One photo can make you miss previously owned stuff.
Well, to be honest I don’t remember if this was shot with the Pentax 67 or the Mamiyz RZ 67. I guess I miss the Pentax more. So let’s just say it was shot with the Pentax :-).
I’ll admit it. Holy crap I’ve been missing shooting! I’ve shot a bit with my new 4×5 but now enough and most of what I did shoot wasn’t good or had errors (double exposure… not the right exposure etc).
So I’ve been carrying my trusty Nikon F3 along with the 135mm lens and just loving it. I’ve missed it.
Also, I got a new scanner. The Epson 4990. I scanned a lot of these as contact sheets. Not really worrying about the scans and just plopping them right on the glass. It shows a lot of scratches and isn’t precise at all but I don’t care.
Welp. I was really excited about the Grafmatic backs. Not so much now.
If you don’t shoot 4×5, you don’t really understand the frustration of shooting with the plastic cassettes. They work well, but they only fit 2 shots per cassette. Which isn’t much.
The Grafmatic will hold 6! Whoa momma! And it’s the size of about 2 plastic holders and weighs about as much. And cycling through each photo is a piece of pie. No need to flip over the cassette etc.
They were a dream come true. Unfortunately the dream abruptly ended as I developed my first photos.
As you may be able to tell, there’s a note which says “Light leak @ left side”. And you can see the results here:
Back to the drawing board and back to the cassettes!
I think I have it figured out! I’ve simply been doing it wrong. I’ll have to post on why that is but after reading this thread, I’m confident the light leakiness is my fault.
I’m in a state of transition good friends! Delicious, dynamic transition!
I haven’t posted any photos since Christmas in India. But that doesn’t mean I’m not taking photos, it just means I don’t have a means for posting photos.
Ok, so that’s confusing. What happened is that I sold my Fuji GW690 and my flatbed scanner to a friend. I now am scanner-less and Fuji-less. These things have been replace with a new 4×5 Chamonix field camera and Fuji 250mm lens. But… alas… no scanner.
No scanner = No digital photos = No photos on StillThrill.
I could of course outsource my development and scanning. But it is so expensive. It’s worth it to buy your own scanner. And to be frank, you can use a really crappy scanner for 4×5. There’s so much data in large format, you don’t need 9600 dpi (which would give me a 700mb file). I barely even need a 500kb file for the jpgs that go on this site. Which leads me to another item of note – posting photos on this site is a terrible way to see/view photography.
So what is a good way to view photos? Prints, glorious prints. I am far more interested in making prints these days than I am scanning and posting photos. And now that that is the case, I am more interested in making photos that are print-worthy.
“What is print-worthy” is a fantastic question. And in my ramblings through photography in my life, I’ve taken maybe 10 photos that could by estimated to be print-worthy (printing large, mind you). There is a thread running through these images and it’s one this author has picked up on.
So this is the current project. Take photos that are print worthy. Revealing more details is something I won’t do. Not now anyway.
Different areas afford different photographic opportunities. I probably have some sort of photographic style. I haven’t given it much thought but there are certain elements that I love in a photo. India is one of those places that just keeps giving me those things that I love. We travelled from Mumbai to Kerala and this is a mix of them.
I recently read Ebay’s “Common Mistakes When Buying a Film Camera”.
After reading, I was scratching my head wondering, “Did the author ever buy a used camera?”. I’ve purchased at least 15 (and sold many as well). So I figured I would write my own list.
1) Trusting that that old light meter works.
The Canonet is a cute lil bugger. It’s a small rangefinder with a fixed 40mm F1.7 lens (depending on the model). Even the name is nice; Canon with a feminine suffix. Apparently over two million were sold. Other manufacturers produced very similar cameras. Ebay is filled to the brim with them and they are less than $100. What’s not to love?
The fatal flaw! It’s aperture-priority only*. This means that for the camera to work and take photos, the light meter must work. No light meter, no camera. And guess what? These old light meter’s simply don’t last. I bought one with glee… only to find… a brick.
Just buy a fully manual camera! My recommendation is the Nikon FM with 50mm lens.
2) Not expecting a learning curve.
This isn’t so much an issue with a camera as it is with a person. Everyone should just understand that each camera will have a different learning curve. Medium Format cameras will be a different experience than 35mm ones (as will large format). If you’re a novice, start with a simple and inexpensive 35mm SLR. Then work your way up (if you want to).
3) Purchasing from a seller with questionable feedback.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Most of the transaction’s I’ve had have been smooth. But trust the feedback and stick to someone who has good feedback to avoid hassles.
4) Buying a Holga.
I’ve no inherent problem with the Holgas. I mean, I’m glad they are bringing back so much interest in film. But for the same price of that plastic thing, you can get a real engineering marvel along with some seriously nice glass. The Japanese made some great cameras from the 70’s that can go for a song. Why not get serious with these before the Holga?
5) Buying Wide Wide Wide.
It used to be a look that I went for. Wide angle and shooting close up. There’s something about that look… Well, nowadays, that “look” is everywhere. Wide angle lenses are everywhere. It’s getting boring! Why is everyone shooting so much wide angle?
How about a change? I shot a whole trip on a 135mm lens from Nikon along with my Nikon FM and I loved how the photos came out.
I suppose the real mistake is just copying the look everyone else has.
6) Not shooting Black and White. Not Developing yourself.
One of the advantages of film is the tonality and dynamic range of black and white film. Also, it’s cheap. Film is expensive in general so you should start with cheap black and white film (I recommend the cheapest film – Arista from Freestyle Photo). Developing yourself is also easy and makes the experience more intimate and cheaper. Highly recommended.
Let me know if there are mistakes you’ve had that others should know about.
I used to want to be featured on Hardcore Street Photography. Not sure if you’re familiar with it – it’s a Flickr group where people submit photos. Then an anonymous group of folks decides which ones make the cut. Any that are deemed to be a combination of “hardcore” and “street” then get accepted. I’ve submitted a few of my favorites but they never made it.
I used to get angry at the fact. I mean, honestly, some of the photos that do get accepted are awful. Of course there is some really great work as well, but it doesn’t seem consistent.
After some time I realized, I just don’t give a hoot. This is probably a natural reaction to things that at first make me angry. I cease to give the perturbation any power. Why should I really care if Hardcore Street Photography will feature my photos?
I feel the same way about this blog now-a-days. I want you to like it and it to reach millions of folks. It won’t. But who cares? This is about me and my own meditation.
This is what photography should be. It should be an exercise in solitude. A meditation with you and the world. Take any of the best street photographers (or photographers in general) and just look at the way they photograph. They could give a damn about their audience.
So, while I do love you and think highly of you (you amorphous blob of readers), I need to forget you. And you should forget me, at least for awhile :-).