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.
Share your knowledge, story or project
The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.