I was gifted a wonderful little treasure by my good friend and adventure pal Chris. This Rollei XF35 has quickly become one of my favorites and for the most part is in my everyday carry. If you have never shot with the XF35 or a rangefinder camera I really recommend checking one out. They are quite different from your regular point and shoots or SLR type cameras. I really love the XF35 cause it is like a little ninja, it is compact and the shutter is quiet which makes it perfect for street shooting. It has a beautiful f2.3 40mm Sonnar lens licensed by Zeiss which makes for some sweet photos, having f2.3 has also made for some rad night shots. Thank you Chris for bestowing this precious cargo to me, I love it and it is now part of my forever camera group. Below are a few shots taken with the Rollei on Ilford XP2 400 Film.
I posted this on the Facebook page that I have been working on for my word and thought that I might share it here also :)
I have been exploring photography for many years, originally it was with digital cameras in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I had tinkered with my mothers Canon AE-1 but at that time it just wasn’t for me. My first serious digital was a Nikon D70, that camera and I got to see some pretty cool stuff in Vancouver in the early 2000’s. Life happened and I stopped shooting for quite a while. In 2017 I relocated to Toronto and during my transition to Eastern Canada I found photography again. At first with digital, I had the lenses from my D70 but it had died long ago but I found a nice Nikon D300 online and got reacquainted with my old friend. During this newly invigorated courtship with photography I started learning more about Jason Lee and his work with Polaroid Instant film’s. I was hooked, I wanted to shoot 8x10’s just like him. Holy hell are they expensive though, so I started with a regular Polaroid. That started a shift though and since then I have fallen deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of film. It is by no means dead, it is alive and in some ways thriving. A lot of my work is done on 35mm and 120mm along with various instant films. I recently acquired a large format 4x5 camera as my first steps to move towards my dream of an 8x10. There is a beauty, a romance of sorts that film has. I am completely taken by it and want to share my view of the world as I see it on all of the different film mediums I can get my hands on during my time on this globe.
The two pictures in this post are some of the first shots I’ve taken with my Cambo 4x5 large format camera. They are both peel apart pack film, the color one is Fuji FP100c and the B&W one is Polaroid 665. They are both expired films, sometimes with expired films your results vary as can be seen. I really love experimenting with expired films though because of this randomness and risk. There are so many variables to how the film will behave when exposed depending on how it was cared for and what it has experienced in its time since production. These things further instill my personal feeling that film is alive. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with such beautiful and rare things.
Holy hannibal, shit is getting real. Earlier this year when I started taking photos again I never dreamed several things would happen.
1. The collecting of many film cameras I thought I would never shoot with let alone be able to call my very own.
2. Having an experienced, established and acclaimed photographer mentor me.
3. People contacting me asking to do photographic work for them.
4. Being contacted to show my work.
5. Having a photo book with my name on it.
2017 was a pretty wild year, leaving my world behind in the west coast and moving to Toronto. Having some extra time which I never really had the luxury of before. A man named Rex who I respect deeply instilled unto me the importance of having something tangible to work on. My primary profession is of a technical nature, that means I can spend 10’s of to 100’s of hours staring at a computer screen and never seeing a tangible result from that effort. Rex explained this kind of behaviour could drive a person to the brink of madness. To prevent this madness he stressed the importance of finding a tangible outlet. Something a person can work on and see a direct result from which would make that person feel good about that effort. I applied this new found time towards photography, finding a used Nikon D300 and using an old lens from my D70 I set out to capture Toronto. In the initial days a lot of time was spent in Kensington Market. Its a fascinating place that changes daily, there’s always new stickers or graffiti to check out. My friend Derek suggested I check out some other photographers on line and challenged me to shoot more than random stickers. While I was exploring these other photographers I found some documentaries on Jason Lee. His love of instant photography immediately appealed to me. I wanted to do 8x10 polaroids too, holy shit balls is that stuff expensive as heck. So next best thing I started picking up old Polaroid cameras to play with. Now that shit isn’t cheap to shoot with either, at 30+ tax for 8 frames you can’t just be shooting random crap willy nilly, I’m not that rich.
Armed with these old Polaroids a new mindfulness developed and I noticed my interest in subjects changed and my shooting style evolved. Thru this Polaroid phase I met Sabu and ultimately was introduced to medium format via the Bronica SQAI which is one of my most beloved cameras. Slowly less images were caught on digital as a massive shift took place to film. Film is such a beautiful fucking thing, it has life, it has rarity, it requires mindfulness and I love it so goddamn much. I could go ape shit for hours about why I love film and what’s attractive and blah blah but I’ve already digressed so much from my original point of this post.
I am riddled with excitement and anxiety at the moment, just super jazzed but could also probably shit myself and barf all over the place. With the help of one of my good solid friends, I have a book coming out. Its all shots of Toronto and will be part of a larger series if this first one goes well. I also am having my very first showing, that is exciting and terrifying. Hence Anxiement! 2018 you’re looking interesting so far…