Life has been a bit testing recently. The C word has come into my family and managed to wreak the havoc that I have only read or heard about previously, and never experienced myself. A few weeks back my dear old dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. The Welsh Mafia that is my family mobilised and got him into the best care possible as quickly as possible and we go day by day. Encourage those around you between the ages of 60-74 to get screened. It’s undoubtably saved my father. Info here.
Concurrent to this family event happening I had pitched in a piece on an upcoming bike packing trip to an online mag specialising in design and adventure. There was one catch for the mag to be interested- the images would preferably be taken on film. Not having a camera to my name, let alone a film camera, I wondered where to start and sat on it for a few days. Eventually, amongst the rather hectic life period I seem to have fallen into at this moment, the penny dropped. My father has been involved with photography for most of his life, and would of course be able to, and subsequently told me, he would love to help me with this project. A couple of emails to the editor later with some encouragement and kind words following his own experiences, we were set.
So, on a rainy Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago we sat in his office perusing The Bay, weighing up the various pros and cons of spending £100 compared to £500. I want away with a list of possibles, and set a few watch alerts to see what was what. A few more days of reading some blogs and a bit more browsing, and I noticed that a small and simple point and shoot Konica C35v from the late 1960’s was averaging at under £20! For someone who doesn’t have a lot of cash spare right now, I wondered whether this could be the one. A quick message to dad revealed that he indeed had owned one of these compacts. So why didn’t he still own it? Well this is the beautiful bit. He traded it in, complete with the underwater housing he owned for it from his diving days, to purchase a bike and touring gear.
Life is a funny old thing sometimes, and that was enough for me to take a punt on an E-bay purchase and get hold of one.
£14.99 later (+ £15 for the courier) I held in my possession this little camera, a real thing of vintage beauty. It had a film in it, and all the seller could tell me was that she had found it in a house clearance. It was debatable whether it would work, so I shot the rest of the film and went to an increasingly hard to find film shop with people who actually know about this stuff in Cardiff to get it developed. The guys in there were ace, and talked me through everything. 12 hours later I had scanned images on my computer with a few absolute crackers, and quite a few disasters, but I guess that is the joy of this project.
It’s not going to be 100% perfect, but I think that reflects life right now. There will be some good ones amongst the bad much like the days of the week at present, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we get out of it in the next couple of weeks.