Friday, 24 March 2017

Finding Zen

Time to find the Zen in Zenza Bronica.

A long time ago I had the urge to go back to using film again and as time went by I came across a second-hand Bronica ETRS with a roof prism and 75mm lens. This is a fully manual camera with no exposure meter and it was a very steep learning curve for me. Needless to say things didn’t go too well and after around 3 rolls of film it migrated to the back of the cupboard as a failed experiment.

I’ve been thinking about it recently and one of the reasons for my failure was in not spending enough time trying to understand the basic exposure rules of both incident and reflected light coupled with the attempt to continue with my usual subjects instead of something more suited to learning this camera’s ways so it’s time for attempt number 2. I’ve been reading about metering and have an app on my phone to measure light which I’ve tested against my digital cameras and is as accurate as I could expect and if all goes well I have my eye on a Sekonic hand-held meter to move things up a notch. I ordered a pack of 5 films – Fujifilm Provia 100 iso – which arrived today, so I plan to take it around my local patch, King Barrow Quarry, to get some photographs of the rock formations.     
Rocks = mid tone grey = simplifying things.

This will let me know that the camera is working as it should and give me a static subject while I get used to things being back-to-front in the viewfinder. Talking about the viewfinder, looking down on a 2” x 1.5” glass screen to compose and focus is an absolute treat, it’s enough to make me slow down and really look just to see that screen view.

Partly to do with this return to the old ways of slowing down and simplifying things and also that I’d like to spend some time exploring the King Barrow patch, I’ve decided that the time is right to take a month’s break away from social media. I feel the need to remove the pressure I sometimes put myself under in order to have something to post here or the web site and keeping up with several blogs that I follow, so April will be a silent month from me, time to slow down, breathe deeply and embrace the world of 120 film once more.

I’ll be back in May if a rabid Easter bunny doesn’t get me first.

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