I kid you not, this story is completely true.
A friend of mine lent me this rather beautiful Bronica medium format camera recently.
It’s a rather daunting looking beast of a thing at first look so I briefly read the manual, loaded the camera and headed to the park for the day with about twenty rolls of film in my bag. I proceeded to buy a take away coffee in the visitor centre and sat down at a picnic table to see if I could remember all the details from the manual I had read the night before. I open up the top viewing mechanism and have a look through it to see if I can start by getting my head around how to use a very different way of looking at a photograph. To start with everything in the view finder is back to front and when you move the camera everything seems to move in the wrong direction. So for example, if you want to move the camera left you need to swing it to the right, sounds complicated, well it is at first. I take my first look through the camera as it sits on the table and this very cone is sitting right back in the middle of my vision. I rapidly learned how to focus the lens, don’t forget everything is manual on this camera, there are no automatic buttons you can press to do anything for you. After that the only thing I changed about this scene was to move the camera slightly closer just to make the cone a wee bit bigger in the image.
I will finish off by letting you know I managed to shot only two rolls of film in the entire day, what was I thinking by bringing so much with me in the first place. You tend to spend a lot more time actually thinking about a photograph when it’s film you are using, it’s a very different experience to shooting digitally when you can just fire off shot after shot and then worry about editing at home on the computer. I have found with film I tend to spend rather a long time looking through the camera and asking myself if this scene is actually worth capturing or is it just ok at best. I think I now take fewer pictures but my success rate has increased dramatically.
You can purchase prints or postcards of this photo from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.
(Comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, please feel free to let me know what you think)