Dec 30 2011

The Canon WP-1 and Fred Herzog

While watching a documentary on Fred Herzog  Snapshot: The art of Photography II, a Vancouver photographer best known for his Kodachrome slides of the city during the 1950’s and ’60s, I was struck by his use of the Canon WP-1 while being interviewed on the street.  It got me to wonder why he would be using a 15 year old point and shoot camera.  Never having met him I clearly have not asked why but here are my reasons that he might choose this camera despite all the other options available.  These are not in any particular order but as they come to mind.

1.  It is weather proof (this can be an important thing in Vancouver at some times of year)

2. It has an large viewfinder with a 33mm eye-point in fact you can compose pictures with out even bring it right to your eye.

3. It has a simple control dial on the front that does all the functions in a simple arrangement (Flash Off,Flash On, OFF, Auto, Macro)  the only buttons are shutter and timer

4. It is quiet,  the shutter and film advance are on the quiet side for a point and shoot film camera likely going unnoticed on the street.

5. The Lens is 32mm which is wide but not too wide

6.  Here I may be stretching things but because of its construction the lens is completely internal allowing you to put the camera right up against glass.

That seems like plenty of reasons to me.  So with some new found interest in retrying this camera I loaded it with some film (I will refer back to this in a moment) and went out and shot a roll of 24.  And the result is that despite it’s toy like and slightly ugly appearance it functions well as a wide angle street camera with little fuss.  Now as to the film, unfortunately I shot what was film in name only.  I need to find any other rolls of this stuff and do an analogue delete on it.  I think I’m cured, for now, from my pentient for shooting with anything I find or am given.