Something old.

Let’s start with a brief trip down memory lane, that ends in a rather humorous story with happy conclusions. I “Found” my first camera when i was pretty young, by which i mean that i was rooting through the massive amount of collected items that were compacted into my grandparents home. I made a regular exercise of this, much to the very well voiced disdain of my grandmother who was prompt to reprimand me for my nosing about. Despite her attempts, there was so much stuff for my young imagination to grab hold of that there was no stopping me! And here i found it, tucked away in a drawer in my grandpas study, an ancient SLR with one lens that threaded on. The winding action, and the sound of the mechanical shutter were like music to my make believe world of “Detectives” or “Reporters” and there was no going back. My Uncle, who is a Photographer himself, took note of my find and budding interest and decided to drop a roll of film in this antique machine i’d found and really let me go to town. With barely the basics in my head (I really only new not to open the back, and to turn these two nobs so that the needle was in the middle of the “meter”) I’m not sure were all of those pictures got to, nor do i remember really any of them being either in focus or really expose, but that was the hook. I’d been had, i loved taking pictures! A few years later, while visiting my uncle in Minneapolis for a look at MCAD where he taught as well as some just general sight seeing, he blessed me with an all black Olympus OM-1n, the antique i found at my grandparents having long since jammed tight. This was a whole new ball game! The tank that was now jammed an sitting in a drawer somewhere felt ridiculous compared to the sleek, lightweight and elegant OM-1. Even though it was over a decade older than me i loved that camera, and the idea of using any other film SLR hasn’t occurred to me since. I got a second OM-1 my freshman year of college, along with a few new lenses (which came with the body) and decided to shoot with this newer camera as my main system, storing the old body with a 50mm lens away until i might need it again another day. I shot enough T-Max100 film my freshman year of college to put a small silver mine out of business, and skipped half my classes to spend as much time as possible in the wet lab enlarging and manipulating as much as i could. I was insatiable. And then, my Uncle (who has never failed to help me on this path) gave me my first digital SLR. It showed up in the mail one day, a beautiful brand new Olympus E-500 starter kit. And my OM-1 and it’s lenses wound up packed nice and neat in there own camera bag tucked neatly away in my closet. About eight years, and many moves later, I decided that now seemed like a good time to try and shoot some film again. But where on earth did my old OM-1 with it’s lenses get to? In my hunt i discovered that I’d unfortunately stored it in my basement, which is notorious for slight flooding and humidity. The lenses, by some miracle, were unharmed. My faithful old OM-1, not so much. It looked alright, but after a few winds there was a small popping noise and that was her last. Saddened with my loss i decided i still very badly would like to shoot film, and i still had all of my OM-1 lenses so i would like to stick with what i know. After much Ebay trolling i had to come with terms that i couldn’t just pick another one up for $30 with two lenses like i could years ago, so i placed a bid on a body only and managed to bring it in for a little over $35 after shipping, not too horrible still. Excited about my find i decided to go ahead and retire my old OM-1 body to my collection of antique cameras that i keep in an old footlocker i have (this is another story) and what’s sitting right there, none other than the black OM-1 given to me by my uncle years ago just waiting it’s turn. So, i took it out and gave it the once over. And boy did she run, just like old times! I had to go give this a test run, so out we went. Myself, my amazing wife, and my two friends one of whom is also an amateur photographer, and boy what a turn out.

Olympus OM-1 Zuiko 50mm f1.8 with Fujifilm 400iso
Olympus OM-1 Zuiko 50mm f1.8 with Fuji 400

No matter how hard i’ve tried, i can’t capture images like this with my D100, they’re just lacking the warmth, and the depth that film brings with it. I’ve got so many more photo’s from this to show you too, but for now here’s just a reminder that just because it’s not the latest and greatest doesn’t mean you can’t capture something incredible.

~Wes

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