As I write this, a heavy shower has just passed and the sun is beaming down once again. Photons are showering the solar array on my roof and switching our power supply back to free electricity. Solar power has been a long time in the making. The photovoltaic effect was first observed in 1839 by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel at the astonishing young age of 19.
I’m lucky. Once in a while a good friend of mine invites me over to the English Lake District. I get to stay at his place with other friends, drink beer, summit mountains and take photographs with cameras given to me for free.Twice in my life I have opened a parcel to see the shy, clam shell face of an Olympus XA looking at me. The first time was unboxing a brand new one on the occasion of my 18th birthday, bought for me by my brother; such a thoughtful and generous man, he had seen how much interest I had taken in his OM cameras and just knew I would love a camera of my own.
It was Hamish’s piece on the Plaubel Makina and Agfa 1035 that finally pushed me into typing my thoughts about a camera with a not dissimilar design ethos. I hope it doesn’t trouble any readers to discover it is a digital camera that wasn’t particularly successful and belongs to a camera line that is now discontinued.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.― Benjamin Franklin
A clever chap was Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. He knew a thing or two about preparation. I, on the other hand, found myself to be a floundering father, when I decided soon before a family trip to New York to dispense with common sense and take two newly acquired and untested Olympus rangefinders with me.
The stakes were as high as the Chrysler Building, as I loaded an Olympus 35SP with Portra 400 and an Olympus 34DC with Superia 200. I figured a city like New York called for colour and I believe I got that much right.