Stealing a snippet of time (camera crazy)

The past howevermany days are a bit of a blur. I’ve been so busy, barely able to get a chance to tick off one or two things every day. And yet, if I look back, for the life of me I can’t think what I’ve really been so busy doing. Leila is starting to teethe, which I suspect is part of it. She’s so drooly and chewy these days, and cranky when her mouth gets sore. She’s sporting a couple of bright red cheeks, and gnawing on everything: her hands, my hands, her toys, any sort of cloth or blanket she can grab hold of.

It’s also getting colder, which means the cats are also getting demanding. They’ve been braying for food an hour earlier than usual this week, and whenever I get a moment to myself Sooty and Pippi (Pippi in particular) are climbing all over me, trying to get a bit of warm lap. But it’s not like it’s too cold in the house – most of the outward-facing walls have all been insulated, as well as the entire roof, and last year we put in a home ventilation system to pipe warm air from the lounge to the rest of the bedrooms. But as soon as you step outside, even into the sun (and there has been a good amount of sun lately), there’s still a definite bite to the air.

I’m realising (perhaps I’m a bit of a dolt for it to have taken me this long) that with Leila here now there’s really not a lot of time for me to think about writing. Even responding to emails in a reasonable period of time is a bit of a challenge. So sitting down for a chunk of time, getting yourself into the right headspace to immerse yourself in the world of your writing, isn’t really, realistically, going to happen. I knew that all along. And maybe it’s a bit of a relief to be able to put it all aside for now, to say “not now”, and focus on something else that gives me pleasure instead.

So – I’ve pulled out some old cameras: my mother’s old Zeiss Ikon Colora F, and my parents’ old Pentax ME. I rescued the pile of Ilford film languishing at the bottom of my bookshelf, and Steve found the developing tank and chemicals down in the basement. And then, for the first time in a long time, I took, and then developed, some pictures:

Leila

fence

bridge

Pips

Leila 2

angel

karori cemetery 2

cold skies

Karori cemetery

 

I scanned the negatives (I have an Epson V500 photo scanner) and tweaked them with Lightroom. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Not content to leave it at that (I’m terrible when I get into a new hobby) I’ve also ordered a Konica Hexar AF, which I am insanely excited about, from Bellamy at Japan Camera Hunter. He’s buying the camera as we speak, and is going to email me once he’s shipped it off.

Just to top it all off, Steve made a sneaky purchase when he saw me drooling at digital cameras online: the Fujifilm x100s. I know. I was actually a bit angry with him for doing it. I mean, we’re getting married in October, and he’s out buying me a ridiculously awesome camera. Yes, I know it’s not a DSLR. Yes, I know it’s decidedly “retro”. But considering my style of photography (not the photos themselves, but the way I like to take photos), it’s a perfect fit for me. And it’s the first real fancy digital camera I’ve ever owned, one where you can mess around with ISO settings, dynamic range, exposure, and the rest, with a built in ND filter, shoot in RAW and jpeg, and even – get this – shoot pictures that are completely straight, thanks to its horizon finder. (I’m shockingly bad at shooting straight photos.) The whole thing has been a total revelation to me. There is still a host of other features I’m still discovering and playing with, but for the time being (Leila’s awake again!) I’ll just leave you with a few more pics, this time from the x100s:

leila3

flowers

leila4

leila5

leila6

 

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