Monday 1 September 2008

some reasons why...

using this camera has been such a pleasure.

The obvious - it sets me free from the rules. Not being quite sure what you are seeing (composing) - but sure enough. Not being sure what you will get - but sure enough. The freedom to be instinctive. Having a go, with exposure, with focus. It doesn't come out 'right'? So what. If it goes wrong, blame the camera. Which means my stern editing self is sent packing. What a relief.

Light, light, compared with the RZ and so quiet - yet such gorgeous large negatives. I don't have to lift it to my eye, so it's quite discreet - except when the finder is obscured and I'm peering. I was quite surprised that in the town no-one seemed to notice it...a good thing for me, I prefer to be invisible. It struck me that some of the younger kids may not have known what it was...

The shape of the negatives. Imperfect. Have purposefully kept them all full-frame. And I love the look of the negatives from the pre-war lens.

Truly from another era. A sense of history - and, a direct lineage to this camera. I used it myself well over two decades ago; what was I then? What was photography to me, then? Have I changed, strayed, grown, wasted time?

And face to face with my past - the taking of the pictures, back then, and the subjects of the pictures. It feels good to bring the past alive again, in many ways, bring it towards the present. At the same time, using this camera makes it easier to look back, in a way that seems completely natural, completely 'right'..

The lineage again, going further back...knowing who owned the camera - one owner, before me (I think she must have been the first) a relation who rode a gearless bike over West Country hills before the War, riding thirty miles at a time, with this camera in her basket.

The bad things - no pictures of hers remain. They were most likely part of the lost box of her family photographs, gone missing in one of many moves.

Another bad thing - good and bad - I do not want to crop these negatives. I feel more strongly about this than any other photos I have taken or formats I have used. So no cropping to 6 x 7, and no 6 x 9 enlarger yet (time for some alternative processes, perhaps...).