I want to slow things down. I want to force myself to slow down. I move so quickly during the week, my mind is always churning, but when I come home I want to take a deep breath and stop. I want to turn my mind to other things. I want to take pictures with the same thoughtfulness and care that goes into the craft beer I drink and the desserts I bake. If there isn’t enough time for reflection in a day, then I need to make time. I could say this for so many things, but if I don’t do that now, when will I?
I love that we can take pictures with our iPhones and in the blink of an eye make almost anything pretty. I really do. It’s wild, isn’t it? But I also want to go the opposite way from time to time. I want to put more thought into my photographs, and practice patience practice. I am stunned by food photography I see online everyday, and in some of the photography my friends produce. They capture life and food as beautifully as I see it sometimes. The soft light of a cutting board, the twinkle in their subject’s eye, and mist on a morning walk. I’m absolutely blown away by that. While I don’t have the experience, skills, or equipment for that, I do have this old camera I found several weekends ago…
During my last visit home, my parents I ventured over to The Broadway Antique Mall – our favorite antique mall in Muncie. I couldn’t even attempt to count how many times we went there growing up (or other antique malls for that matter). While my brother and I were cranky and probably downright difficult (okay, maybe it was just me who was like that) about going to them growing up, all those visits to antique malls across Indiana make for some great memories of growing up. *Thanks Mom!* This time one of the booths had a bookshelf full of old cameras, lenses, light meters, cases, etc. I had been thinking, but had no way of carrying this out before…what if I could start trying to take most of my pictures with film? What if I could go back to the basics? I took a class in high school while I was in Paris and loved it. One, walking around Paris taking black and white photographs was incredibly romantic and two, the technical process of capturing a shot and developing the film amazed me. I don’t remember a lot from that class (eons ago, it seems), but I bought two bodies and a lens, and my father was able to give me a few basics to start giving this a try.
I’m slowly getting the hang of it, especially with some tips and tricks from my friend Michael. I was lucky enough to host him along his road trip this summer, and not only was it great to have a friendly face around, but absorb a little more experience and knowledge about photography. For example, you have to hold this button not that one down when you’re rewinding film…duh. Woops.
I’m learning and I’m loving this. The other day I got two rolls of film back from the camera store, and I think I scan through them all once every fifteen minutes. I love that you have to care for your shot. You have to think ahead, and take your time. Maybe one day I’ll be fast enough that I don’t have to think for so long, but we’ll see. With my iPhone I can take picture after picture until I get what I want, but here I have to take a certain leap of faith and be patient in waiting to see the result. Some of the results were better than others, but it’s just the beginning. Just as I want to be more patient in writing, in cooking, and just as brewers take care and put love into the beers that I enjoy, I want to put love and care into this. I’m just starting out, but I hope I’ll get better with more experience and practice. I can’t wait to share these with you.
*Taken with the Minolta X-370