Exactly one year ago I started my photography all over again. I decided to start from the beginning. I’ve always looked up photographers but never considered myself of being one. I have been into photography for ages, but for some reason I’ve always felt that I am not a real photographer. By deciding to change that, I stepped into a rabbit hole. Now — only one year later, everything is different. Not only I feel like a photographer, I’m also proud of my work and my confidence level is 10/10.
Bying a newer camera didn’t resolve anything
I hate having unfinished business. Learning photography was one of those things. Back in the days I was really interested in photography, but didn’t take the time to really get deep. One year ago I came back from a hiking trip in Lapland and after being disappointed with my trip photos, I realised that my photography hadn’t been evolving in any significant way for many years. First I blamed the camera, because I was using a semi-outdated Nikon DLSR. Purchasing a newer camera didn’t seem to help, but it kickstarted my something else.
Re-discovering film photography
Then something magical happened. I was in the attic going through my old Canon FD lenses, which I wanted to adapt to my mirrorless camera. I had a box full of my old gear from the film days. On the bottom of one box was something shiny. A silver object was almost like whispering to me… much like the “one ring”, I felt like it wanted to be found. It was my old Canon AE-1. I looked at it and had a distinct feeling that this is it. The missing link.
One of my hypothesis’ is that relying on the technology prevented me to really learn the fundamental skills of photography. Analog camera doesn’t have anything but only few settings and a shutter button. It is remorseless. It will reveal just how much you SUCK! It will reveal your skill level. How much do you really know about composition? How well do you really know how light and optics work? When and why should you actually be pressing the shutter? What do you do when you have only 36 frames and there is not a single circuit board to help you? Believe me — shoot one year with film and you’ll be a better photographer. Use a mechanical camera. Have a 50mm lens and iso400 black and white film. You — will — learn. You will have to practise and study. You will have to learn all the theory and true fundamentals. Lightroom or a pro DLSR will not compensate the lack of skill, ever. Learn the fundamentals, learn them the hard way by practising, studying, failing and trying all over again. After that, when you take all what you learned to your DSLR photography… holy shit! You won’t even believe what film can teach about photography.
So this was the major plot point for me when everything changed. I started to practise. I practised, practised and practised. I started to study. I studied, studied and studied. I realised that there were no short cuts. This has been amazing year and I can’t wait what will come next. I can’t wait to see my work five years from now!
Correction: I was pointed out that there actually is a circuit board on the Canon AE-1.