gone


October 18, 2011

I realized when I was taking this picture, that my camera was pretty much dangling on its last leg. I was standing on the sidewalk on Yonge Street with the mid-day lunch crowd streaming past me, struggling to get the focus right (ordinarily a very simple task). The autofocus wasn’t working and the manual focus was severely limited to long-range shots. Later, after I’d gone through the World Press Photo exhibition, I sat off to the side to try to figure out if it was the lens or the camera that was malfunctioning. The verdict? It was the lens. A few weeks later, I took the lens to Henry’s to ask if the it was repairable. Based on the way the guy manhandled it, I knew it was pretty much dead. He verbally confirmed it. I have one SLR body on its last breath, three hopefully functioning ones bodies, and no lens. Add that to the list of camera stuff I want (a new lens, an advanced compact digital camera and a point-and-shoot film camera with manual controls). Great.

I pretty much haven’t used a film SLR since then, relying rather lamely on my Smena and dSLR instead. I find I’m more hesitant when it comes to capturing a fleeting moment with these cameras and I don’t seem to have the same audacity as I do with a film SLR. It’s completely psychological. Actually, I haven’t quite taken as many pictures lately as I usually do, even with the dSLR. Perhaps it’s a confluence of factors, like boredom with my surroundings and a bit of disenchantment with the technology, that’s to blame for my lack of motivation.

I currently have two rangefinders in my possession, both very beautifully retro-looking cameras. One is a Ricoh 500G which I picked up months ago but haven’t quite explored, and the other, a Yashica Minister D, a camera with a name that makes me laugh, formerly my uncle’s. I guess I’ve lamented the loss on my SLR long enough and I should take at least one of those rangefinders out for a spin. Based on what I’ve produced from the Smena, I know I’m not very good at judging distances, but of course, practise is what I need. Deep breath in, take the camera out…

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