Occasionally, I like to pretend to work on old cameras. I clean them carefully with Q-tips and dust cloths and pretend I’m doing some important technical work, but the truth is, I’m really just doing something the equivalent of a thorough shoe shine. I'm actually scared as hell of actually opening up any of my cameras. I picture an explosion of parts all over my desk and I worry I'd never be able to put them all back together, or more likely, I put it all back together only to realize there are parts left over.
Not the case for Gian Luigi Carminati, a 76-year-old in Milan who has been fixing cameras for some 60 years. Carminati is obviously a lover of film and the analog, as am I, but watching this film I realized that we've finally reached something of a cosmic balance when it comes to film vs. digital photography. Film is still expensive to process, but it's easy to find and process it online and the hysteria over the death of film seems to have, well, died. There are also a number of a great sellers of film cameras online, and most importantly there's a genuine appreciation for the medium. Many digital photographers, myself included, are actively mimicking the look of film with their work and thanks to VSCO presets and Lightroom, that's easier to do than ever.
And thankfully, we still have a few people around like Carminati who know how to fix the old cameras too. Though he doesn’t have a website, a mobile phone or a even a sign, I will undoubtedly seek his shop out next time I’m in Milan.