My late grandfather was an avid photographer. He kept a collection of cameras and he had a dark room set. My sleepover at grandparents’ always involved blacking out the kitchen in their small apartment in Kiev with blankets and turning it into a dark room. My grandpa and I would develop photos late into the night. It was always an awesome bonding experience.
When I was about 7 or 8 in mid 1980s, I got an Agat-18 for my birthday. It was a half-frame camera by BeLOMO that was very light and pocketable. Although it was entirely manual, it was not difficult to operate by a kid. That camera introduced me to photography as a hobby.
When we emigrated to the United States in 1994, for one reason or another that camera was somehow lost in the process. Now, as an adult, I found one on eBay and ordered it so I can have it for nostalgic reasons. But then I found a whole community of Agat-18 photographers here on Flickr and so I ordered film and took it to the park to stretch its shutter.
What do you know ? It worked, leaking light and vignetting and all the shenanigans that I remember, but I love it. It was extremely liberating to be free from all the digital bells and whistles. It was also liberating not to worry about whether the picture turned out ok or not. With film you just do your best to capture the best of the scene and forget about it. I sent the film off to “The Darkroom” https://thedarkroom.com/) for developing and waited patiently. The results turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
FILMagat18belomofujiiso200lomographyOleg Dulin, from