Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Very First "Self-Portrait" With My 15mm Heliar

I couldn't wait to get a 15mm Heliar when they hit the market! I missed my 19mm Canon, which had been stolen a couple of years earlier, but those are difficult to locate. For the duration I made do with a 28mm Elmarit, but it never seemed wide enough. When I finally got the 15mm lens I was surprised at just how wide it really was! For the next several weeks I spent a lot of time just peering through the finder, sometimes just carrying the finder around with me in my pocket even when I had no intention of doing any shooting. I also must have shot 20 rolls of film with it in that first month or two. I'm a firm believer that you need to really know your lenses, exactly what they'll cover, so you already know what the picture includes before ever raising the camera to your eye. Here I was at a Sunday afternoon concert at the park. Mayor Joe Celestin and Miss Black Florida were walking with me over to the fountain for some pictures. I like to get photos of myself with various people as much as the next guy, and I often just hand the camera off to somebody to shoot one, but I wondered if perhaps I could just shoot it myself now that I had such a wide angle lens. I just got off the one exposure as I hadn't yet perfected the technique of winding and firing one handed, especially with my left hand. The M body in the lower right has my 85mm f/2 Nikkor on it, in case you're wondering.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al, I have been interested in your 15mm self portraits since you started posting them online. They are great but I really want to see them in book form, as turning page after page of them would build the mood of the story up to make a great (and sometimes unsettling, in a good way) collection of photography. I hope that you are still shooting with it and Monkey- let's see some more!

John Sypal

7:31 AM  
Blogger Al Kaplan said...

Thanks, John. I'm still shooting with Monkey. I have dozens more of self-portrait images both with and without him. I'm hoping for a book also, but don't feel I'm quite ready yet. A lot of people email me requesting to see more of my historical stuff also, so I'm trying to keep both camps happy. For the past month or so I've spent a lot of time squinting through a loupe at contact sheets from the 1960's and making a list of images to print. I also have a listof self-portraits I've been shooting which I need to print up. Just be patient! Thanks, Al

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

My first self portrait with my heliar 15 was when I wasn't careful and kept photographing my feet or knees.

7:57 PM  

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