On A Roll 5; Charlie’s Gift.

A long long time ago, back when pubes were still a thing, my mate Charlie was showing me a big pile of stuff he’d found while clearing out his recently brought house. Hidden among these many forgotten treasures was an old box brownie and other similar box camera.


After briefly batting my eyelids at Charlie he kindly let me have them, and I went straight home, brought some film, then waited just shy of a year to take pictures on them.

The Brownie still needs a little bit of attention before I can feel brave enough to whack some film through, but the one on the left seemed in good nick.

So a few weeks ago, Steve and I decided to give it a go. After sitting in my house asking Steve for constant guidance of how to load medium format film, we headed to Gunwharf. Something about this local shopping centre seemed oddly exciting. Built in the 90’s, it felt it’s modern buildings would juxtapose the old format quite nicely.

The camera was so basic to use. Three aperture settings and one shutter speed. A refreshing break from the large array of buttons and options on a modern DSLR. And yet I still spent the whole day thinking I was doing something wrong. You’ll see photo evidence of these feelings on Steve’s blog about that day.

We wondered around Gunwharf and a little bit of Old Portsmouth and managed to fill the film just as the rain started pouring.

With the heavens open it seemed like the ideal time to spend the evening in our kitchen developing film and eating food. Did I mention drink? because we did that too.


It’s quite lucky for me that Steve develops film. And we’ve got a good little system going, I buy a five pack of film, chuck Steve two, and he does all my developing. And it really is quite an exciting way to spend a night.

As it was an old camera found in a friends attic I really wasn’t expecting much. I spent the whole night in one of those slightly pissed moods where you know things just aren’t going to go your way.

Me and Steve were definitely not prepared for what happened next. As the film came out and we lifted it up to the light, to our amazement, there was a picture on every single frame. And we’re not just talking some sort of vague shape, there was a clear and mostly focused image on every single frame.


It goes without saying that my mood drastically changed. Have a look through the pictures below and you might just see where I’m coming from.


I’m quite excited to put another roll through this one, and even more excited to try the brownie. Not the first time i’ve said that.

Until the next roll,



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