Compact Photographers

35mm Compact Camera Photographer #31 – Trenton Trammell

January 31, 2019

I’m Trenton Trammell, an 18 year old college student living in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m a full time student, often indulging myself in spontaneous skateboarding sessions and trips to other colleges to visit my friends.

I began taking photos when I was 15 due to my acquisition of my grandfather’s Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL. From there I learned the basics of photography through trial, error, and online resources. I didn’t have much inspiration or direction in those days, but that was okay because I was enjoying myself. Often times I look back at my first exposures and feel a nostalgia for a past time while acknowledging that my photographic habits have changed, and for the better.

Since the beginning of my adventure as a photographer I’ve enjoyed colorful portraits in which the subject interacts with the available light, props, or scene in a meaningful way, and that’s how I like to shoot when I’m out and about. Simply having a camera “in the moment” draws interest and introduces me to new people. Being able to capture a unique scene at first notice is a huge determinant in whether or not I bring a certain camera with me.

The 28mm on the Tiara super sharp and punchy!

When I first began photography I didn’t understand the differences between digital and analog, so I used what I had and made the most of it. Living in the suburbs, I never enjoyed much of the local scenery, so naturally, I began to take photos of people in my life: friends, family, classmates, local skaters, and the like. Little did I know that this was the birth of my passion. Each time I saw the scans from a roll I had shot; it became clear what worked and what didn’t. For every few things that didn’t work, there was one that did. Each of those one things that did work is how I fell in love with taking photos of people and emphasizing on capturing the breadth of their environment.

With my part-time job I was able to afford whatever film I could get my hands on: black & white, color, and slide film with no particular affinity for any of them. As a result of my obsession, Gear acquisition syndrome got to me, bad. I was buying and reselling any camera I could, desperately trying to find the one that I enjoyed using the most. Although I very much enjoy shooting medium format, my compacts are still what I reach for the most. The two most used compacts of mine are the Olympus Mju ii and Fujifilm Cardia mini Tiara, the former of which is my dedicated “beater” camera that I take on occasions where I may be liable to lose it (parties and concerts mainly).

The Olympus mju ii was made for concerts

So far, my favorite 35mm compact camera is the Fujifilm Cardia mini Tiara. I love its sleek design and wide lens. The wide 28mm/3.5 comes in handy for adding context to a portrait or street-shot, easily capturing the subject’s surroundings. I use this for everything from portraits to snapshots of my friends to street-shots (one of the perks of living in a large city). The Tiara combined with Kodak Colorplus 200 or Portra 400 is an essential part of my everyday carry.

Until further notice, the Tiara will act as my vacation companion; it was an absolute dream to use over the summer as I wanted to document my experiences free of hassle and distraction. Sometimes it feels like my own eyes have adapted to this focal length since I can frame a scene far before I actually pick up my camera. Always having a lightweight, dependable camera has more or less turned me into a flaneur at times, constantly wary of the ever changing aspects of the scenes around me.

If you enjoyed my writeup, visit my website and instagram!

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  • Reply
    January 31, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    My favorite image is #1


  • Reply
    Philip Lewis Lambert
    January 31, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Really nice… evocative of the USA

    • Reply
      Trenton Trammell
      January 31, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      I’ve never thought of how my some of my pictures portray American life, I appreciate the perspective.

  • Reply
    Sean Hall
    January 31, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Love Trents work!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Nice write up and pictures. The Tiara is a nice looking camera, never used one but your results look pretty good.

    • Reply
      Trenton Trammell
      January 31, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      I’m glad I was able to get my hands on one for a reasonable price, thanks for the kind feedback!

  • Reply
    Charles Morgan
    January 31, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    You have a good eye and a great write up, thank you!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Those are some nice compositions and great bright colors. good stuff!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I needed this post! I started shooting on and off when I was 13 with my fathers beautiful Canon AE1 and now I’m experiencing gear craziness. I’m always looking for the best camera for me but having a low budget it’s difficult. I would love a quick and sharp point and shoot but man, they are expensive.

    • Reply
      Trenton Trammell
      February 2, 2019 at 3:03 am

      I’m constantly on the search for relatively unknown/underrated point and shoots! Anytime I see a camera I don’t recognize, I read all about it and see if it’s the camera for me.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    good job, keep shooting!

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