In the spring of 2019, I was in Paris with a friend/client.
Let’s just let part of that sentence stand for a moment. I was in Paris. In 2019. Way long ago when the world was still within easy reach if you had the wherewithal to purchase a plane ticket. Now that I’ve taken a moment to mourn….
A few months before I flew to Paris that spring, I decided I wanted to purchase a small, easy-to-manage film camera to take with me. I hadn’t photographed on film for decades but cheered on my more adventuresome photography friends who were producing beautiful and nuanced photographs on film while I focused on shooting digitally. My husband owns two film cameras – a Rolleiflex 2.8F and a Mamiya 7ii – and while I admire both the cameras and what he was producing with them, I felt I had enough on my hands with my Canon, my iPhone, and the occasional polaroid. Plus, film felt out of reach because of its expense at the time.
My requirements for my travel film camera were simple – it had to be small and as close to a point-and-shoot as possible. I didn’t want to be figuring out a new camera while I was technically on the job.
The Olympus Trip 35 seemed to fit the bill so I ordered one from a seller on Etsy, picked up some black and white film from my local camera store, and flew to Paris without knowing how to use it. Luckily, it was as simple to use as I’d heard, and over the course of a week, I shot most of a roll of 24. Once I returned home, I intended to finish the roll and send it off for developing but as sometimes happens, it sat at the bottom of my camera bag for more than a year until I pulled it out a few weeks ago and finally sent it off to be scanned.
The focus on the Trip 35 is a little arbitrary and I messed it up on a few exposures. It also doesn’t do well in low light but for the most part it’s a little workhorse of a camera, and I’m delighted with the simple images it produced. My only regret is not shooting more street photos with it… those were some of my favorites.
While I’m deeply missing the freedom of traveling, being reminded of what’s possible even here at home has made me determined to slip this little beauty of a camera into my pocket more often when I’m out and about.