Rollieflex: A first look

(NOTE: These photos are film photos digitally scanned)….

April 14 was the first view of my classic Rollieflex. It is a beauty and is teaching me more about photography. Let me elaborate….

The last few years I have learned how to compose using a variety of digital cameras. My first and still favorite is my Olympus micro 4/3 pen. It takes a beautiful picture – consistently. I take it everywhere with me. It is dependable, fits in any bag I am carrying, is reliable and I love using it with a pancake lens. It was my first camera received it as a gift from CF. A few years back I upgraded to the newer addition and now my friend Tessa is using the original – with CF’s blessing of course. I can’t think of something more joyous than seeing someone begin a journey inspired by yours. Sharing the camera with her is just the cherry on top.

Then, I think I would have to choose my Nikon. I love the weight and feel of the camera. It is like a great marriage – you discover something new each time you go out. And it too takes a beautiful picture. It isn’t as portable as the Olympus but makes clicks and whirls that engage all my senses. I am envious of how well Peter has mastered the camera with will and purpose each time he shoots. It inspires me and I want to learn more.

Then there is the Rollie. It is beautifully crafted inside and out. This past week I saw it’s impressive and beautiful interior. Isn’t it wonderful when goodness runs through and through. I was shy with it at first, intimidated by the dials and the viewfinder. Everything is reversed and it is oddly discomforting to shoot from the hip. This I find to be Every shot is a thought – purposeful in its composition, lighting and execution. There is an economy when each roll of film has only 12 shots. It is an intentional exercise.

You have to want to shoot film. The first foray required two trips to the developer with the result a roll of negatives and a CD of the shots. I am pretty pleased with the results. All told 5 of 36 shots were ones I would be proud to show. Both Peter and I agree that is a pretty good ratio. I am particularly pleased with the street shot of the girls tearing down the stairs. I think it captures their energy and spirit and would be something John Minihan (see post 3.3.2013) would like. Next, to print and send to him with a beautifully written note. I think the note will thank him for introducing me to my new friend, for inspiring me to go deeper, and for the lasting impression one afternoon made.

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