In Autumn 2022 one of my best friends invited me to fly with him over Apulia. I had been waiting for this opportunity ever since he got his private pilot’s licence, but we had to wait for the plane — a SOCATA TB-9 — to finish its scheduled maintenance.

When it was finally time to fly, I had to choose which camera to take with me to photograph the trip. For the occasion, I thought there was no better pairing than an ILFORD HP5 PLUS (recently expired) with the Coke can camera my grandmother gave me a few years ago.

What I love about this camera is its imperfection. In fact, the photos I took look a lot like other photos I found in the albums of my grandfather, who was also a private pilot, so I felt like I was reliving those shots I admired so much.

These drinks can-shaped cameras were produced in the 1990s and can be found branded with various trademarks. They are toy cameras, so perfect photos are not to be expected.

Apart from the film, all settings are fixed: the shutter speed is 1/100s, the aperture f/11, and the focus is fixed between 1m and infinity. And if the light is not enough, I activate the built-in flash, and fear passes.

What I love about this camera is the lightness with which I carry it around and shoot without thinking about exposure or focus, I enjoy the moment without thinking too much about it.

~ Andrea

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About the author

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Andrea Bianchi

I am from Matera, in the south of Italy, currently living between Bologna and Milan. I approached the world of photography 10 years ago, in 2012 and is has ever since then become my favourite hobby: I rarely leave home without a camera in my backpack. I love...

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