Long time since I posted an update. Some things that have happened and/or are happening in my life:
-In my second quarter at SCAD-Atlanta, and loving it. I finally feel like my teacher's aren't just rolling their eyes at my enthusiasm for photography, not to mention meeting other students who are just as enthusiastic.
-Gotten involved heavily with The Connector, the SCAD-Atlanta student newspaper. My photos have been featured on the cover at least every other issue for the past two quarters, it's great to be appreciated. Though I have to say I've been lazy about showing up to meetings consistently, which I feel kinda bad about. :/
-Shooting a wedding in Chicago in a few weeks, should be fun. Getting paid in a lens.
-Been bitten by the car bug. I got it from watching waaaaaay too much Top Gear, I can't wait for the new series next month!!
-Shot a little bit for the SCAD-Atlanta campus photographers, a very laid back bunch of guys who definitely know their stuff.
Finally, I have to tell you about an eye opening experience I've had recently. For a photo 1 assignment i have to emulate a working photographer, who still shoots personal work, of my choosing. I choose ~cweeks for his marvelous street photography. On a whim I changed my facebook status to say "Charlie is wondering if anyone has a rangefinder they can lend him for a few days?" I didn't really think anyone would offer, but a friend of mine said he had an old Leica IIIf he could loan me. I thought it would be a beat up junker with a fungus-filled lens with a sticky iris. I mean, why else would someone who I've met only twice in real life loan me a Leica?
I was wrong.
This Leica is MINT. The focus is smooth, the aperture clicks solidly in all the right places, the shutter has a confident *thwap* to it, the film counter works, hell it even has a self-timer, and there aren't even any scratches on the body. Most importantly however, the rangefinder is accurate as it was coming out of the factory. It's small, but you know it solid like it's made out of pig-iron. This camera is over 50 years old and is a true testament to German engineering at it's best. The best part? He got it at a garage sale for FIVE DOLLARS. FIVE DOLLARS PEOPLE, this camera goes for around a thousand in the condition it's in, and that's just the body!
So I spent a day shooting with it at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, and even though I only went through a roll and a half of 36-exp Illford 100, I only pulled out my 40D once or twice for some stage events that I knew I wanted to post as soon as I could and shoot in color. It is AMAZING the difference shooting with one of these makes. I only got 'caught' taking a photo once or twice, and one of the actors gave me a knowing wink after I took the shot.
Shooting with a Leica is like owning an older performance BMW. Most people are going to think you're an idiot for buying a car that's that expensive, that old, has no modern amenities (the leica doesn't have a light meter), and that 'ugly.' But if you run into someone who knows what you know, who feels what you feel, they'll give you a smile and wink, and you'll share a moment in your knowledge.
Ok that sounded pompous, but it's true.
You feel so connected with the camera, but at the same time, connected with the moment. Modern SLR's place themselves between you and your subject, obscuring your ability to connect with the subject. A rangefinder doesn't obscure this view, making you a more friendly and approachable photographer.
Not that it doesn't have faults. The viewfinder is tiny compared to modern standards, and the rangefinder is actually in a separate window. This makes focusing a little cumbersome, especially since I wear eyeglasses and that makes looking through the narrow rangefinder window even more difficult.
And then there's the film loading mechanism. Ze Germans had this marvelous idea to make the shell of the camera one solid piece. This makes the camera tougher, easy to make, and leaves less to go wrong. However, this also means you have to load the film through the bottom of the camera. This is extremely hard to do in a rush, and the only way I've figured out how to reliably do it is to open the shutter using the Bulb setting and push the film down into the proper place with my finger.
But god is this a camera! Even with it's faults I love it. I love the small size, the quality, and the robustness. God I want one...
DANM YOU WARREN, now the Leica bug has bit me!