So, let's get the ball rolling with this blogging malarkey then. I thought it might be a nice idea to occasionally have a natter to myself and the wider world about things that interest me.
These things are likely to include film photography, vintage cameras, music, cars, dreams, moods, and other such fascinating things. Chances are though, it'll be all about the photography, with the odd camera review thrown in for good measure. Let me explain a little further. I'll start at the beginning.
Like most people of my generation, I started taking photos when digital cameras were already commonplace. However, the camera that started my love of photography was actually my Dads old film SLR. It was a late 1970's Fujica ST605N that he'd had from new. By the time I was old enough to pick it up, it was laying dormant in a dusty cupboard in his study. Still... I loved that camera. It came from a time before myself. It smelled old. It felt unnecessarily heavy. It made satisfying noises when I pushed the buttons, and looking through the viewfinder made everything look like a movie.
Here is that exact camera, sporting the same funky strap I used to love as a kid.
Looking through the lens of this camera had a way of making even the most mundane of things seem beautiful. Part of the reason that I love photography so passionately now is that I've never lost the magical feeling I get when seeing the world through a camera. It's the same no matter which camera I'm using, but I have a particular love of film photography because the magic extends way beyond the lenses, and way beyond the tangible.
Everything about film photography is a journey. With no instant results, I find I take far fewer shots. I consider each shot carefully. I absorb the moment and become a part of it. I choose my shot very carefully. I watch, and I wait for the moment to develop. I observe, and I think. Personally I much prefer working this way, and I always appreciate the results when I get them back. My theory is this... If I can shoot a good picture on film, on an all manual camera, then I can take a good picture with anything.
Quite apart from this, the quality of the decent old lenses is way better than anything you can buy new. Couple that with the much higher resolving power and dynamic range of film compared to digital, and surely any professional photographer worth their salt would shoot film all day long, right?
Well... no. We live in an instant world where time is money. Everyone needs their photos yesterday, and they want 2000 shots to chose from. Sadly, this is in direct conflict with the way I like to work. For months now, there has been a slowly looming, ever growing realisation in me that something had to give. Do I give up what I love and how I love to work, or do I give up on my principles and consign the film cameras to the dusty cupboard?
Much like my father before me, I am a hard, principled, and somewhat uncompromising man. With this in mind, I guess the decision was already made for me, and the decision is this.
Give up photography.
Well, professionally at least. Concentrate on what I love. Keep the magic feeling. Lock the dusty cupboard, and shoot what I want to shoot. So, from here onwards, I intend to shoot only what I choose to shoot, and only how I choose to shoot it. I'll photograph only the things I wish to photograph, and only the people I may wish to remember in later years. Each photograph is a unique moment in time, never to be repeated, and I aim to capture as many of those moments as possible.
So having said that, welcome once more to my little blog. My little journey. At this very moment I have 8 rolls of 35mm film awaiting developing, 1 roll of 120 film to develop, and a back catalogue of film shots longer than both my arms put together. All of which I'll be sure to share at some point in the future.
Maybe I'll see you there.