I’ve been keeping this a secret, but finally decided to share it with you – my favourite film camera: Supersampler 35mm multi-lens camera.
I heard a lot about how a photographer should keep a camera with him out and about always. And you should carry the camera on your shoulder, not even in the camera bag. I agree, laziness is one of my biggest enemies. Even carrying a camera with me, I sometimes can’t be bothered to take it out of the camera bag every three seconds. But SLRs are so chunky and heavy, plus they’re so expensive – it’s a bit burdensome.
But my Supersampler is perfect for this. I simply put it in my coat pocket before I step out of the door. It’s so light – lighter than any digital camera, because it’s completely made of plastic. It’s small – I can hold it and press the shutter all with one hand.
I know as soon as I said it’s made of plastic, people may immediately categorise it into “non-serious stuff”, which is entirely fine, and accurate. I’ll always remember when my parents saw my first plastic camera, they made a “what is this ugly thing” noise in their noses. Toy camera, or for lovers of plastic cameras like me call them – lomography, is for fun. Looking at my photos below. I don’t think even a top DSLR would give us as much fun on that day, and all the curious and envious comments ever since.
There are more reasons to love it: the sense of nostalgia – open the back and pull the film out; the surprise – wait for the film to develop, hold the prints in hand and be brought back to that day again; the vivid colour – blue is deep deep sea, red is ripened cherry, green is summer tree, yellow is sunshine; the fun – how many cameras allow you or even encourage you to shout to your model “jump!” “run towards me!” “turn to me when you hear the shutter starts” and not need to worry about focus, shutter speed or framing? On top of all these, I love the fact that I’ll be using it as long as the camera lasts, no worry about it going out of date, no need to catch up with the latest technology, no cost of more lenses, or more accessories. The only worry is the sad fact that an increasing number of camera shops are closing down. There are fewer and fewer places for me to go developing films now.
I went to Liverpool with a good friend in summer 2010. We went along the coast towards the north half by train half on foot all the way to Southport. These are my favourite four-frame photos. There are many many ways to use Supersampler. I love shooting people. This set especially shows its ability to capture actions perfectly.