Why My Olympus Trip 35mm Is My Favourite Camera

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I couldn’t describe to you what I’m interested in when it comes to photography. It’s a general question that’s asked from other photographers, and it’s totally understandable because I’m interested in what you do too, but how can I answer it when the answer is so wide open?

My reply is pretty similar to this;

Erm.. It’s kind of hard to explain. I don’t do it professionally, once upon a time I wanted to but when I realised the best way to earn a living would be weddings and advertising I was instantly switched off.. I do personal projects, about like.. actually you probably wouldn’t find it interesting, and I’m not sure what purpose they would be for, I just do them and don’t share them – at least not yet. I like a meaning behind them, but I also just like them to look pretty.. That sounds dumb, obviously they have to look somewhat good. I’d like to sell photos I think, but completely on my terms, which is very stubborn I know. I often document things, important things to me, which I assume probably means that’s my favourite form..

Erm.. and.. I don’t give a fudge about the equipment I use.

Pause… Are you still breathing?

If you are the type very interested in the equipment, just hear me out.

I’m 25, so yes my style will probably grow. I know my ideas have grown since college, aged 16-18, but even then I was never the type to be interested in the digital side of the medium. It was so clear seeing which aspect sparked up someone’s passion from the work they handed in, or how they dealt with an assignment. Like school, there were labels for what kind of photographer you were – though not a fan of labels myself. So rather a ‘geek’ or ‘popular’ there were the ones that were interested in having the best SLR, the ones who liked fashion, the ones who liked sport, the ones in it for the money, the ones to liked film, the ones who didn’t really know what they liked, and then the ones who were in the same group as me – but I still don’t know what that’s called. I knew what I liked and disliked, but I suppose the simplest way to describe it would be I liked to capture something that had some meaning to me.

Now, after years of not doing it to complete an assignment, and finding my own inspiration while still not wanting to be a professional photographer, to me photography is a very quick moment in time that I wish to capture. Obvious answer, but I literally mean that. The way my brain works, if I’m somewhere and I see a frame I want to take a photo instantly of what I see. Right. Then. I don’t want to pause and think, I don’t want to take loads of photos trying different angles, I don’t want to keep going until I have the ‘perfect’ photo. It’s not about the perfect photo. It’s a snap of the finger. It’s a flash of lightening, a jolt, something has shaken up the Earth for one second and the need in me wants to photograph that inspiration. The feeling is very quick and can disappear just as fast. It’s a feeling of elation, or hope, a spark, I see something that has stirred a feeling in me and I want to capture that very moment, not a few seconds after.

Obviously I’m not that quick, I’m not super human, it’s not a stressed out situation where I faff to get my camera out and then ‘damn, I’ve missed it!’ but instead I take the photo and move on. This is also bearing in mind that I have my ‘photography goggles’ on – I’m out with the purpose of taking photographs, it’s in my hand or close reach, and in the back of my mind I’m naturally framing everything I see so if find that spark of inspiration comes along I’m ready. I also wouldn’t take a photo if I don’t find it. This all being said, I hope you realise I’m talking about my personal photography rather than if I were taking a photo of a product or something specific where you actually have to get the ‘perfect’ shot.

I just find it so fascinating and liberating how a camera can capture how you view the world. At college everyone in my class would take a photo differently of the same object, and it’s wonderful to think this tool you have – whether it’s a crappy one or the best money can buy – can show others what you’re seeing, and you can read so much into a person because of that. Growing up wanting to be a photographer got confusing because I wanted to be the best I could be (and when I couldn’t I would give in), I wasn’t even sure what direction I wanted to go or how I wanted to frame something so I could be ‘different’ or ‘perfect’. It doesn’t have to be about perfection, that pressure can disappear, and it doesn’t have to be a competition. Just tell a story. You forget how simple it can be – you can get your own style by just being yourself.

I believe you can suck the life out of a photo so much that there’s nothing real left and there’s no meaning, and that’s a mistake I don’t like to achieve.

Now this is where my Olympus Trip comes in. I know I said I don’t care about equipment – I want to tell the story, not what I took the story on – but this amazing little camera works wonders for this style. I love it so much, I value it enormously, it has naturally become my go to camera. I got it from one of my best friends for my 17th birthday, and she bought it from a boot fair for a couple of quid – before they got popular. When we were at college together we were always experimenting with all different equipment, manly film, but we would literally just play with cameras or in the studio, and somehow our teacher allowed us to because I suppose he saw us learning even if we thought we were just playing.

