The text message from my brother said there was a package heading my way but I was not to open it until Christmas. Being we are both camera junkies and most of our weekly phone calls are camera related, I assumed the packaged contained something pertaining to photography. When the package arrived I was surprised, as well as intrigued, by the size and heft of it. Christmas was still a week or so away and the anticipation was killing me. To put it mildly, I was like a child at, well, Christmas!
Christmas Eve arrived and after celebrating the holiday at church and enjoying fellowship with some family friends, I discovered that it was a few strokes after midnight which made it Christmas Day. Without much trouble I convinced my wife that we should open our presents before going to bed. Opening the box from my brother revealed two separate packages with very specific instructions regarding the order I was to open them. The excitement grew.
When I unwrapped the box I was instructed to open first, I was greeted by the sight of the Yashica-TLR pictured above. Shock gave way to giddiness in the span of about 5 seconds. I had never even handled a TLR camera, though I had seen them several times before in various antique shops and a couple of dusty, small town camera shops I had visited in various travels. I won’t go into a detailed overview of the camera as there are plenty of thorough write-ups to be found, but, suffice it to say, the old world vintage mechanical workings and the waist level viewfinder completely captured my imagination. Thankfully, the second package contained a roll of FP4, TMax 100, and Portra 400.
To familiarize myself with the camera I shot the roll of FP4 around town here in Kenai. I had to make a trip up to Anchorage in the next couple months to pick up my granddaughter from the airport and wanted to save the roll of Portra for the drive up there and for some shots around downtown Anchorage. I had previously shot Portra in my 35mm Nikon (you can see some of them here and here) and loved the muted color tones that take me back to the snapshots of a bygone era. Once again, Portra did not disappoint. Walking around downtown Anchorage, the Yashica garnered more than a little attention from those on the street who were very much interested in what kind of device I was shooting with.
Thanks for coming along on this short trip to Anchorage with me and my new Yashica-Mat. If you have never shot a TLR, you owe it to yourself to give one a go!