The Travelling Canon AF35 Project - Custodian #6 - Anton Solyaev


Thanks to Anton for being a good sport and getting involved in the project! This episode wouldn't have happened without Em at Emulsive and her fantastic secret santa gift swap.

 I slipped the little AF Sprint into Anton's secret Santa package and shipped it off to Russia and this is the result. Over to Anton and his experience of the AF35.

Anton Solyaev

Anton Solyaev

I was pleasantly surprised to find this small travelling Canon AF35 in the parcel with the Emulsive Santa Gift! It was a childhood memory about my first small film camera that fitted in pocket and my first photographic experience with it. I read the story about travelling camera, about my mission and found a roll of Portra 400.

It was a dark winter with bad warm weather, there was too much rain and no snow, no interesting light. So it was a challenge to shoot something at this time! But one day heavy snowfalls begun and after that I got out to take pictures. I was afraid of automatic exposures mistakes because of many snow and too many white, but it worked correctly. I met young guy with huge digital camera and long telephoto lens in park, he looked at me with big eyes; "Is it really a film camera? There are still people who shoot on film?"


It's very easy to use this Canon, you don't need to think about apertures or focus, no heavy lens and big bag for them. Just find something interesting and push the button. Just creativity! And very nice pictures as the result, you know!


My little Canon worked absolutely normal in light frost (-5 degrees centigrade), automatic exposure was correct and mechanisms worked good. The optics is hard and sharp, something like Tessar scheme, I think, no soft effects at all. I really liked the colors!

I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to this camera. It was very useful, thank you!


Wow, I love this set of images, thanks Anton, it’s only taken me 12 months to collate this blog post and I’m sorry there was such a delay. Something about having two young children seems to shrink my free time and energy for photography projects!

Seeing as the camera is now in russia I would love to hear from anyone else in russia or eastern Europe that would be interested in being the next custodian for the might (average) Travelling Canon AF Sprint!

Read more in the Travelling Canon AF35 Porject series:

See the first post here.

Custodian #1 - Gavin Wares.

Custodian #2 - Dimitri Hon.

Custodian #3 - Hamish Gill.

Custodian #4 - Rob Edgerly

Custodian #5 - Tina Kino

Are you interested in getting involved? If so please get in touch!

365 Portrait Challenge - Week #3

Week three started with an amazing meeting of my buddy John on the road bridge and my photo of him is one of my favorites so far; thanks for getting involved John!

Portraits #15- #21

Raymond "Rami" working on the flood prevention at Dundee waterfront.   #365photochallenge   #365portraits    #15of365    #olympusomdem1    #olympus45mm    #microfourthirds

Raymond "Rami" working on the flood prevention at Dundee waterfront. 

Fraser from  @frasersfruitandveg   Best fruit, vegetables and beer in the West (of Dundee)!  #365photochallenge   #365portraits    #18of365    #olympusomdem1    #olympus45mm    #microfourthirds

Fraser from @frasersfruitandveg 
Best fruit, vegetables and beer in the West (of Dundee)! #365photochallenge


My 365 portrait challenge continues. Week 3 complete! 
Pink Sky At Night


Three weeks down and I'm starting to feel this project stretching out ahead of me. Daunting.

Get Involved!

Want to feature in my project? I would love to hear from you, please fill in this contact form.

Name *

365 Portrait Challenge - Week #2

Into week two of my challenge and I made the big step of asking total strangers if I can take their picture.

 I also risked life and limb getting up close with a herd of Highland cows!

Portraits #8- #14

Starting week two of my 365 portrait challenge flashing a Highland cow. Stretching my own self imposed rules here but I'm building a backlog of people to shoot.  Riverside Highland Cow   #365photochallenge   #365portraits    #8of365    #nikondf   #nikon50mm

Starting week two of my 365 portrait challenge flashing a Highland cow. Stretching my own self imposed rules here but I'm building a backlog of people to shoot.

