An overview of the July #CameraChallenge: Environmental Waste Through the Viewfinder, 31 July 2023.

An Overview of the July #CameraChallenge: Environmental Waste Through the Viewfinder, 31 July 2023.

The #CameraChallenge is back! After a break in June for #FilmJune, a series of questions about film and gear on Twitter, July saw the return of the cheap camera challenge on Twitter.

This month was a challenge in more than name. In addition to having to use a film or digital camera costing less than £20 (23€) the theme for this month was 'Environmental Waste'. In this day and age that should be easy, since modern life literally breeds Waste and there are always horror stories of fly-tipping being reported. 

Unfortunately (or fortunately for us) we live in the countryside, and most people in the area are very aware of not dumping rubbish around the countryside. The local authority provides plenty of communal bins and recycling stations, and they also have weekly collections of recyclicals. So here we are, trying to find environmental waste in an area that prides itself in keeping waste where it belongs.

For this Challenge  the value of the camera, be it film or digital, should not exceed £20. I opted to use both a film and digital camera with the  obstruct of a through the viewfinder combination of a Ferrania Elioflex pseudo TLR camera (15€) and a Nikon Coolpix S8000 digital camera (8€). This brought my total spend to 23€, which at today's exchange rate was just under the wire at £19.90.

I learned about through the viewfinder photography (TTV) a while ago from some long-forgotten YouTube video but have since become quite captivated by the idea. Put simply,  TTV is taking a photograph through the viewfinder of another camera. To take the photograph you can use any digital or film camera, but the viewing camera is often a vintage TLR or pseudo TLR camera.

Through the viewfinder photography first came to prominence in the early 21st century, and for a few years from around 2010 was quite popular. As usual with these things, I am way behind the curve but I built a light tight box out if 5mm black foam board that would contain the Ferrania and hold the Nikon in place.

As mentioned, the main difficulty was in finding suitable subjects that would fulfil the challenge of representing 'Environmental Waste'. The worst I could find to begin with were people leaving the communal bins open, but around them were sometimes clothes or items that had been tipped out and scavenged through or left near the bins because they could not be fitted inside the bin.

Then I came across a huge pile of tree branches, waste following the cutting down or nearby woodlands. 'Back in the day', as they say, this waste would have been burned, but nowadays all the waste is shredded into tiny pieces and recycled into other products.

#ThroughTheViewfinder, #Nikon, #TwinLensReflex, #WaistLevelFinder, #TTV, #Ferriana, #Contraption, #CameraChallenge, #EnvironmentalWaste,