In 1973, my mother gave me a Canon FTb 35mm camera. It was my introduction to seeing things differently. I had little idea of what I was doing, but learned enough from trial and error (and chats with other photographers) to eventually get fairly good at taking candid shots at family gatherings, pictures of local buildings, landscapes and such. I didn’t have a flash, so I learned to use available light, and was drawn toward films that could be “pushed” (Kodak Tri-X for black and white prints and Ektachrome slide film for color). To this day even with a digital point and shoot camera I nearly always turn the flash off and shoot with the light that’s there.
Eventually the old FTb sat collecting dust, having been abandoned in favor of cheap film cameras that were easier to carry, and then digital cameras as that technology arrived. A few years ago I sent it in for cleaning and light meter repair, but even after that, it sat in the attic or on a closet shelf, patiently awaiting the day when someone would again be delighted with what it can do.
I’m a smarter photographer now, meaning that I understand a lot more about composition, light, lens, film and exposure. I believe that I’m finally able to begin exploring with my old FTb in a manner that befits its capabilities. I’m also ready to grow with it beyond the single 50MM lens and available light.
I’ll be posting some scans here from time to time. The first roll of 24 (Kodak BW400CN) turned out alright, with about a third of the shots being decent enough to share. You can find them (along with any future black and white scans) on this Flickr set. Please be kind in your criticism, as I’m still learning. Also, yes – I am aware that my scanner platen needs to be cleaned. :)
The photo above is one of a series I took last evening of raindrops on various windows in our house. I’m fairly pleased with three of them, which might eventually become a triptych of some sort.
I would be interested in feedback, particularly from other film photographers. Pointers to interesting images and websites would also be welcome.
The great depression-era photojournalist Dorothea Lange once said “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” I hope to learn a great bit more about how to see during the last decades of my life.
Somewhere on this Weblog there will eventually be an essay about barbecue. It won’t be about how to barbecue. It will be about why grilling over coals or wood is important to some people, or at least to me.
You have been forewarned, and now I must go light the charcoal chimney.
Happy Independence Day.
While Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have lost their lives in service to the United States, we should also remember that Americans are still at war in Afghanistan. Every weekday since June of 2009, Mother Jones has posted photos of those serving in the U.S. military as a reminder that we’re still at war. On this Memorial Day, they’re sharing a slideshow with images from thus far in 2012.
My thoughts and prayers remain with those who serve.
View the full slideshow: We’re Still at War: A Memorial Day Reminder. [Mother Jones]
With our move to Kankakee rapidly approaching, I was more than a little concerned about the fact that we’ll no longer have the St. Louis sports channels in our Cable lineup.
Problem solved. Thanks, MLB.TV.
I’m looking forward to another great season of baseball from the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.