Riverside Highland Cow



Two weeks down and I'm getting into my stride :)

Get Involved!

Want to feature in my project? I would love to hear from you, please fill in this contact form.

365 Portrait Challenge - Week #1

The Idea

My self imposed challenge is to shoot 365 portraits during 2018.

My aim is to shoot one each day and try to find new subjects as often as possible (Kate, Luke, Lana and Molly can only handle so much!) 

If you, your family or your pets would like to featured then please get in touch!

Portraits #1 - #7


Where it began; Molly the beagle



Rain Does Not Stop Play



Big thanks to Benjamin Podger from @visocchis_cafe for posing for my 365 portrait project. Awesome ice cream too! 


Beautiful evening at the West Sands with @davidromilly
and @holleyandtheivy, thanks for breaking out the blue steel for me.

One week down, 51 to go!


Get Involved!

Want to feature in my project? I would love to hear from you, please fill in this contact form.

Name *

The Travelling Canon AF35 Project - Custodian #5 - Tina Kino

My little plastic fantastic Canon had a tough time getting to Berlin and my friend Tina Kino. In fact it never made it to Berlin at all! We assumed it lost, and Rob was kind enough to replace it with a racy red model fresh from German eBay.

Well, that little red replacement arrived in Berlin and Tina was happily snapping away, no doubt thoroughly underwhelmed by it's rank mediocrity, when unfortunately the replacement went and broke, it's tiny little film advance cog now just a cog.

Sorry Rob, that wasn't a great return on your investment in this project!

Thanks to Tina for being involved in the project and for procuring another replacement camera; now on it's way to the USA for the next leg in it's journey.

I recommend you check out Tina's feed on Tumblr here especially love her ongoing series of camper-vans and mattresses on the streets of Berlin.

And now onto Tina's (sadly limited) experience with the Canon AF35 Sprint.

Tina Kino

Tina Kino

My first ever camera was a Canon Sprint (not this exact model, but a similar one).
It sold for 100,- Deutsche Mark if I recall correctly, and that was a lot of money back then,
I loved shooting with it - and there's still some prints of it in the family albums.

So when I saw Michael was doing this travelling-camera-thing with one of these Canons I was quick to ask whether I could join!
It's all pretty self-explanatory with point-and-shoot like this, but to be honest I couldn't wrap my head around the flash / macro mode,
so I did look for the manual online (hint: it's here).

This must be one of these rare point-and-shoots with a built-in flash-supported macro-mode for taking pictures of flowers, indoors.
I love the cute yellow indicator on the necktstrap that helps you with the close-focussing-distance.
Further it says that Flash is alwas used with close-up photography so please don't take pictures of people's faces
: ]

So this is pretty much what I did (not photographing real people though, but printed faces, in advertisments).

It was fun!
It's a neat little camera that does what it says it does, the lens is not one of the best there is, but it's reasonably sharp and contrasty, and colours are good.
One of the best things about is that it really looks like one of these cameras that people just don't take seriously.
I shot a couple of my friends with it at well, some very hesistant usually, but with this little thing they suddenly didn't seem to care.

Oh, one more I really liked - the one with the balloons! 
: ]

Film was Kodak Ultramax 400 by the way.

This is on it's way to the next custodian in the US of A.. with best greetings from Berlin!

Love,  Tina Kino

Read more in the Travelling Canon AF35 Porject series:

See the first post here.

Custodian #1 - Gavin Wares.

Custodian #2 - Dimitri Hon.

Custodian #3 - Hamish Gill.

Custodian #4 - Rob Edgerly

Are you interested in getting involved? If so please get in touch!

Mini Adventure #1 - Tentsmuir

Planning And Preparation 

I've been planning a #miniadventure with my daughter since last year but never really got round to it, I knew I wanted to do it while she was young enough to find it exciting and before she realised that I'm not 'cool'.

