My first camera was a Nikon EM which I received as a 21st birthday present from my parents in 1986. The body was lightweight and compact. It wasn't the most sophisticated camera body in the world but the f1.8 50mm lens was a beauty and I loved using it. I've owned several Nikons since then and I'm particularly fond of the F-301 mainly because of the beautiful mechanical noise its auto-advance system makes when you fire the shutter. It was the first Nikon camera without a film advance lever.
I have a colleague in school who is something of a camera collector. I suppose it was talking to her about the cameras she owns and uses that inspired me to look on eBay for old film cameras. I'd never owned a Rangefinder and so my first purchase was a 1970s Canonet 28. I enjoyed using it, replaced the light seals and should really have stopped there but I'd seen a couple of other cameras that looked fascinating. One of these was the Yashica Electro 35. After doing a bit of research I decided to bid on a black GTN, one of the later models which has a hot shoe. I was also keen to make sure that the seller provided an alternative battery to the now defunct original. In the end I paid £40 for mine and have been using it regularly ever since.
We all experience it. Those moments when we gasp and say, “Oh, look at that.” Maybe it’s nothing more than the way a shadow glides across a face, but in that split second, when you realise something truly remarkable is happening and disappearing right in front of you, if you can pass a camera before your eye, you’ll tear a piece of time out of the whole, and in a breath, rescue it and give it new meaning.