A long time ago, I had a camera that I loved. It was the Nikon 35Ti, and we were best buddies. I bought it sometime in mid-late 90′s, not sure exactly when, and at the time, it was a pretty big purchase for me. It was an expensive point and shoot, made for serious amateurs and professionals who didn’t want to lug around an SLR everywhere they went but still wanted that same image quality. I had the camera for years, and it was stolen from my assistant’s car in Spanish Harlem, along with a whole bunch of other equipment and my purse, on September 10, 2001. When life changed forever the next day, I had no camera to document what was happening around me. This was definitely one of the hardest things to accept about 9/11 for me. At that point, Nikon was no longer making the 35Ti, and I never acquired the camera again after it was stolen. I made a claim with my insurance company for that camera and my Mamiya RZ kit and whatever other stuff I lost. With that money I bought the Mamiya 7 that I still shoot with all the time today.
So, the other night I was at a holiday party talking to a friend about cameras of yesteryear we have loved and lost. The 35Ti was that camera for me. The husband overheard my conversation and then went and bought me one on Ebay! It arrived a few days later, and I was completely surprised. Here I am, so many years later, able to enjoy this camera again. Then I thought it would be interesting to post some of the pictures I took with my original 35Ti. I’ve scanned 10 images, and here is a trip down my memory lane.
All Images © Emily Shur
I chose these images specifically because of when they were shot. These were all made when I was around 21 years old, about 12 years ago. This is pre-9/11 New York. This is before I was ever paid to take a picture, before marriage, way before I moved to LA, before I ever went to Japan, before I fell in love with 4×5, before The Baroness. I look back on this time with very fond memories, but in reality I know there were problems just like any time in life. When all of my camera equipment was stolen back in September of 2001, I was most upset about losing the Nikon 35Ti. I think we feel connections to cameras based on our experiences with them, specifically what images those cameras captured. Sort of a “They were there when…” I will always associate this camera with the beginning of my life in New York. Just like I will always associate my Wista with my husband and the time we have spent driving around together, shooting cell phone towers and strange landscapes. I will always associate my Mamiya 7 with photographing in Japan, even though I’ve shot so many important images with that camera as I’ve had it so long at this point.
Anyway, one more year down. Sometimes it’s good to look back. Now, I’m gonna look forward. See you in 2010.