When I started Random Camera Blog back in 2004, blogging had become popular, and little did I anticipate that I would still be writing about cameras and photography in the same venue 15 years later. I started Random Camera Blog in mid-October 2004, as well as joined Flickr at the same time. With almost 700 blog posts and over 13,000 images on Flickr since then, I guess I can say that I have some staying power. For me, photography is a huge part of my life, and making photos is what really drives me. While I have done my share of digitally-based images, film is where my head is, and where I enjoy the process the most.
The older I get, the more I acknowledge that someday this will all end. At 62, I think I have about a decade or so to really immerse myself into what I love. Perhaps, like Imogen Cunningham, I'll be wielding a camera into my 90s, but who knows what the future holds. So, I am out shooting a bit almost every day, and now that I am in North Carolina, there are many places that I'd like to photograph that are within just a few hours of driving. I live very close to Asheville, and it's a great place to take a quick drive and test out cameras and film, but also has many photographic subjects that will keep my attention. You will see more camera and film stock reviews ahead, as well as more of my photography.
I am as enthused by photography as I was 20 years ago, but now, with the mantle of experience, I can write about a lot more than I could then. I know that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, as I have recently become unafraid of disassembling lenses to clean them, and I owe my thanks to those helpful people that put up the YouTube videos. I had a well-used, 85mm f/1.8 Nikkor-H portrait non-AI lens that had a big blob of fungus dead center. After viewing some online videos, I knew that I could easily fix the problem. Once I got the lens apart, the fungus was removed from the back of the forward lens group and the front of the rear lens group. I used ammonia solution, wiped it with lens tissue and cotton swabs, then used Isopropyl alcohol for a final clean, dusted, and put everything back together. The lens now looks fantastic. It had been AI-modified, so I'll be using it on one of my Nikons to give it a good workout.
|The 85mm disassembled lens. Minolta X-570, Ilford Delta 100 film|
Speaking of fixing things, last week I replaced the faulty capacitor in my Minolta X-700. I last used the camera in May or June, and it had been reliable at the time. I took it out to test some film, and realized that things were not good. I had a box of Minolta X-370s, and an X-570 that also needed the fix, so I finally ordered 100 of the 220 microfarad 4v capacitors from Digi-Key. At less than 15 cents each per hundred, it was worth buying enough to last for whatever repairs may lie ahead. Anyhow, only one of the repaired Minoltas still had a problem, but it was not capacitor-related. The rest are all working great. Aside from the desoldering/soldering aspect, it's an easy repair. My next repair project is getting several Canon QL-17s working - at least in manual mode.
So, what's next?
More of the same, with film and camera reviews. Personal insights, examples of my work, and of course, whatever photographically-related topics that may come up.
By the way, if you have not yet seen the documentary about Jay Maisel titled "Jay Myself" -- you should. It's on Amazon video, and the rental is $3.99. It's a glorious movie about Jay's long career and the selling of his home and studio that was housed in an old bank building in the Bowery district of New York City. It's hard to fathom all of the things Jay collected, and why, but there is no doubt of his success as a commercial photographer. I think you'll find some things that resonate as he describes his career and his thought process about shooting. It's great that he allowed himself to be the subject of the documentary, and I laughed a lot as he interacted with the cinematographers.
Finally, I'd like to say thank you to all of you that have followed Random Camera Blog, and I hope that you have found it to contain some useful information over the years!