I don’t remember exactly when, but at some point in my adolescent years, my dad gave me his old film SLR camera. The Petri Color 35 was made in the late 1960’s by a Japanese company. I can remember when I was younger being captivated by my dad’s little padded camera box and everything in it. He had an external flash with a long coiled cord and I think a light meter. I loved the sound of the flash charging and of course blowing my face with the cleaning brush. I had to buy one of my own last year just for nostalgia sake.
I think my Dad gave it to me because at the time I was into antiques. I dreamed of one day owning a beautiful Victorian house filled to the rafters with beautiful old stuff. (So not me anymore.) The Petri eventually got stored away in my old trunk for safe keeping. After Dad passed away 6 years ago I was always so grateful that he had given me that camera. My mom had also let me have his scriptures, but the camera was something HE gave me. It means a lot to me because he used it and cared for it. He wasn’t an avid photographer, and hadn’t even been trained in any way that I know of, but he enjoyed taking pictures. And not just still pictures. I remember a couple of years where he spent our family reunions harassing everyone with a camcorder.
Well Brandy’s wonderful Polaroid shots inspired me. I dug out Dad’s Petri, found some expired film for .99 at the thrift store (because I’m that much of a tight-wad) and started playing. I had failed to look for the manual first and just jumped right in. Only to discover that the dead battery for the built in meter was inside with the film so I had to just use up that first roll and hope for the best. I spent a day with both the Petri and my Olympus hanging from my neck, using the Olympus as my meter to get the right settings for the Petri. It was so fun and so weird to not be able to see right away what I had gotten. It was a whole new experience.
Then, I lost the Petri!!! I could not find it anywhere!!! For a week I searched and searched and began worrying that it was gone forever. There’s only so many places something can get lost in a small 4 bedroom apartment. I started imagining that someone had gotten into my car and stole it, it fell in the trash can, something!! Sunday came and I was getting my bag ready for church. Sketch books– check, crayons and color pencils- check, camera- how the heck did that get in there? “My CAMERA!!!!!” Aaron came running into the room, “What happened?!!!” “I found it.” “Oh, I thought something was wrong.” It was the best mother’s day present I could have gotten.
I finally got the last two shots taken on the roll and again being a huge tight-wad, had to find the cheapest processing deal in town. Mainly I didn’t know what I was going to get so spending lots of money on film and processing for the first roll was just not even an option. I was overjoyed when I opened up that envelope to find clear, beautiful shots. I’ve got some learning to do with the focus and the exposure but it was so fun!!! I’ve decided I need to keep a tiny notebook with me to write down the settings I use for each shot to help learn. Wow, I’m just all giddy and silly over the whole thing. I love it!!!
It’s been fun to compare the two different shots. I had the wrong focal length on my Olympus because of something to do with it being twice as much as an actual 35mm. I don’t know either, one of those things I need to learn. So the Petri shots are much wider than the digital.
I love the old washed out color. I think it would be helpful to try to just shoot on overcast days since I don’t have a UV filter for it. You can see the rest, if you really want to in my flickr set.
Beware, I’ve started my second thrift store roll of film, and I’m hoping to get another two for half price on Memorial Day, so there’s more to come. :)