Friday, April 29, 2011

Shooting film for fun – Yashica LM 6x6

000002I’ve been quite busy, and with the barrage of holidays thrown at us, it makes it difficult for a self-employed individual to get to posting blogs on top of getting around to all other things entailed in being a pro shooter. Well, I must be honest, I’ll rather wait for next week and the reality of 5 day weeks to kick in again, before I post something that seems too much like work to you guys. So, I’ll go ahead and post some of the things I do for kicks.

I trained and fell in love with photography long before digital hit. I’m a qualified colour hand printer, black and white printer, large format, medium format etcetera shooter. I still find myself doing +1/3 compensations on readings for the Kodak 100VS tranny film I was so fond of. But truth be told, I don’t miss film as a work medium. I think digital is and will be the only viable medium for work. Also, 11 years after working in a darkroom, I still have issues with damaged skin on my hands due to (negligent) use of argentothyosulphite developers. The digital/film debate was settled in my mind around 2004, I think. I’m not getting into that though, it’s about as exciting as the Canon/Nikon debate to me anyways. Which is just below clipping my toenails.

I have 3 film cameras that I play with. This means: no light-meter, expired, like really ancient film, cheap pharmacy film, Holga-isque shooting techniques, having fun. There’s a saying: film’s not dead it just smells funny. I have a Yashica LM TLR (Bought circa 1998), a Pentax K1000 (my first slr, bought when I was 16) and a Canon AE-1, bought last year for a song.

Today, I’ll be posting images I shot with my Yashica LM TLR camera. It was manufactured between 1958-1962, so it’s kinda, ok, very old. The ‘LM’ stands for ‘light-meter’, which is ironic, as I purposefully don’t use it, and I’m certain it’s broken anyways. Its lens is not sharp anymore, and a bit battered, but I love the box-feel, and I love the rustic, retro vibe of walking around with it, freaking ipod-kids out and then the 6x6 format.

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The film: Ilford XP1, expired circa 1993 (seriously), obtained from my old lecturer. About 12 rolls. I still have a couple left. Ilford XP1 was discontinued in 1991 and replaced by XP2. When I started studying in 1997 XP2 was the standard for C41 black and white (chromogenic) films. Which is also useful for me now, as I’m not keen on having to dig out my Patterson tanks and buy Ilford ID-11. 000008

Shooting these images has a lot to do with charm, and the knowledge that I have no, absolutely no, commercial value to these images. It’s out of the box, in the box, through the box, whatever I want, reckless, fun, for me, for kicks… and I love the suspense of processing a bunch of films that I’ve spent 3 months haphazardly filling up. It’s not fun getting to pay it afters. Jeez, I’m glad that part of my life is sort of over! I really love a lot of these images, because I was there and it makes sense to me. Sorry, but I have to allow myself some indulgence.

Since I spend a lot of my free time with my kids, it stands to reason that they’d show up on some of these images. Bear with me.

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