Having a blog has not only rebooted my writing but also my lost love of photography.
I haven’t done much more than snapshots for many years, and I’ve never really done any “art” with a digital camera.
My experience trying to make “art” photography is with an old twin lens of my dad’s and 35mm (first hand-me-down manual SLR‘s and then a digitally controlled one given to me for my birthday one year in college).
Despite that, I did seem to have at least a little eye for interesting shots and ideas. Never being an expert in the darkroom, unlike my wife, I experimented with other aspects such as cross-processing, pushing the film (never liked pulling), slides put to music, and even mixed-media collage. I did a few nudes of myself, though never had the guts to show them to anyone except my closest friends and only did nudes of 2 others – one of whom much later became my wife, but those are definitely stories for another day.
I still love photography and thinking about the visuals I want to write about, I also have been thinking more of visuals I could create either with film (though cost is prohibitive and digitizing to be able to share here is also an issue) or digital – but the digital needs to look and feel like more than a snapshot and I can’t afford a professional (or even semi-pro) digital camera.
So what can I do?
Well, with the digital I have, I’m usually left to trying to watch for interesting candids and/or playing with depth-of-field (always a favorite anyway). It’s very limited. I have 3 depth-of-field settings – macro, portrait, landscape – and my exposure control is simply being able to lighten or darken – I can’t actually set exposure length.
Discouraging, I know, but I’m trying to figure out ways around it.
But then I had an idea.
Playing around today with my old Ciro-flex twin lens camera (approx. 70 years old by what I find online) and my little Canon PowerShot digital camera (3 years old), I quickly created what feel like old movie stills. The composition and subject matter are pretty boring here, but I love the feel and I’m going to have to experiment with this some more. One issue is that it takes a lot of light for the digital to focus on the ground glass (only one indoor shot worked), but too much and it burns out all except the center of the image and still loses focus.
Trying to do this with anything other than still-life will be a challenge, but could make for some amazing candids or nudes too. Oh, note the lovely orange burn. That’s actually a reflection of the orange face of the Canon!
The only manipulation I’ve done to these is reducing the image size to make it more web-ready.