Sunday, January 22, 2006

No Digital Today

Fleming Creek
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
This morning, I went out to Matthaei Botanical Gardens to do some shooting. I brought my Nikon FM2N, three lenses, b&w film, tripod, and my Rollei 35TE (a tiny 35mm camera). There was lots of hoarfrost, great frozen puddles, icy ornaments hanging from branches in the water, frost-covered bridges, and a bright sunny morning. I LEFT THE DIGITAL CAMERA AT HOME... on purpose.

I shot 5 rolls of b&w film. I had to think about the exposure values of the scenes, compose on the tripod (which of course, I do as much as possible), bracket, and take my time. This was an enjoyable morning where I thought about the abstractions of the scenes, form, and the motion of the water. Sure, I could have done it the same with my DSLR, but I chose to do it without the instant gratification. I'll develop some of those rolls this evening, and if I did it all right, I'll have some beautiful negatives that I will scan as well as print in the darkroom.

There is always the part of craft that is involved in traditional (i.e., silver-based) photography. That part is being diminished by the onslaught of the digital tidal wave. I look at this morning as keeping myself sharp and refining my technique and improving my way of seeing what is there. On top of that -- there is no technology between me and the image, save for a lens and a shutter. That can feel liberating in its own way...

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