I hope you've all enjoyed the holidays and got some exciting new gear to play with. I've been meaning to post this for a week or so but have a had a busy new year so far.
I received the prize for the Vivian Maier contest just in time to open on Christmas day, thanks to Stephen generously shipping it all the way to Australia. Having only just acquired my first Rollei ('cord Va) a few months ago (with which I took the winning self-portrait on my second roll of 120mm) it was quite bizarre to be receiving a second one already!
At first sight I was blown away by the condition of the body and the fact that it came with a near-pristine original case too. The first thing to do, of course, is to open the hood which has those beautiful folding sides, and the screen is as clear as day.
Then it hit me that everything looks completely different to the 'cord, namely the film crank, shutter release and exposure controls. I started slowly exploring everything and firing the shutter, until suddenly it stopped working and I thought I'd broken it
...but I realised I'd accidently nudged the shutter lock on! The crank makes me nervous compared to the 'cord's cocking system, but I believe it'll be easier to get used to once I load up some film.
I'm simply in awe of Frank & Heidecke for their incredible craftsmanship and how they can have such a variety of mechanics through different bodies but still be so polished on every one. I have to admit, one of my favorite things is the way the front of the case twists and detaches from two of the metal feet on the bottom - ingenious! They are truly beautiful pieces of history.
I'm currently working on a New Topographics-style body of work in a small Australian town I'm temporarily living in. I work a lot of hours in a country pub and despite the 40C/104F temperatures, the Sun just hasn't been shining on my days off to get out and shoot that high-contrast look I'm after with the new Rollei yet, but I'll be sure to share some images from it as soon as I can. For now, I've attached some iPhone photos of the camera itself so you can see how stunning it is.
I'd also like to add that I'm so thankful that this has entered my world thanks to Stephen and those that voted for my image here at RFF. As I've mentioned in previous posts, Maier was the one who inspired me to get a Rollei and start shooting medium format and I took the self-portrait in honour of her
self-portrait with the T - It's somehow gone full-circle and the same model has landed in my lap. So I hope you all know how stoked I am.