The picture below shows most (but not all) of the cameras I’ve been given this year. In fact add to this a Canon T70 and Pentax MZ7 from my friend Liam (whose lenses I have used on my DSLR thanks to an adaptor ring) and a Praktica MTL50 and darkroom equipment from my stepdad, and tons more. My entire collection of cameras in fact has been donated, with the exception of my Holga and my Canon DSLR. That means a lot to me since I don’t have a surplus of money most months, and photography has become very important to me. It also allows me to spend the money I do have on developing – for each roll of 12 shots, of 120 film it costs £10 and for the roll of 110 I’m shooting at the moment £11, not to mention £20 for 8 photos when it comes to Polaroids. That mounts up pretty quick.
Aside from this being a ‘Hey thanks!’ though to people who have given me stuff, I wanted to blog very briefly about Freecycle.
Freecycle is an international community which is free to sign up to, and which helps people around the globe recycle their stuff, for free. The website states:“Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”
There are nearly nine million members world wide. Basically you register at your local city’s group, you stick an item on for the sake of generosity, say something that’s just in the way, then you can put a wanted add up. I wanted some old cameras to mess with. And I got four replies, totalling 10 cameras and a carrier bag full of accessories.
Somewhere along the journey though you realise how great it is to be part of a community who give stuff to each other for free, then you’re searching your house for things you could pass on. Saved jam jars, unwanted board games, I’ve established part of my dining room to a stack of things waiting to be picked up, and I check my email account everyday, like a child opening the lounge door on Christmas morning, waiting for someone to send that magical message – ‘Dave, I’ve got a Leica and a Hasselblad I don’t use’
Ah well, I can dream.
All I’m saying is, join the community if you haven’t already, give your things away and then next time something breaks , or you have the sudden desire for a purple chair in the corner of the room, instead of running to those crumbling castles of capitalism to be fleeced for something designed to last 18 months before it collapses, you can always ask for it for free. My old Uncle Silas used to say, if you don’t ask you don’t get.