Well it’s been a while since my last post, it seems that I’ve been neglecting this space a little bit. A lot has happened since October of last year and I’ve been kept busy with an assortment of projects, but I’ll spare the boring details and talk about my most recent escapades.
Over the holiday break I’ve finally taken the chance to pursue my analogue interests. I decided to initially to work with a medium format camera, and then ended up receiving money to put towards a 35mm as a gift, so I’ve fortunately had both mediums to experiment with. I ended up getting a hold of a Yashica Mat 124G TLR for my medium format camera (mostly because I wanted to work with something relatively foreign to what I’m used to), and a Canon A1 for my 35mm.
Both cameras are a wonder to work with, especially the Yashica due to it’s completely manual functions. Being a modern photographer it’s easy to take automated functions like metering and focus for granted, so this was a refreshing and somewhat challenging endeavor. Admittedly the Yashica does require some professional cleaning to the inner elements, so the images aren’t of the greatest quality, but I’m happy enough with their outcome for the time being.
I realized quite a few things when shooting with film. Shooting was of a much slower and more considered pace; I can easily go through five hundred shots in an hour on my 5D, but I found it hard to get through a roll of 36 exposures on my A1 within a couple of days. I looked over the viewfinder triple the amount of times I do when working digital, and this made me realize things often catch my eye but not my heart. With my 5D I’d shoot the image anyway only to discard it later, but with my A1 or Yashica I had to re-think everything.
Using the A1 came relatively naturally, whereas the Yashica definitely took some research and playing around with first before shooting a roll off it. The inverted viewfinder is still something I struggle with, but I’m catching on quickly enough.
Shooting with the A1 was extremely freeing, instead of lugging around my 5D and brick like 50mm, I felt more invisible with a smaller camera and so I could grab more shots of certain situations I ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to. The Yashica, with the way it looks, certainly made me stand out a lot more though. I had a couple people stop me and question what contraption I was holding – so invisibility with the Yashica isn’t so possible as it is with the A1.
So all in all I found the whole experience extremely enjoyable and will be aiming to shoot personal projects within this format after further experimentation. I am experimenting with different film types at the moment and seeing what they produce – so still a long ways to go.
Anyway, here are the images. The A1 photographs are completely un-edited aside from slight crops here and there, whereas the Yashica shots have been made to black and white and slightly contrasted as the colour film was horribly unappealing (I can hear the purists tisking already).
Shots With the Canon A1