Vinyl records and analogue photography have a lot in common. Perhaps more than you’d think! I began to realize the similarities and intricacies between vinyl and film soon after I started using my Holga 135. Come take a look!
When I moved into my apartment last year, I was excited for my boyfriend and I to set up his record player. He had been collecting records for some time but living in a university dorm didn’t lend itself well to speakers and a turntable. Almost every night we would listen to records: lovingly flipping them over, sliding them carefully in and out of their protective sleeves, and examining their artful inserts and jackets. Together we began building an eclectic collection of records. Hearing music on a vinyl record became a distinct experience to me; there was no skipping ahead, no pausing and rewinding suddenly, and no picking and choosing single tracks. Because of vinyl records, I became a more active listener; I began to appreciate albums as cohesive wholes, and I started to see the physical medium conveying the music as a work of art as well.
About three months ago I bought a Holga 135 after the point-and-shoot digital camera I’d had for the previous four years gave up the ghost. I was ready to break free of the carelessness I felt when shooting digital, ready to apply the same amount of artistry and care I felt about analogue music formats to my photography. As with vinyl records, the physical medium of film allows the artist to manipulate the way the art is perceived. A blank record contains no music, no content, until it is pressed; similarly, a blank roll of film contains no content until the shutter opens and light is let in to form an image. The same ethic is applied to analogue music as analogue photography.
Once I started using my Holga, I truly fell in love with film. I dug out my parents’ early-eighties-era Minolta, and my boyfriend and I went in halves on a 1940’s Argus C3 rangefinder. Over the past few months, our collective passion for both analogue music and photography has grown greatly, as has our collection of cameras, films, and records!
I can’t name my favorite record per se; every record is unique in the emotions it conveys, in the color of the vinyl or the uniqueness of the packaging. No matter what is spinning on our turntable, my life has been enriched by the presence of analogue music.