Digital and Film: singing in the rain

When you plan your vacation around photography—as most other things—it’s a bit of a bummer when it rains the entire time, but there are at least two great things that rain offers to photography: shiny clean things and drops on windows.

The FG developed some sort of issue while in Arkansas. I’m still not sure of the cause of it, but it seems like whenever it bounces around a bunch (while dangling from my hand or shoulder on a photowalk, for example), something happens to the sensor that activates the meter and makes the camera switch into freshly-loaded film/M90 mode. This might be what happened in Chicago with all those overexposed shots of my wife on the beach and various street scenes. This same issue has happened twice during walks lately, and with the first two (the Arkansas event and a later event with some FP4), I stuck the camera in the dark bag, opened the back, rewound the film, reloaded the film, shot through however many frames at 1/1000th with the lens cap on, and that seemed to fix it temporarily. Most recently, though, I tried just hitting the rewind button, taking a shot, and then thumbing the advance lever, which reset it immediately.

Anyway. All that is to say that my digital/film experiment came to an abrupt end when I realized this problem sometime on the 26th, and so it’s a good thing I got one decent shot out of the roll of Porta 400 I started late on the 25th.

But first… some more shooting out the front window with the D7000…

My poor mom. She lives in a beautiful house in a remote corner of a remote town that is itself in a remote corner of Arkansas, and therefore has to drive long distances with some regularity, and I come into town and make her drive me around… Shame on me.

And to top it off, I ask her to turn off the wipers for a bit sos I can get some nice shots of the rain on the windshield.

Some son I am…

But at least I got a couple of decent pictures out of it, and while these could’ve been easily captured with the FG too,  the digital slickness works well for this sort of scene/subject, and unlike the shot at the top of this page, which took loads of post work to even get to the sorry state it’s in now.

The background is way overexposed, and the subject—the drops on the window—are smeared due to missed focus (I think): I’ve gotten used to the split prism thing in the FG and forget all about the green arrows and focus confirm dot on the D7000.

But even if I’d nailed the focus, the blur is too busy, too blocky, obviously digital. It would make a great painting, if I still painted, and it’s an ok picture, I guess, but it’s not really up to snuff when compared with its analog cousin…

Focus: nailed (pardon the blur on the left edge: that’s a scanning error). Blur: creamy and smooth. Color: subtle and realistic. That’s probably the best picture I made in Arkansas.

Alhamdulillah.

I had a pleasant visit with Mom, and it was good to get away and recharge for a bit. I should do that more often.

And it’s good to realize, once again, that the tool is only as useful as your skill and vision. I probably need to save up a bit and invest in a backup body and a new scanning lens, but I’m going to try to hold out and make due with what I have for awhile.

Up tomorrow, some Hipstamatic shots from my trip… fun!

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