35mm, the starting point for my photography
This is a big one, not in square mm but in volume and importance. For me I think it was where photography all started. I grew up when photojournalism was big in magazine and papers. 1960-70 and a bit in -80 was a period of big changes politically, revolts in Europe, war in Asia, anti colonial in Africa, dictatorship in South America and civil rights movement in USA. All this was documented by photojournalists with 35mm cameras, fast moving and in the middle of the action. It had a very big impact on me and I guess partly formed me as a human and grounded my values. Pictures can change the world, not by it´s own but as a way to point out both good and evil.
Before this I had always enjoyed looking in my parents photo albums. My father had a big interest in photography since he was young and had lots of pictures for me to look at, over and over again. It was like photo books for me today. I could sit for hours just looking.
My first camera was a small point and shoot, but my first serious one was a Miranda Sensorex II, bought it used at my local camera store in the town I grew up. I had saved up to it and even if it was used and fairly cheap it was a lot of money for me in my early teens. The camera turned out to be a real problem, shutter stuck and it was repaired a couple of times but never was a reliable camera. It should be because the model was a rather advanced one. I made a deal and traded it in for a new Konica TC and man that was a good one, now I could really do what I wanted and rely on it to work every time. A year ago I found a Miranda Sensorex II on Tradera, the Swedish version of Ebay, I won the auction and are once again owner of one. It was more of a sentimental buy and as a reminder where it all started. This one works and will have some TriX running thru it now and then.
The Konica became my camera of choice, first the TC and then a T4. The T4 a favorite with a 50/1,7 and TriX, the TC with a 28 not so much. I stll have these cameras but they haven`t been fired for a long time, but well worn they remind me of a fantastic period in my life. It was something new, the cameras was always on me or near me, I learn how to develop and my understanding parents supported me and let me have a darkroom in the laundry. I took some classes in B&W darkroom but the most I learned by my self reading books and try things out.
When I did my military service I did that as photographer. Making portraits, educational materials, repro and prints. It was a hard time for an anarchistic youth. Rank order and me on the bottom but a good lesson. I got to use high end cameras, Nikon F2, Hasselblad and Leicas. At first I was only to touch the Nikkormats but manage to get a status as a reliable person and was soon handle the good stuff. As my ”customers” was all officers in the top end of the rank I fast found out how to get an important status and benefits. They was all relaying on fast and good jobs and if they treated me right thats what they got, the dickheads always had to wait for not so good work. I remember one time I was booked to shoot some portrait of a couple of officers, one of them had treated a friend of me really bad and it was time to pay back a bit. In the studio we was using hotlights so it could get a bit warm for the subjects, normally I did the shoot rather fast and set the lights in advance. This time I used the asshole as a dummie to set the light, and man I took my time. You want the light to be right;) When it was time to shoot I had a sweaty subject in full army dressup, rest of the crowd got thru nice and easy:)
Now 30 years later my 35mm cameras have become a small collection, I try to shoot most of them but after time there are some favorite go to cameras. All cameras have there own benefits and they belong in different categories I would say. Best way to describe them are in a separate text for each category.
To sum it up, as a filmtype 35mm are still a big part of my shooting. I always have at least one 35mm with me at any time so even if I shoot a lot of larger formats 35 mm are still a enjoyable part of my photography.