“Your package has been withheld by the Customs Office of Slovakia.” It is late January and I journey across the city to retrieve the camera. After much waiting and shouting about bureaucracy and laws, and in the end paying import tax, I am given a small box. Within is the Traveling Yashica.
For my turn with the Traveling Yashica, I loaded it up with a leftover roll of Agfa Precisa CT 100 slide film and when out to shoot.
Just as I stepped outside, the weather turned into a snowstorm. A few strides later, I slip on covered ice and fall violently. I hold the camera in my pocket, protecting it. It is safe and sound. My feet lead me up the castle hill, to places of power. There, I make a couple of shots, careful not to fall again, avoiding getting too much snow on the lens. The shutter is snappy, the glass sharp. I turn around and head for the lowlands and the presidential palace.
It is cold and I am covered head to toe. My face is hidden underneath a hat and a scarf. I look suspicious, more so by standing around the palace fence and loitering. The presidential guard looks at me, bends down ever so slightly and presses an alarm button built into the side of his post. Moments later, a plain clothes security officer walks out from within the palace, putting on gloves. I take one look at her, shake my head and disappear into the underpass.
The snow storm subsides. With the roll finished, I pack the camera back into its box and send it to the next photographer. The film is cross processed and results are evaluated.
Additional thoughts on the camera:
1. While it is very small, the T5 carries enough weight to be held firmly without feeling flimsy.
2. The shutter is very sensitive, sometimes too much. In half of the shots, I wanted to focus and reframe the composition, but ended up actually snapping the image.
3. The “super scope” waist-level finder is a pretty neat feature, although I ended up using it just to try it out, not for an actual shot.
4. At $200 (or more), the T5 is way overpriced of a compact, never mind the Carl Zeiss lens. Not for your average photographer.
A red star sits on top of the grave of a Soviet soldier. Malacky, Slovakia, 2014
The Welcoming, a sculpture by Ján Kulich, stands in front of the building of the Slovak National Council. Bratislava, Slovakia, 2014.
Slovak and European Union flags fly in the wind with the Bratislava Castle in the background. Bratislava, Slovakia, 2014.
“The power of truth is unbeatable, if it is armed with the light of knowledge.” ~ John Amos Comenius
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