52 cameras 52 weeks…Taking stock!
I hold my hand up, I do have a problem with G.A.S! I want EVERYTHING! It explains why this marathon project appealed, however there was always the end goal of my learning something about myself and where I was happy to take my photography. I am just typing away here with no planned text so forgive my ramblings, I just want to write it down as a constant reminder to control my enthusiasm! Here are some conclusions I have reached as to how I see what I do over the last dozen or so weeks and life in general after.
I already kind of know what set of cameras I think will fill my bag. Apart from a few fun or interestingly quirky ones most will challenge present thoughts if only to affirm my choices. At any time I want in my bag the following – My Pentax Me Super, I just cannot see me not having it to be honest! For 35mm it does everything I want and has personal meaning. The Zeiss Ikoflex is now my favourite TLR, the Yashica 124g is better in many ways but little Ike tugs my heart strings while making me work hard to get good pictures. I see the failed Bronica s2 replacing the Yashica, same format but as an SLR it gives me a different perspective and I just love how it feels in my hand. 2 cameras I hope will feature in the final weeks that I am also, along will the Brony hoping to persuade Russell to let me adopt, first is a Kodak 3a red bellows which with 6x12 frame size makes for a really interesting format and I just love the big arsed folder! Finally, the labour of love since it died back along – The R.B. Graflex 6x9. I hope it will be week 52 but there is much work to do. It has got deep under my skin though.
I am pretty much now sure I am going to concentrate on black & white, primarily Ilford’s with FP4+ as the mainstay and HP5 and PanF filling in either side. This makes perfect sense to me in my attempts to learn the zone system, perfect my development work and take it through to wet printing. I will still shoot and develop colour for budget reasons till the project is finished, but after that I will be using it sparingly and sending to labs for what I think will be more consistent less stressful results. That’s not to say I won’t still play around with old stock occasionally.
FORMAT & COMPOSITION
Format is clear from the above, I see 35mm for fun family stuff and those quick snappy shots while 6x6 & 6x9, 6x12 too as my solid photographic work. Using these to capture my growing attraction to my surrounding landscape seem favourable to me. I live in an area very much dominated by man’s encroachment on nature and natures fight back, it makes for stunning composures I have yet to do justice too. I the sea, the city and rolling moorland, I see a future of slow tripod work and that excites me! Large format is an itch I want to scratch and will eventually fall into place but my setup isn’t ready for that just yet.
WHAT NEXT THEN?
Presently I am trying to do too much, the exploring of gear and my love for vintage cameras satisfied by this project, coupled with trying to forward my own work and join in the many fun projects in the wider film community are time consuming, normal life stuff is affected sometimes So, I will be combining them altogether, I will be shooting less and hopefully with more meaning and quality.