A few improvements to the bike had to be made before it was ready for our arduous journey, including fitting of mudguards, a Surley Nice Rack 2.0  front rack and new grips. This was achieved with a minimum amount of swearing and fettling bits to fit; I'd class that as a success.

Friday night was spent looking out camping kit and packing it, unpacking, repacking and realising that even the relatively flat 8 miles I had planned each way were going to be a challenge for my legs and the structural integrity of my dads 30 year old Specialized Rockhopper. I could barely lift the bike once it was laden and that didn't include Lana on top!

I went to bed full of anticipation for the following day's adventure and had slightly strange, vivid fear of the dark dreams; hopefully not a bad omen........

The beast of burden ready for action.

And They're Off!

Saturday came and a late start was enforced as Kate was sleeping off a night shift, not too much of a problem and heavy showers were coming through most of the morning.  Late afternoon came, the rain stopped and we were ready to set off for Tentsmuir forest.

The bike felt pretty unhappy making low speed maneuvers for photos but nothing seemed like it was going to fall off, so we tentitively set off down the street; "Go fast daddy!" was the shout from Lana.

Only two miles of our planned 8 were on quiet-ish roads throught Wormit and Newport, after that we were onto the cycle path to Tayport; this lead us all the way to the boundary of Tentsmuir forest, where I had roughly planned a camp spot.

With the road and bike path successfully navigated without the bike snapping in half, we arrived at Tentsmuir and set off into the woods.

Into The Woods

Up until this point the bike had been perfect and the riding had been easy going but it was away to get a bit trickier on the fire trails and single track of Tentsmuir forest. 

I aimed for the first section of single-track trail; bouncing over rocks and through mud, wrestling to control our overloaded Rockhopper on it's big slick tyres. Familiar single-tracks, normally tackled flat out turned into a serious challenge, even small roots that would have been unnoticed on any normal day in the woods now saw me tense up as I awaited the inevitable pinch flat that never came. 

A few challenging miles later we arrived at my planned camp site but it was quickly discounted on  the grounds of ground conditions; too bumpy, too sloped or too woody, according to Lana.

On we rode, we were onto paths that I hadn't ridden before and with large dark clouds looming overhead I was starting to lose confidence that a suitable pitch could be found, was this all a terrible idea? Why didn't I just drive like a normal person? Was I going to have to go home defeated? 

Base Camp

Base Camp.

And then Success, right at the boundary of the nature reserve, a flat spot with stunning views over the estuary, far enough from the water to not worry about the tide and close enough to the trees for the hammock, it was perfect!

One excited little girl.

The sky was darkening so we set to work making camp as quickly as possible, Lana ferrying the bags and passing pegs as I pitched the tent. Everything went together easily and soon we were unpacking our sleeping kit inside, a quick test snuggle in the sleeping bag and it was time to cook.

A new gas canister foot for my MSR pocket rocket and a pizo igniter were rock solid upgrades, making cooking on the stove much more stable and easy to light. The wee pocket rocket performed like a champ with our pasta cooked in double quick time and ready to serve just as the rain started to fall.

We retreated into the tent to shovel tasty fusilli pesto with chopped tomatoes into our gobs by the sporkful. The rain battering of the flysheet of our tent was the perfect soundtrack to dinner.


Pasta devoured, Lana's mind quickly turned to the long promised toasted marshmallows! The rain was still threatening so I rigged up the hammock and tarp to provide some shelter with a view of the river then fired up the Pocket Rocket again. Even set to a peep, marshmallows were quickly incinerated and then just as quickly scoffed; burnt tongues couldn't hold us back!

Parents take note, a promise of sugary treats is never forgotten; at this point Lana also remembered she was due another treat for being a brave camper! Back to the tent to make the hot chocolate, shelter from another rain shower then outside to watch the shower recede into the distance and sip our chocolate milk.

