Thursday, 8 July 2010

Don't be afraid to try something old...

My shiny Spotmatic film SLR arrived the other day in the First Class post.

It is a wonderful machine, built in 1964, and entirely mechanical in operation, it almost feels alive in your hands, unlike its cold, lifeless digital counterparts.

When you wind the film and press the shutter, the feeling is akin to that of using a bolt action, "Old West" rifle... you feel... MANLY!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Luddite, I was in IT for 15 years! And I love my EOS, and it's earnt me a good wage so far, and I couldn't practically justify always shooting film, for all the portraiture and commercial work I do. People want digital images these days, not 10x8s...

But sometimes in the ever-advancing quest for speed, performance and perfection, we lose sight of things that are beautiful, meaningful and profound.

There is something very magical about shooting on a camera where you can't see straightaway if you got the shot or not, or fire off six shots a second. You start focussing less on the camera, and more on what's going on in front of it - you start to FEEL and PREDICT the shots rather than just think them...

Or as a wise man once put it:

"To take photographs means to recognize–simultaneously and within a fraction of a second–both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis."

Somehow it seems easier to achieve this with an old SLR... funny that!

This shot taken in the style of my fave 60s tog, who didn't just "try" cameras like this for fun - he didn't have any choice!

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