Box Brownie: The Perfect Reflection

I was given my first camera aged roughly 8 or 9 years old.  It was a Hanimex Auto Grip 110F which took those funny cartridge films.  It was small and clunky but I felt so proud that it was all mine!  Many of the pictures that I took subsequently, mostly of my cats and chickens, were blurry and at less than arty angles but I kept every one in an album which I still have to this day.

In my teens I moved on to my grandfather’s old Minolta and life became complicated in more ways than one but that’s a whole other story, I digress!

The reason for this post was a different kind of reflection all together. In short, isn’t there something just magical in the perfect reflection?  I just developed a new Brownie film and I felt like sharing!  I often feel that if you find pleasure in the small things the rest will follow.  So here are some of my recent reflections! I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking and developing them!


I think I am literally in love with this image!  There is something about the scene that I find other-worldly, like many of the Brownie pictures it feels utterly timeless.


This proves that I did go over and sit on the bench in the previous picture!


There is a haze to this one, not really sure why because it was a clear crisp morning in Penryn but I love the gentle ripples in the water.


Not a reflection I realise but its water and I just love this picture.  The swans had just been over to investigate my potential for snacks, I had failed to provide them with anything so they left in silent indignation.

I feel that my photographs are just as much as part of this blog as the stories that I aim to tell and those blurry snaps from 30 years ago are as much a captured memory from my life as these reflections above.

For more Brownie adventures try: Lady behind the lens, My Box Brownie camera, Adventures with Parralax Error! or take a look at some more images at Box Brownie Photos

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9 thoughts on “Box Brownie: The Perfect Reflection

  1. What a great article. I like the first photo too. The last shot of the bridge is absolutely wonderful! A timeless look like an old postcard. Only an old medium format camera can do that. It sounds like your brownie is giving so much joy.

    Are you scanning these yourself? I rather like the low contrast hazy look you mentioned but think it might be the scanner software getting confused rather than the negative itself (this is especially common when the black film frames are visible).

    I hope you don’t mind but I’ve taken the liberty of doing an edit which might be closer to how you remember that crisp morning

    I love your blog and the ongoing story of your photography. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Wow!! Thank you so much for your message and that amazing edit!! Yes I am scanning myself and have to admit technology is my nemesis!! I would ask how you just did that but it would probably go over my head!! But I know a man who can so will be seeking guidance! Thank you again for your lovely comments! 🙂

      1. Ah I’m glad you found it interesting. The tones of your original were lovely (in fact I prefer to the edited version 🙂 All I did was add contrast to the picture area (the same as contrast settings on a monitor or telly really).

        I did it in Photoshop but I’m sure your technical friend can show you an easy way to do it. I scan negatives myself and try to do as little digital manipulation as possible but contrast (or curves) adjustments are often needed. It was the same back in the darkroom days really, but much more complicated! Your scanner software may have an ‘auto levels’ or ‘auto contrast’ setting which will do the basics for you most of the time. The black strips of the negative can fool it though because it will set those as a ‘black point’ and can wash out a subtle scene. All the basic software does is find the darkest area and adjust it everything so it’s pure black, then find the lightest area and make it pure white with all the mid-tone followsing. So an artificially dark external area can leave the image itself untouched.

        Anyhow, too much photography geekiness (could go on all day). I tend to lurk on your site but my favourite recent piece was the one about Granny Boswell. Film photography and leftfield historical stories and travelogue = perfect 🙂

  2. I realise that this isn’t meant to be a camera blog but since you started putting up these Box Brownie pictures I have been thinking of the old Brownie 127 that I had in the early to mid-seventies which was all I had to take with me on a trip from London to Afghanistan and back overland (one didn’t just fly in those days). I had just eight rolls of film for a journey of 2 months and still have the colour pictures I took.

    What is it exactly about black and white pictures that gives them such an evocative feel? As your reader Eddy says they look timeless as if from a half-remembered dream.

    1. That must have been an amazing trip, what memories, I wish I had taken more pictures on my travels, I suppose when you are younger you don’t think about how things will change. Or that we will forget. I am glad you like the photos, there is something wonderful about them, so different than digital (although that has so many plus’s too). Thank you for your comments 🙂

  3. Great timeless shots and well done for mastering all those cameras! Do hang on to all you backlog as you will certainly revisit them in the future…

  4. The “Hanimex” range of camera’s came out of Australia/New Zealand. Not a country renowned for optics or film.
    Their design brief/ remit was to offer a slimline “instant” affordable camera to take on the likes of Kodak who dominated the market. Hanimex’s challenge was short lived as the company found it difficult to compete against companies such as Kodak.

    The Fujifilm Corporation now owns the brand

    Still, if you’ve ever used one, the results can be quite responsible….

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