6 months without getting the film camera out was finally over – between work, study and small children, my hobbies had taken a back seat. I hit the streets of Melbourne with my Nikon FM2n, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D lens, Hoya Y(K2) filter and a roll of JCH StreetPan 400. It was a roll I had been saving up and it seemed like now or never. I had shot a roll previously and enjoyed the deep blacks and high contrast. Tramping the streets of Melbourne with a camera in hand is always fun.
It became apparent quickly that I was out of practice. In all sorts of ways – subject matter, framing, focusing, shutter speed, aperture, it all takes practice. And remembering what I like: geometry, light, contrast. I bought the Nikon FM2n in 2015 to learn how to take a photo while being responsible for all the settings.
The real lessons, of course, arrive with the scans. I use Hillvale in Melbourne to develop and scan. One day I hope to do my own black and white development but that is an adventure for another day. A number of shots didn’t work out – learning about backlight, focusing, and composing the hard way!
Street photography always pushes me to learn and, if I want a portrait, to interact with people. It’s really different from landscape photography where I have as much time as I want to compose a shot. In the street, moments come and go; and I can see in these shots that it was the ones where I took my time to get it right.
Enough shots worked out well enough and close enough to how I imagined them that I’ve got the bug again. Now I just need to find an afternoon where I can disappear with my camera into the streets of Melbourne…
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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