The other day I was out in the back garden on a lovely sunny day, and I thought it a good idea to take some snaps of the cat. As you do.
So, I get my D40, the kit lens, and off I go.
Set modes, point at cat, fire, look at results. "Damn! Overexposed!" Okay, start again with a bit of exp. compensation.
"Hmm. Still not quite there. A bit more I think"
Try again. Not bad, but white balance is way off.
Go into WB menu, tweak it manually, try again. By this time the cat's moved and I have to start again because it's now sitting in the shade. So on goes the speedlight for a bit of fill flash.... Damn! It's off again! Now back into the sunlight.Grrr...
What I'm getting at is that back in the days before about 2004, when all I had was 35mm film, I don't ever remember having to p**s about like this to get decent photographs.
I would just load the film, set the ISO once, point and fire. The camera took care of all the rest and it was nearly always spot on.
And this wasn't some clever camera either, just a Minolta AF Compact. I bought it in 1986 for £65 and it was my main camera until 2004. None of this upgrading every two years business.
Even if I used an SLR it was just as easy. After all, a film camera does one thing, and that's to open a hole to let light through for a specified amount of time. That's it. That's all it does. No White Balance, no editing, no nothing.
As long as you've got the same lens on there then as far as I can tell there'll be no difference between a picture shot with a basic plastic SLR and one taken with a professional one. (Assuming manual focus, etc)
"Ah, but you can shoot loads more pictures with digital" people say.
Yeah, you can. Because you have to! I probably junk 90% of the stuff I take. Good shots are few and far between. I took 25 pictures of the cat. There was only one that I was happy with.
When I used film I kept almost everything, because film made you think about what you were shooting. You'd see the image in your head, set it up and then take it. Because each shot cost you money to process.
Sure, you'd get the odd one with someone's thumb in it, or a bus coming between you and your view. But it was very, very rare for the reason for junking it to be the fault of the camera.
The tendency with digitals is just to machine-gun away in rapid-fire for frame upon frame in the hope that you might "Luck out" and that one of them might be possibly converted into a half-decent picture if you spend enough time and effort messing about in P-Shop afterwards.
I went on holiday to Italy in the 80s once. I thought it was a real expedition because I came home with 3 rolls of film to develop. Three whole rolls! About a hundred frames taken in two weeks.
And you know what? They were nearly all great! I got the prints back, passed them around family and friends, then put them in an album which is still on my shelf not twenty feet away as I write this.
People today will blaze away and take literally thousands of JPEGs on a holiday. Then, when they get home, they'll transfer them onto a back-up drive. And there they'll sit, because the prospect of sifting through that much data and then selecting, tweaking and printing off some hard copies is just too much effort when there's stuff to watch on your SkyHD or something else equally pressing and demanding of our time.
My impression is that the more technology we own, the less we do something useful with it. The great "Banksy" said (with reference to the state of modern art):
"Never in Human history was so much used by so many to say so little"
I think that applies just as well to modern cameras.
This summer I'm resolved to going "Back to the Future" and getting out my 35mm again. Especially now that you can get them processed and scanned at high resolution onto a disc for very little cost.
I'm also going to buy myself a Canon AE-1 Program or maybe a Nikon FE and spend more time taking great pictures and less time d*cking about with buttons and menus.
Phew! I feel better after all that. ;-)
EDIT: Saturday 22nd May:
Bought one! A mint condition Canon AE-1 Program from 1982 newly refurbished with new light seals and mirror box cushions. Including the original 50mm f/1.8 lens. Less than £70 on the auction site. Should be good for another 30 years easily!
Recent discussions in the photography discussion forum (778 discussions)
|Film Corner - JUST film, not digital.||2872||14 days ago|
|Vivitar 100mm f3.5 macro 1:2||7||8 Dec 2016|
|canon cashback problem||50||8 Oct 2016|
|How to refund the VAT tax?||6||17 Aug 2016|
|Amusing photographic adverts and comments.....||143||6 Jul 2016|
|The Cumbria Photography Show - Exhibitors wanted||1||12 Jun 2016|
|Japan trip with Sony A7||1||19 Feb 2016|
|Canon FD accessories||3||29 Jan 2016|
|Grey imports on Amazon||66||11 Dec 2015|
|Telephoto lens for wildlife photography||2||26 Jul 2015|
|Wireless storage||3||8 Jul 2015|
|Upgrade from Adobe Elements 7 to.......?||4||18 Jun 2015|