Inspired by Foster Huntington’s recent post on his Goodwill camera, I’m compelled to tell a story or two about my hardware. In high school, my father bought me a Yashica T4 Super D Weatherproof point-and-shoot at Creve Couer Camera, the greatest camera shop ever. This p-a-s has been called a classic by people far more knowledgeable than myself. Jam-packed with features, my favorite little addition is the waist-level viewfinder – perfect for taking shots on the sly. I also use it for overhead shots.
I remember running with my girlfriend to Wolf Camera at the Galleria Mall, excitedly shuffling through a fresh batch of photos, the ink swirling with each grubby fingerprint. Scarfing Lion’s Choice, we’d discard the junked shots in the food court’s trash cans. As a site devoted to the T4 notes, developing is the key to making this camera’s photos look good. The Wolf Camera shots were all serviceable, but none looked as crisp as my CCC-developed photos of time spent in Europe in 2004.
Taken while riding in a Venetian gondola, these display what a Yashica handles best: close-ups and motion shots. In every photo I have of him, Ty is making that face. I remember my shock as the gondolier removed his hat and handed it to Ty; sacrilege. And when pressed, I could think of a better job than beer distribution boat operator, but that Guinness dinghy is pretty rad.
At a party a couple years ago, I turned, looked, and standing next to me was Terry Richardson, famed fashion photographer clicking away on a T4. I was too nervous to pull my camera to my eye and follow suit, but at some point later that night, he pointed to my wrist, “Hey! Same camera.” That was it. He was, not surprisingly, wearing a buffalo check. Here are two videos of Mr. Richardson at work. The first features model/actress Josi Maran talking about the camera, and the second, well, I admit I didn’t pay much attention to Mr. Richardson, but at one point, you can see he avoids the lag time on the advance by switching between two T4s.
If you have the desire, buy a T4 (Amazon, $200).
In New York, I have photos developed by the fine folks at Duggal on 23rd Street.
For more on Mr. Richardson, see Terryworld, by Taschen.