A More Colorful Tomorrow

In the '90s, my girlfriend wanted a camera, so I bought her a Yashica T4 for Christmas. She bought me a lovely, all-black wristwatch with no markings on the face. It was slick, and I enjoyed wearing it for about two weeks before her little brother broke it messing around. She liked the camera but was not nearly as excited about the Carl Zeiss Tessar f/3.5 lens as I was. Judging from some TBT pics on Facebook, she continued enjoying the camera for a couple of years after we broke up until, as expected, her little brother broke it messing around. He wasn't a mean kid, but he was a major asshole who messed around way too much.

If memory serves, I paid around $200-250 for the camera brand new because it was on holiday sale. A T4 in Exc++ or better condition will run you about $500-600 on eBay, so adjusted for inflation, that 30-year-old used camera is worth about $30 more today than I paid it for it new. It ranks among the legendary point-and-shoot cameras. Major asshole, that kid. I have no idea how he turned out. I loved that watch and the girl too, but if I could choose only one of the three (girl, camera, or wristwatch), I'd pick the camera without hesitation, which I suppose explains the high price tag.

I'm not willing to spend $500 on a Yashica T4 for the sake of nostalgia. I'm sure you can find them hiding in junk bins for $3, if you're into spending lots of time at thrift stores and Goodwill, hoping and wishing, but I am not, so I went on eBay and bought a used Olympus Mju II Zoom 38-80mm, another classic point-and-shoot film camera that fits easily into a pocket. The camera was sent from Japan and arrived within three days. So much for all those shipping delays. It appears to be in nearly mint condition as promised. I can't speak to the state of the light seals yet. I will shoot a few rolls of film this week and send them out for development and scanning at various places asap.

Several people have suggested I work more in color. I don't know if that means they don't like my photos and hope a little color might liven them up or if they simply don't care for black and white photography in general. Perhaps it depends on who you ask, but I'm not asking. However, color photos will work their way back into my catalog soon. This year, I am committed to photographing in color as a creative learning exercise. I will devote the next three months exclusively to color when shooting digital, but I will also be working in b&w 35mm film during this period.

I'm calling my first experiment of the year JPEG-January, in which I will set up my X100V to shoot in JPEG-only mode instead of RAW and use the color photos SOOC. I expect it to be an extremely frustrating learning activity, but it will train me to think in color as the camera interprets it. Plus, it's always good to practice and drill on your framing technique. Next month, I'll return to RAW and start relearning my way around in the digital color darkroom; ICC profiles, yuck.

Blue Flower