Friday, January 27, 2006

One that got away

This morning while waiting for a ride, I saw a gnarled old lady with a walking stick, wearing one of those brown dresses with a stampita round the waist you often see devotees of the Black Nazarene or the Sacred Heart, wear. She was walking hunched and slowly on the service road of the South Super Highway. On the road, not on the sidewalk. I took out the camera and lined up a shot, set depth of field, focus, exposure--I was ready to go. But in the shot was a Jollibee sign, so I waited for her to pass so I could get her as she was walking away from me. It was perfect. South-bound road was surprisingly empty, she was still on the sidewalk, the road rising in front of her, the lamposts providing a great one-point perspective to infinity. The clouds were gray, and the pollution added some mist; great atmosphere. (Sure, there was a Metrobank sign in the shot, but you can't have it all.) It was like she was walking in the gray mist to eternity. I readjusted focus, aperture, exposure. I was ready to take the shot, waiting, waiting for just the right moment. Then a car parked right next to the shuttle and ruined everything. Meanwhile, the old lady moved to the sidewalk. If I had a digital camera, I wouldve just taken pictures, click-click-click, and see if anything came out right, readjust, then click-click-click. No such luxury with the film camera since you have to spend time thinking about it. At least I do. I expect as I get the hang of it, lining up a shot would be second nature.

I'm no film snob. I think digital photography is real photography in a different medium and eventually I'll be getting a digital camera. But Ijust love my new, old, clunky Olympus OM2n. It makes the sweetest sound when you press that shutter button. Action's so smooth unlike the old Russian Zenit I used once. That camera released the shutter with a jolt, so it's practically useless for long exposures unless you had a really steady tripod. I shot the first roll of film with the OM2n the moment I got it, and as expected, most of the pictures looked like crap since I kept trying to experiment with it. The second roll was better. That's the thing with film photography; you learn as you go since you'll have to wait for the prints to see if you got it right. It's pretty exciting, the anticipation. Taking pictures with film forces me to think about my shots now--there's no turning back when you press that shutter release--so whereas my first 2 rolls were gone in an instant, I'm still on my third roll (36 shots) which is a week old and has about 16 more shots to go. Developing these babies aint cheap.

The kids are showing an interest in photography, too. They want a camera of their own seeing how much fun Im having with mine. Should provide for a great father-daughter activity.


grifter said...

With digital photog, you can just about do the same thing, though the real downside is the expense. But you'll still have fun time bonding by refining/wasting all those shots (think of all the candid shots you can make), learning and playing with Adobe Photoshop, and making funny faces because of the smell of the inkjet printer (hint: patis). Fun, fun, fun.

Jego said...

Photoshop?? But that's... that's cheating!!

Still waiting for the price of a good digital camera to go down--which it will.

Irene Arboleda said...

Post it, post it...we have so much talent around, visit Native Eye's blog site for starters. Carlo Celdran's brother's photo blog is also great.Btw, prices of digital cameras has gone down considerably's just that they always come up with something new to keep the latest model's prices up!

Jego said...

I'll post a few as soon as I get to scan them. As for the 'talent' part... I still mostly dont know what Im doing.