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Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Philosophical Journey in Photography

A friend of mine has started his own photography business and asked me to go on a shoot with him in a few weeks.  Of course, being a former semi-pro, it was hard to pass up the offer.  The idea of getting out there sizing up a composition and hearing the rattle snap and whine of my Kiev 88 shutter firing can be a great experience.

As you can well imagine one thought leads to another and so I began to thing about photography in general and where we have been as photographers and where we might end up as photographers.  My journey in photography started in college where I spent a great deal of time working for my college newspaper and yearbook as the photo editor.  I shot hundreds of rolls of 35mm and 120mm film and countless hours in the darkroom developing and printing the film.  It was a great experience and one that is not easily forgotten.

Today, film has been replaced by digital imaging and I have to admit that some of the romance of photography has left me.  Yes, photography is more than just the what type of medium is used to record the image.  It is still about lighting, composition and technology and I doubt that will ever change much, but the romance of the all manual camera combined with the mad scientist like environment for processing that film is nearing the end of its life.  Oh, please don't misunderstand me.  I am one who generally embraces change.  After all I am a software developer and software is constantly in flux and the only constant there is change, but somehow I hoped digital imaging would not impact photography as quickly as it did.

I would love to sit here and say that medium format film still has the advantage over digital, but I would be a liar.  About every test I have read proves otherwise.  However, if you want a challenge and you want to do something different and perhaps even for a moment,  exciting, take out an old manual camera and really think about what you are doing with it.  Think about the exposure and composition.  Concentrate on the shot and feel the patience begin to overcome the fast paced lifestyle of the modern world.  For a moment it is just you and your subject.  No modern, fancy electronic gizmo with digital screens for proofing your shots.  It is just you and your knowledge of light and composition.

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