Today was pretty chill. I got to sleep in, but have work early in the morning tomorrow, so the itinerary for tonight is to watch a movie over a couple beers after taking a shower and then go to bed at a reasonable hour. Busy day.
I worked this afternoon and went out with some of the other teachers for food and drinks. I had a good time. I spent the majority of the day practicing hyper-focal scale focusing with my Olympus film camera for street photography. Street photography really requires, or at least thrives, on film cameras with manual-focus lenses. Everything is instantaneous and direct due to it’s analog nature — something which is an absolute necessity when it comes to street photography. Manual focus lenses are a huge part of it too, as you need to have a visual scale present to demonstrate focal-distance. Film cameras with manual-focus glass makes it very easy… and while digital can accomplish it, it makes it overly-complicated and (at least with my Fuji) I am always experiencing shutter-lag, which is unacceptable.
Scale focusing basically means that you pre-focus your lens on a certain focal-length based on your distance from the intended subject. Depending on your aperture setting, you can have a deep focal area, or a shallow one. You set your camera this way, and allow yourself to walk into the focusing distance of subjects, or allow your subjects to walk into your focal plane. You capture them within this field of acceptable focus.
I feel like I got more hits-per-shot today, practicing with my Olympus, than I ever have with my digital camera (referring to “subjects in the wild”, so to speak). I’m very excited to send my film off and see the results! I’m also excited at the prospect of buying myself a Nikon FM3A with a wide-angle lens for my birthday, which will further my capabilities. The Nikon would allow me to invest in a living photographic system (so that if I want to buy a digital body later on, all my glass will be fully compatible) while giving me a fully-mechanical camera that (with batteries) allows me a stepless shutter and aperture priority!
“Always take your subject by surprise, always shoot from the closest possible distance, and break away immediately after shooting.”
—Vladimir Panasenko, Three Rules