I’ve always wanted a Canon AE-1 and earlier on this year, I was lucky enough to come across one in excellent condition at a Brick Lane market stall in London. Over the years, I had seen various for sale on eBay and elsewhere, but I was never quite sure if I should bite the bullet and go for it. The lady at the stall walked me through their inspection program and guarantee and I thought that if I ever buy one, that moment would be it.
The camera came along on my travels through parts of Europe earlier this year and I experimented with it, understanding how it works as I went along. At first, I mostly shot in fully manual. The camera doesn’t offer aperture priority (which is generally what I shoot in on my Canon EOS 500D), so I generally would set the aperture to the setting I wanted, then look through the viewfinder and use the built-in light meter to adjust the shutter speed until the light meter’s f value matched my lens setting. I quickly realised however that I could just set the aperture ring to A (automatic) and this would yield in the same result, i.e. I would adjust the shutter speed until my desired aperture would be displayed on the light meter. Once I got used to the way the AE-1 works, shooting became quite quickly.
I only recently got to see the results of my photos as I never got them developed during my travels. What I really enjoyed was the whole excitement and mystery when shooting film. It’s something I had forgotten about and is actually quite rewarding.
What I really enjoy about these is the general feel of them? It’s difficult to describe that emotion you get but there’s just something about the photos that a Canon AE-1 produces that are heart-warming.
I thought I’d just share a random selection of the prints I had done. I’m still experimenting with the camera and I’m hoping to learn more as I go along!