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Friday, September 9, 2011

Using Vintage Film Cameras

My Aunty in Africa just to the right of Person who I believe is Baden Powell the founder of the scouting movement.Note photographer with what looks like a twin lens reflex on the right but may not be.
Old cameras are a passion of mine.

These days vintage seems to be a term that can be applied to cameras that were in regular use not all that long ago and have been usurped by Digital Technology.
It also can mean cameras 50,60,70, 80 years or more old.
Some of the reasons I think using vintage and/ or film cameras is a great experience are below.
Probably taken on Box Brownie.My Grandfather with a hand mower. I still use a modern version of one of these.The Lawn Mower that is.I have some box brownies that still operate and I believe you can adapt 120 film to use in them.

The generation that I belong to were mainly sparse users of photography. It is mainly our parents or our children who have been more into it.

The equivalent impact of photography when I was a young adult  to today's compact digital cameras was the Kodak Instamatic which was really not much different to the Box Brownies of my parents day as far as technology goes.

So, using these old cameras.

Thinking about what you are doing brings a more considered approach to you composition.
It’s a challenge to compete with newer technology to show that it is not the technology but the photographer’s skill that counts

To me there is a greater sense of satisfaction and achievement when you are taking complete control of the camera
The simplicity of the operation of a basic camera but what can be achieved is wonderful.
They feel so satisfying to hold and use.

The photographer who has inspired me the most, as I have progressed as a photographer ,apart from my Dad. and he used very large glass plate cameras on huge tripods almost a 100 years ago, was Darius Kinsey.
He was part of an amazing husband and wife team.

 Darius and Tabitha Kinsey.
A husband and wife team who left an amazing legacy of their photography in Washington State a 100 years ago. There are some amazing coffee table books you can get of their work.
Darius specialised in the logging camps of Washington State,their trains and their people.
His wife used to develop the photos in their own darkroom.
He was also a very good marketer of his business.
I believe his work should be studied as a part of any college or university photography course.

Give youself a treat and log on as below.

Below are some of the things we should know as photographers but lots of cameras now do all this for you.

Correct Exposure
Shutter speed
film speed
Lens speed
Focal length
Light meters

Working out focus from a depth of field scale.
Using an independent rangefinder.
Using a hand held lightmeter.
All of these are part of the fun of using vintage film cameras.

Vintage School Photography. 1928

Possibly official defence force photo 2nd world war

Somewhere in the UK.

This photos still has impact, I think taken in Africa

My Mum on the left when she was a teenager

From the 1940's
Get hold of some old cameras and get into it.

All of these photos from family collection.They are copyrighted to our family.

I have developed a course on using Vintage Film Cameras if any locals want to do it with me.

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