This is not a point of stunning originality, but film cameras are good for your soul. The light in this covered arcade is lousy. The plastic and glass diffuses whatever thin midday sun there is, and turns everything grey. But here and there there are gaps in the roof and if you wait for the clouds to blow over, you can watch as the shoppers are suddenly revealed in beautiful gold before disappearing back into the fog. These are the places to stand and wait if you have the patience.
Of course, if you have a digital camera you can fiddle with your settings, fire off half a dozen shots and check them all on the little LCD screen on the back. But what if you only have one frame left on your roll of film? What if your film is too slow for the conditions and you have to shoot wide open at 1/30 with a steady hand and then wait to find out if it was steady enough? That’s not to say there is no skill in digital photography. In fact most of the time I think the only reason my photos are any good is because my film and cameras are good. But there is a certain satisfaction in ‘making’ an image given only one chance, one shot, and it turning out as you had pictured it in your own mind. I am very much a hobby photographer.
I can’t really ‘do’ anything with this picture. I can’t sell it, and I am not going to display it in a gallery to great acclaim. Probably, very few people will actually see it. Isn’t it fun, though, to gather rolls of film in the fridge, and when you have enough to take them to the shop, and to come back later to collect the negatives, and flick through the contact sheets feverishly to see how close you got this time…?
Mamiya C330 / Kodak Ektar 100