sunny or cloudy). I'm guessing the speed is about 1/30th of second so sharpness is pretty much impossible to achieve handheld... and the photos automatically look like they were shot decades ago.