I found a contact strip of photos my father took the the other day. Images on it of my family house in Leura and the jumper I am wearing help my family date it to 1975. Give or take a year or three I suspect.
There I am with dad's black Olympus OMD-1 and the macro lens photographing a cricket on a log. Wanting that black camera became a little obsession. I think dad knew how much I wanted it, yet gave me a silver one, and I was only ever allowed to borrow the black one. That black camera was my first camera fetish. Something I couldn't have, yet wanted so desperately. I would always put the bw film in her, the colour in the silver body. Despite being identical except for the finish, I always believed I took better photos with her.
I now realise how important camera love is to me, when taking photos. I have to love my camera so much it gets out of the way. Just in the same way as I have to trust it enough so that I can get out of its way.
Last week I used two cameras side by side. My current digital and it's earlier younger sister. In four months my favorite camera lost its friendship with me, as I settled into my latest one. You move on. It will really have to be relegated as spare as now I have lost my familiarity with her she can't be my second shooter.
I keep picking up my film cameras. For group shoots they have been so so important. They change my audience. They change me. It isn't something that I will want to let go of.
But for the moment I am going to have to. Waiting months before films return isn't healthy. Regular practice talking to my old friends isn't possible, so I start to lose touch with them. For me large format film requires regular and constant practice.
I currently don't have the time or the energy.
So it is time to put them aside for a while. Put down film for a while.
Embrace digital, the freedom and the power.
I do love digital photography. I originally started to learn as that was what my photography students use. I had to become an expert. It took years and years and years. I started to use a digital camera in 2000, it wasn't until 2011 that I really started to get it. And another few years to really start to fall in love with it.
It is digital black and white that stirs my passion, and my latest lover facilitates that so well. She sees in black and white. She even sees in sepia with my orange filter on.
She sees what I can't. Well, she sees what I used to have to imagine.
Life is easier with her.
I love her dearly.
She even looks like that first black camera I loved when I was nine. Has the same name on her too... No wonder I am happy with her.
So it is time to give film a hiatus for a while.
I don't know for how long dear friend...
You were good to me.
You taught me discipline and care.
You taught me how to see.
How to relax...
How to find my self..
How to listen to myself..
You made me good.
You changed my subjects.
You will be missed.
I will have to work harder to replace your spectacular and formidable presence.
For many things I will always be grateful...
I will never forget you, and I will be back for you one day..
But for now dear friend it is time to give you a rest...