Recently while visiting friends in Wales we took a trip to a 50s museum (http://www.50smuseum.uk/). The wonderful thing about the place was the fact fact that almost no exhibits were in a case and many things were very accessible. It’s all a little disorderly, but for me it added to the undoubted charm of the place.
As I walked around my eyes were caught by the camera collection. Although many of the cameras were far earlier in date than the fifties their engineering beauty shines out from across the decades.
The Kodak No.2 Folding Autographic Brownie in particular, made between 1915 and 1926, stood out for me and I wanted to make a photograph of it surrounded by other cameras. Who knows what pictures this wonderful camera may have taken over the years. If only we knew…
St James Park, Liverpool
Sorting out the loft (still not sorted by the way), I came across my dad’s old May Fair Camera. A simple box camera made in 1931.
After cleaning the May Fair inside and out, I ventured out armed with a new roll of 120mm Ilford HP4 – still available from Boots the Chemist – and made a few photographs at St James Park by Liverpool Cathedral. What you see above is scanned from the original print and has not been enhanced or altered. The weather was overcast but the light reasonable.
After using digital cameras for many years now it takes some getting used to the idea that you only have 8 negatives! It really focusses the mind on the job in hand.
The viewfinder is very small and despite my best efforts at cleaning remains a somewhat scratched. Composition was difficult and the photographer has to rely on sufficient light reaching the mirror that reflects the image up onto the tiny viewfinder.
My dad’s vintage May Fair Camera
I think for an 86 year old camera this image is impressive and I will be going out again to see what else I can capture with this vintage gem.