A few months ago I received an email from an old friend, Eleanor, who I haven't seen for almost 9 years...
"I was wondering if you would like some retro cameras that I have? My Dad passed away last August and he was a keen photographer, although I have to say he spent more time cleaning his cameras then taking photos! Most stuff has gone to the hospice to be sold for charity, however I could not bring myself to send his cameras (one was my mums too). So I either stick them in my loft or sell them to a camera shop but I would love someone I know to enjoy them and for them to 'live on'...."
Cue tears. I was so incredibly touched. Needless to say I replied with a huge 'yes please' and assured her they would be loved, photographed and used (as soon as I get to grips with exactly how to do that!).
I met Eleanor and her husband Richard earlier today and she brought with her a bag full of cameras... an old black leather bag... crackled through age and use. It was like finding buried treasure.... inside was a Lubitel 166b, an Ilford Sporti, a Brownie 127 and the two MOST beautiful rangefinder cameras - a Kueb Kiev and a Pentax Asahi in incredible leather cases. Even lenses and instruction manuals.
They truly are things of beauty. Each one is immaculate...
I got home on what has been an incredibly dull and wet (yet wonderful) afternoon and quickly took these photographs before it got too dark. They aren't the best but I wanted to document today and what this has meant to me.
Eleanor... I honestly cannot thank you enough... and I hope that one day, when I eventually start shooting with them, that I can do your Dad proud. xxx