Friday, March 28, 2008

The Big Shoot Out ~ Al vs. Al

My money makers are still my Leica rangefinder cameras, but for fun every day photography I like to carry around my little lightweight Bessa L with the ultra wide angle 15mm Voigtlander Heliar lens. It takes in an angle of view of over 110 degrees! That's right, stick the camera tight into the corner of a room and both walls will be in the picture. Yup, they make lenses that wide to fit digital cameras too, but the lenses are huge and the cameras huger (and heavier!).

If you've been following my photographic adventures for the past three or four years you'll see that using that leightweight camera and lens combination allows me to easily appear in my own photographs because I sure wouldn't want to be holding a five pound camera and lens combination out there at arms length! I compose mostly by a quick glance over my shoulder, pose myself, and I guess you could say that I'm composing as much by "feel" as by experience. I never look through the viewfinder.

Many nights I run ito this other Al over at Starbucks. He's also a photographer, but he's embraced digital big time! He's about my age, so he understands film photography. He cut his teeth on it, but he loves to be able to squint at the back of the camera and check each shot right away. He probably misses a lot of great shots that happen while he's squinting at the last one. He can't understand why anybody would still be shooting film these days. Well, all my cameras are long since paid for, for one, and they know exactly how to place themselves in my hands so they can get me to take fantastic photographs. Other than the Bessa I've had all of my cameras and lenses for about forty years now. We're old friends, partners. We work well together!

Al gave me a nice print from that shoot. I think that it's a good shot of me. He was supposed to email me a file to post on the blog. I'm still waiting. So much for one big advantage of digital. It still takes a person to email the file. Al, I'm waiting... [HE SENT IT!]


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