A Year of Film – Yashica Mat EM

I have to admit, I wasn’t keen on this camera at first. The lady, who develops my film at the camera shop, Hillary, offered her to me. And I was excited because she was taken care of and pretty. Those should be reasons to buy a camera, no? So I walked off with her one Spring day. My first roll was less than successful, namely, I had no idea what I was doing. Those important functions such as ISO and aperture went unnoticed in my book and my photos wound up being overexposed. So Hillary, took the time to show me a few things. I’d say that is one of the best things about “mom and pop” shops, the customer service you get. And that is why I travel to this shop every moment I have film to be developed.

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But I kept with it and even though I didn’t like it as much as my Diana, I used it every once in awhile. I thought it was too crisp, the images were too perfect for me after using a plastic camera for a few months. But then things changed and I started using it more.

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And I began to use different films: Ilford 3200, Kodak Portra 400NC (fave) and others. 

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And yes, it is my favorite camera to date. It goes with me everywhere and I find it’s quite the conversation piece, that people aren’t afraid of me when I am shooting candid shots at the local market. Except one cheese monger who shall remain nameless. 

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I was fortunate because the camera is equipped with a workable light meter. The downfall is the camera is limited up to 400 speed films. Anything beyond that and you are guessing the aperture and speed on your own. But the pictures are crisp and lovely and even though I wasn’t keen about this at first, it all depends on the type of film you use. I think she will be with me a long time. And even though a Hassleblad is something I have longed for for two years, this camera does so well, it almost seems silly to want another medium format camera that would practically do the same thing. I said silly, but not illogical.

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Happy New Year! Thanks for visiting me.

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A Year of Film – Ms. Diana

I bought my Diana camera in October, last year. I had no idea how to use it and it sat in a box for about a four months before I gained the courage to try it. My first roll of film surprised me. The fact that it came out was a feat in itself. But the dream-like quality, the nostalgia in each picture, made me love it. And I was hooked.

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Using this type of camera causes one to be more aware of distance and light. Something digital tends to take care of on its own. You are more aware of what you are photographing, knowing you have 12 shots and no ability to delete what you don’t like. Every time I brought my rolls of film to the shop, I was so excited to see what would come back. The wait would sometimes kill me. And when I would walk in the door of that shop, to pick up my photos, I was giddy, never wasting a moment to tear open that envelope before leaving, to see what was there.

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Oh, when I would look at those prints, there would be moments of amazement with my results.

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And often times, contentment with what I caught. The clarity, the blur, the memory of a moment I may of forgotten about. I have to say, this little purchase surprised me. I think it made me a better photographer and opened a new world to me. Medium format wasn’t something I was familiar with. And I admit, I am still learning. But now it’s like second nature to pack my Yashica in my bag. Leaving my digital happily at home.

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Winter

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I think I am ready for winter this year. There is something needed and therapeutic about the slowing down, the sparseness, that I need after the holiday madness. Even more so because I am a mom. So this winter I vow to take pictures of the white and the beauty that it gives. With that trusty Yashica Mat.

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