first steps in analog photography

Friday, 25 September 2015

@volchitza_ asked "How and when you first approached analog photography? What drew you to it?"
I used to have a Tumblr blog, where I would mostly focus on tv shows and movies. Once in awhile, I would see one of these wonderful photographs being reblogged into my dashboard. Little did I know that those were taken with analog cameras. It took me awhile to be so consumed by them, by their light depiction and colors, and I finally clicked on one of those follow up links to find out more. It lead me to this flickr account. Liis, its owner, was shooting Zenit at that point, I was in love. At first I thought she used digital and achieved everything in post-processing, but I asked her about that and she told me everything was pure and untouched, and created with analog photography. That was the initial moment for me. It took me additional couple of months to get an analog camera and a couple of more months to get shooting, but that was it :) It happened more less three years ago. asked "How did you start?"
I began by buying a Zenit off from the Lomography site. It cost me about 100EUR and turned out to have some malfunction, so that was such a horrible beginning to my analog journey. It caused me to back off for another few months. I bought a working Praktica in the summer of 2013 and it all started then. 

@thorne_lina asked "What was it like to hold a camera for the first time? Did you know that you're going to be so passionate about photography at once?"
It was a tank-like feeling, because my first camera had this amazingly sturdy body. It felt plastic though. Holding my Practica - that was intense! That was the first camera that looked like analog and felt like analog. I have to say at that point I knew we were going to become best friends. 

@dziewczynazjednymokiem asked "What did you use to learn about your camera and analog photography?"
Mostly internet, a lot of tries, looked up camera manuals and I have a friend or two who is interested in analog photography, so they would always help me out if I had any questions. Important part are analog photography blogs, because they opened my eyes about what I can use and what I should look for to fulfill my needs. 

@b.randon_k asked "What kind of lenses do you normally use?"
My Canon mainly uses Canon FD 50mm 1.8 (1.4 is so recommended, but the price is much higher, sadly) and just recently I purchased a Canon FD 135mm 1:2.5 lens but I haven't really found a use for it yet. For my Practica, I use Helios 58mm 44-2 lens, which is amazing! And a year ago I bought a 28mm lens for it too. So I would say I use 4 lenses in total. I only use prime lenses, never tried the zoom ones. 

@yekenn asked "What is my favourite time of the day to shoot and why?"
I would say either dawn/dusk or day. Shooting at night without a flash never brought me too many good results, to be honest, as I mostly shoot with 200 iso film which is pretty sun-needy. If I only was more of a morning bird (and could wake up at 5am with no headache) I would surely prefer this time of the day. In the summer this is the most perfect time to catch the incredible light that analog is capable of portraying. But most of the time, I am just looking for pretty good lightening conditions, because this way the photographs turn out better, at least for me. And I do not like using flash, because I feel like it flattens the image. 

@lee.gav asked "How would you rate your technical knowledge? Do you know 'everything' or you just experiment and go with the flow?"
I definitely do not know everything. My new camera has a bunch of little buttons or settings that I have not tried yet. I am aware of basic analog settings, I know what to do to make the background more or less blurry or catch less or more light. I would love to learn more about the artistic side of photography, for example framing and composition and ways to work with a model, because it is still hard for me. 

@noticeableabsence asked "Who is your biggest inspiration? "
You are. 

@secludedsea asked "What are your thoughts on recent revival of film photography and do you think it will carve out a viable niche market for the foreseeable future?"
Three years ago when I laid my hands on film photography it was already in a full revival. Since I began, I actually noticed some films dying out, for example I cannot get Tudorcolor film anymore, which was probably the cheapest I could ever find, because it was less than 2$ per one roll. It makes me sad. Also, other films have been getting more pricey recently and this is something that I definitely don't like. I want to strongly believe that film already has its own niche market. With the polaroid hype back again, also recreating of the Petzval lens (that I cannot use unless I get an analog Nikon, because they carry only mount for Nikon and Canon but not FD), and the activity that I see under the #filmisnotdead on Instagram. I truly want to hope that film will be alright. 

@banyakwarna asked "Have you ever tried stacking four LR44 to your Canon AE-1? Do the batteries run out quickly? What is your biggest fear when shooting with film and how did you anticipated them? "
First of all, nope, I have never tried that. I had to buy a new battery recently, after 10 months of using my camera. I think it is a pretty fair amount of time, so I wouldn't say that it run out too quickly. My biggest fear would be not loading the film properly, because it happened to me once. I wasn't paying the right attention and the film did not take any photograph while I was sure that it was doing so. I was frustrated to find out at the end of my trip. From now on I always check whether I loaded the film the right way. My friend told me what to observe in the camera to know it for sure. You need to look at the film rewind and it is supposed to be turning when you are advancing the film. That is the top thing that I learned this year. 

@hurtingbombz asked "Do you like expired film?"
My experience with expired film varies from neutral to bad. I either used those that we stocked properly and worked as if they were new or some pretty weird ones. The worst was when I had some BUGS on the film. Like literally a Paramecium caudatum next to the face of the person I photographed. That was terrible, really. That is why I rather opt for the fresh film. 

@uajamil & @ktsmrs asked "What's your favourite camera? And favourite film?" 
My favourite camera is definitely Canon AE-1 Program. Never found a better one. My favourite film would be Fuji Superia 200 because it will make beautiful photographs everytime I use it. I could make a top 5, if you were guys interested. Let me know in the comments! 

@lipreading asked "What do you think are the pros and cons of taking a primarily technical or primarily artistic/instinctual approach? Do you lean toward one?"
I feel I shoot more from the artsy side, because I never focus too much on the technical aspects. All I truly want to photograph is what I feel when looking at something. I try to focus on what moves me, find my own way at showing the world. This is my goal, I think :) It is hard to talk about pros and cons. People who focus on the perfect exposition might sometimes lose a beautiful moment - the world is changing so fast. But the instinctual people could take better photographs if they took better care of camera settings, that is for sure.

Thank you so much for all the great questions and taking interest in my hobby and my lomography journey. One thing I want to ask you. Have you ever tried analog photography? Also, is it easy to buy analog 35mm film where you live? 

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© Dipped in Rococo ~ lifestyle in analog Maira Gall.