In 2009, I (James) bought a 1959 Rolleiflex camera that changed the way I would take photos forever.
I initially saw photos from this one specific camera from a customer who came into the photo lab I was manager of at the time – one Peanut of the Kaiser Chiefs. As it happened, he had two of these as he broke one and had to get a second, he loved it that much and eventually he got the original repaired by an aging man who worked in the Rolleiflex factories many decades ago and now just fixed them as a hobby. So, I purchased his second camera off of him (after immediately breaking the light metre… these cameras look tough, but are downright fragile!) and began making my forays into medium format film.
Around 2009 is when I met my good buddy, Aidan and we spent – and still spend – a lot of our time searching out and photographing epic abandoned landscapes so a lot of my shots became of him and of buildings. Looking back on this post now, it looks like a memorial to his death there are that many of him, but trust me, he’s very much alive!
I continued using my Rolleiflex all the way up until the end of 2012 when it started choking and spluttering and now it’s finally given up the ghost. Sadly, it’s sat on the office shelf looking stunningly beautiful, staring back at me urging me to fix it… but how!? There are so few people who can do it now and where to find them? The photos below are just a few that I picked out this morning from mine and the Rolleiflex’s travels and it saddens me a little knowing that there’s just a little something inside it that just needs tightening or adjusting and she’d be raring to go… just not today.
Right now, I’ve replaced her with Blad The Impaler, my new Hasselblad 500c which I hope to pickup and continue on the medium format journey where the Rolleiflex left off. But for now, here’s some memories. Beautiful, crisp memories.