Thursday, November 11, 2010

36 exposures only – nothing more, nothing less.

Some people might not understand why do one go back to non digital photography. I am not really a purist, nor would I give up my digital Nikon and Leica babies and their wonderful lenses.

No way.

However, once in a while I like to flirt with my non digital skill again to crop the surrounding into black and white images on films.

While my little made in Germany D-Lux 4 pocket camera refines my skills by pushing the functions to the limit as if it was a DSLR with immediate response, the non digital SLR with films I have been slugging around teaches me to be more disciplined rather than being trigger happy. With digitals, I acted (sometimes) like a cowboy with a machine-gun.

Not good!

My Nikon F601M is one of the last few SLR produced by Nikon before the industry quantum leaped into the digital world – the whole industry has been revolutionized – even people’s behavior.

I feel like going back to basic with a lot of practical skills (which needed to be brushed up constantly). Having the constraint not being able to see the result of each shot immediately, I tend to spend more time before each shoot.

I have to make a mind list:

  1. the film ISO is 400 – meaning the sensitivity is quite high for outdoor photography during the day and not bad for indoor with small aperture numbers.
  2. 50mm fix lens is attached. Quite a warm lens – I can still shoot in a relatively low light
  3. 400mm - courtesy of TM's dad was difficult to handle. A damn good quality lens. Lets see I perform with that one.
  4. Composition
  5. Manual focus – this is a pain for me. I have not been using manual focus for a long long time and I don’t trust my eyes. It takes me a while to focus, especially on moving subjects.
  6. Waiting for the result – only when the films are processed at central market and that would take at least 2 working days.

It is a good experience to shoot less – as less, in most cases, is more.


orange said...


love you for this write-up piece.
vry much help!
i read bout x-cellent Xp2 super B&W film Ilford delta 100 that comes in range between 35mm to gives superb kinda taste. lucky you still hv the old school brother!

shemeq said...

Yeah, I love it too. But have to learn and refine further (and I am the "malas" kind)