While by digital camera standards this camera is now ancient, November of 2004, I still enjoy using it for Infrared photo’s and sometimes just because I really like it. One thing I’ve recently started to do is to shoot RAW with it despite the fact that the write times with RAW are very long. By shooting RAW and processing in the latest version of Lightroom 3 I am able to wring a lot more detail out of the files than ever before essentially giving it some new life.
Despite the fact that Ricoh has overused the “500″ moniker I love the uniqueness of this particular camera. The film advance lever is located underneath instead of the more traditional right thumb location. Being entirely a manual camera exposure levels need to be determined with a light meter or other means. Rather that seeing this as detrimental I actually think that this helps the photographer to really consider what they are perceiving. You need to put some conscious effort into the making of the image.
If you look at the bottom of the camera you can see that there are two locks on either side that secure the back and bottom plate to the rest of the camera. The back must be removed for loading and unloading the film. Inside I’ve circled the two cams that interlock in order to advance the film. The bottom one is made from spring steel in such a way that it advances the film one way but slips over the other one when returning the advance lever. When I first received this camera this mechanism was not working but simply bending the spring steel cam by a fraction of a millimeter, so the two cams met, brought it back into operation. Another thing with this camera was that the focus mechanism was frozen. I carefully applied a small amount of constant force be hand until the hardened grease loosened up. Then by turning the focus numerous times the focus became smooth and even, while it is a bit stiff it could be described as nicely dampened. The reason I mention these things is that the first response to a non functioning camera shouldn’t be to rashly disassemble but to spend time with it and figure out what isn’t working and why.
I really enjoy seeing how other people paint and the different states that a painting has. I sometimes take pictures while I’m painting and thought I would share this one. As you can see I did do some thin under painting in order to get the elements in place. I followed this with heavier direct painting and then finally some more details like the scratches on the clear plastic. Also you can see that I completely re-located the word MONTH.
The Yashica T3 sports a Carl Zeiss T* 35mm f2.8 lens and uniquely a waist level viewfinder labeled an NA scope (New Angle). Using this viewfinder is a great way to compose images while holding the camera in unconventional positions even overhead. You can override the flash but it re-sets after each shot which is an annoyance. But really this camera is all about the lens which is very good.
What I have tried to do here is create a bit of tension visually. By blocking half of the image, and obscuring the path beyond, we don’t know if there truly is a an oncoming cyclist as the sign states. If we were to step out would we be struck? Maybe I’m reaching a bit far here but that’s what I was trying for.
These photo’s are an example of repetition of form. Graphically they use the same form, yes the pun is intended, in order to create a larger field. The harmony is further enhanced by the monotone nature of the overall image. Personally I prefer the last two images with their small touches of wood to contrast the concrete.
I had planned to take pictures in a particular location but was thwarted by the weather so I went for a walk on the Golden Ears bridge instead. It turned into a great image making opportunity. These four images are just a few of what resulted but I have grouped them together thematically. As you can see these ones share several elements: the bridge, the colour processing, occurring against the light. While I didn’t get the source material for a painting as I had planned I’m pleased with the way it worked out.