Cameras I Have Known & Loved

“No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film”

Robert Adams, Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques, May 1995

How true is this? Two of my favourite things in life (gosh, I have so many favourites though!) are photography and travel. Combined they bring some of the greatest delight known to man & lady kinds. In aid of more interestingness and an insatiable desire to document, I have finally ponied up the cash for a DSLR. Also, I have a ticket booked for China early next year and I imagine it will be a visually wild trip!

Tomorrow I will welcome to the family a snazzy wee Canon 400D. While it is a relatively old/amateur sized model, my research has shown that investment in good glass (look at me dropping the lingo) will see me through.

I have always loved photography, to the extent my code for online activity has been ‘teststrip’ for several years. So, while I wait, oh so eagerly, for the courier to show up with my new toy, here’s a look at cameras I have known and loved (often to pieces):

ACTION SAMPLER: I got my grubby little mitts on an action sampler by winning it! Yes, Lomosent me one, hurrah. It must have been circa 1999 or so because I remember taking it on grand adventures with my friend Katy (who has been back in the States for many a moon now). Arty compositions were achieved by clicking the button for a 1 second capture and throwing the camera in the air. Repeatedly. Sadly I have none of these scanned but they were relatively fun. The Action Sampler, like all good plastic cameras, leaked light like a mofo.

THE SEAGULL: Also sold by Lomo, but I am unsure as to where I acquired mine. The Seagull is a twin lens reflex, medium format camera and viewing occurs from the top down. While lacking in the focus department, it takes beautiful, luminous images.

CANON AE-1: Admittedly, I bought this camera as it was voted to have one of the sexiest levers or buttons in the world! It is true though – it is a great lever to wind back and forth, and the whole camera is pleasing in appearance. Using it makes me feel like a war photojournalist. It was actually bought for my first overseas trip by myself, to Thailand, which adds to the ‘girl, alone with camera’ feeling I get. It’s good to have a film camera that you know well and can trust to not die from battery failure or other technological maladies.

Rock steady

As seen above (that’s my foot!), I am also partial to the plain old disposable camera. Making cheap, organic results that will surprise you. Right now my flat mate is traveling around Europe with a disposable camera, with the aim of taking a photograph every day at 12pm, no matter where she may be in the world! You should also check out check out Sarah/seventhirty’s 2008 photo project – she takes two photos a day, for a year. I really love how disposable cameras make thematic shooting easy.

While I’m not the best photographer, as you can see, my cameras are quite dear to me. Whether for aesthetics or function they’re all really cool (and there’s 10 or so more still sitting unseen on my shelf). What about you, what are your favourite cameras? Your favoured formats? Are you a once in a year snapper, or do you take daily flicks?

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