Fear Of The Dark

Finally sleep beckoned, we clambered into our bags and with the rain pattering on the tent once again we tried in vain to get to sleep; marshmallows and hot chocolate were not my friend at this point but I persisted.

Just as we're drifting off to sleep a ray of sun blasts through the vent at the bottom of the tent and Lana's eyes light up; "We have to go outside Daddy!"

The rain has passed, so on with the boots and outside to watch the sunset behind the Dundee skyline, a perfect end to a fun afternoons adventure!

"It's so beautiful!" 

"It's so beautiful Daddy!"

Sunset below the horizon and it was time to hit the sack again.

Both of us started out too hot, unzipped our bags, then got too cold and zipped up again for the perfect temperature and a solid night's sleep.

Good Morning Tentsmuir

The sun woke us as it broke the clouds around 7am and we were up for another round of hot chocolate, cereal and bread burn on the stove (otherwise known as toast).

Just as I started breaking camp my dad appeared over the dune, having cycled from his house early doors and just in time; him and Lana explored the dunes as I broke camp and re-loaded the beast of burden.

Back up the dune and we were away, the 8 miles home passed quickly to shouts of; "faster daddy, Papa is winning!"

I cannot recommend enough doing this sort of trip with your young ones, obviously YMMV but we had a blast and she's still talking about it today. Time to plan the next trip!

Total time door to door was only 18 hours!





Half Frame Hero - Shooting With A Half Frame Camera

Half The Size, Twice The Fun

What is a half frame camera and why might you want one? Well, you may not want one (yet), but you've come this far, you may as well see what the fuss is about!

Molly East / Molly West, shot with Olympus Pen D3.

What is Half Frame?

Apologies for teaching you how to suck eggs if you already know this, but your common or garden 35mm camera shoots landscape frames 35x24mm in size (this is also referred to as full frame in the world of digital cameras), but today we're talking about film.

A half frame camera, unsurprisingly, shoots portrait images half that size; 24x18mm frames on the same 35mm film. This means you get portrait images instead of landscape when the camera is held in the normal orientation and you get twice as many images per roll i.e. a 24 frame roll will give 48 half frames.

You also get half the resolution per image and grain can be more prominent as it's larger in relation to the image, don't let this put you off, the fun factor outweighs these weaknesses.

My Olympus Pen D3 

Olympus was the first to release a half frame camera, back in 1959, with their PEN line aimed at frugal photographers, who wanted to make film a roll of film go further meaning a 24 / 36 exposure roll of film would make 48 / 72 half frames on a roll.

This idea eventually spawned a whole series of half frame cameras culminating with the Pen F interchangeable lens SLR. I will own a Pen F one day but for the moment I make do with the humble Pen D3, fixed lens viewfinder camera. 

The Olympus Pen D3 

The D3 is limited, in that it is scale focus only, you need to be pretty good at estimating distance and shoot fast enough film to stop down to F8 for a buffer. It took me a long time to learn this and I was constantly frustrated with trying to shoot at F1.7 and missing the focus.

Learn from my mistakes and shoot faster film at smaller apertures if you want to get close!

Kate, shot with Olympus Pen D3

Shooting Half Frame

Half frame is a great way to tell a story in a pair of frames, sometimes referred to as a diptych.

There are loads of ways to pair the frames; a close up and a wide shot, flip the camera 180 between frames, same subject / different time, different details of a structure, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Skate and create, shot with Olympus Pen D3

Tay Rail Bridge, shot with Olympus Pen D3


Now, this is one of my absolute favorite ways to shoot half frame, easier with a manual camera like the D3 but also do-able with an automatic camera (like the Canon Multi Tele, another half frame hero in my collection, more about it in a while)

My first half frame panorama was shot on Fuji film in Berries Den estate, Newport-on-Tay and it took me until month afterwards to stich it into the panorama, when I finished putting them together I was so pleased with the results, I had to shoot more like this!

