4.08.2013

style notes: the small things


 "The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things. 
The trivial pleasures like cooking, one's home, little poems especially sad ones, 
solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard."
–Barbara Pym

recently i've been thinking about habits. 

one of my resolutions this year is to go analog. this means reminding myself to jot down more thoughts with pen and paper, update my sketchbook, and take real photos again.

favorite recent stationery find: Moleskine x Peanuts planner

i'd been thinking about getting an old-school camera ever since i got my boyfriend a Polaroid for his birthday last year. i've been loving instagram since i joined last fall, but over the weekend, i finally decided to go the real photos route and ordered the Fujifilm instax. it's the mini size, which would fit perfectly in a day bag or for travel. now that spring is officially here in NYC, i'm looking forward to lots of city exploration with retro camera in tow. oh, the joy of instant, tangible photos! 

another small habit i'm trying to incorporate into my weekly routine is to add a little fragrance/fresh flowers to my home workspace. maybe it's finally time for me to spring for a fancy Diptyque candle and refresh my desk with a small vase of flowers at the start of the week.
do you have an old-school camera? how do you use it? and let me know if you have a favorite candle/flower!

32 comments:

  1. I don't have a film camera, but I love my canon 600D so much I don't see ever giving it up. There is something wonderful about old polaroids though, I totally see the appeal. I am trying to step away from my computer and the internet more and more, though it's increasingly hard in today's world. But simple things like good notebooks, a special pen, and a nice candle really do do wonders. I'm kind of a cheap-ass when it comes to candles, especially easy to be because the ikea ones are so awesome:

    http://www.nomadicd.com/2012/10/ikea-day.html

    But I have been dreaming of having a diptyque for years and years...

    www.nomadicd.com

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    1. haha, for years in college i had those giant Yankee candles that were huge and inexpensive and came in very 'mainstream' scents. so many memories!

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  2. I don't have an old-school camera, but I did buy an adapter so that I could use my dad's old Pentax lenses from the 70s on my Canon DSLR. I love the instant retro feel they give my digital photos, and they are such cool heirlooms :)

    I'm already quite analogue in the sense that I keep a Filofax planner and a Moleskine sketchbook. My boss sometimes jokes about me being the most analogue web designer he has ever met, which I take as a badge of honor ;)

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    1. oooh that's so nifty. had no idea you could swap a lens like that! i really need to learn more about analog photography...

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    2. You can, but it is not a Canon-approved accessory - I think I bought it online from some guy in California who makes the adapters himself, but it works perfectly!

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  3. calla lilies.
    and tea roses. big fat and flowery. :)

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  4. I'm sure you will do beautiful things with your Instax. Will you be uploading some of your photos? I love the idea of film cameras, but I'm not confident enough in my photography skills right now so I am not sure I would get great results right off the bat!

    I've really been into home fragrance lately, and started a small collection of scented candles I'm hoping to grow. They are soothing and, I have to admit, quite a 'chic' thing to have!

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    1. not sure, we'll see if the photos are good enough to share! candles seem like such a lovely little everyday luxury. where do you get yours?

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  5. I know what you mean about going analog. More than ever I feel as though my life revolves around staring at various screens. Like you, I keep a notebook. I've also tried my best to hold onto using a Moleskine weekly planner, but each year I find myself becoming more and more reliant on my iCal.

    We have a bunch of manual 35mm and 120mm cameras, but hardly ever use them because they are so heavy to lug around. The analog camera that we use the most is a 35mm Lomo, which is sort of like a toy camera and was probably the inspiration for all those instagram filters. Getting film developed is a huge pain in the butt though!

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    1. indeed! i find that crossing things off helps me get things done, so i'm sticking with my Moleskine as long as i can!

      i love the small size of the instax i got - i'll bring it with me next time we hang out! :)

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    2. Same here - I have a Canon F-1 that I love, it is built like a tank and weighs accordingly. Developing film also requires going to specialty shops, as a lot of places either don't do it at all, or have chemicals way past their expiration date and mess up the photos.

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  6. I've got several film camera's but i absolutely love my canon ae-1. The thrill of getting your photos developed and picking them up is just so fun! I love it :). And you immediately have all these memories in print so you don't have to select pictures from all those maps on your computer from years and years ago.

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    1. i just think of Bill Cunningham still getting his film developed. some habits are worth it.

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  7. My favorite candle is the "foret noir" one from archipelago botanicals. I only really like woodsy-smelling candles and that one has a wooden wick and black wax. When it burns it sounds like a real fire is going on logs :)

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    1. love that! i wonder if they have springy ones now too...

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  8. Ah, I miss film cameras. My dad had an ancient Nikon that he got in the 60s and I used to use that a lot, but now that I've moved overseas I will have to consider buying my own film SLR if I want to go analogue. I love how it really makes you focus and learn and pay attention to the parameters of the shot - you really have to be so conscious of so many things if you want to end up with a great photograph, so I think it really hones your photography skills. But the effort is usually worth it, especially when you hold up a film print and a digital print together for comparison and the film print so often has a lot more character.

    As for candles, I'm currently burning an Astier de Villatte candle called Broadway! It's like a sophisticated cola scent, which I never thought I'd like but I ended up being very intrigued by. Unfortunately, the Cambridge one smelled awful to me. :(

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    1. indeed! i've never felt the same about a digital print. something just seems so flat about how it prints out.

