'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Monday, 20 September 2010

My Trusty Nikon FM

I took these (with my digital camera) on my recent fabulous wet media photography course. At the same time I took the same or similar photos with my dear old Nikon FM. I've yet to develop the film (next post perhaps), but what I noticed was that the discipline I imposed on myself to take only 'great shots' on the film camera because of the very few number of exposures I had, made me look far more carefully, and compose far better images. These above are 5 out of 6 consecutive shots I took, and I modestly consider them among the best pics I've taken for years.
I think I've become quite lazy since getting my digital camera.


  1. I'm a digital enthusiast. I feel less restrained when taking pictures and will often take half a dozen shots where before I would only have taken one. It's interesting how when you take six shots of the same scene within moments of each other, there's usually one photo that is subtly better than the rest. Also film processing in the past would often be awful, destroying perfectly good compositions.

  2. Yes YP, I don't think I couldn't go back either. I haven't used this film camera for about twenty years. But on this course, the whole deal of learning to develop the film and print enlargements for myself has been really fun, and the tension of knowing one has a very limited number of exposures really does hone the eye, I think.
    It's almost magical - alchemical- watching the photos develop in the tray under the red light...

  3. I used to do my own developing and it was magical watching it come to life!
    I agree that using film does make you more discriminating and sharpens your eye. I found for awhile that I was taking dozens of pictures just for the sake of taking them. Now I don't bother unless the light is exactly right - otherwise I end up with hundreds of shots I think I can fix later. But a flat photo will always look flat unless the original light was perfectly suited.

  4. BTW, I like your shots, especially the calf!!

  5. I'm with YP. As an enthusiastic photographer (not the word enthusiastic which does not necessarily imply quality) since I was about 6 I have never felt so liberated as I do now. The difference is that I take photos for a wider variety of reasons. At one time it was as a personal record and to get the 'perfect picture'. Now I'm more concerned with achieving a gentle satisfaction from seeing more of what goes on around me through the lens. Obviously capturing memories and trying for the 'perfect picture' are still part of that to which I aspire.

    And, yes, your pictures are beautiful - particularly the last one for me. I find that shooting in B & W also focuses the mind more as well.