Tyler, TX: pro-am & toy

For #DianaDay, I went to Tyler, TX in connection with another project.* I went with, perhaps, a few too many cameras…

Excessive, perhaps, but now, with film developed, I have a chance to look at the different formats and think some about the various use cases I have for them, maybe more effectively grab the right camera(s) when I’m on my way out the door in the morning, or head off for a trip, maybe.

I love the Sprocket Rocket. It’s just about perfect for a number of things, not least of which, capturing the view out the front window of the car…

I have a feeling it’s going to be a regular companion when I want to capture environments and show myself and/or my darling, adorable wife in the midst of something.

As for the Diana Mini, in the #DianaDay post, I mentioned thinking it was more useful for activities, parties, or similar, and I think that’s true, but since I wrote that, I’ve sorta fallen in love with one shot from it.

I could’ve taken this photo with the FE or some other SLR, through some precision engineered marvel like the 35mm f/2 D, but it wouldn’t have the same feel, and wouldn’t have that strange light leak/double exposure thing in the left 1/4. I’m using the F-Mount Holga 60mm f/8 for the unnamed project I’m working on for this very reason. I’ve shot for it with that lens, and with other, sharper lenses, but the subject and look and feel I’m going for with it works better with the softness and imprecision from the Holga.

Put side by side, you can see the difference clearly. Ignoring the color for a minute (it’s too blue in the FE image, compared to the Diana, and the Diana image is too washed out), there’s a sharpness and contrast and solidity from the SLR that is missing in the toy camera. And, simultaneously, there’s a nostalgia, a feeling of the past possible from the plastic lens that is impossible to achieve with modern glass.

Horses for courses, as they say.

A photowalk with both is fun, and, in retrospect, somewhat instructive, perhaps.

Early Saturday morning is quiet in downtown Tyler… it’s probably quiet there most all of the time, given all the empty storefronts.

So what can I glean from this walk with two, wildly different 35mm cameras?

Well, I moved to film, in part, because digital looked too sharp and plastic for me. I almost feel similarly for images shot with the FE/35mm f/2, at least when compared to images shot at roughly the same time with the Diana. That said, I was hoping for a nostalgic or faded memory feel to pictures I took in downtown Tyler, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the Diana has a slight advantage. Some desaturation (and better white balance) might help get other shots there, and the “full frame” has a size advantage over the half frame, for reproduction purposes.

So, again, horses for courses, and this is ultimately not particularly instructive.

I just enjoy film photography, all parts of it, and InshaAllah I’ll keep shooting, whatever tools I employ to do it.


*Sadly, I didn’t get the photographs I hoped for, and will need to return to Tyler sometime soon, and in the late afternoon or evening. InshaAllah I’ll roll out there one Friday after Jummah, wander around, find a good place to pray Asr, shoot for the project in the nice evening light, maybe have some dinner, and InshaAllah make it home in time for Maghrib.

And before I go to a distant land to shoot something specific, I need to be sure to check the map, see where the thing is, which direction(s) it faces, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *