35mm Compact Photographer #6 – Nicholas Poole – Armed with an Oly 35SP

By Nicolas Poole

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?

Nicholas Poole from New Orleans, currently living in Austin.  I’m an avid back packer, mt biker, fisher, and classic camera user, sailor

How long have you been taking photos?

I’ve been actively shooting and developing film since I was a kid.

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

I mostly shoot journalist style, I try to convey lots of information in my shots to tell the story to anyone that sees them

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

My main gun is an olympus 35SP so I’d say a big part

What about the experience of shooting with them appeals to you? 

The ability to always have a camera on me wit out it being cumbersome.

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

For sure, the limitations of a fixed lens and either rangefinder, or zone focus really makes you focused on the image making

Which is/are your favourite cameras? the one/s that go with you the most? 

 Olympus 35SP, nikon f100, yashica mat 124g

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

The olympus is small and has a great lens, the nikon is adaptable and fast with the ability to shoot long lenses, the yashica has a larger negative and slows me down

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

If this is in reference to the above question then it was a long long journey of buying repairing shooting and selling to find what worked for me.  I wanted to have the correct tool for the job at hand with little compromise.

Show us your favourite/best image/s taken with a compact camera?

Children at summer camp – Tri-x – Olympus 35sp

image (1)
Before evacuating from some hurricane in Alabama – Hp5 – Olympus 35sp

image (2)
Hurricane Katrina aftermath (Didn’t scan too well) – Tri-x – Canon af35m

What films do you shoot with and why? 

Trix and hp5, they are readily available locally, excellent contrast, easy to develop in my bathroom

How, where, why do you process and or print your photos?

use a windowless bathroom with a towel stuffed under the door.  I do my own because I can’t trust labs to not scratch my negs or ruin them.  When I screw up I know it was my fault, when they screw up and i get back a strip of black they blame me.

What other cameras/type of camera do you regularly shoot with and why – what situations require something else/more if any?

As said above I often shoot a nikon and yashica.  Rangefinders aren’t the greatest at focusing long lenses, and 35mm isn’t the best medium for certain subjects.  Street, family and friend photos are perfect for the little compacts but sports require  longer lenses and faster focusing, shutter priority is also nice,  my yashica gets used for landscape and stuff that just looks better in a square.
I’m also a classic user (one of the original members of the classic camera group on MySpace), I want to say collector but unlike collectors I use each and everyone, when it stops getting used off it goes to someone whom I trust to care for it the right way.  Just recently I traded a nikon FE in near mint condition for a parts 35SP to fix my spot meter.  I wasn’t using the FE and my olympus is now perfect.  Sure I got the bad end of the deal but it went to a good friend whom i trust will use the hell out of it.   Shutter exercise is paramount to the survival of these old gems.  I like the older cameras because they work just as well if not better than the newer stuff.  Sometimes they have little quirks but that is half the fun.  Uncharted glass, backwards rotation for aperture, mercury batteries, or selenium cells.  THey also get attention from people which may spark someone else to dust off grandpas camera and load some film.  The more people buying film the better.


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