I know my hometown very well. How often have I not walked up to the hill, the graveyard or the nearby woods?
Almost every Saturday I go shopping and do so on foot. I see how the streets change. An old house demolished or a shop that closes its doors, everything is alive, everything is constantly moving.
These days it takes longer though before a closed shop finds a new owner or before the newly build apartments are sold or rented. Financial crisis is lurking everywhere.
Long are gone the days I took my camera with me while roaming my neighborhood. I’ve seen it all and my third eye, my digital camera, is no help in finding the wonderment I’m missing and trying to find again.
Using another camera and film and limiting myself to black & white has changed the way I look at this small world of mine.
At last I find myself discovering my surroundings again and in a whole new way. I look in awe and notice details that eluded me before or never got my attention.
When I decide to capture it I do so consciously.
Light is measured and I try to imagine how a given aperture will change the depth of field. I look at how light falls on my subject and its delicate ballet with the shadows.
The viewfinder is carefully scrutinized so there is no dissonant in my composition. Yes, I try to use the whole negative. I do not want to crop or whatever.
I want to do it right from the first time.
That is what photography should be.
Capturing the world with your eye, dissecting and analyzing it, using your compositional skills and craftsmanship.
It feels so good when I arrive at that decisive moment when I know everything is in place.
I press the shutter button.
Savoring that short moment when mechanics take over. The mirror is brought up, the curtain opens and the aperture blades move to the opening you have set. Then light touches the silver halide on the film and your image has been conceived.
Afterwards, after 36 of those intense moments, ah the pleasure of finally being able to deliver your creations.
To rediscover what you have seen in your mind’s eye a day, a week or a month ago.
Yes, this is what film photography means to me.