For some time now my partner has been dropping heavy hints that she would like to try film photography. She would be the the first to admit, and she does, that she’s no photographer. She’s not even in the happy snapper class subscribing more to the jab it somewhere near the shutter button and hope for the best school of thought. Pondering how to overcome this generally frowned upon technique I reasoned that if she used something more than a point and shoot she would be forced to concentrate on what she was doing. Not, I hasten to add, that there’s anything wrong with a point and shoot as some of the impressive results obtained from them and featured here on 35mmc will testify.
The time to test this theory came the other weekend when I had about half a roll left to go in my Minolta XD7. Set to aperture priority with the rings on a 50mm lens secured midway with tape it became, in effect, a point and shoot without losing its feel and handling characteristics.
Greenwich is just a short bus ride away and spoils you with photographic choice: the Thames riverside, Old Naval College which is now part of the University of Greenwich, Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, Observatory, I could go on but I won’t. Suffice to say, we took the bus.
We took the bus and I also took a Minolta SRT 101b, with the idea that we would take similar shots of the same subject and then compare results, perhaps even seeing if a sort of his and her Minolta project were possible.
Herself soon got the hang of it and wanted to do her own thing. So leaving her to get on with it I decided to practise some gentle street photography because the other thing that Greenwich has got is people, usually hordes of them but in these strange times not quite so many as usual. Ideally, as I tend to feel self-conscious when it comes to street photography, the XD7 would have been a better choice, it’s unobtrusive and it’s quiet, almost as good as a rangefinder in those respects. However, my partner was already referring to it as “my camera” and had commandeered the spare roll of film so a silver brick with a little more than ten frames left it would have to be.
Concentrating on the next shot.
The colonnades of the Naval Collage provide seemingly endless photographic opportunities. I wonder if she was deliberately posing.
I feel a bit guilty about this one.
A jazz trio outside the Cutty Sark was an enjoyable finale to the afternoon.
And that was that, no more film. All that remained was to rescue the budding photographiste from the middle of a busy road – “I want to get a shot of those gates” – and to seek some refreshment.
As a postscript in case some of you may be wondering how my partner fared, here’s a bonus frame from her.
Thanks for reading.