Meandering around Miami

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I spent the tail end of 2013 and the first week of 2014 hanging out around Miami and the Florida Keys - we weren't overly blessed with the weather as it was pretty grey and rainy for a third of our trip but we still got in a couple of beach days, some sunny roadtrippin', a great day of scuba diving (incredibly clear waters!), a daytrip to the beautiful Everglades, some shopping (way less painful in America, why?), the largest mojito I will ever see, too many peanut butter flavoured foodstuffs, lots of reading and chilling. Feeling ready for whatever 2014 has to throw my way!
Took my Canon A1 along...which I love not only because it was manufactured the same year I was, but also because it is historically significant - it being the first SLR to offer an electronically controlled exposure mode.

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Olympus OM-1

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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... 

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Retinette 1A

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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.

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Agfa Clack

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.

Agfa Clack (Manufactured 1954-1965) 

Agfa Clack (Manufactured 1954-1965) 

Schaerbeek, Rue des Palais

Schaerbeek, Rue des Palais

Schaerbeek

Schaerbeek

Ixelles, Rue du Berger

Ixelles, Rue du Berger

Brussels, Galerie des Rois

Brussels, Galerie des Rois

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