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  • Writer's pictureThe Artcasts

Finding My Mojo

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Having found my photography mojo somewhat absent of late I was interested to see an old half plate wooden bellows camera come up for auction at work (I did tentatively bid on it but didn't win it...It was way beyond my budget and I really had no clue if it was actually usable or not). It did however get me back thinking about old fashioned basic manual cameras and their idiosyncrasies. Knowing that I had shown an interest in the dark(room) side a friend of mine offered to lend me one of his many old plate cameras from the early 1900s to have a play with using simple paper negatives. We met up for a brew one afternoon in early December and the seeds were sown. Rob gave me some excellent pointers on what I should and shouldn't be doing with the camera & what ISO to expect from the paper of choice (Ilford Multigrade IV RC Deluxe Pearl - seeing as you asked) and off I went into the unknown. Quite familiar place for a hands on messer such as myself... After a few still life shots at home to get my eye in and some splashing around in my makeshift darkroom (office) we headed off to Dorset for a few days and I dragged the old camera along too with 6 freshly loaded dark slides. Needless to say at least half of the photos I took were out of focus or badly exposed but I can't lie it was fun having a play with it and the fact I had to actually wait more than five minutes to see the results did add to the experience because each exposure wasn't just a quick 'throw away' shot like with a digital camera. I found I did put a lot more effort into actually get the composition and exposure correct...Or at least what I hoped would be correct - it was a steep learning curve! More on this subject to follow I'm sure but as least for now I'm back out and about and even the damp weather hasn't really stopped me from having a bit of fun.

Till the next time, hope you have a brilliant Christmas and all the best for 2020!

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