Do you remember the blog I wrote a few weeks ago where I mentioned that I’d treated myself and purchased an original analogue Minolta XG1, which was the 35mm film camera I was given when I was 15, sort of the inspiration for my career? Well, I don’t know if any of you out there are like me in that when you get a new toy in, you just can’t wait to start ‘playing’ with it and the longer it goes between the new gadget arriving and actually being able to get to use it is agonising? Am I right?

Good, I’m not on my own there then – so finally, a let-up in my schedule meant I could package up my little Minolta Beauty and head out to use it – however I saw fit. Oh! The joy – the open road, a blank canvas (or set of Ilford HP5 B&W film) and my imagination! A very good friend of mine with a passion for classic racing cars (cheers, Andrew!) called up and told me he knew of a couple of classic Capris holed up in an old barn. So, I high-tailed it over there, hopped the fence (no easy feat nowadays…) and lo and behold – what a barn-find.

They were beautiful – a real petrol-head’s dream – A 1969 Mk1, 3 litre British Capri. “You know, white wasn’t its original colour?” Andrew tells me “It started out yellow and, I believe, raced under the nickname ‘Big Yella’, in its heyday.” What stories could it tell, I wondered?! And just across the barn a 1970/1 Brown, Mk1 2.8. “The interesting thing about this car is that it went straight from Cologne, Germany to the States.” Andrew enthuses “This model had a German engine and the ‘facelift’ which included bigger headlights, better taillights and of course, left-hand drive.”
So, thoroughly in my element, I happily snapped away in and around the magnificent, machinery mecca laid out before me.

Returning to work, and the real world, again, I was on tenterhooks waiting for the film to be processed & get the contact sheets back so I could, again, revel in hot-rod heaven all bathed in black and white nostalgia…….(sound of brakes squealing)….the gods of photography, however, had other ideas.

Yes, my friends, it was not to be – well, not on my poor monument to the past Minolta at any rate. Yep – disaster had befallen my ode to my past and upon inspection of the contact sheets I found that the lens had been retro-focusing, so all were unusable. Honestly – has anything like this ever happened to you? I don’t know what the worst feeling was, the poor quality of my art or the irreparable state of my childhood trophy.

All was not completely lost, though. Happily, I had decided to bring along my usual Sony kit and I had set both pieces of equipment up while I was there. So, I downloaded the captures that the Sony AR7 Mk IV and I had produced and…hallelujah! Result! Now this was more like it!

So – with this blog I give you my atonement, not a comfortable blog to share, but proof that even us pros don’t always get it right the first time. Live and learn, and I’ve got the most unique paperweight to show you now, happy days – Nigel.

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