Roughly around 20 years ago I bought an old camera, second hand at a flea-market, it was a Minolta SR-7. I don’t remember what I paid for it but I wasn’t earning much at the time so it can’t have been expensive. I had fun with it for a few years and then the speed and light-weight convenience of the modern camera tempted me and the Minolta went in a drawer for a long rest.
Since I found my lovely Box Brownie in a charity shop I have been thinking that I should dig out my old Minolta and take it for a spin.
The summer sunshine always makes me wants to get out and about, even more so than I do normally, so this year I took the opportunity to visit some of the many local village shows and take some pictures of the things I go to see – big bulls, long eye-lashed cows, huge vegetables and steam engines.
Stithians Show is the one nearest to me and I think it is the best (controversial?). It has everything that you would find at the much larger and grander Royal Cornwall but without the mass crowds. Stithians still feels like a real village affair and a community effort (which it is) and, for a local girl like me, chances are you will see one or two people you know!
So one hot July day off I went to Stithians, the heavy weight of my old camera swinging by my side.
The Minolta SR-7, which was produced from 1962 – 1967, is far more complicated than any other camera I have. Where as in previous posts I have revelled in the simplicity of my Brownie, my Minolta is about as complicated as I ever want my photographic life to get. (I like to keep things nice and simple.)
I am afraid I am not qualified to give you a run down of all its features yet but needless to say I think I am going to enjoy the results! That is once I get the hang of the light meter I just bought on eBay! This model of the camera is completely mechanised (although it did have a built in battery-powered light meter it functions fine without it) which means that when you take a picture and wind on the film it makes all the clicking, crunching and grinding noises you could possibly wish for. An audio experience as well as a visual one!
The other thing that strikes me about these first pictures is that they have a real timeless quality about them. I realise the subject matter helps – the traditional country show – but still there is an almost ageless feel. The prize-giving picture above could have been taken when the camera was first produced in the 1960s.
I must just add that those cabbages are HUGE, cattle are surprising good at standing still for a picture and steam engines smell amazing!
I am really looking forward to further adventures with my Minolta!
For more of my photographic stories try: Box Brownie: The Perfect Reflection or Adventures with my Box Brownie: Part 2 How to load your film! or Lady behind the lens