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Aug 29, 2014

"View Finder"

I have been taking my self on a journey. I wanted to take the time I have here in Arizona to build on my film works. Once I decided to get the ball rolling I set out to find another film camera to shoot with other than my Bronicasaurus. Yes I call it a dinosaur because the camera is huge, really. I wanted something a bit more easy to handle and take to the streets without getting looked at like a crazy person. 

I stumbled across a magnificent find at a thrift store here in town. I saw a Canon Ae-1 that was in good shape though it had seen better days in my opinion. I had two missions when I entered, one to find a camera and another to find a case. I saw a silver small case, which initially I wanted for my Bronica, I asked the clerk to see the case. As the clerk lifted the case to the counter top from the glass display it hit the counter with a bit of heft. I knew good an well this thing couldn’t be that heavy. I look at the price tag and it said $21.00. The case was rather nice so I figured why the hell not. I opened it to inspect the contents to find a near mint condition Canon F-1n with a 150mm Macro and a ring flash inside. Immediately I ask, “Is this supposed to be in here?,” the clerk replies, Yes. I am still befuddled at that point and my second question comes from my mouth. Is this camera included with the case?, the clerk says a hearty, Yes.” I proceed to tell him to take my money NOW. 

Just this past week I went on a photowalk in a small town here called Bisbee. I took all of my cameras with me. I make an interesting discovery on the trip the moment I raised my DSLR to my eye and saw all the bright lights inside, like it was a view of Vegas from a helicopter. It was almost a foreign view to me. It took maybe a few minutes for me to remember how all this stuff worked but when I did, everything was crystal clear. I had a renewed sense of what every function would do to my image. The simplicity of an ISO dial, shutter speed dial, and manual aperture controls on the lens of my F-1 made the single button presses of my 7D so sensible. 

There was no split level focusing screen but using the 19 focus points were seamless and easy, almost too easy. As I used my DSLR more and more thought out the day, as a pro, it all seemed just way too simple. There was no challenge, I could shoot and not worry about the consequences. The results of making the wrong choice of aperture didn’t waste the shot. I could just erase and do it again but, the moments were always gone so you had to get that right at least. I feel like that was the only drawback really. I did, however do everything with deliberation after that having used the analog camera for so long before that. It was liberating and I have to say it was the best feeling I have felt with a camera in my hand in quite a while.

From that day forth I have used nothing but my film cameras. Crazy? Maybe. It was refreshing to raise these relics to my eye to see the world through a viewfinder with no green LED’s inside of them. These cameras are nearly my age and have seen many places. These viewfinders have been looked through by the eyes of amateurs to experts alike and here that history lies in my possession. What makes it even more intriguing is the idea that this camera may outlast my multi thousand dollar DSLR and never blink twice about it. 

#toddlerlife #leggo #toys #analogfilm #birdseyeview #followme
Aug 26, 2014

#toddlerlife #leggo #toys #analogfilm #birdseyeview #followme

Aug 20, 2014 / 2 notes



THE BEST THAT EVER DID IT!!!! Multi-faceted artists are gonna take over the world one day. 

Saw this #realrandomnshit in my kitchen. #shapes #faces #random #sad
Aug 18, 2014

Saw this #realrandomnshit in my kitchen. #shapes #faces #random #sad

Aug 14, 2014


I have been trying to find my place in the world of the photographic arts. I figured the best way to get there is using the slowest vehicle I could get, a film camera. A few years ago I acquired my first film camera in nearly 10 years. I was - and still am - a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design as a photo major. I signed up for large format photography class. Second week in and we are assigned to develop our film from the first weeks shooting sessions. I was developing my first roll of film ever, pretty exciting I must say.  I find myself loving this more than any time I ever pressed the shutter button on my my nearly 2300 dollar digital Canon Mark II. It was a magnificent and rewarding feeling to see my images come to life on film. This was a moment to remember and to repeat as much as I could in the time that I have to use this great studio and darkroom. 

If you were wondering, that camera I mentioned a moment ago was a Bronica ETRSi. Now heres a secret - get ready - I knew jack shit about medium format nonetheless what a great jewel I had on my hands. I bought the camera from a local camera store in Decatur, Georgia. I paid roughly 125 dollars for a body, 2 lenses, and a 120 film back. I posed like I knew what the hell I was buying at the counter as the shop owner told me how great a camera it was. I just new that it looked like it was in great shape and my friend Google would give me digs on how to work this beast once I got the thing home. It was the best damn purchase of photographic gear I could have ever made and I had no clue how it was going to change the way I looked through the viewfinder till later on in the semester. 

I could go all Scorsese on this story but I digress and chose to move on to the reason this topic is gracing your eyes and mind at this very moment. I could post about anything really on this blog but I am thoughtfully choosing to start it right where I need to - a moment for you to see who I am as a photographer - my story as I journey further into the task of finding who I am as photographer. I will tell my story with shutter clicks, developer, stop baths, fixer, and slowly unraveling rolls of plastic covered with trace elements of silver. 

I think photography echoes the trials of life really. You open your eyes to see the world, you develop an idea of what the world should be. You stop and take in what is before your eyes. You fix yourself towards what your observing and with each passing moment you final see something, right in front of you. Sometime what you see is crystal clear and other times its so out of focus you  can barely make out what it is. Surely. something is there, something is always there unless you never open your eyes then everything is just - darkness. There are times that the thing you are looking at is just so immense its blinding and there is nothing but light. Eventually you get everything right and you see things as clear as it should be and everything is perfectly exposed. 

As long as you open your eyes one more time there is an opportunity for you to get what you see perfectly exposed once again. 

- Ken Prater