Where I am from

Huta Katowice in the background
Huta Katowice in the background

For Film Friday, I have something special today. On my recent trip home, my father gave me a Lubitel 166B camera. I got it for a second time. It was the first camera I owned, many years ago. I used to shoot a lot with it (and know how to do it). Now, I can learn shoot it again. Yet, it seems I have a long way ahead of me.

It is a completely manual camera, no exposure metering nor autofocus. I worked hard on using “sunny 16” rules, but it requires actual sun to be there -not something found in Poland in abundance. Almost all the pictures I shot on my first 4 rolls were underexposed. To my defence, I had two really old rolls in the stack (with expiration date in 1993), I don’t think more than a few came out of those two rolls. Pity, I had a picture or two I really looked forward to seeing and sharing.

The other difficulty I have with Lubitel is the viewfinder on this twin-lens reflex camera (TLR). All the images you see in this post (scanned by the pro lab somewhere in Warsaw as TIF, not JPG. Awesome!) were straightened. I have no idea yet how to hold it properly so I get a straight image. The only other thing I did on the computer was to get rid of some of that magenta color cast. Must be a scanning artifact, and you probably can still see some of it.

With the Lubitel in hands, I was walking around the places I grew up, taking photographs of just about everything. It felt like the camera fitted that project, created the mood of old times. I have not really had a chance to visit and spend so much time in that town since we moved to US, so it was for me a bit like travel back in time. Not much changed with that place, maybe a building or two were constructed and the road got covered with fresh asphalt. Many views where just as they were 10 or 20 years ago, so are the people.

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