I’ve always been fascinated by optics. I think old cameras and microscopes and lenses are really interesting. So when I found a 1952 Kodak Retinette model 017 camera to use, I was ecstatic. The camera is really interesting – it has a hatch in the front that opens to reveal and simultaneously extend the lens, which has a visible bellows behind it. Every step of the process that goes into taking pictures is manual, including a lever that must be cocked back before every shot (this may be a common feature on fully-mechanical cameras even today but, as I have never attempted film-based photography until now I am not sure). I decided to go out into the city and take some pictures to try it out. I gave myself only one rule: I could only take every shot once. No taking two or three or five versions of the same shot to pick out the best like I’d normally do. This time I had to trust my photographic abilities to make the best image possible. I think I did fairly well.
Ok, no, I’m not a photographer now. But I am taking a photography class as part of my major and, as such, have been taking a ridiculous amount of photos during the last few weeks. I am pretty pleased with how things are going thus far. I wouldn’t consider myself to be the next Ansel Adams, but I feel like I’m holding my own well enough. And if I’m wrong, at least I have all of my other digital art to fall back on.