This Olympus camera from the 1970s has a near perfect form factor for me. Its the film camera I can take anywhere and depend on. However the first copy I picked up (review) came with lens that had seen better days. After running a few rolls through the camera it was a model that worked well, but there was a nagging feeling that the scratched lens was a liability, there was a noticeable loss impact on contrast on some images. Buy cheap, buy twice is a saying with truth . So I kept on the lookout for one in better nick and when one came up on an auction that looked in great condition and came with the original lens hood (I havent seen may of these around) at a reasonable price I had no hesitation. Upon its arrival I was surprised it was supplied with a new battery and after installing it even more surprised to find the aperture priority mode for automatic exposure worked. Result!
Street photography, moreso than landscape photography, has a far steeper learning curve in my opinion. With the latter its still easy to appreciate a reasonably well composed shot of a nice place, even if it lacks much in the way of individuality. There can be challenge in getting to the location, especially in the right light, which conversely probably makes this much more difficult to master. On the other hand street photography is typically right in front of us, every day. There are an infinite amount of interesting things to capture but normally they pass by your eye as a mundane background to your busy life. The skill of a great street photographer is to capture that moment that would otherwise have disappeared unappreciated into the annals of history but upon your viewing you get a new insight into society that you would have otherwise not appreciated.
Despite my appreciation of street photographers work, it is not a genre of photography I have tried much myself. Photographing people has never been something I particularly enjoyed, posed or not. However what has piqued my interest is some of the photo books of Ernst Haas, Fred Herzog and Saul Lieter I own and their capture of the vibrant colours of advertising billboards of their era. Advertising is an interesting historical artifact, trying to sell us who we should be at that particular moment. Photography typically ages well, becoming more poignant with time as the world changes. Advertising provides a perfect subject for nostalgia. And so it was with this in mind that the above two pictures caught my eye. The auto exposure of the 35RC appears to have to overexposed the cheap Kodak Colorplus 200 film that I was using to test it. I brought the exposure down a bit from scanning and I may next time try rating down half a stop.
One of my biggest challenges with street photography is actually getting close up. You need to fill the frame for impact, and this camera has a fixed 42mm lens, so no option to try something longer. A full frame of something mundane can draw the eye to more subtle details, although in this instance its the colour palette that I liked.
Finally a snapshot near Oxford Circus tube station. I follow a few active street photographers that use this are as one of their key locations. For me, I was neither patient enough or aiming for anything particular enough for this image to be any better. But it will be interesting in a decade to see what the interesting things about this image will be in hindsight of the change that is sure to come.