I am in the flattering, but immensely awkward position of having someone presume that I know enough about film photography, to be able impart information for them.
I am in the immensely awkward position of realising that my ego is vast enough to jump to a slightest hint of flattery.
I vowed I’d never write a “Film Photography for People who are Interested” post. Yet, here I am. The next few posts of this blog will be me, trying to tell ‘you’, what I know of film photography. I have no idea how to better do this, and I’m still not sure that I do, other than share my own journey and ill advised prejudices.
Let’s be clear, the utter fruit who asked me to write this post, can really take photos - see the title image of this post, so I am not going to even consider artistic direction. Let’s proceed.
Start with a Baldamatic I What else was I ever going to advise? My deep love affair with the Baldamatic I is welldocumentedindeed. The humble Baldamatic I is in my opinion, the world’s greatest camera. Carry it everywhere: expose (match the needles), focus (match the images) and fire.
No really. If you don’t have a case for it, wrap it in a tenugui cloth and carry it everywhere. The Baldamatic is small and light enough to go anywhere, and cute enough to win hearts.
But when you take a photo with it, remember the depth of beauty that the old german glass is going to give you, and that the particular photo you just took cost at least £0.60, and you wont see it until its developed, printed and or scanned. Just mull on that.
When you get that first Baldamatic film back, however, congratulations, you just freebased awesome. I would suggest, that for the freebasing ever, one may wish to start with black and white.
Now, here is where the advice gets multifaceted.
I went ahead and started to buy many cameras. But not as many as my idol: Bracket
I’ve read excellent advice that says “stick with one camera, one exact type of film and one lens”. I would tend to agree, learn the foibles and features of one combination until you’re taking photos without even needing to think
But, I would agree with myself on one thing, you need to go…
Fully Manual [Loud sigh] The Baldamatic I is a grand dame of a camera indeed. But she is the point and shoot of her day. You need to go fully manual. You need to embrace apertures, enclasp shutter speeds and caress light meter readings.
To do that, you’ll need to find yourself a fully manual camera. There is a long and distinguished list to choose from, but I am, of course, biased to the Olympus OM1. But while you’re rattling off Ilford FP4 125, trust me, enjoy some serious camera-porn to whet your appetite. See you in Part Deux.