"In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv."
– Henri Cartier-Bresson
It is always a treat to reach for my 1970s' Seagull Twin Lens Reflex camera, blow off the dust, gently unravel a roll of 120 film and feed it through the delicate plastic spools ready for shooting. Where others might have a couple of cute pups bouncing around their feet, I have my weighty old cameras to give me the perfect excuse to get out the door into the sunshine. I recently took that excuse and used it to explore the backstreets of the Sydney suburbs of Newtown, Eveleigh, Darlington and beyond.
My adventure started on King Street and took me along Wilson Street to Carriageworks and then way over to Glebe, via Redfern, Chippendale and Ultimo. By then it was more than time to turn my nose homewards and with aching feet and a full roll of film I followed Parramatta Road back to the suburb I call home (via delicious coffee at Deus Bar & Cafe).
"Every straight horizon I achieved was a small victory, every matched vertical line a triumph"
I found focussing on small details through the Seagull's flipped viewfinder as magical-yet-stomach flipping as usual. Every straight horizon I achieved was a small victory, every matched vertical line a triumph. Key learnings this time round? Don't do a medium format shoot without a trusty tripod (or similar) and *buckets* of patience.
If you like this, why not try:
• Adventures in medium format photography
• Photography: Robert Mapplethorpe, Paris Grand Palais
Fancy a change of scene?
• Some thoughts on what it really means to be gay