With Brexit heading into overdrive and blessing the news cycle with round-the-clock developments and a couple of nights out in Leeds and Manchester on the cards, myself and three mates decided to hire a car and have a route around the north of England to get to know the country that we love and have spent our lives in but also know next to nothing about.
It was with the same sense of vague unknowing, having only used it once before, that I pulled my Konica Auto S3 from the shelf in the faith that it’s 38mm f1.9 lens coupled with rolls of Portra 400, Portra 800 and Fuji 400h would cover a broad spectrum of needs and weather across our five day journey.
From London to the dramatic ruggedness of the Lake District we stopped off at picturesque Buxton (for the water) and a sun-drenched Bakewell (for the tarts) before a couple of nights in moody (weather, not people) Keswick to climb a legit mountain (1000ft) and eat our body weights in a combination of Cumberland sausage, pies and pints.
The industrial end of the trip took us through the terraced backwaters of Bradford for the city’s finest chip butty (cooked in beef dripping), along the canals of UNESCO listed Saltaire, through the other-worldliness of the Yorkshire dales and onto the creative enclave that is Hebdon Bridge.
Through the Konica’s faded rangefinder I discovered a renewed sense of understanding for my island home and the people and places that make it tick beyond the divisions that have, for the most part, defined the last three years. The Auto S3 was an equal match for anything the North could throw at it, slipping seamlessly into a coat pocket at the first sign of rain and its electronics mostly exposing correctly from blue to black skies and everything in-between.
More than anything, I know I made the right choice with the Konica Auto S3, even if the rangefinder was a little off (info on how to fix it here). Viewing this awe-inspiring world through that tiny yellowed patch and limited to shutter priority (my personal preference is aperture priority) forced me to slow down and consider everything that was happening around me, possibly for the first time ever, at least in my own back garden.
You can see more of my photos here @entitledtodance
You can find a review of the Konica Auto S3 here