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  9. Totally same here! I want to use my sketch book more often, actually I even bought a new, bigger one, recently, because I somehow felt so "restricted" by the size of my old one. Maybe that was just an excuse, let's see... And then I also want to start writing. I just don't really know how I should do it. I love to combine photos and texts on my blog, and I would love to do the same thing in the diary, just with more personal texts and maybe drawings, but I don't know if I want to stick photo prints into the book?? analogue pictures might be a solution, but then again I love taking pictures with my DSLR, editing them, and using those, so much... I have an analogue (trendy trendy..) mini diana, and I really like that one, too, but have neglected it, lately... Usually a lot of pictures are just all white, and it's more for doing experimental stuff, taking advantage of the diana's special features (which then is just all white) than for carrying it around all the time for documenting/catching moments... And I have to wait for the film to be full, which takes a while. Maybe I should get a polaroid, too! Oh and I love my moleskine weekly diary!
    Generally speaking I must say that I tend to be sooo annoyed by all this digital stuff surrounding us, though I'm totally a victim of it.
    Thanks for the posting!! xx

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    1. Cato- i think the best way to start writing is just to start doing it. :) stick to a routine and all that. i'm trying to form a habit of doing this as well!

      i feel that by adding more analog into my life, i can balance out some of the over-digitalization...

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  10. i have several old cameras that once belonged to my grandfather and my parents, plus my fiance has a polaroid and an instax camera. i like the instax a lot, but my favourite cameras are the semi-manual point-and-shoot cameras, i have two from the late 70's. they're not as unpredictable as lomos, but not as scary as a proper SLR.

    i must admit, i don't always get prints because of the cost -- i usually get a cd of prints first, and then go back with the film to get the pictures i want. i'm crossing the streams here. :D

    i also totally agree with jess's comment about how film cameras really make you assess the photos you're taking. it's definitely changed how i use my digital camera too, i'm getting better shots with that as well because of what i've learned.

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    1. your family heirloom cameras are wonderful! i wonder if my dad's old cameras from the 80s are still around...

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  11. I still hang on to my Olympus film camera, though there are fewer and fewer places that develop film in Delhi. I even used to keep a tumblr (now defunct) of my film photographs. Love the texture of film.
    As for candles, I am using an essential oil burner with lemongrass oil. So fresh.

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    1. Ammu, you should consider getting an instax (wide or mini)! part of the reason why i got one is that i don't want the hassle of going somewhere to develop film. ordering the film on amazon in bundles seems to be cheaper too. :)

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  12. I have the Fujifilm instax - so fun, but the film is rather expensive I feel. At least the pictures seem to last over the years. Did you get the wide one? I like that one so much more and am considering switching to that, although I heard you can't turn off the flash for that one. I also have an old fish-eye lomo, which was tonnes of fun as well, and pretty easy to use, although perhaps the effect feels a bit gimmicky.

    I actually like digital photography in the sense that it is less "wasteful" - I'm not good enough a photographer not to end up with unwanted shots, so I end up discarding or just storing a whole of stuff I don't want; or else I take forever to use up one roll of film because I only take what I really want to have in print. I suppose analog is better for honing one's photography skills though!

    I'm always getting notebooks for my birthdays, and it's funny because I don't write anything down! I have a proper calendar on which I write down my appointments, and that's about it. At work, I use up stacks and stacks on notepads and post-its for annotations, but I almost never jot down personal notes. Not sure why, since I tend to forget what movies, books, music, restaurants etc I want to check out. Perhaps it's time for me to adjust my habits.

    My favourite flowers are peonies, but if I want a scent, I really like lilies and jasmine.

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    1. i got the mini one - more handy for taking along all the time, i hope.

      i've been too cheap to get fresh flowers for the apartment, but maybe one or two a week instead of a full bouquet will be more feasible. so funny that you don't write stuff down. one of my projects this year is to keep a better diary/inspiration journal.

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  13. i dont have an old school camera but speaking of analogue, i just got my copies of the gentlewoman and lula. i just realized how much i missed i read something on paper, to be able to turn the pages, smell the freshly printed sheets... you name it. i spend so much time in front of the screen and my eye sight has gotten MUCH worse this year. im surprised at how my eyes dont fatigue nearly as easily any when reading things on paper. damn the ipad!

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  14. greetings from ghana! i actually brought my old school camera on this trip. it's a fantastic nikon n75. i got a lot of side-eye buying actual film at target. but, i really missed the whole lomography experience. i took photo in college and used to develop my own film. i don't know if i'd have the time to get back into the dark room, but i love a nice matte finish from wolf cameria in 5x7 prints. i do use the manual function from time to time, and practice balancing light, but mostly it's on automatic. i am mostly against taking photos with flash, but if you need it, you need it.

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  15. It took me the longest time to give up my film camera. In the end, I just couldn't justify the expensive processing fees and the constant need to scan negatives into a digital format. The polaroid little beauty really appeals to me. I bet my daughter would love one too!

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  16. Love the going analog idea. I have an antique polaroid camera that works and looks nice on display, but the film is prohibitively expensive. One roll would cost more than the camera itself. But I have been printing out photos more often now.

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  17. No old-school camera, no, no. But candles--oh my. Love the tuberose by Diptyque, but love Flora di Fornasetti even more. The latter is tres, tres, tres expensive ($165)--but just the art work on the jar/lid and a whiff of the fragrance is enough to say c'est magnifique. Back to reality, Trapp Candles in the fresh-cut tuberose (#8) are more affordable at about $20, and the fragrance is gorgeous. They do minis, too.

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  18. Be careful--it's a dark slippery road. I started with a nikon fe so I could share lenses between digital and film cameras. A couple years later and now I've entered the land of medium format: holga and bronica. Film makes me absurdly happy.

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  19. I only shoot on a Nikon FM2...I get a lot of funny looks and, "uh...is that a film camera??" from people. I'm in Brazil for the next 8 months so I brought 30 rolls that I'll develop when I get back...like someone said before, getting them developed into CDs is WAY more cost effective and I can choose exactly which ones I want as prints!

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