My favorite camera. let me qualify that for a moment: My favorite camera right now… is the Hasselbald 500 CM. I like it because in my completely automated world i am able to unwind and use something that is completely manual. When i shoot with it i really feel like i am capturing the image as opposed to being the operator, tripod, “button pusher” for my otherwise fully automated DSLR camera. When i take what i would consider an exceptional photograph i know that it was me, my efforts that made it possible. Not that the DSLR is all bad but it is designed to help me not fail as a photographer.
My father is a pretty much a scratch golfer. He uses golf clubs that are very unforgiving with a small “sweet spot” he calls them “blades.” They have thin metal heads and there is little margin for error. However because they are not calibrated for forgiveness they can be specifically made for success. This is the way i see my Hasselblad. When i use it i am directly responsible for the success of the images it produces, with it i can create a world class image unsurpassed by any currently available digital SLR Camera however unlike my DSLR, if i botch a shot it is botched. Also, the fact that i don’t know if it’s botched until i get back and develop my film. This forces me to improve my craft everyday if i wish to improve.
In todays world where we are trying hard everyday to remove the chance from our endeavors it has become more and more important to me that i really learn about my craft and force myself to not rely on the automation. For an example, when was the last time you added more than 3 numbers together in your head that didn’t end in 0’s? Most people (me included) rely completely on calculators to process numbers for us. There was a time not long ago that people performed math operations in their head but we as a people no longer have to do that due to technology. That is great, however what do we do when the battery is dead on our calculator? (I hope you don’t just give up but that instead you break out a pencil and paper, don’t forget to carry the one!)
I was reading on a friend of mine’s blog the other day and he was talking about how most of us practice our hobbies as often as we can however the people that really excel at their hobbies practice every day. What is the longest run you have done where your have shot every day? I know i have not gone an entire week without shooting, but it has been a long long time since i have shot every day in a week. That is what my goal is for this week. To stop and use my fully manual camera to shoot with every day this week. I hope to go through about 5 or 6 rolls of 120 HP5 before next sunday. How about you? What are you going to do to practice your photography “swing” this week?
Better get out to the driving rang to practice your craft, and if you haven’t yet, you should get an old film camera and see how good your swing is without those fancy “new clubs” that you can shank and still be in the fairway.