Along the years I just learnt how to use this camera really well. I can choose the focus easily and quickly, and it’s usually right. I started viewing every shot I made on any camera through the eyes of my trippy, and over time whatever I hoped to come out would come out as I wanted. I was always better with film, even at college, but with Mr Trip something clicked. It was definitely trial and error though the years, don’t get me wrong even now there are dud photos, we just have learnt to morph together. What tops it off is that the colours are beautiful, if using film wasn’t so expensive I would without a doubt use it constantly – unfortunately it’s not practical enough for everyday things I need to photograph.

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So when I say photography has developed into an emotional thing for me and its more about the feeling I felt at that time, this camera will win every time, hands down, in helping me capture that.

This is my long winded answer to what I’m interested in. I’ve found when I’m asked I can’t give that person the discussion about equipment that they thrive on. It seems funny to me, I don’t care what I use, I just want to get the shot. Personally, I’m not interested in the equipment, and I’m happy that I’ve found a camera I can work with so well. I haven’t found a way to say any of this quickly and that doesn’t offend or disinterest the other person, but maybe it doesn’t matter. Whether you see photography as an art form or not, we are still on the same side. Express yourself however you want.

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Photos taken while in college

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Photos from Day Tripper

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My last shift in a photo centre is on Saturday. I’m going to miss those Charlie’s Angels. New starts brings out reflection in me.

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Photograph by Amy Simpson
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Four Lens Magic

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Every time I use film I’m reminded why I love it so much. I full on heart-eye-emoji and cartwheel all over it.

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This camera has been about for a while, it’s nothing new and exciting like when they first came out in Urban Outfitters – I can’t be the only teenager that would only go in there to gawk at the cameras and ‘quirky’ stuff. I’ve owned it/took from my brother and never thought too much of it other than it being a gimmick. I’ve used it on and off over the years, it’s pretty cool looking back – in the future I’ll make a post comparing photos from when I was 16 and now at 25, using the same cameras. There’s clearly so much you can do with this little guy that I haven’t explored yet, these are just random snaps taken over a few months.

But the photos taken on the overcast day, like YES, right?! Just yes. Yes. Detective/looks like we just buried a body/horror film/did I fall over or something? I have no memory of it. All of the above could have happened. I’m not at liberty to say.

There’s definitely more photos to come, currently loading a film camera as we speak. Not really. Let’s pretend I am. Clearly I’m typing.

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Have a magical day!

Film Soaking With Vinegar

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Better late than never? How often is that saying true? Well my summer project does still exist, just because I’ve waited so long to share the photos doesn’t mean my summer didn’t happen. I’m just always late to the party, you know. But that usually means I turn up drunk.. Or I’m the last one standing.. Where am I going with this?

So I tried film soaking and that was fun. I love an experiment, but an experiment with photography and my knees are knocking and my hands are shaking. Maybe I should get that looked at. This 35mm film was soaked in vinegar for 2 days, then soaked in water for 3 days and dried out in rice. These photos were taken on my trusted pal Olympus Trip 35.

Other than looking like we all have been infected with a deadly virus (but still having time to drink gin and tonic out of ‘shake it up’ glasses) I’m loving a bit of soak-a-film-to-make-it-look-all-weird-and-cool. That’s the technical term.

Tune in next time for some more film soaking with diseases such as gangrene, scurvy and the black death.

Summer Project Back To Life

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Oh hi strangers, I’ve not been around for a bit have I? I haven’t forgotten about you I was just living life, you know. So my July and August project of taking photos of my everyday life on film hasn’t been discarded, I’ve taken the photos, I just haven’t shared them. But I am here to do that right now for week two!

I’m not a perfectionist and I don’t care about details but I’ve used four films so far so I’m assuming I’m using a film a week. Possibly. For this film I used my Olympus Trip MD3, which is super easy to use, you don’t have to think about anything. Well you can, like what to have for dinner tonight, or if you can go one more day not washing your hair – what no I wouldn’t do that… This week had ups and downs if I remember correctly, hence the face plant photo but it’s all cool, that’s part of it. Enjoy!

