While I intend to continue blogging here on all the usual topics, I have also started blogging at a new group blog, "Man in the White Suit", about photography the old fashioned way with film. You can see my first post here. I haven't lost my interest in digital manipulations, far from it, and if your only interest in photography is family and holiday snaps, then digital cameras are ideal. However digital media cannot, so far, capture the subtle tones possible from medium and large format film.
I've invested therefore in a new 120 film camera - like most modern technology these days, made in China - and I'm looking forward to trying it out. For the non-photographers out there, 120 film produces negatives 6cm square, although with some cameras you can get other formats. The normal 6x6 format is about four times the size of a 35mm negative.
Actually 'invested' is probably too strong a word for spending twenty quid on an overpriced toy, but the images I've seen from Holga cameras have been captivating. There is perhaps something liberating about not having a few hundred pounds worth of high tech goods round your neck. Even taking processing costs in to account, you would have to take an awful lot of pictures on a Holga to spend the equivalent of a top of the range digital.
Given that the Holga is indeed a toy, I've also bought a S/H Lubitel 166. This also uses 120 film, but is an altogether more serious - if still cheap - camera. It is an obsolete type really, known as a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) using one lens to focus and a second to take the picture. The two lenses are linked, so that as you focus the one, the other adjusts too.
Using cameras like this means a change of pace. Winding on the film is a process of slowly winding the knob until the number of the next frame appears in a small red window on the camera back. This takes at least 30 secs. In the same period, my digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) can rip through 50 or 60 pictures. You can't capture rapid movement with these cameras so there is no point in trying and you begin to concentrate on the details of what is in front of you - perhaps seeing it for the first time.
I'm looking forward to the experience.
Ipernity, the new photosharing site I am moving to, also includes provision for a blog (alongside video and audio files). So far it shows no sign of turning into a Myspace or YouTube clone. My blog space ay ipernity will I think also be devoted primarily to photography. This post, about my personal involvement in photography over the years, recycles various bits and pieces already blogged or published in some way.