This fall, someone from an "anonymous" online image board for photography decided it would be a good idea to send a $3 thrift store camera around the US to see what we would come up with. I loved the idea because it would be a simple and fun way to document my travels this autumn. If you've never heard of a traveling camera, the general idea is that someone sends it to you, you shoot a few rolls of film (hopefully in a short period of time) and mail it on to the next person who signed up for it. Well, it arrived one day before my annual week long Colorado fall photo trip and I became the proud temporary owner of this camera:
Yep, the Olympus Stylus. I'm quite certain my parents had one of these when I was a kid. It's pretty much got two buttons, one for shutter and one for flash. You have no idea where it's focusing but you can only hope it did it right. You have no control over exposure either. It's pretty much the film equivalent of the modern camera phone, allowing anyone to get decent photos with the press of a button. Load some film, open the built in clamshell case and snap away!
It was actually a total blast to use! My photography has gotten more and more complicated over the years; waiting for the absolute best light, finding perfect compositions and using a large format camera. This was simple. Compose an image (with the rather inaccurate viewfinder) and push the button. My goal when using it was to see a more simple view of things and capture moments that pass too quickly for my normal massive film camera. It really opened my mind up and made for a lot of fun as I wandered around Colorado and lived out my car for 9 days.
I shot two rolls of film with it, one was Velvia 100 that expired 4 years ago and the other was Portra 160VC that was also a few years expired. Aside from a few totally missed focus shots, the camera was able to make a decent image out of most scenes. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking, click on the thumbnails below to see them.
Did you enjoy this blog post?! Feel free to make a small donation. By clicking the button below, you can give me a $5 donation easily through PayPal (no account needed) that helps me greatly. Every sheet of my large format film costs about $5 so your donation can keep me out there photographing the beautiful landscape!