New York Fashion Week S/S 2015

It was a whirlwind week in New York for us. I got to do some exploring with family, who just happened to be in town at the same time, while Ania had to take out 48 crazy hours our trip to fly back to Calgary for her style presentation for Hudson's Bay. I went to the Killer Heels event, put on by Nordstrom at the Brooklyn Museum. We celebrated our first anniversary (happy one year honey!). We went to the Tommy Hilfiger and J Crew shows, and of course did some serious power shopping.

Below are the snapshots from the week, taken on the Contax T2. The scans from these rolls are so badly done by our local drug store that I have a hard time judging how well the camera really performed. I had to use Lightroom to fix the terrible adjustments the photo lab did, so I don't feel like I got to enjoy the natural colours from the camera or films.

First Roll from the Olympus XA

After a searching high and low in Tokyo for this camera, I'm so excited to finally have an Olympus XA, and the first roll of Fuji Superia 400 is back from the lab. If you are confused why I would be so excited about a cheap looking 40 year old point & shoot camera, let me explain. 

Unlike most compact film cameras the Olympus XA is a rangefinder, one of the smallest out there. It has quick f/2.8 lens with aperture priority control, a featherlight shutter button to reduce vibration, and a clamshell cover to keep it safe in my pocket or bag. Best of all, it's film! It's like having a full frame camera, with all the beautiful colors and dynamic range that come along with film. With digital, a point and shot means giving up on some image quality (especially latitude) so with this little film camera, you're getting so much more.

With any small amateur looking camera, it doesn't draw attention to itself. Up until now, we could only shoot film on our Elan 7, which is a full size SLR and can attract unwanted attention from subjects.

Summer has finally arrived in Calgary so we took full advantage of the sunshine and rode our bikes around town, shot some style photos for our friend Amber's upcoming blog (and to post on our Stocksy portfolio),  and spent the night at Calgary's brand new Aloft hotel. Keep an eye on Ania's blog for the awesome underwater shots we took there.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this was also the last roll I shot on the Olympus. While using it, I noticed the shutter would occasionally lock up and refuse to fire. I hoped it would be just a quirk of shooting with an old camera, but it was more than inconvenient. I couldn't trust that when I pulled the camera out if my bag, I would be able to capture anything at all. 

When Olympus designed this camera back in 1979, they were more focused on creating a great consumer camera. For it's plastic construction to last beyond 2014 may be asking too much of it.  

I will be sending it back to the eBay seller for a refund, and will start a search for my next film point and shoot. This time, something a little more rugged.

Milkshakes at Cliveburger in Calgary

Bright portraits of Amber

Ania on her beautiful Electra bike

Trees blooming by the Calgary Stampede grounds

My bright white bike

Blooming flowers and blue skies mean summer has arrived in Calgary

Trains and skies in Calgary, Alberta

A fun night at the pool of the Aloft Hotel in #YYC


First impressions of the Olympus XA are pretty great. I love the feel of it and it small enough to fit in most pockets. Focusing takes a moment, but works well. I love the way the the lens gently vignettes at the edges, and the colour and contrast are fantastic. I do have two complaints so far, the shutter button occasionally locks up temporarily, and I wish I could override the slow shutter speed when using flash.

Overall, I love it. This is camera is going to come with us everywhere!

Disposable Cameras on our Asian Vacation

When we planned our trip to Seoul and Tokyo, one of things I was excited about was the chance to shop some amazing used camera stores. I had high hopes for finding the perfect film point and shoot but after a few days of searching, we came up empty handed. Instead we bought some disposable cameras.

I hadn't used one since the 90's so I was curious if anything beautiful could come out of these little plastic boxes. I think the results turned out pretty great. The internet told me that disposable cameras have a fixed settings of about f/11 at 1/100 sec, so we used that as our reference point. Occasionally comparing it to reference photos on the 5D at the same settings.

We spent a lot of our time in Tokyo shooting street style in Harajuku, went to Disneyland, and then went back to Seoul to shoot more street style in Gangnam. 

Meiji Jingu Temple in Yoyogi Park

Smoking street style in harajuku

Girls in Harajuku

Ania B hunting for street style in Harajuku

Shooting Harajuku girls

Style everywhere in Tokyo

Ania B on the job, capturing Tokyo style

Tyler at the Meiji Jingu Temple

Devon and Ania are ready for a day out in Gangnam

Getting more stylish with age, Harajuku

Taking a nap at Disneyland, Tokyo

Here we are in Toontown, in Disneyland Tokyo

Murals in Harajuku

A moment in Tokyo

Prepping flowers for sale on the streets of Seoul

Ania in Yoyogi Park