Aug 6, 2015

the thing about the yashica

...is that it's BULLETPROOF.

Just kidding. Seriously though, I'm constantly marveling at how dinky the thing (the thing, meaning my Yashica 6x6 TLR) looks and the quality of pictures it gives me. Even though I've been on/off shooting with it since 2012 I don't have the enough experience or knowledge to really comment on the exact mechanics of twin lens cameras. The best thing about working with 120 film is though that it teaches me a whole lot about one thing: shooting.

Why? because shooting with this kind of old camera is hard especially when the internal light meter is broken and you're basically eyeballing the ASA (=ISO) + shutter speed + aperture the whole time, and then since you only get 12 chances you're extra aware of the composition and focus. There was one time I thought I had a roll of film in and supposedly shot all these beautiful pictures of the DC cherry blossoms, only to be shocked and embarrassed later by how stupidly I had forgotten the most important part of shooting film: LOADING FILM.

Medium format is wonderful at shooting portraits, yes, that's basically what most fine art wedding photographers use nowadays, but I think it's awesome at capturing landscape too. It makes you think harder about the composition. And the depth of field. I literally just realized one of my weird tendencies when I shoot, which is leaving a lot of room at the top or just sticking way too strictly to the 'rule of thirds.' I also secretly obsess over empty spaces in photos for whatever reason.

So all in all, I love the way this camera makes me actually think when I'm taking photos. It's a whole another experience working with medium format in film. Lately, with the iPhone camera game so strong I feel like I've forgotten to really think about everything I learned in photography class in college when I shoot. My mentality has sort of become: shoot, like, a lot a lot, and just fix everything (composition, lighting, color...) in photoshop or an editing app later. But I've found that I just end up with like hundreds of very mediocre photos that are not very meaningful because I know I half-assed it. I shoot film not really because of anything else other than wanting to go back to the basics of photography and just the pure quality that gets me every. time.

So anyway, that was my pre-coffee ramble about my beloved Yashica. And film. I LOVE ALL MY CAMERA BABIES. so much.