Berries Den Pond Panorama, shot on Olympus Pen D3

Berries Den Pond Panorama, shot on Olympus Pen D3

Dunottar Castle Panorama, shot on Canon Multi Tele

Aberdeen Beach Panorama, shot on Canon Multi Tele


One of my favorite places for photographic inspiration is Instagram, check out @halfframeclub to see a great selection of half frame work and get a feel for whats possible when you work with half frames.

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Another of my favorite half frame shooters is @2.alfs, doing some really interesting half frame video work / animation. 

Who are your favorite photographers shooting half frame? I'd love to hear about your top photographers working with half frames.


For Sale

If you want to jump in and try this fun format I am currently selling my Canon Multi Tele compact 35mm camera, I'm looking for around £60. Please get in touch if you are interested. I'm only selling so I can buy back my beloved Pen D3, I never should have sold it!

St Ayles Skiffs On The Tay

I had a quick opportunity to shoot these beautiful St Ayles skiffs as they finished their row from Perth to Wormit Boating Club, I hope you like the images and apologies that I couldn't catch you all...... some were just too fast!

The Flying Boat Heading Home

The Flying Boat Heading Home

St Ayles Skiffs

Wormit Boating Club has two St Ayles Skiffs (Catalina and The Flying Boat), the club is a fantastic family friendly place, always looking for new members and it really is fantastic value for money! 

Get Involved

Wormit Boating Club are open to all, family friendly and situated beautifully on the River Tay at Woodhaven pier, they are on Facebook and the web.

It's Hip To Be A Square (Format Shooter)

The Rolleiflex

Long before Instagram started the square format craze, before phones were smart and way before I was born, there was another square format fashion sweeping the world; the Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex (TLR). 

First released in 1929, the Rolleiflex was loved by professional photographers for it's image quality and coveted by celebrities for it's stylish appearance. With the winning combination of high quality optics, beautiful build quality and the ability to produce stunning 6cm x 6cm negatives, it was a huge hit; production went on in one form or another until 2014!

Not a Rolleiflex.

Little Brother - The Rolleicord

Sadly, as I'm neither a professional nor a celebrity, I have to make do with the Rolleiflex's little brother, the Rolleicord. Please don't pity me too much, despite being the consumer grade camera, these boxy old things were made to very similar specifications. 

Rolleicord, 120 film and some useful accessories.

The main differences being a slower taking lens and a film advance knob, rather than the an advance lever on the 'flex. It still has the great glass and build quality in common with it's more revered big brother, but without the big ticket price tag.

My particular model is a Rolleicord VB, one of the last models built in the 1970's and it's just the most beautiful looking camera; they don't make 'em like this any more!

If you've looking to purchase a TLR Japan Camera Hunter has a nice guide although all the prices are in Yen. In the UK a Rolleicord can usually be had for between £150 for a scabby but usable example to around £350 for a mint one. If you can't stretch to that there are a plethora of Japanese TLRs such as Yashicas, Mamiyas and Minoltas, which can be picked up cheaply and are interesting camera's in their own right.

My viewfinder is bigger than yours!

Shooting with the Rolleicord

The vintage appearance of the Rollei can be a massive advantage if street portraits are your thing; people want to speak to you and ask about the camera, they will usually happily pose for a photo with it after a quick chat. Not so great if you are trying to be inconspicuous, these boxy old things attract attention!

I'll admit that when I first bought the camera I was pretty intimidated and confused by the controls, the inverted image on the viewfinder and the lack of metering; even loading a film had me stumped for a while until I realised I needed to order a spare empty 120 film spool to wind the film onto!

If you've only ever used a modern camera be prepared, using the Rollei is a bit of a trip back in time, but once you've mastered it you might not ever want to shoot with anything else.

Southern Girl - Adox CMS 20 film.


As I said, loading had me stumped for the first minute, 120 film was new to me and the camera hadn't come with a spare 120 spool........once you have an empty spool in the camera, loading is pretty easy.

