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Last weekend I took the Rolleiflex, loaded with a roll of Ilford HP5 film, and rode the motorcycle to downtown McKinney, a favorite place to see people and make portraits. I wanted to use only one roll of 12 exposures, and I was to photograph people around the main square, as well as some architecture and other things that caught my eye. Here I share four portraits from this outing.
This afternoon I put the old Rolleiflex on a tripod and pointed it at myself. It is rare that I have my self-portrait made, as I usually point my camera to others, but there is something intimate and special about doing a self-portrait. It is that introspection, that search for what we want others to see in us that has fascinated artists for centuries. Most painters have made self-portraits, and we are all familiar with famous ones from Rembrandt, Durer, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and so many others. I don't aspire to be in such wonderful company of artists, but here is a portrait of myself reading a book by the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, in a favorite corner by a window.
My last entry in this blog was back in May and it is now mid November. The good news is that I have photographed quite a bit over the last six months, but I haven't share here. I was busy taking a couple of Photography and Cinema classes at Collin College, and then in October I started a new job and my time for photography decreased significantly. Nevertheless, I feel good about images created over the last few months, using both digital and film.
This post is about film. I have used my three film camera, the Voigtlander, the Rolleiflex and my father's Olympus OM-1. The Rollei was with Mark Hansen for service for most of the period and I only got it back last month. I photographed mostly with the old folding Voigtlander Bessa. I love the entire process of capturing on film and then processing the negatives using chemicals. I need to be judicious with my shooting because I only have 8 exposures per roll (12 on the Rolleiflex) and I have to also be careful with my developing process. It takes a lot of effort to bring 8 photos to life using the old folding camera, but it is very worth it. Here are some images from the summer, including photos of the cameras I am using.
I really enjoy strolling in a new place, approaching people, getting to know a little about them by asking questions and listening and then taking their portrait. More often than not people are happy to let me make their portrait. Today I rode my motorcycle to Denton in the beautiful sunny afternoon and made three portraits there. I also took a few other pictures of the place. The combination of riding the motorcycle and photographing is perfect for me, as it combines two of my passions. This is something I plan to continue to do for as long as a I can. Here is a gallery with images from this walk.
It gives me great pleasure to mix my love for photography with my love for motorcycling by going on a ride to an interesting place with my camera. On May 11th I took my trusty Yamaha wr250r dual-sport motorcycle on the farm roads of North Texas to Greenville, a town that was big in the past and today remains as just a shadow of its former glorious self. While there was absolutely nothing going on in this town on that afternoon, I had a wonderful time talking to a few people and photographing scenes from the streets. In fact, I liked it so much that I plan to go back and photograph the town in more depth, including more portraits. I took pictures with the Fuji XT-3 digital camera with the 35mm f2 lens and also the Voitgländer Bessa RF that I acquired recently. The Fuji did a wonderful job using the Acros film simulation. The film camera did great as well, but I failed to focus properly when taking portraits - more my fault than the camera's. While this old camera has an excellent coupled rangefinder, it is still difficult to focus and even compose through the tiny rangefinder and viewfinder windows. Oh well, I think it is a good idea to carry both the digital camera and the film camera to make sure the image is created, one way or another. At the end of the day what really matters is the image.
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