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My First Experiment With Film For July

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I started my July and August film project with my Diana camera. I had mentioned in that post that I completely forgot how to use the camera so I was positively sure nothing had come out, but thankfully something came out. Not great stuff, but there sure is stuff.

Things I’ve learnt for next time; it is a 70mm lens which means selfies will be a lot like the below photo (though I’m sure my Mum and I would have ruined that photo anyway) (I knew this, but I still had a go) (because why not). Check all buttons and switches before taking the photo, the realisation that it was on pinhole or bulb after I had taken the photo was painful. Also, the main thing to remember is that the viewfinder is square (because Diana’s take square photos) but, Emilyannlou, you are using 35mm so the photos won’t be square! Use your brain, it has to be cropped in some way.

Enough ranting on myself, here are a few photos from my first week of July.

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Regardless, these first few days were great and I’m feeling good for doing this project. For the last few days I’ve been using my Olympus trip MD3, and once that’s finished I’ll share the photos. There was a film already in there so I had that processed first, and oh wow it’s about 17 years old. I’ll share a few of those photos another time.

Have a great day!

July And August / 62 Days / Summer Challenge

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I had planned to write this post yesterday on the 1st, but instead I spent the hottest day ever recorded in England for July in Greenwich. Apparently it was hotter than Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Canaries, and even the Sahara Desert. Apparently; I haven’t actually done any research other than read a few news headlines. I didn’t know at the time it was officially a record breaking day, I just knew while we were walking around London, having a picnic, on a boat, and then walking back up that MASSIVE hill in the the park that I was dripping with sweat, where as I don’t usually walk around London dripping with sweat. Maybe the give away was the instant relief when we would stop in at a shop with air-conditioning, and then leaving it feeling like we’ve just walked into an oven. I don’t think my thinking went past ‘Wow, it is boiling today. I really fancy an ice cream. Swimming would be fun. Speaking of swimming, what’s that dripping down my arms? Oh.. Sweat.. I really fancy an ice cream.’ But heat fries your thinking. In fact I was in the exact same place on Sunday (when these photos were taken) and I wasn’t dripping with sweat. Too much detail? I’m all showered, squeaky clean with a fan blaring at my face as I write this, if that’s better imagery. I’m into it though, the heat. But I would also be into air-conditioning in English homes.

So back to the post, today I am sharing with you my summer challenge. Think 365 photo project, but 303 less days and it’ll be more random, especially when it comes to posting the outcome on my blog BECAUSE (drum roll please) I will be using only film * and the crowd goes wild*. I aim to take photos every day, but as film is unpredictable maybe nothing will come out. NOTHING AT ALL. Will that be my excuse when I don’t post anything for a while because I forgot to take photos? You will never know.

Film is my thing. If it wasn’t for film I would be significantly less interested in photography. I have a collection of cameras that is far beyond what you see in my photo – an unofficial collection that happened without me even realising – and I just want to experiment with them. I have lots of out of date film that I want to try out, not even sure why I was hoarding them, and there are even cameras I don’t recognise (so I assume they are my parents cameras) with film half way used in them. Assuming stupid teenage Emily has already opened the back once to see what was going on, I am going to finish them to really see what’s going on. Whatever that means.

I have APS film that when out of date in 2004 – I was 13 so I’m sure they aren’t mine. I have poloroid film that I been putting off using for years because they discontinued them. I have a throw away camera from 2012 – why? 120mm film, black and white film, a fish eye lens, are you even still reading?, a box brownie (that’s not food), a Diana with a 120mm and a 35mm back, and a camera shaped like McDonald’s fries that was bought in a charity shop in Malta. I’ll insert the photo from 2012 for lols.
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I won’t be using my McDonald’s camera, sorry. I also saw this post and I am so excited to experiment and try it out. I have never even HEARD of film soaking let alone done it. It sounds too good to be true, is it a troll post??

I will also use in-date film. Maybe.

Summary; My summer challenge is to document what I am naturally doing everyday, with film.

I started yesterday at Greenwich with my Diana with 35mm film, and I’m positively sure nothing came out because I completely forgot how to work it. It’s cool, there’s always today and there’s always tomorrow.

(Sidenote: I will be using digital cameras/my phone too. I am human, and digital cameras are a natural way of life. They just won’t be part of this challenge, so no drunk selfies on the blog unfortunately.)

Thanks for reading and have a great day!