This week’s photo was taken from the South Street Bridge in Philadelphia back in August on Kodak T-Max film using a Superheadz “Black Slim Devil,” a Japanese toy 35mm camera that sells for $30 and has a very wide angle of view. Be sure to grip it far back and from the ends, or your fingers will end up in the frame! It’s a lot like the one-use Fuji Quicksnap, except it is reusable and you can load it with any available film stock. I love using this camera because it weighs close to nothing so it’s easy to carry around and it’s always ready to shoot. There are no adjustments and I keep the camera in my bag all the time with film advanced and the shutter set.
This instrument drives home the notion that it’s not so much the camera as simply being there and ready when the moment strikes. Years ago Popular Photography ran an article entitled “C.Y.C.W.Y.—Carry Your Camera With You.” I couldn’t agree more, in fact, I feel like something’s missing if I don’t have some kind of photographic device at hand. Assuredly, this capture is not optically or technically perfect and I had to exercise a fair amount of legerdemain in Photoshop to get a solid print and it will probably see a few more iterations. I seem to always want more detail, depth and tonality, but in my thinking until someone invents the perfect camera, it’s far better to forgo some of that rather than missing nature’s ephemeral spectacle. I often carry this camera and a more bulky medium format, shooting both if time permits.