I was on holidays down the coast (as we say around here) and because the plan was to just relax I took a roll of black and white film and a Point and Shoot with me. I had a roll of HP5 in my little Canon Snappy LX II. It’s one of my favourite cameras because it is so simple. No focus, and it reads only 400 ISO on its DX. Anything else it defaults to 100. This is cool – because if you take it to the beach and put some Portra 160 in it it will shoot it at 100. Anything 400 will get shot at 400.
This works up to a point – because shutter speeds go 1/45s to 1/200s and aperture f/4.5-f/11. I can tell you this because I looked up the specs and I wrote it down on a bit of gaffer tape and stuck it to the back of the camera for reference. So at the beach I knew my 400 film would be overexposed by a couple of stops. Something else I did with this camera is make it shoot square frames – 24mm x 24mm, by sticking little bits of plastic inside it to mask out the edges of the frame. I did this when I was going all dogma on a project and wanted square frames but didn’t want to crop. I must confess that I like seeing the edges of the square frame.
Another thing I like is that I can think – “OK – most of these shots will be incorrectly exposed, and some will be out of focus and WHO CARES. Let’s make a frame or two and see if we if we can get an IMAGE out of it, shall we?”
I was at an old coastal town in South Australia called Robe. It was an early port and now it’s a crayfishing town and a holiday destination in summer. We were there out of season, which is nice and quiet.
Robe is well known for the Obelisk, which is a signal thing built on a cliff in the 1800s so the ships would not crash into the rocks. A bit like a pointy pyramid lighthouse but with no light. Everywhere you go in Robe you see pictures of the Obelisk. It’s the town mascot. Just about every business in town has an Obelisk in its logo. Everyone who goes to Robe takes photos of the Obelisk – me included.
One morning I thought to myself. “I wonder if I can tell a little story about going for a walk from our house down to the Obelisk. And I wonder if I can take a photo of the Obelisk that’s not a cliche.” So I gave it a go. I planned this to be a story of 10 frames, but of course 35mmc does not have a 10 frames category, so what you’re seeing here is a 5 frames.