A review of a Four eyed camera!
While on a day trip to London, we stumbled upon a real hidden treasure on Museum Street in London. This camera Museum/gallery/coffee shop first opened in 1999… Read more “Its amazing what you can find by accident!”
amazing what you can find in a charity shop.
This camera has served me well over the years, it’s tackled at least 4 festivals and more nights out that I care to remember. It’s ultra compact and easy to keep in a pocket or bag without any worry about space or weight. That being said, the camera has a metal body with some plastic components. This leads to a highly durable camera.
The Olympus XA2 is a 35mm point and shoot camera made in Japan by Olympus between 1980 and 1986. The XA 2 and in fact the whole XA line were designed by Yoshihisa Maitani , he was also credited with the creation of of some of the most prolific camera lines that Olympus ever made including the OM and Pen series cameras.
It is an automatic exposure camera, with scale focusing, very similar to the LOMO LC-A. This leads to a lighting fast camera that requires very little adjustments to the settings.
I’ve used the camera for all sorts of photographic work including three consecutive years at Download Festival. It’s compact and smooth design makes it easy to carry on day to day basis. It has a fantastic, high quality lens that creates beautiful images in any lighting situation. This camera is one that everyone needs in their collection, however the price of them is quite inflated as of this post being written. I was lucky to have mine handed down to me by my mother, but to buy one today you’re looking at paying at least £100 to get one in good condition. This camera is a classic as far as compact 35mm cameras go. If you get the camhance to use you, I guarantee you’ll instantly fall in love with it!
On the first day we all met up at college before 1pm in order to board a coach which then took us to Bristol International Airport.
We arrived at the airport, checked in our luggage and then had to wait the standard 2 hours for our flight.
As this trip was to be my first flight AND first trip abroad I was naturally nervous and excited. So as my standard practice, I bought loads of food at the Burger King in the departure lounge.
Our flight as with easy jet and went off without a hitch.
After landing and collecting our luggage we caught a coach to the Generator Hostel in Barcelona. The drive took us through the city at night.
The hostel was something to behold in itself, for lack of a better term it was like an Urban Outfitters that you could sleep in.
After a short wait we were issued with our keycards and then settled into our rooms. Being a hostel we had a 6 berth room, which was pretty fun considering it was only members of our trip that were occupying the room.
After unpacking, a few members of the trip decided to go and find something to eat. So naturally we ended up at a McDonalds restaurant.
We started Tuesday with a walk to the Sagrada Familia. A cathedral which has been under construction for 132 years it is one hell of a building. So packed with detail and workmanship. It is expected to be finished by 2028
We caught the metro to La Ramblas where we soaked up the street culture a little bit. we even got ice cream!
Most of our group went to the Picasso Museum. Where as we decided to explore the city instead and then meet the group at the MACBA. After arriving at the MACBA however we discovered that it is closed on Tuesdays and then had to wait for the group to catch up and instead went to the CCCB.
In the CCCB there was an exhibition on called “Metamorphosis” To be honest it really was a strange exhibition. the work became more, and more bizarre as you progressed through the exhibit. It ranged from early animation to sculpture and installation art there was also a lot in the way of mixed media and video.
After returning from the CCCB we decided to go out and enjoy the Barcelona night life. We ended up at a rock bar just around the corner from the Hostel.
Wednesday started with us visiting the FUNDACIÓ ANTONI TÀPIES where the Fine Art students were involved in a group activity which involved them making a sculpture out of objects in a performance space.
Following that we decided to go to the MACBA. This day they were actually open for visitors.
There was photographic exhibition which featured mainly architectural photography. the way in which the work was displayed was amazing.
After leaving the MACBA we went for a walk through the old Gothic district of Barcelona.
We had to catch the cable car to get to the mountain where the Joan Mirro foundation is. The cable car took us right over the harbour area and you could see all of Barcelona.
Although I could see the appeal of the venue to the fine art students i found the place really annoyed me. As a photographer my prerogative is to make images, the policy of the Joan Mirro Foundation is that there is to be absolutely no photography inside the building. Due to this i cannot even share any images of work that i did actually like from their collection.
That night we had a quiet evening at the hostel with a few drink and a meal.
On Thursday a few of us decided to break away from the main group and have a specific photographers day.
To start we caught the Metro to La Ramblas where we had food at KFC and then made our way around the city to photograph it as we saw fit.
We visited the famous where that was a plethora of local foods. it was a fantastic location to shoot due to it being full of colour.
After getting back to the hostel we decided to make our last night in Barcelona one to remember. We hosted a small party in our room which then moved to the hostel bar, where I ended up drinking until 5 o’clock in the morning.
