Worth Every Penny: Karl Shakur’s Hanimex Praktica Camera
Are there other, less tactile elements that make this camera particularly special to you?
I think what makes it special to me is that … because I live in such a fast paced, photo-based world, I can take stuff from my phone, grab memories on my phone and on my camera, and I can feel that instant gratification. This camera is a like time box, a memory capsule of some sort. When I take the photos, I often go months or maybe half a year before I see the images. Because I’m traveling so often, I’ll send them in to get developed, they’ll get sent back to my house, and I won’t get to see the images until I eventually make it back home after like half a year of travel. There’ll be this whole package of film photos that have been developed and been printed on small slides, and I go through the images.
That’s what makes it so special for me: I don’t get to instantly see the images that I’ve taken, it takes a while for me to appreciate and to be able to perceive those memories that I captured. I’m usually using it to photograph memories that I wouldn’t be photographing in my regular career, because I feel like it’s just a lot better for capturing those more intimate, low-key, personal moments. That’s what makes it special. It takes me out of my job, out of that creative mind space, and it lets me use it as a tool for experiencing rather than creating.
Do you feel like the delayed gratification makes those memories more powerful, just because when you see the photos for the first time it’s been awhile since you took them?
Yeah. I completely forget how valuable those moments are. It’s basically the same feeling as going through your camera roll, but you mistakenly hit the top of your phone, and it scrolls all the way to the top. You’re transported to 2012 and you see all these moments, like, “Whoa. This is a blast from the past.”
On top of that, if I have that experience where I have to physically go through every single slide, and through each picture, and be in that moment. Just the whole experience of having the camera and being able to develop those film photos, and experience those film photos.
Do you keep all the photos in one place?
Yes. They’re sitting on my bookshelf, all stacked very neatly. I photograph and scan some of them, just so that I can have them digitally if I need to reference them.