The best view in town…

the best view in town

For a number of reasons I’ve been in a bit of a creative funk for the last couple of months. One way that I’ve used to break out of that stale place was to dig out an old 35mm film camera that I’ve had stashed in a box for years. It was originally a hand-me-down from one of my brothers, back in the day. The Asahi Pentax SP1000 was originally introduced in 1974. The copy that I have uses a Takumar 1:2/55mm lens. Fortunately it hadn’t been stored with the battery in it, so there wasn’t any corrosion in the battery compartment from a leaking battery. It took a couple of trips to different shops to find a suitable replacement battery, since the original batteries used in the Spotmatics contained mercury and are no longer sold. If I’d done a bit of on-line researching beforehand, I would have found that alternatives are available and it might have saved me some gas.

So after putting the battery in and confirming that the needle on the light meter seemed to respond to light, I loaded up some Ilford FP4 film and went out for a walk around the canal in downtown. It felt odd at first to walk around, taking pictures, without pausing after each one to chimp the shot. After a while though I just gave in to the almost zen-like simplicity of it.

iron gates

Growing up I never got the hang of photography, because there wasn’t the feedback loop of being able to look at the exif data for each photo to learn what worked and what didn’t. Too much time and too many rolls of film with only one photo out of the entire roll that looked any good, and no idea at all of why that one turned out. Of course I never had the self-discipline to take notes on every single photo I took. It’s taken a solid year of taking pictures with a digital SLR to give me enough knowledge of shutter speed, f/stops, photo composition, for me to have the skills to take an old-school 35mm SLR out for a spin and take photos that I’m satisfied with.

No chimping allowed, and I got several shots out of a roll of 36 that I’m happy with.


~ by Dave on 02/12/08.

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