How I Stumbled Upon A $10 Yashica T4 Zoom

The aforementioned T4 Zoom

Disbelief, doubt, excitement: that is the range of emotions you feel when stumbling across a rare thrift find. With the proliferation of sites like eBay, Grailed, and Mercari, people know the value of their belongings so a Goodwill drop-off is less likely to happen when infinite research is available with a few clicks. That makes a great pickup at a secondhand store that much harder but even more rewarding.

A year and a half ago, I made a trip to a local Goodwill after work in search of cameras and clothing. On blogs and social media, I saw many instances of people picking up crazy cameras for a few bucks so I had to go on my own journey to come up on one of those gems. There were a handful of unsuccessful attempts, but this one successful moment made those whiffs worth it.

The glass case that makes up the cash wrap housed a lot of random electronics so that was where I began my search. Nothing. I was about to leave when I made the decision to check the back of the store where the computer monitors and stereos are just for the heck of it. Lo and behold, something stared up at me and I couldn’t believe it: a Yashica T4 Zoom.

Now, the lore of the Yashica T-Series was not lost on me. It’s one of those cameras that has a certain air about it so, after the excitement and disbelief momentarily subsided, I picked it up and inspected it. The LCD screen where the exposure counter and flash mode are shown was broken but my thought was that if it turns on and the film advances, it would be worth far more than the $10 price tag.

Am I on exposure seven or 27? Who knows!

Both of those things ended up being true so I was in business. I couldn’t change the date stamp or manually change the flash mode but everything else worked just fine. The Carl Zeiss lens is sharp and the results were beyond my expectation.

Now is obviously not the time to search through your local thrift store but once lockdown is over, the gems will be waiting.

Scenes from the Quarantine

I hope this post finds you well during this strange and uncertain time.

Between working from home and deleting “checking in” emails from brands I haven’t purchased anything from in five years, I’ve been taking pictures of what’s around me. Aside from a walk around a state park three weeks back, I am limited to my house and yard so those have been the subjects of my recent photographs.

Taken with Mamiya 645 1000S on Portra 400

Being at home can limit your creativity in some ways but it also forces you to look at your surroundings with new eyes. Things that I didn’t think twice about before suddenly became inspiring.

I hope everyone is safe out there. I understand staying home is a luxury so to everyone still going into work everyday: I salute you and your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Check out some of the pictures from the last few weeks. The photos below were taken on a Yashica T4 Zoom with Lomo 100 film.

Day One of Panorama 2018

The first and, to this day, only music festival I’ve attended is Panorama 2018, a 3-day festival that took place on Randall’s Island put on by Goldenvoice. I received last-minute tickets and my girlfriend and I went to the first day with scheduled sets by Father John Misty, Migos, Dua Lipa, and the night’s headliner: The Weeknd. Thunderstorms were in the forecast but that did not deter us from making the trek from 125th Street, over the RFK Bridge onto the island.

We arrived in the one o’ clock hour and the conditions at that point were ideal: low/mid 80s, sunny, a normal late July day by all measures. We walked around the grounds, stopped in the Rough Trade pop-up, got some food. It was during the last part of the itinerary that things got a little dicey.

Midway through eating some overpriced mozzarella sticks, the clouds that were forming over the island unleashed a barrage of rain upon the festival-goers. We threw on the ponchos I bought at Walmart the day before and sought shelter under the JBL-branded experience tent. After the rain stopped, the air was extremely thick and the sun was hotter than before.

This all occurred before the day’s first set on the headlining stage: Daniel Caesar. I heard a lot about him up to that point, specifically from my cousin, but never gave him an in-depth listen. Watching from afar, his performance was very captivating and I instantly became a fan. It was after his set and mere minutes before Dua Lipa was scheduled to take the stage that the screens lit up with a message to evacuate as soon as possible due to impending severe weather (third slide) and an announcement with the same message was made over the PA.

(Photo source: Billboard)

The aftermath of this announcement is something that still leaves me scratching my head. No bad weather ended up happening to my knowledge and it was only a 50 or 60 percent chance of any storms. Also, if thunderstorms were to occur, why would you subject people to walking on a metal bridge to leave the island? Why not have adequate shelter space when it’s known that severe thunderstorms occur during New York summers? Luckily, people got refunded but the hours leading up to that decision were filled with a flurry of Instagram comments and Twitter replies from angry attendees.

Panorama did not take place in 2019 as they are looking to move to Queens in the future but their struggles highlight the perils of festivals taking place in New York. The weather is so unpredictable in this part of the country; it’s not Southern California where it’s sunny with barely any rain. The history of New York festivals affected by weather includes every official iteration of Woodstock from 1969 on (rain and lack thereof), the Gov Ball that Kanye was supposed to headline, and most recently day one of Panorama 2018.

So take this as a cautionary tale: no matter what the forecast says, be prepared for anything if you’re going to, or planning, an outdoor event in New York.

Cape Cod’s Hidden, Hydrating Gem

I’ve been going to Cape Cod for most of my life, staying in East Sandwich in particular. The town of Sandwich is a short drive away and features shops, restaurants and a lot of really nice old buildings. However, the most exciting thing that I have experienced in this town is…water. Yes, water.

This artesian well was something I never knew existed until this past summer. My dad told me about it and since we were staying a short walk away, I decided to venture down the street to see what the hype was about. I’ll admit, it was kind of weird to just stick an empty water bottle under a random spout on the side of the road and expect it to be safe to drink. Lo and behold, that water was super clear and super crisp. I found myself making many stops during my vacation on my way back from doing things, sometimes competing with other cars for the limited parking spaces near the well.

It’s funny how something as simple as water can create such a special memory. The novelty played a part, sure, but it became a family activity to fill a bunch of empty bottles and bring them back to the house.

We were not alone in our fascination with the well as the Cape Cod Times reported on it ten years back. It looks like they’ve made some improvements to the aesthetic of the well since then but the quality of the water and the popularity hasn’t changed.

One last thing: avoid using single-use water bottles whenever possible. Ok bye