With the empty spool in the upper position, feed the film backing leader into the slot, make sure the film is centralised and wind on with the back open until the arrows on the film line up with the dots on the camera. At this point close the back and continue winding until you feel a stop, use your thumb on the roll of film to keep some tension in it as you wind. 

The frame counter on the right hand side should read "1" and you're now ready to shoot your 12 frames, use them wisely.

Glencoe Old Road - Kodak T Max 400.

Glencoe Old Road - Kodak T Max 400.


There is no meter on the Rolleicord, so I use the sunny 16 rule and overexpose / expose for the shadows / just guess if I'm shooting negative film; Hamish at has a nice guide to abusing negative film's good nature.

If you're shooting slide film you'll need to be more accurate with your exposure settings; a handheld meter and knowledge of how to use it is a must....... although I'd be lying if I said I'm very good at using a handheld meter...... but then I don't shoot slide film!

Molly Rocks - Kodak TMax 400.

Exposure Controls

The controls are as basic as it gets when it comes to making pictures, no program mode, no auto mode, just full manual control.

The shutter speed and aperture are set by way of two small levers either side of the shutter. The shutter speed range is 1 second to 1/500th, it also has a bulb mode for using a remote release cable and X-sync for flash control. The aperture goes from F3.5 wide open to F22, note that shooting on medium format will yield shallower DOF than the same aperture on a 35mm camera.

Once set shutter and aperture settings are locked together, this allows you to vary either the depth of field or shutter speed setting without changing the exposure value, quite a useful feature. I usually set the exposure for the shadows and let the film latitude take care of the rest.

Glencoe falls - Kodak TMax 400

Focusing  and Composing

The biggest difficultly when composing with the Rollei is that the image on the ground glass is inverted left to right, this takes some getting used to and can be hilariously difficult for a unsuspecting user to get to grips with...... just ask a friend to take your picture for evidence of this! 


I find it best to roughly compose, then glance up at the subject when adjusting the framing and down again to confirm the composition is the best way to avoid getting tied in knots by this.

Focus is adjusted using a nice big knurled knob on the left hand side of the camera, focus from 3ft to infinity takes around 3/4 of a turn. The viewing lens is slightly faster (F3.2 vs F3.5) than the taking lens so you get a touch more DOF than the picture you see on the ground glass. 

Parallax due to the separation between the viewing lens and taking lens can be issue as you get close to your subject, if using a tripod I raise the centre column a couple of inches for composing and then drop it down for taking to eliminate this issue.  

The standard focusing screen is OK but a modern replacement screen can make a huge difference; mine has a split prism in the middle for critical focusing and bright ground glass, I'd recommend this if you have a Rollei and struggle to focus it.

Al and Ferg descending from Ben Vorlich - Kodak TMax 400.


The shutter is cocked with a lever under the lens, this needs to be done after you wind on and before you will forget and miss some good moments at first, I know I did. My Rollei has a soft release shutter button which I find really tactile in use, I'm led to believe the standard shutter release is a bit awkward but YMMV.

Double exposure prevention is via a small lever on the left hand side of the front plate, when the red dot shows you can make double exposures by cocking the shutter again without winding on, double exposures are always fun.

If you're going to shoot slower than 1/30th then a tripod and remote release is recommended, a standard threaded remote cable screws into the socket after the shutter button has been removed.

If it's really windy, I compose and focus then close the viewfinder cover to reduce the amount of surface in the wind.

Shooting with the Rolleicord is always fun, but very deliberate and slow. I find this is an advantage rather than a limitation and I have a great hit rate shooting this way.

Al and Ferg ready to climb - Kodak Tmax400

St Andrews Coast - Adox CMS 20

So, now you know how to use the Rolleicord as well as I do. 


I made the brave (stupid?) descision to take my Rollei on a friend's stag do in Berlin, seeing as the camera was made in Germany I thought it was appropriate.

