Testing the Canon Sure Shot AF-7 in Chongqing

Part 1 of 2

4 min read by Lee Webb. Published in Film, Photography.
All images in this post are shot with Canon Sure Shot AF-7 on Kodak ColorPlus 200.

Airport Square in Chongqing is probably not a place you’ll ever go to.

That’s not me being an elitist travel bore. Not deliberately anyway.

Airport Square is a place I found myself in due to a bonus day in Chongqing after a delayed flight caused a missed connection.

It’s just a square near the airport, which is pretty far from the city. It’s probably not a place I’ll ever go to again. I hope.

Don’t get me wrong. Chongqing is a great place to visit if you ever have chance. Just go to the main bit though and forget Airport Square.

That said, it was a nice little place to play around with my new old camera – the Canon Sure Shot AF-7.

My first time shooting street photography on film.

This is how it went down.

Just really local, innit?

Not one other non-Chinese face did I see. But not just that. The locals were very local. Very Chinese. The clothes. The stuff on sale. The fairground rides.

Just… the atmosphere.

All were just different to how things are and feel in Shanghai.

And these images, shot on cheap Kodak ColorPlus in the old Canon Sure Shot AF-7, seem to really bring that out.

A couple of things to note about these shots.

First is that I could have cropped them a bit more. There are things on the edges of some images that they could do without.

I didn’t want to crop them, though.

I happily crop digital photos. But these ones seemed better – more real – with the imperfections left there.

They’ll also remind me to be more careful with the composition next time.

Also, cropping some but not others was ruining the consistency of the set. It would have looked like some were taken at a different focal length.

The second thing to note is the composition itself.

I’m used to knowing what I’m focusing on. With this camera, I had no idea and guessed it was focusing on the entire shot – so I composed shots that should work with everything in focus.

That’s led to a style running through the set. It wasn’t intentional, but there’s a kind of flatness to them.

Not in a negative way. I don’t mean the contrast or the colours.

I just see a kind of plane of subjects in most of them.

Especially in these below (and in the header image).

I’ll say again – just really local, innit?

My first time playing with the Canon Sure Shot AF-7 was pretty successful, I think, considering I didn’t know if the camera even worked when I bought it from a charity shop in Nottingham.

I liked not knowing how the images had turned out for a few weeks, and I liked being reminded of ones I’d forgotten I’d taken.

There are more shots from the hour or so I spent at Chongqing’s Airport Square to come, but they have a different feel to these.

Read Part 2 of 2 here.