Journeys with Rollei

Well, here we go. Two entries in two days. But I got a lot of ground to cover. So let’s just dive in.

I’ve mentioned in previous entries that most of my photography is influenced by one thing — jealousy. No seriously. If I see someone take an insanely great photo, I want to go out and do it. That’s what keeps me motivated in terms of photography. I cannot stand the thought that someone took an amazing photo and I didn’t. I usually use that photo as a goal that I want to reach as well. It might take a long time and I might not exactly achieve what the other person has photographically but I keep trying until I do it.

This is the genesis of the pictures that will come with this entry. A long time ago, I saw an amazing set of photos taken during the Depression that were in color. They were taken with color film. I’m not exactly sure if it was color slide film or color roll film. Both were scarce and expensive back then, so I am sure this was not doled out haphazardly. The pictures are so interesting. The colors are sort of faded but it’s a look into another world, a world usually seen in black and white. People were just living their daily lives while the country went through what it went through. One day people will look back on covid times and feel the same way. I thought about putting one of the images in here but I think they’re copyright protected or something. I am not sure. But you can Google “great depression color photos” and it will come up.

When I took the road trip, I was trying to decide what cameras to take with me. Cameras. Plural. I fixed on the digital SLR, just to get immediate results and my Rolleicord, which I have fallen hopelessly in love with. It’s a true waist level TLR. The pictures are super sharp and when you use medium format slide film, the results are insane. So beautiful. This was my chance to at least try to reproduce the pictures I saw in the set of the Depression era ones. So I dragged the Rollei through five states, 1200 miles. I shot five rolls of film, a tightly edited 60 photos. I was really happy with what I got. The camera is tremendous fun and you see these insanely saturated colors. The iPhone camera can go jump in a lake compared to what comes out of the Rolleicord.

So here’s the stuff off the Rollei from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Enjoy:

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