I was given an old Canon AE-1 film camera, earlier in the summer. Not knowing for certain whether or not it worked, I loaded it with film and commenced shooting, delighting in the weight of the camera in my hands, the metallic click of its shutter. The photographs that I took captured the last few weekends of our summer: walks down wild flower lined lanes; dewy grass in the dawn light; outdoor cooking during our stay in a shepherd’s hut; woodsmoke drifting across a field at dusk; the wispy blond strands of my eldest’s hair, the boys silhouetted against a sunrise glow.
Last week, when I went to collect the packet of developed prints, I had already forgotten what I had shot, savouring the delicious anticipation that only a pack of analogue photographs can bring. I was not disappointed- the camera is in good working order, and the resultant pictures delivered all the pleasures of film photography- light leaks, sun flare, unexpected cuts, tone, texture, and that magical element of surprise.
Summer 2014, you were wonderful. With prints that I can hold in my hand, and prop up on my desk to remind me of those long, dreamy days, I think I’m almost ready for Autumn.