 I shot 5 rolls of Ektar 100, all metered using sunny 16 and erring on the side of over exposure, all shot whilst either drunk, hungover or both.

Berlin Subway - Kodak Ektar 100.

Coming in to land at Berlin - Kodak Ektar 100.

Blair enjoying boat life - Kodak Ektar 100.

Berlin Wall - Kodak Ektar 100.

How Long Is Now - Kodak Ektar 100

Dumfries and Galloway

A family holiday to a less visited part of Scotland was a great chance to get out the Rollei and take some snaps. All metered using sunny 16 and shot handheld. 

Beach Combers - Kodak Ektar 100

Anchored - Kodak Ektar 100

Reflective - Kodak Ektar 100

King Fisher and Explorer - Kodak Ektar 100

Aberdeen and Dunottar

Aberdeen has some great coastline and in February some pretty bleak weather to go with it. These were all shot from a tripod as it was windy as hell and very gloomy, all shot at F8 and 1/4th or 1/8th of a second shutter speed.

Aberdeen Beach - Kodak Ektar 100

Windswept - Kodak Ektar 100

Incoming - Kodak Ektar 100

Rocks and waves - Kodak Ektar 100

Viewpoint - Kodak Extar 100

Dunottar Layers - Kodak Ektar 100

Dunottar - Kodak Ektar 100


After the initial unfamiliarity and difficulty of using a manual TLR, shooting with my Rolleicord has quickly been cemented as my favourite way to shoot film. Once I got the hang of the controls I was hooked.

There is something deeply satisfying about the ability of this beat up old box, the response people have to it and the images it can produce. 

If you have the chance to pick one up, I'd recommend the Rolleicord VB iun a heartbeat, but mine is not for sale!

Buddies - Fuji Pro 400H

Do you shoot with a Rolleicord or another TLR? I'd love to hear your thoughts on shooting with an old school TLR camera and see your work.

Leave your thoughts and links in the comments below.

The Travelling Canon AF35 Project - Custodian #4 - Rob Edgerley

The humble Canon AF35 Sprint continues it's world trip, delivering photographic enlightenment and frustration to each of its custodians and I hope you'll agree, creating some pretty passable images in their hands.

So, to introduce custodian number four; Rob Edgerley. I count Rob as a friend, although we have never met IRL! His street photography has a strong visual style and he's consistent with it; all killer, no filler. 

You can see a selection of his fantastic work here on his website and follow him on Instagram here.

You would probably forgive me for being jealous of Rob's ability with a camera; his transformation from a keen hobbyist to burgeoning street photography master has been rapid and really enjoyable to witness; keep up the good work Rob!

In my opinion he's one to watch for the future and his story of using the thrillingly mundane Canon AF35 Sprint is below.

Rob Edgerley

Rob Edgerley

Well, that was fun! I must admit though, it’s also a huge relief, as my first attempt at capturing three worthy images ended in total disaster. Read below to find out why, but first I will introduce myself a little.

I’m an ASIC design engineer living and working in Switzerland with a passion for photography. Growing up in an increasingly digital world, my only exposure to photography has thus been purely digital. My first camera was a Canon 7D, so the idea of taking a £1 camera out for a spin was daunting to say the least. What if I discover that I am only capable of taking a ‘good’ photograph with multiple attempts? What if I fail?. With this camera, I had nothing to bench mark against and the only things I had control of were composition, focus and when the shutter was released. A good image then, is almost purely about the photographer. Gulp.

Our journey started in Asia, where I endeavoured to capture the beautiful scenery and more importantly, the wonderfully vibrant colours that are so synonymous of this stunning part of the world. Well, erm, turned out I was shooting in B&W all along, which I only discovered after the images were developed. But that really didn’t matter anyway, as I knew already that it was unlikely I would have a single image to submit.