Friday began in a haze. After I awoke, I managed to get dressed and pack my belongings before the 10am check out time. All this within 15 minutes with a soul breaking hangover.
After venturing to the beach we ended up going to the zoo, after playing with the sealions I perked right up
We left the zoo in order to meet up with group at the hostel. We had a last meal there before boarding a coach destined for the airport.
Once we arrived at the airport my hangover had fully subsided, and was replaced by a form of light hysteria. The news that our flight was delayed by three hours didn’t really come as much of a shock, something had to go wrong at some point. After a breif and fruitless argument with airport security I ended up having to put my film through the x-ray machine. Luckily upon development the pictures seem unharmed.
Due to the time we were in the airport terminal we found that most of the shops, restaurants and cafés were closed or preparing to close for the night. Luckily my tenacious search for the complaints desk and a payphone led me to a still open Burger King!
So over the space of the next few hours the flight got delayed a few more times. I got to watch a few films that I put on my tablet, and even whizzed ariund the departure lounge in some wheelchairs that we found.
By the time the plane actually arrived we had lost more in the way of sanity than anything else.
The flight was okay in the way back. Watched another film and had two cups of soup. We landed back in Bristol at roughly half three in the morning. My first act after clearing customs was to buy food, in this case a bacon and sausage baguette. Leaving the building was another matter entirely as I was used the the climate of Barcelona. Walking outside was a stern reminder that I was in fact home.
The coach that took us from Bristol to Merthyr scared me more than either of the flights. We bounded down barely lit country roads for what seemed like forever until we got onto the motorway.
The bus was full of laughter and stories of the past week, accompanied by a looming sadness that the next day was going to be that of us returing to our normal lives.
When the coach pulled into the college car park, and we got of the coach we then realised how much warmer Barcelona is by comparison. We shook, and shivered until our lifts arrived to take us home.
Needless to say, this experience is one that I’ll never forget. I wanted to tell it to the best of my ability and it has taken me more than a month to do that!
Over the next few months I will be releasing images shot on both film and digital cameras. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article, as it’s my most comprehensive to date.
If you liked my article then maybe you should consider checking out Generator Hostels like the one I stayed at in Barcelona The Generator, Barcelona.
We travelled to london by coach from Cardiff. A few hours trip, and we were in Victoria coach station.
Upon arrival in London we had to use the tube to get ourselves to Willesden Green where our hostel was located.
After dropping our things off and getting settled we caught a bus into the city and had a night time walk. We visited parlament and Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Nelsons column. This was bery exciting to me as I’ve never really seen London as a “tourist”.
Once we got back we were all quite worn out. So we just took the remainder of the evening to relax in the hostel.
A 9am start at the hostel got us up in time to visit two galleries. The National Portrait Gallery, the Photographers’ Gallery, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The first place we visited was the national portrait gallery. We saw an exhibition called the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, in which the work of many contemporary portrait photographers were displayed.
The show hosted portraits of a variety of subjects. my favourite images were by Rosie Hallam and Erik Almás.
While I was there I even bought myself a notebook from the giftshop.
Then we visited the Photographers’ Gallery.
There was an exhibition by Jacques Henri Lartigue called Bibi. This featured his works from the 20’s and 30’s. Of particular interest to me was a series of strereographic images what were set up as an installation space.
After the Photographers’ Gallery we were given a few hours to ourselves so that we could explore London of our own accord. Glenn, Jackie Lee, and I went to Carnaby Street in order to visit the Drop Dead store.
Following our little break, we then had to meet up with the group at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), London, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The museum itself is something to behold. While roaming the exhibits we discovered some examples of early photography including an early photographic book and an original Daguerrotype, complete with its leather and velvet case. Theres is nothing quite like seeing a daguerrotype in person, the tonality just cannot be touched by any digital replication.
Another room held contemporary and modern photographer, more surrealist art than my own preference. The works of Xing Danwen were interesting pieces.
After we left the V&A we did a little more sightseeing around he city while it was still daylight.
After getting back to the hostel, we recieved a phone call from the fine art students who were staying in soho. After a quick freshen up, three of us made our way into London on the tube to meet up with them.
We had a good time in the local bars. Was a really nice way to end the visit.
Our last day pretty much consisted of getting home. We had an early start. Followed by a commute on the tube during he morning rush hour to get to Victoria coach station.
Upon arriving at Victoria coach station we had to wait as the coach was delayed. However, this worked to our advantage as we ended up having the luxury bus home, with complimentary food and refreshments.
Upon arriving back in Cardiff a few of us didn’t feel quite ready to go back home yet. So, as we were still in the tourist spirit we decided to stay in Cardiff to have lunch and then take a walk around our own city. I even got to fulfil my wish of having a photo with the T.A.R.D.I.S.