It's no secret I am a fan of the camera. Have been since grade school when my dad put a twin-lens reflex box camera in my hand. I still have that one, which was old when he gave it to me. The thing is, "old" then still meant "good quality." It's a great camera even now, with good optics. Maybe I'll give it a whirl again for old time's sake, provided I can still find film for it. Yikes... it has been long enough now that film almost seems like a dangerous thing.
In college and one state job I had, I ruined enough film in the darkroom to know that I was not cut out for processing. Getting the film wrapped on reels to process in little canisters was a skill that was bestowed on others. I was all thumbs and managed to stick the film together too often, ruining the images it might have held.
So I trusted, for the most part, my film to processing labs. Most of the time I was happy with that, but I do recall a few times when my anger exploded at finding a particular frame or two punctured by the lab's machines with an ID code or something equally maddening. (July 4, 1984, Empire State Building, lit up in red, white and blue lights. Taken from my rooftop garden at Third and Lexingon. Yes, I'm still bitter ... why do you ask?)
I've converted to digital, nearly exclusively, over the past few years. Yes, I still appreciate a fine film photograph and the artistry and mastery that goes into that work. But there is a freedom in digital that brings me pure joy.
I'm still figuring out the capabilities of this medium and now I'm working on learning about lighting. Since I have a little time for myself this week, I am planning to set aside a portion of that to study my camera and flash equipment some more and see if I can't improve my work with those. See, I still think in film terms, but it's a bit like going from a manual typewriter to a laptop and expecting the paper to come out the top. It doesn't quite work the same way.
I also have some studio lights and finally had a chance to play with those last night while shooting some photos of my friend, her son and his girlfriend. The reason for the shoot was to say goodbye to her old home, the place where she raised her son. They are moving on -- he to college, she to a new life in a new home, with a wedding in the near future to someone she loves very much, who loves her very much.
Here's a sneak preview. Shhh. It's a secret -- y'all are getting to see this before she does. It's part of a work I am creating as a present.