Jump Right In

Sometimes the best way to do something is to jump right in, so that is what I am doing. I enjoy photography. Please understand, I am not a professional. I am just a normal guy who likes to take pictures and who loves to talk about photography in general and the equipment in particular. Over the past few years I have moved from film to digital and then back to film again. I have even re-discovered developing, more as a cost containment measure than from any belief that I can develop my film better than the lab I use. Photography has become my hobby, not my only hobby, but certainly one of my favorite ones. Along the way I have learned several things but one thing in particular has pushed me to start this blog. As an amateur, finding useful information to help me advance in my hobby has been challenging. There are hundred of sites on-line, and countless books, that are happy to discuss composition, apertures, shutter speeds, and other trivia related to exposure. But there is a lot less information out there regarding your creative options and how to use your equipment to achieve that vision.

There is a huge amount of technical information available about digital cameras. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive point and shoot, a long-reach telezoom, a high end digicam, or a digital SLR, you will almost always find a lot of information about it, and its’ accessories, just by typing your search in Google, or whatever your favorite search engine happens to be. Now don’t misunderstand me, I do enjoy digital cameras, and I own some very nice ones. But I won’t be talking much about them on this site. What I will be discussing is taking pictures with older film style cameras. It is more difficult to find information about older cameras than the newer, digital ones, especially just basic information about what it is like to use them for specific photography. Don’t misundertand me. There is tons of material available that will discuss exposure issues and how to achieve depth of field. But there is a lot less information about which cameras are best for taking portraits, and how to actually use that older camera to get a portrait. Forums can be invaluable and I encourage you to make use of them and ask many questions. But sometimes it is just helpful to have a starting point so you even know what question you should ask. So I have decided to write about using my older film cameras. I do not profess to be any type of expert so it isn’t likely that you will find any special technical data about these cameras that cannot already be found on-line. Likewise, I am not a collector so I will not be able to give you any insight into what camera may be some type of very rare collector’s item. I am just an amateur who loves taking pictures with all kinds of different cameras. So this is my journal where I explain how I manage to get things done and what the results look like. I will talk about what I like and what I don’t like, from one photographer’s perspective. I don’t expect that I’ll be taking too many pictures of brick walls or newspapers, since I don’t enjoy doing that type of thing, but I will discuss lenses and other equipment that I have found to be useful for specific purposes, and why I find them useful. I will also discuss what it takes to use modern equipment with the older equipment, like when I try to use my wireless transmitters and off camera electronic flash with my 1950s folding camera. If you find this kind of information interesting you are more than welcome to follow along. I will also be doing and talking about a lot of this in real time so you will get to join me as I make my mistakes. You may even recognize some of them.

I should warn you, not all my mistakes will be photographic. I am brand new to this internet blogging world as well so I suspect you will be witness to more than my fair share of bloopers here as well. Oh well, such is life. We’ll all survive it I’m sure. Hopefully I will provide some information to someone along the way.

Of course the whole reason for cameras in the first place is the picture. I captured this one with my Pentax 645Nii using my Pentax FA-645 45-85mm f4.5 zoom. This is one of my favorite cameras and I absolutely love using it. I don’t really think of this camera as old, and I do use much older ones, but it certainly is a classic that is capable of capturing some absolutely stunning images when I do my part. This is just one of the cameras, and one of the lenses, I will discuss during future posts.

Until then, stay healthy and keep your camera close.

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