We can’t turn back the clock, but if we’re lucky, and with the right analogue tools, we can still recreate memories of yesterday today. Here’s how I did it.
I gave myself a photo assignment: to create photos that looked like they were taken in the 70s and early 80s without any digital manipulation.
Why such an assignment? Simply because I wanted to know if I could still create photos that I remembered seeing, growing up as a child in the 70s and early 80s.
The tools I chose, after much deliberation, were the well respected Olympus Trip 35 (my most recent analogue camera purchase) and a roll of the shamelessly cheap Lucky Color 200+ film.
There were two places that I had in mind to check out. First stop was a Dinosaur playground located among high rise residential flats. This playground is obscured by some bushes along the main road, so it is not that noticeable from the main road.
Next was the last sand Dragon playground in Singapore; as I had a particular shot in mind that I wanted to capture. However, I was not able to capture that shot I wanted, but got something even better!
Here’s what happened. I started taking a couple of ‘record’ shots when a group of kids (two boys and two girls) ran into my frame and started to play.
It was so spontaneous and they didn’t seem to notice me standing there. I simply set my camera’s zone focus up and snapped away.
It was only when I climbed up the Dragon’s head that the kids noticed me. They gathered around me on seeing my camera. And one of them asked a question, which surprised me. “Are you writing an article?” asked the first girl. “I’ve seen people taking photos for an article.”
Then the boys asked if they could see the photos that I just took. I told them that I was using a film camera and the photos needed to be developed first but I let them peek through the view finder.
Then the second girl said, “I know what a film camera is. It’s so vintage. I like it very much.” (Note: We got a lomographer in the making here!)
After chatting with the kids for a while, I asked if I could take a photo of them along the Dragon’s spine. What’s fantastic about this photo is I didn’t pose them at all. They were all so natural!
I was curious to find out how the photos would turn out, given that it was getting more cloudy by the minute even though it was high noon. But when I got them back, I was quite happy with the results. I quite like the way it turned out as for me, these photos did indeed look as if they were taken in the 70s and early 80s.
For me, this was a lucky trip (pun intended) down memory lane.
Where to find the playgrounds:
Dinosaur Playground – Blk 27, Kim Keat Ville, Singapore
Dragon Playground – Blk 28, Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Singapore