You can read about the Travelling Canonet project here. We have over 50 photographers on 4 continents waiting to take part. Two Canonets are involved, each travelling in a different direction. The idea is to take 5 or more shots and then send the camera on to the next person on the list.
Original Canonet – Roll #1
As I write the two cameras involved in this project have been through 8 pairs of hands (including me for both cameras). A Canonet 28 is currently in North America, while the Original Canonet has been pottering around the UK home counties.
I’m pleased to report that we have pictures from the original Canonet!
The following pictures have been produced by myself, Max, Adam, Jeff and Matthew – The film was Kentmere 400, developed in R09 and scanned with a Dimage Scan Elite II.
I’m to blame for the captions.
During lockdown I’ve been overusing a lot of my local photographic haunts, but I wanted to show something of my local area – the river is always an inspiration and the barrier at Charlton offers something a little out of the ordinary. Luckily the fast lens of the Canonet means that grey days are less of a problem than they would be with slower optics. I just found myself hoping that I didn’t break the camera before it reached anyone else on the list.
Frame 9 was unexposed. The following shots were taken around the Shoreditch area.
“Having always used SLRs, I was keen to counter my long-standing bias with the travelling Canonet rangefinder. The weather had been bright and sunny and I was looking forward to some monochrome chiaroscuro. Naturally, when the moment arrived, the thickest layer of wet murky gloom hung over the London skyline consigning all my plans to the realm of fantasy. With poor light, a freezing wind and an endless amount of rain, I headed to the historic Greenwich shoreline for some grimy history and a bout of naval gazing.
The Canonet was heavier than many I’ve used but it proved a handy counterweight as I slipped and slid on the mud and algae covered surfaces. And the hood helped deflect the rain, even if the rain deflected normal souls from their usual larking about. Focusing the rangefinder patch with frozen hands and wet glasses while slowly sinking into the mud, however, was a challenge I hadn’t fully appreciated before embarking on my expedition, especially with an incoming tide. Fortunately for the entire future of the travelling project, the camera made it safely back to dry land cocooned in a camera bag, which is perhaps a little more than can be said for its operator.”
“When I first heard about the Travelling Canonet I was intrigued, when I read about I was very keen to take part. I could see that I was quite close to where Bob lives so I figured it would be either a year or two or a few weeks before I got to get my hands on it. As it happened, I didn’t have to wait long. I was surprised at how nice the camera looked, I’m a Nikon man and Olympus man so was eager to try it. So eager in fact, I didn’t look up the manual on the internet until after I’d ‘wasted’ two of my five frames. Folkestone is normally a bright vibrant town, but the weekend of my turn, it was winter, grey, and Folkestone was dead and cold. Two more frames down, the harbour and Mermaid artwork overlooking the beach, didn’t look promising as great photos, so I carried the camera to a lovely little location that looks good in any weather and shot the last frame. The Arches.
I packaged the camera up, lovely and secure, and posted off to Bob’s next volunteer. And promptly forgot about it.
A month or so later, I got an email entitled ‘Pictures!!’ I’ll let Bob say the rest…. A lovely little opportunity.”
“Using the Canonet was a good chance to get more thoughtful about photography, especially with the 20 second delay on reset of the shutter!*
It was great to use a rangefinder for focus and I enjoyed the simplicity greatly
I was surprised at how easy it was and the quality of images produced.”
*I’m guessing Matthew triggered the delay timer on the barrel of the Canonet – I had never experimented with it.
Many thanks to Max, Adam, Jeff and Matthew, along with all the other participants in the Travelling Canonet project.