Friday, 3 September 2010

A Way of Life

I was hunting for something in my house recently (I don't now remember what it was, or if I found it) and I came across an old camera of mine, an Olympus XA. I had bought it second hand at some point in the 80's and much enjoyed using it but it hadn't been used for ages, in fact the last time I remember using it for sure was at my wedding back in 1987!

I bought some new batteries and fitted them and the camera burst into life, I could hear that the shutter speeds were changing as I fiddled with the apertures (yes it has a full range of apertures!) so I loaded it up with some of the out of date Konica 100VX film I have and went off to the Winslow Show.

It really focusses the mind to have a limited amount of film, I went out very deliberately with just 24 exposures, partly because I wanted to make sure that the camera worked OK before running too much through it and partly to focus my mind a little on getting something worthwhile without shooting too much.

Winslow Show did not disappoint! It was a marvelously good natured event in which everyone played their part brilliantly. The little Olympus played its part well too, producing sharp and well exposed pictures in spite of the ancient film.

There are more of the pictures I took in the gallery of Minutefilm, have a look, there are some funny sights to see!

So why would I have been using the Olympus at my own wedding? Well, Laura and I had a quite extraordinary wedding - for the time. The majority of the guests were involved in photography in some way or other and we gave everyone film and asked them to take pictures. This was long before disposable cameras were available so people brought a huge range of different cameras including a 360ยบPanoramic camera, and a home made tilt and shift camera fitted with a fish eye lens!

This black and white picture is one that I took with the Olympus while a friend and collegue Gwilym stage managed and took the 'official' pictures. The last picture is of me taking the black and white one!

For most people wedding pictures are primarily a record of a hugely important day in their lives and this is true for us too but our wedding pictures are more than that, they are also a collection of imaginative and original photographs taken by people for whom photography is a way of life.

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