Monday, January 31, 2011

Back In Time, Back To Basics

My previous post spoke to a few things i wanted to do this year.  One of these was to dust off an old (30 years) Yashica TLR camera and shoot a few rolls of film through it.  Sounds simple enough. 

Truth is, like most photographers that have gone digital, there are a few basic skills that new technology allows me to ummm...well, shortcut.  These shortcuts have caused me to get a bit lazy in my basic skills.  What am I talking about?  Well, exposure metering (judging the light needed for a photo) is pretty much automatic these days.  Steadying the big, heavy camera?...we have optical image stabilization for that....who needs a tripod and a manual cable release these days!  Black and white film?...Just flip a switch and and white pics!  Need to get closer to your subject?...just hit the zoom button...vs physically moving and composing your shot with a fixed focal length lens/camera.  I had to go wayyyyy the basics I had learned more than 30 years ago.

Well, I shot my first two rolls of black and white.  I pulled out my rarely used old tripod, found my cable shutter release, and hoped that my "needle and pointer" light meter on the old camera would be accurate!  I "Bracketed a few shots", but paid closer attention to what I was doing, because unlike erasing a pic you don't like in digital, this medium format film/processing costs money!!

I grabbed my wife and daughter, asked them to do a quick sitting for me, under duress, since they had not "fixed themselves up" etc., put them next to a window and fired off 24 shots.  The shot of my daughter above, was one of the resulting photos.  It was an old camera and black and white film, so I chose a rather "old school" pose.

Back to basics...and a look at the present through an old camera brought back to life!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!


Let's get the important stuff out of the way first...Wanna know what I got for Christmas?!

1.  A great pair of quality (as in REAL) hiking/backpacking boots!
2.  A 21st Century backpack to replace my 1988 external frame backpack...nice!
3.  A Blue Ray DVD player! Sweet...

Of course, I received other nice gifts and cards, but I don't want to sound like I'm spoiled.

Where did the time go!?  I say this every January. (and sometimes on my Birthdays) The New Year allows for a change of course, the setting of new goals and often brings a renewed optimism and outlook for the immediate future.  Like many of you, I have jotted down a few goals and "resolutions" that I hope I will achieve in the coming year.  I wont bore you with them.

I am looking forward to some great backpacking trips, a long and relaxing summer vacation with my family and a few good photographic opportunities.  I recently dusted off an almost new Yashica TLR camera (shown above) that I purchased 25 years ago.  I will be going retro, using that camera (and hopefully remembering some equally old photography skills/techniques) to capture some street scenes and portraits this year.  If I get a few decent shots, you will be sure to see them here.