CAMERA – Capta II

CAMERA: Capta II
FILM: Kodak 160VC Expired 2001
TAKEN: September 2011

The Capta II is a strange beast. Made of bakelite, heavy and almost impossible to open, and elusive when searching the internet for any information. I’ve only used it once as now the red frame window is too foggy to look through and I’m debating whether to pop it out and try and replace it with something a little makeshift. Either way, it’s a strange camera that gave me good results, even though there are very limited controls. The inside was warped, and you can see from some of the images below where I’ve kept in the bending edge of the frame.

I would really like to use it again, but I really have to figure out how to wind it on without that window…

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Ghent 2017

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35, Holga 120CFN
FILM: Fomapan 400, Kodak Portra 400
Ghent may not be high on everyone’s list of places to visit, but as someone who has studied art history I knew I wanted to visit it for a while. Like an art historian’s pilgrimage, I wanted to see the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. I learnt about it early on in my studies, and had always thought of Ghent as a place to tick off a list of places to visit just to see a single work. It is currently being restored, so the bottom panels in St Bavo’s Cathedral are (very good) facsimiles, but you can also visit the Museum of Fine Arts to see into the conservators studio and see the panels there. It was so interesting to see them working on the panels, and while I was there a woman was cleaning a section on the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, very close to where the lamb is. For me, that was a highlight of the year!
Other than the wonderful art in Ghent I fell in love with the charm of the city. The streets and canals are beautiful, the noses delicious, and the carmelite convent where I stayed was a serene and convenient place to base myself. Unlike in Brussels, the convent was quite close to the centre of the city, and just up the road from the picturesque castle, so I could retreat into the quiet of my room if I was tired during the day.
In Ghent I found:
a delicious chocolate shop where you can see them making the chocolates downstairs (and it smells heavenly
a small but heavily stocked shop selling old postcards, stamps and, well, I didn’t have time to rummage through everything!
visited a soup cafe that came highly recommended – it is truly amazing, you get fruit and rolls and a million things in your soup like croutons and meatballs and cheese…heaven!
walked around the Design Museum which was interesting in terms of how they display their collections and exhibitions (my work brain never leaves me)
and I walked around and around, down the canals and up the streets, taking as many photos as I could.

I really feel like Ghent could be a place I revisit, time and time again, and I will definitely be back in 2019 once the Ghent Altarpiece has been restored and returned to its home in the cathedral.

In terms of the photos I took, I feel like I’m really getting a better understanding of how my Olympus Trip 35 works, even though I’ve had it for years! I feel these photos, as well as the ones taken in Brussels, are better than what I’ve shot before, which motivates me to use it even more.
Unfortunately, the shutter on my Holga accidentally switched to bulb, which is why the last shots are a bit blurry. I wish I had noticed because I then shot two more rolls with it like that. Oops! I haven’t used it for a while, and then infrequently, so really need to make sure I check its few, but very important, settings.

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©Jennifer Schussler

ARCHIVE – Baby’s first film camera

Throw your minds back to 2007, and how difficult it was to buy anything online in Australia. Now imagine that you are 16 and don’t have a credit card but you really want this weird plastic camera that sounds like it was named after a Swedish milkmaid. That was me, looking to get a Holga from Lomography.
There was one Lomography shop in Australia at the time, and no stockists in Perth. I had to PRINT a form, fill it out with my mum’s credit card details and POST it over to Sydney, then wait for my first film camera to arrive. I had used the 35mm SLR’s at school, even my teacher’s precious Mamiya to get a taste for 120 film, but this one I could take with me anywhere and really get into using film.
It arrived, I put in the film that came with it and got shooting immediately. I had no idea what I was doing but it was great to get the film back full of overlapping frames and multiple exposures.
I haven’t always reached for my Holga, opting instead for easier to use and develop 35mm cameras, but I’ve come back to it ten years later and still love it.
CAMERA: Holga 120 CFN
FILM: Fuji Velvia 100
Shot & developed in July 2007
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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIPS – Brighton 2017

CAMERA: Holga 120 CFN, Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Kodak Portra 400, Instax Mini colour film
Brighton was one of those places that people talked about all the time and is super easy to get to from London, yet it took me over 3.5 years of living here to actually get down there. I took a Friday off work which promised to be gloriously warm and sunny and hopped on the train with my cameras in tow. I wasn’t overwhelmed with the desire to take photos but it might have been because I was just so damn hot! It was a lovely place to visit but I might try going in winter because it was too hot (this coming from an Australian!).
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©Jennifer Schussler

PLACES – Kew Gardens

CAMERA: Holga 120 CFN, Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Kodak Portra 400, Instax Mini colour film
Working for a museum in London has many perks, the best being reciprocal free entry to museums, galleries, and some other fantastic (and fantastically expensive to get into) places. If I ever find myself at a loss for what to do on the weekend I will go to Kew Gardens, at any time of year. I always make a beeline for the Palm House and Princess of Wales Conservatory, they are the same all year round, beautiful!
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©Jennifer Schussler

HOLGA 120CFN & Ilford HP5+400

CAMERA: Holga 120CFN
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400
DEVELOP: Ilford chemicals, at home
SCAN: Epson V700
I haven’t shot a roll of black & white film with my Holga for a while, so I took it out a couple of times to try and get a roll done. I also haven’t used HP5 before, I have mixed feelings about the results, a bit too dark and a bit too light with this camera. It was the first time I have tried to develop my own 120 film at home, the last time I did this was about 9 years ago in high school, and it was so different trying to load the film with a changing bag rather than a darkroom. So you may notice some dents, I really had to fight to get the film spooled! Don’t think I will put myself under that kind of stress again any time soon, back to 35mm.

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©Jennifer Schussler