Compact Photographers

35mm Compact Photographer #18 – Oswaldo Guadarrama

March 6, 2016

First, a bit of background? As much or as little as you are comfortable sharing… Name, Where you are from, what you do, What else in life do you enjoy? that sort of thing?

My name is Oswaldo Guadarrama Ortiz, 25 years old, I was born/live in Mexico but spent many years living in the great state of Indiana(US). I went to college for law. Besides photography I’m into skateboarding, even though I don’t much partake in the physical act of it anymore I still very much enjoy watching it.

How long have you been taking photos?

I think I started when I was 15 or 16, with digital point and shoots and disposable cameras, just messing around taking photos around the neighborhood, I remember buying skateboarding magazines and looking at the pictures and wanted to do the same thing with my friends(of course we weren’t as good!). when I was 19 I moved back to Mexico and it was around this time when I bought a film SLR and started teaching myself photography, and I’ve been shooting ever since.

What sort of photography do you enjoy or partake in the most (street, landscape, etc)?

I enjoy the act of taking pictures in general. I carry a camera everywhere I go, with the intent of capturing pretty much anything that catches my eye. I mostly take a lot of photos just documenting the lives of my family, my friends, stuff I see on the street, etc. Lately I’ve been going out a lot to shoot street photography (I’m not that scared to put a camera up in someone’s face anymore!), sometimes my friends and I go on hikes to shoot photos of nature and landscapes. I wish I took more portraits though.

Which is/are your favourite 35mmc compact/rangefinder cameras? 

My favorite compact camera is this Olympus XA2 that I got as a gift a couple years ago, sadly it no longer works. Lately though, I’ve been really into my Olympus Stylus Epic. That’s my favorite camera at the moment.

The Olympus Stylus Epic, my current go-to camera. Internet hype did me right this time, this thing is so great.

How big a part of your photography life are 35mm compact cameras/rangefinders?

These days, I’d say about 90% of my photography is with compact film cameras, with the other 10% split between the quick cell phone shots and an SLR I use for action shots or when I want to slow down a bit.

What about the experience of shooting with these cameras appeals to you?

I feel like they make photography fun, by simplifying things and making the experience about taking the photo. I can literally point and shoot without worrying about technical things like apertures or shutter speeds.

How do you feel they have effected your style? become part of it? or are the reason for it…?

Well, shooting film in general I feel affects my style because I can enjoy the process of taking a picture instead of looking at the image right away after every shot as I would do if using a cell phone or digital camera. which to me makes things a lot more fun and less distracting. Doing so on a compact camera just allows me to have a camera on me way more often, thus I take more pictures.

What is it specifically about these cameras that appeal to you so much?

They’re small and discrete so they don’t get in the way, I can take them pretty much everywhere, just put them in my pocket or around my neck and forget about.

What was the path to this shooting habit? How did you discover it appealed to you?

I was always around interesting people and interesting situations and wanted to document them but didn’t want to carry a big camera around everywhere. When I got my first compact camera it became easier to take a camera everywhere and I realized that I ended up getting more shots, shots that I liked!

Show us your favourite/best images taken with a compact or rangefinder camera?

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Hamish Gill
    March 15, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Some great shots here!
    And this – “I feel like they make photography fun” I couldn’t agree with any more!
    Thanks for the post Oswaldo

  • Reply
    tete de loup
    March 16, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Nice shots!
    Since I have a Leica M6 i’m not using my 35mm shooters like i would and it seems to be an error because it’s always fun, no pression, flash is easy to use, the weight, the focus … I’d love to try a Contax T2 or T3

  • Reply
    Charles
    March 17, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I’ve enjoyed the natural immediacy of your shots Oswaldo, particularly the subdued black and white portrait of the young woman with flowers behind her which is very striking. Good stuff.

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