The American South has fascinated me, ever since I came to the US. I don’t really know what was it exactly – the accent, the perceived beauty or the images from ‘Gone with the Wind’ that I once watched with my grandma and mom – but the attraction was there. So when the opportunity presented itself – my friends moved to Savannah – it only took me a couple of months to buy the tickets to pay them a visit.
The most important question, of course, was what camera to take with me. The choices were:
- Yashica Mat LM – It’s compact, discreet, but unreliable (I was yet give it a proper CLA)
- Fuji X-Pro1 – I love the camera, but it was leisure time; I wanted to shoot film!
- Nikkormat FTN – I had too many lenses for it; too many tough choices!
- Canonet QL19 – My new favourite, it has a 45mm is a good focal length for me!
On the morning of the flight everything fell into place, the Canonet went into my bag, and off I went to call an Uber, hanging it over my shoulder and grabbing my trusted plastic film holder with some color and black and white film on the way out.
I grabbed a couple of shots on my way to the airport, shot some frames of the planes tails and NYC form up top – I was pretty content. My friends met me at the airport. I even managed to get some shots while we were driving from the airport to their place.
And then, the Canonet just stopped working. I rewinded the film, opened the back – and the film door latch broke off. It was doomed! So I just threw it on my bed and grudgingly walked away.
iPhone to the rescue
The only camera I had now, was my iPhone 7. It takes pretty decent photos in good light, and I would have to make do with around 28mm focal length – but its much better then nothing. I shot the lovely streets, the plantation we went to, my friend’s dog playing in the field and even some portraits. To fulfil my need for film look I used the RNI film app, which, for most of my phone photos I like better than VSCO. Subsequently, I felt the photos were lovely, I even printed some 4×5’s to send back to Savannah.
I am honestly surprised that this one time I did not have a backup, my chosen film camera broke. But, I guess you can call it a karma of sorts. The iPhone shots were good, but not perfect, and missed that special feeling of excitement when you are anxiously waiting for the developed rolls, but shots were taken, and for the next two weeks I still turned into a walking advert for “Visit Savannah”