Shooting the Shooter - Photographs of me with my Cameras - By Jordi Fradera

Shooting the Shooter – Photographs of me with my Cameras – By Jordi Fradera

I have been amateur photographer for many years and have always played the role of photographer on trips, excursions, family celebrations or simple walks with my wife. I appear in fewer photos than other people. A few days ago I read this article in which the the author said, “It’s rare for me to be the subject of a photograph, I am usually on the other side of the camera”. That comment made me reflect on my role as the photographer, and I decided to twist the idea.

I have quite a few photos in which I am seen as a subject, but how many as a photographer with a camera in hand? I decided to dig through the collection of photos that I keep, fortunately since I have digitised my archive, all are in digital format and so I am able to share with you a few that date right back to my childhood.

Looking back, I realise that because I’ve always been the one with the camera, I have distributed many photos to many acquaintances, but practically nobody has done the same for me. Because of this, almost all the photos of me holding cameras in my collection were shot by me. In recent years, my daughter-in-law Sandra has photographed many family events but it has been her or me and never both at the same time, so even now there are few of me holding cameras.

The main photo at the top does not fit the subject perfectly, but it does illustrate the almost 70 years between a shot taken today and the oldest one from 1952 below.

My Rolleicord & me – 1952 – Camera: Unknown

I have no idea when or where it was shot but I must have been about 9 years old and the camera that appears in it is the Rolleicord that I then used for many years. The photo was scanned from a hard copy.

No camera but with the photometer in my hand that I always wore around my neck. The camera was my Leica IIIf, a colleague took the photo at a campsite in Salou (Catalunya-Spain). I think the photometer was an Agfa Lucimeter Kino – Ref. 127, the shape, the chain, the opening system and my memories of it match.

My photometer & me      1956      Photo: Leica IIIf

I also did some filming with 16mm cameras. The first with a Paillard Bolex (from 1941 or 1947) of the family, it was very cumbersome, surprisingly I keep the monstrous tripod and the leather transport case, both from before 1950. Later I filmed with the Keystone Myfair that you can see in the photo, next to it my inseparable photometer.

My Keystone Myfair & me      1958      Photo: Leica IIIf

With the Rolleicod hanging from my neck, in the center Josep and to the right Enric, a future professional photographer – this photo was taken with his Contaflex (from 1955?) In the port of Barcelona. In this image and the following ones, the small inset squares show the camera used to take the photo and are authentic from the same day or very close, and in the hands of the shooter.

My Rolleicord & me with Josep and Enric  – 1959 – Photo: Enric / Contaflex

Some years later and the digital period has arrived. This photo is made in Galicia with a quality analog camera and Zeiss lens, although the photo is not very good and the scan affected the result.

Minolta Dymage 7 & me with Enric’s wife Juanita and my wife       2003       Photo: Enric / Voigtländer Bessa R2

The Kodak 880 gave me a lot of joy, it was handy, light, versatile, took quality photos and had a 24/140 mm lens (in 35mm format equivalent). This photo is taken in the tourist architectural complex “El Pueblo Español” in Barcelona. At some stage, I would like to do an article on the Kodak 880.

My Kodak 880 & me – 2008 – Photo: Enric / Sony 580

I replaced the Kodak 880 with a Sony A37, this photo was taken in the castle “La Florentina” of Canet de Mar near Barcelona

My Kodak 880 & me – 2011 – Photo: Enric / Sony 580

To finish, I’ll show you a recent photo of a fairly normal action among tourists, which is taking a self-portrait taking advantage of the mirrors of an architectural facade. It is shot in “El Maremagnum” located in the port of Barcelona.

Sony A37 & my wife and me – 2019 – Photo: Me / Sony A37

I’m sure some who will ask what happened between 1959 and 2003, so I’ll explain it to you. To begin with, I had other things in my mind such as having fun, studying etc… and until 1973 I took few photos and there are no pictures of me with a camera in hand. Then when I finished my studies and military service I got married and made the mistake of going to the 110 format. It was a very comfortable format, but of low quality and finding a photo with a 110 camera in is very difficult because of its size. I have only seen one photo of me with a “suspicious” bulge in my shirt pocket, perhaps a Kodak Instamatic pocket 500. I did later shoot with the Pentax ME, but unfortunately, I have not been able to locate a photo of me with that camera either. Despite the missing years, I hope you liked the story.

Thanks for reading.

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Jordi Fradera

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