An analogue reflection on 2021
Updated: May 18, 2022
My dad has a Hasselblad. It's a very heavy film camera and it's expensive enough that I feel nervous just holding it. When we brought it in to be repaired earlier this year, the repairman laughed when I said I mainly shoot film with a Lubitel 166B. "That's a piece of Russian shit," he said, clearly judging my cheap camera choice.
Yes, shooting with the Lubitel 166B is more challenging than shooting with a Hasselblad. And yes, the photos are less sharp and there are some light leaks and half the time I can't get the focus just right. But there is no way I could ever have brought the Hasselblad with me on all of this year's adventures! Lugging around an expensive and heavy camera on backpacking trips and cycle rides and hikes along the coast isn't (really) feasible. So I'm happy with my little "piece of Russian shit," because it means I can capture meaningful film photographs on any adventure.
And what an adventure 2021 has been! From living in Exeter with Brett, to frantically applying for a visa just to get home to the Netherlands, to spending two months traveling in the United States, to moving back home and starting my own business, it's definitely been a wild rollercoaster of a year.
As the year draws to a close, I wanted to share some of my favourite pictures that I shot on film throughout 2021. These are all photos I shot on my Lubitel 166B, a TLR (twin-lens reflex) medium format camera. Brett and I developed and scanned the black and white photos at home. The colour ones were developed in labs across the UK, the US and the Netherlands; some were scanned in-lab and others were scanned at home.
As I'm sure many of us have experienced this year, the dark times have been undeniably hard. There have been days when covid-fuelled anxiety and family trauma have made it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Yet peeking through the almost constant feelings of anxiety and fear, there were moments of overwhelming happiness, beauty and love. It is these moments that I wanted to share in today's blog post.
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of analogue photography from the last year. Thank you so much for following along with our adventures and for supporting this blog.
There are some exciting things on the horizon for 2022. Will there be more uncertainty? Undoubtedly. But I've proven to myself that I am strong enough to navigate whatever life throws at me and that I have a support circle who will be there to help me on my way.
Will there be more adventures? I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sending all my love to you and your families. I hope you have a beautiful and safe holiday season. See you in the new year!