hasselblad fridays: beginning photography (and some other cool stuff)

I got my first roll of film from the Hasselblad back. 

As you might recall, I mentioned earlier this week that I've been feeling frustrated with the exercise in patience that using this film camera is -- and when I finally took the film to the lab, the guy behind the counter took it from my hand, looked at it and said, "Huh.  Well, you didn't wind this tightly enough, so it's likely going to be pretty foggy.  I just want to warn you."

Of course.

But I got the roll back yesterday, and while 3 of the 12 images were completely useless (note to self: wind tighter), the other 9 images were relatively fine, and a few of them were even pretty good!  The photographs that you see on this post are from this first roll (the image above is, technically-speaking, my favourite, because the focus is perfect; although there are admittedly other aspects of it that I wish I could tweak).  In general, I'm pretty comfortable with how these turned out, all things considered.  More or less, I mean.

Now that I've seen the results of my first shots, what I'm finding really interesting is that this entire process -- from learning to load the camera all the way to sharing the images with you right here, right now -- makes me feel like I'm learning photography all over again. And there's something lovely about this.  After a while, when you've been doing something long enough, it starts to feel like second-nature, and sometimes, eventually, a bit stale.  Shooting this way, with a brand new camera, and using film instead of digital, feels fresh and new (patience issues notwithstanding).  And it's sort of fun to be learning something all over again, you know?

Anyway, for the foreseeable future, while I get more comfortable with this camera, I'll probably be sharing shots with you on Fridays.  Don't expect them all to be winners -- I'm learning, and I want to show you where I'm struggling as well -- but hopefully the practice of shooting and sharing will help me get to a point where I'm confident.


For example, I love the colour and exposure in the image of Alex, above, but the focus is just wrong:  normally I like to focus right on the eyes, and here, it looks like the focus is more on the hairline by her left ear.


I know:  let's pretend I was being all artistic, and really, what I was trying to say here was something like "The 7-year-old's posed smile masks the angst and ennui currently being experienced by her left ear."

Or something.


Surprisingly, I was not drunk when I took this photograph.  Nor was I in a boat in rough seas.  I just apparently can't figure out how to hold a film camera straight so that vertical lines are vertical.

But again, no! This is art!  Because this represents ... um... how we look to our close friends to ... um... help us find... balance?

Yeah.  Balance.


Anyway, as I said, I'm actually pretty okay with these images, considering they're my first ones.  (I wouldn't have been surprised if none of the images came out!)  We'll see how I do in upcoming weeks, as I find my footing with this camera.  More soon, friends.


* * * * * * *

In other news (and to distract you from staring at that wonky picture above), before I finished the week out, I wanted to share a couple of really fantastic videos with you.

The first is by Ronnie Butler, an actor and a poet.  His video, below, expresses everything I've been feeling lately about the internet, television, and media in general, except in a far more eloquent, brilliant, inspiring way than I could ever be capable of.  In fact, when Alex is old enough, I'm going to make her watch this.  Hell, I might make her memorize it.

(Quick warning:  while the words are definitely G-rated, a few of the images are saucy.  You're probably okay watching this at work -- the images flash by pretty quickly -- but if you have any young ones with keen eyes nearby, you might want to wait until later to watch this.)


My second video is the song of the day, shared with me by a new friend, Mike Gebremedhin.  Mike is a really great guy I met last year while I was in Kenya (he works in public health communications with one of the organizations we visited), and he's a solid photographer himself.  We've kept in Twitter touch -- and yesterday, he introduced me to the band in the video below, called Just a Band.  In fact, he described the lead singer on this song, "Have You Seen Her?", as "honey-voiced," and I say he's dead on.  I love this song.  In fact, I bought the album.


(Another quick warning:  for reasons that are unclear to me, there's an airhorn at the end of this video.  So at the end of the song when the guy starts talking again, you might want to go ahead and stop the video before it gets to that rather shocking part.)


Finally, two quick reminders:

  • As always, all the things I've been grateful for this week are over at Babble.  Please take a gander; and
  • If you're inclined to start a photographic gratitude practice with me (and do some good at the same time), please go check out gratitude.2012.  I'd love to have you.  The first official newsletter goes out on Monday.

And on that note, have a great weekend, everyone.