Friday, January 5, 2018

Photo Friday: Black & White Project

So, here's the deal:

Last year's photo project was, for me, a colossal task, one that got me to think up a new subject each day for 365 days. Some, were good: others, not so much.

Since New Year's Eve, I haven't picked up my D-SLR. I'm planning to send my Nikon body away, to be cleaned, and I haven't decided when I'm going to use it again. I'm sure it won't be too long, but I have no plans when using it will be a major requirement.

In November and December, I noticed that some of my social-media friends had taken up various black-and-white photography challenges. Some took photos every day for one week; others, for 100 days; some brave souls, for a year. Most of these challenges had no explanation to accompany the photo: it was simply an image for others to observe and admire.

I don't want to take a photo every day, not even for as little as seven days. But I like the idea of capturing an image and displaying it with no explanation.

Not today, however.

Earlier, in 2017, I came across a camera that I learned belonged to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Stuart. It was found in a box of darkroom equipment that had belonged to his father but had been given to me after his passing. When I learned of the camera's origins, I promised Stu that I would return it to him, but that I had hoped to run a roll of film through it because I had never used such a camera, before.

It's a Ricoh 500 G rangefinder camera. It's basically a point-and-shoot camera but is not automatic. You must select the aperture and shutter speed, and you must manually focus your subject by using the rangefinder, which aligns bars when your subject is in focus.

I gave the camera a cleaning, replaced its battery (which operates the light meter), and loaded it with black-and-white, C-41 process film. Although the film is without colour, it can be processed in any machine that processes 35mm colour film.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to go through that roll of film and will hopefully capture some images that are worth sharing. But because it could take some time before I receive the processed images, I plan to bring another camera along.

I have another point-and-shoot camera, but this one is digital. I bought my first digital camera in 2003, in time for the birth of my second child. Since then, I have bought several compact digital cameras, as resolution improved and more features became available. I bought my last compact camera around the time that I bought my first D-SLR, in December of 2008.

My secondary camera, for the next while, is a Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS, a 10-megapixel device that can fit within the screen of my smartphone and is about twice as thick. I can easily tuck this camera into any pocket, and go.

I'll use the Ricoh to capture images that may or may not be used after the film is developed. The Canon will be used to capture other images, that will be used as part of my black-and-white project. I will share the best image, each week, on Friday, for the rest of the year.

Fifty-two images: I can handle that.

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