In preparation for Argust 8 next week, I took my "newest" junker camera out for a walk today, a Kalimar A. I admit to not knowing much about brands and makers, and only after the purchase have I found out that Kalimar makes lenses and modern camera and such, certainly things that look less quirky than this one. In fact, it was the trifecta of the Kalimar's innate quirkiness, the reputed lomographic quality, and my own junklust that made me get it.
I spent many weekends in college wandering around the campus grounds with my little plastic point-and-shoot, trying out various ways to get creative with the buildings and grounds. I've got albums of near-identical shots of "The Science Building" and "the pond off-campus" and so on. I miss those photo walks, and have started doing them again over lunch. Attitudes about someone walking around with a camera, snapping random pictures has changed a lot in the intervening years, though.
Maybe I'm just projecting my own dislike of being photographed on others, but I feel very exposed, wandering around the city center, taking pictures on a film camera. Maybe it's still post-9/11 paranoia. I did get approached once by a pair of ladies asking what I was taking a picture of (an angel statue near a brick labyrinth), and I felt almost apologetic. "I just got this old camera, I'm just trying it out, seeing how it works, etc.." I shuffled away from there quickly all the same, as I imagined trying to explain that to the local police.
Is paranoia America's new pastime? And what will this mean when I'm hauling around a C-3 that looks like a barely-disguised block of C-4?