After shooting just a couple of images per day for the three and a half weeks we were there, my film and our time in Asia was almost spent. I was saving a few shots on the film for the last day, where we’d planned to take a walk through the thousands of red Japanese gates marking the path to the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine in Kyoto. The sun was high, and there were tons of people making their way up to the shrine. I wanted a single shot of the gates, without hundreds of tourists blocking the view, and I got lucky. Despite the numbers, I somehow spotted a break in the crowds up ahead, just enough for me to grab my shot. With the camera hanging around my neck, I ran. Literally ran, and to my horror, mid sprint, the camera back flew wide open exposing my film to the bright sunlight. I quickly closed it but it was too late. I thought perhaps I’d get away with a few images still intact, but alas, all images in the set were either completely or partially exposed. Here are two images in the set which show the extent of the damage.

The thing that caught my eye with these images was colour. The bike was vibrant orange
and the trees a whole range of beautiful autumn colours. Not to easy to tell in monotone,

With the second attempt, I was certain not let that happen again so I taped the back of the camera shut with gaffer-tape - which I repeated for the next custodian. My original idea was to load another black and white film, but the shop didn’t have any in stock, so I went with whatever the lady in the shop recommended there and then. Honestly I hadn’t a clue either way, so it didn’t make much difference.

All images below were taken in Bern, Switzerland, over a few days and have had the following minor post processing steps done to them. A contrast boost, very very slight colour correction (towards blue) to one or two image, noise reduction and then sharpened for web at export. I just love the tones straight out of the camera, though. Just one or two were a little too warm for my liking.

The first image was taken at the rear entrance to the train station. I’ve taken an image or two here before, as I love the way the light hits the steps. It’s the first time I’d gone for this composition though, and I particularly like the way the steps help lead the eye to the left of the image.

The thing that caught my eye with the second image was the shadow cast by the people crossing the road. The sun was quite low early afternoon which usually makes for an interesting shadow, somewhere. I realise if I’d been able to review this image immediately, I would have taken it again and have my subject just entering the crossing. This is the beauty and skill of analog photography though.

Again it was a the shadow that caught my eye with my third image. A bit of growth behind a cordoned-off section of the parliament building, which is currently undergoing some partial renovation work. Simple yet intriguing and those tones!

This is my fourth and favourite shot out of the set. I was wandering around the parliament building when I spotted this guy out the back. A traveller taking time out to have a smoke out of the ice cold wind and with the setting sun on his face. I walked passed and we exchanged a glance. I was immediately thinking ‘I want a shot of him’ and with the camera in my hand, he knew I was about to ask. I approached cautiously, with a smile and a racing heart. I told him the story behind the travelling camera (in German) and he reservedly agreed to the shot. I thanked him and left absolutely buzzing. I knew, if all other shots failed, I’d at least have one I could be proud of, if I’d judged the lighting and composition correctly that was.

The next image is again taken at the train station. It’s a new office building with a few shops and restaurants on the lower levels. I quite like the perspective and also the numbers displayed in the windows, a huge advent calender, thus marking the time of year the shot was taken. I was also really curious how the AF35 would handle this shot. It was very bright and I wondered if it would would warp the perspective at all. It didn’t and the AF35 performed admirably in these conditions.

My final image is again a favourite of mine and more towards my preferred style of photography. Again the AF35 performed exceptionally well in these conditions. I really didn’t expect this one to work as well as it did. My idea was to time the step of the guy crossing the road with the statue. I was a fraction too eager, but I’m still very happy with the shot.

To conclude then, I learned that, although I pressed the trigger each time with a great deal of caution and reserve, I can submit these images with certain amount of confidence that I indeed do know how to take a photograph, and don’t need to immediately review or to have multiple attempts at an image for it to be considered ‘good’. I learned to trust my eye and my ability.

Read more in the Travelling Canon AF35 Porject series:

See the first post here.

Custodian #1 - Gavin Wares.

Custodian #2 - Dimitri Hon.

Custodian #3 - Hamish Gill.

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