Monday, June 6, 2011

Inspiration at the Abby

My photo group went to the Mt. Angel Abby on Sunday. I shot less than 30 images on my digital camera. My intent with this shoot was to shoot film. A friend of mine, Merlin, was heading back to Afghanastan and he left me his Pentax K1000 with a half a dozen rolls of film. One of the rolls is an ISO 3200 roll which I am saving for a special undisclosed purpose. My lens choices on the K1000 are limited to a 50mm prime and a 70-120mm macro. I love prime lenses so I doubt that I will ever snap the zoom on.

One of my intents with film is to gain an appreciation of shooting with intent, thanks to Nathan. Don't snap it unless I mean it. In an effort to understand the cost of shooting film and shooting digital, I did some research and found that with my digital camera, it costs me $0.02 per shutter click over the lifetime of the camera. That $0.02 includes body cost (150,000 rated shutter actuations), memory card cost (assuming I lose one, or drop in the toilet), lens cost and the cost of charging the batteries. It was very scientific calculation and while $0.02 per click of the shutter doesn't sound like a lot, especially compared to film, it can add up. So if I shoot 10000 "Not Good" images over the course of a year that equates to $200 per year thrown away. I know there are better things I can do with $200 a year, how about you. 

Anyone not familiar with the K1000, I will say this... it is full manual. Manual aperture, shutter and focus. I spent a lot of time focusing on making sure the exposure was right. I spent a lot of time making sure the depth of field is what I wanted. I spent a lot of time making sure my focus was dead on. I spent a lot of time prepping for the shot and ended up only shooting 15 exposures. Next weekend I plan on shooting an entire roll of film and no digital. I want to slow down and film is going to help me do this and help me be a better photographer. I did have to laugh at myself that day. After each shot, like I do with any new camera I work with, I looked at the back of the camera to review the image. Laughter came after each shot as I re-realized, looking at the back of the camera, that this wasn't digital. Yup, I laughed outloud each time... and it was frequent all the way to the fifteenth shutter click.

So I didn't burn through the whole role of film, which means I have more to shoot before I can share those image, but once I shoot through the roll, I will get it developed and then scan the negatives with my new (used) negative scanner I got from Michael of

Inspiration was abundant as always at the Abby. This time I was more reserved with what I actually shot than my previous trips. In previous trips, I was so overwhelmed with the plethora of subjects to pick from I was intent on shooting everything. Thanks to a seed my good friend Nathan Smith planted a while ago, this time I went with an intent... textures, minimalism and perspectives. This shot incorporates both texture and perspective... gotta love those clouds.
I have always loved this door, but I just now figured out how to shoot it and more importantly, how to process it.

I am so tired of shooting flowers, but alas, this is my first Lily.. so I had to shoot it... and I chose to go minimalist on it. I was pleased with the results.

Again, film results coming soon so stay tuned. My goal is make Merlin proud... but not with this first roll. This was a test to get acclimated to film again and I truly don't expect the results to be anything but haphazard chaos theory put into practice. But I am still hopeful.  


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