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5 Frames with my Dad’s Pentax MX and Kodak Tri-X 400 – By Armando Caballero

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My first memory about photography dates back to the day when my dad decided to explain me the principles of exposure, I must have been around 12, I guess. I remember we sat down in a rocking chair we used to have at home, and he explained to me the meaning of shutter speed and aperture. He showed me in real-time what all of this meant with his Pentax MX. I never forgot the lesson.

Around 20 years later I started to experiment with photography on my own, and soon after that, I discovered that Street Photograph was a big passion of mine. I started using digital but then became interested in doing some film photography as well. After a short talk with my dad, he told me that it was actually quite easy to develop my own film at home so that is how my analogue journey started back in 2019.

I first got a cheap point and shoot to see if I liked the analogue process and I totally loved it. After that, as my dad lives abroad, I asked him if he could send me his old analogue camera to the UK. That old Pentax MX he used to explain to me the exposure triangle so many years ago. When I finally got it, I found out that it was not working and it needed some servicing, so I had to send it for repair. After that, the camera came back to me working the same way that it used to do during my dad’s lesson. I went out with camera in hand, and I fell in love instantly, I do not know what the sound of heaven is, but I’m pretty sure that it sounds very similar to that shutter moving.

A candid shot of a man in London's SOHO

A candid shot of a man in London’s SOHO

I have been using this camera since as my main camera and it is actually the only SLR I own. I enjoy the creative and artistic process of photography more than the technical aspect, so I’m not very interested in collecting many different cameras and gear. Hence, I stick with the same camera and lens that my dad used to use, and a nifty fifty. I really like 50mm for my street photography because is very similar to the distance framing of the human eye. I already know what will be included in my composition before even looking through the viewfinder.

Among the different black and white film stocks that I have tried, Kodak Tri-X remains my favourite. It produces beautiful contrasts and I really love the blacks that this film gives. If you put these, together with the beautiful grain that it produces, the final result is my personal favourite black and white film photo look. In addition to this, every time I’m wandering the streets knowing that I have such a legendary film stock loaded into my camera it makes me look even harder for that special candid shot.

I love London and I love street photography, so this is normally my playground. I love to wander in the city for whole days looking for my own stories to tell through my images. My intention is to capture the real essence and flavour of the city. The photos you can see here were all taken in London using my dad’s Pentax MX with a 50mm lens using Kodak Tri-X 400.

Street photograph of a Londoner in the South Bank

Street photograph of a Londoner in the South Bank

Young lady walking in central London

Young lady walking in central London

Street portrait in London

Street portrait in London

A lady waiting at an Underground Station

A lady waiting at an Underground Station

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